"I'm always writing. I've written ritualistically since age six or seven," says Scott Lubbock, who grew up in Alamo, California, population 400, and studied writing at Stanford. His fourth book of poetry, On the Way to Water, was published in 2004. "I went into education almost by accident," says Lubbock, an antiwar activist in the 70's who stayed on in school for a master's, then taught English and special ed in Bay Area high schools for 21 years. After moving to Eugene in 1990, he got certified in counseling and spent nine years as a drug and alcohol counselor. "I did a lot of reading, learning about different counseling models," he says. "I had an image of how people learned by listening to stories around a campfire. I wanted to be a listener." In 2000, Lubbock quit his job, rented an office, and opened All Ears, the Listening Place. "The other thing different about my model is that I charged a minimum $5," he says. "Beyond that, clients pay what they want. I never ask how much they earn." Begun as a one-year experiment, All Ears has lasted nine years, though the fee is now $10. With Lubbock in the photo is Yes the bear, also an excellent listener and a faithful companion to Lubbock and his wife Maggie.