Fireworks in Portland and My Writing

Greetings from the road! I am once again traveling in order to clear and clutter my mind. While my end destination is Stanford in time for graduation, there’s a little bit i want to do between now and then. I’ve already spent almost a week in Portland, seeing old friends and making a couple of new ones. I’ve been working along the way too, and am delighted to know that this trip is self-supporting, even more so than my spring 2013 trip when I was busking along my way down. Tutoring is such a great and fun thing for me, I love the freedom, flexibility, and one-one dynamic. I basically get paid to talk about my favorite things and teach others to do my favorite thing.

I was able to finish my first daft of The Immaculate Memory of Megan Reed this week, sitting in a park downtown. I hand wrote so much of that book, and have yet to compile the excerpts spread out over my USB, tablet, and journal. I’m not such how long it is exactly, but definitely in the 20,000-25,000 range. Its my first ever attempt at a literary fiction book, so I don’t have especially high hopes for it. I had a lot of fun writing it though, and it was probably good practice for my next book. I attribute the vast bulk of my skill as a writer to the fact that I have always been able to write a book, toss it aside, and move onto the next undeterred. You get a lot of practice with that method.

The story is kind of a love story, in the sense that it follows a girl has she comes into romantic maturity as a teenager and young adult. Megan is a young woman with a quick memory that she has to learn not to be consumed by as she moves forward and away from various emotionally potent events in her life and attempts to form new memories.

I’m glad I took some time “off” to write that. I’m excited about The Neverland Wars, and ready to hit it again. Its cool how in two months I went from being completely burn out on it to itching to get back. I’m a little nervous to dive back in though, and would really like to just hunker down somewhere for a couple of days and crank out a revised first three chapters. I’ve been outlining like the devil, trying to ensure that I don’t make any of the mistakes that I made my first time around, but I’m apprehensive about actually sitting down and committing to some words. Maybe a week from now I will make it to Stanford and have just the peace and support I need to plow through these rewrites.

In the meantime, I’m going to finish hanging out in Portland this first weekend of the Rose Festival and then go down to San Francisco for the bulk of the week. The fireworks last night to celebrate the start of the festival were beautiful. On my buddy’s suggestion I went up to Council Crest park to watch them from the southwest hilltop.

They were only n a small pocket of the cityscape below. Their lights and sparks looked no bigger than any of the other street lights and car tail lights. If you had taken a still shot, it would have looked like an odd clustering of cars going in every direction, or the lights of some bulbous and round building. At first there was no sound and I thought l might be too far away to hear them, but a few seconds later the booms came, and I was reminded of the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound. I tried to count it like lightning, and by my estimation, they were about four miles away, which I think is true. There were a few people a top the hill, but not many, and not like there would have been down by the waterfront. It was worth it to avoid the crowd, and an experience in itself to watch fireworks from such a distance. Of course, the view of Portland at night from that hill top was beautiful in its own right. My favorite thing was how the fireworks lit up the clouds and made them pulse with brief but total flashes of light. The clouds even took on the color of the fireworks to some degree, and it was such a faint effect, I’m sure it couldn’t have been seen from a vantage point closer to the fireworks. Where I was though, I managed to take in the whole picture, and marvel at fireworks for once not as great explosions but tiny expressions of profound human joy, flung into an infinitely unsurmountable night.

Everything has been great, and looks like it will continue to be. In excited for the future almost as excited as I am for the now.

2 thoughts on “Fireworks in Portland and My Writing

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