Sunday, April 20, 2014

2,833 Miles

So, we're in Portland now.

There was a more impressive welcome sign a few hundred feet from here, but I missed it.

I'm not going to get much into the trip itself, because I'm saving that for the split zine I'm making with Rob, but suffice it to say that it came out much, much better than we expected it to. All three cats are still alive, though Oxford managed to destroy his own carrier. The most beautiful state we went through (including Oregon, which is half desert) was Utah. The worst state was Idaho, with the caveat that we only traveled through the south of it, and the panhandle is supposed to be way better, and we were also getting very tired of traveling by that point. Everyone we met was friendly as hell. Seriously, the Midwest has the most ho-hum topography but the best people. We went through twelve states, eight of which were new to me, and somewhere in Wyoming the terrifying visage of Abraham Lincoln passed judgment upon me and found me lacking.

Rob pulled a U-ie to see this. It was worth it.

Our apartment is fantastic, a very short walk from the bus stop and a longer walk to the Alberta district, home of a fancy waffle shop I imagine I'll be frequenting quite a bit. Surprisingly, I haven't been doing much biking since I got here, since our apartment's one downside is that there is no way to lock up your bike in the front. We have a tiny back yard, but it has a fence around it and is only accessible through the apartment, and my bikes are both 35+ pound behemoths with wide handlebars. I'm thinking about selling one or both of them and getting this contraption, which I'll actually be able to carry easily through the door/apartment. What biking I have done, however, has been glorious. People aren't actively trying to kill me anymore!

It's very peaceful here. We're still mostly in the setting-up phase, and haven't started jobs yet, so that could be part of the reason for the calm. But there's also such a sense of friendliness here, of community, which is strange considering that three-fourths of Portlanders are transplants, but there you go. While I hate to be one of those people who constantly compares Portland to the place they come from, I do think that the friendliness reminds me a lot of Pittsburgh. You know how people in Pittsburgh kind of smile and do a little wave at each other, even if they're complete strangers? Sort of like that, only minus the wave, because come on, that's creepy. It's very flat here and you can walk for miles without getting tired, and Rob's health is improving so much.

This terrible statue in Nebraska is supposed to represent the Oregon Trail. Isn't it ugly?

So yeah: Portland. It's a thing that's happening, right now. I've already met a few writers here, and I'm looking forward to meeting more people in both the science fiction and zine communities, as well as putting together some paying work! Oh, and it's barely rained at all, although it is spring. I like rain anyway.

In writing news, I've sold my short story "We Take the Long View" to Shimmer, one of my favorite magazines! I've been a reader of Shimmer since my friend K.M. Szpara had a short story in one of their previous issues. I'm very excited to share this bit of shimmery science fiction with you all.

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