Monday, October 6, 2014

Compulsory Blog Post

Things have been, in general, pretty great. So great that I don't want to destroy the good mood I'm in by writing up a blog post! Regardless, I feel like I should post in this at least a few times a month to prove that I'm still alive or whatever, so anyway, here's a blog post.

One thing new that happened is that I got a part-time job. I'm not going to talk much about this because I'm not going to jeopardize my job by talking about it to randos on the Internet, but I can say that it was exactly the kind of position I hoped to get when I moved to Portland. Seriously, things on that front could not have worked out better.

For the first time in a while, I am actually reading some current long-form fiction. I don't tend to do reviews, and most of the stuff I'm reading is popular enough that it seems pointless to review it. I will say that although Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie isn't the mind-bending book many other people seem to think it is (seriously, were people really confused by the pronoun thing?), it was still a first-rate space opera and nearly justified its length. Yes, I do rate novels based on how much extraneous material they have. The novel I'm reading now, which I will not name, at least half of those pages don't need to be there. Anyway, I'm the last person to actually read Ancillary Justice but I'll be getting the sequel when it comes out for sure! I love you, Multnomah County Library.

This is a beach picture I didn't put in my last post but this post needed more pictures.

I'm thinking about taking up knitting again, only for the fact that when I don't knit, I don't watch movies, and consequently I haven't seen a movie since we got to Portland basically. It feels like ever since I started writing science fiction again, every other single interest of mine has fallen by the wayside: knitting, zines, bicycling not for transportation. The weird thing about this is that I don't feel upset about this state of affairs at all, I don't feel like I'm becoming more one-dimensional even though that's the exact definition of one-dimensional. Curious.

In writing news, I'm still plugging away at the novel so it can be ready for submission in time for OryCon and consequently my short fiction progress has fallen way behind. I had set a goal for myself of writing a short story every two weeks, but novels have a way of destroying all your best intentions. Regardless, I am already planning to write another one next year. What is wrong with me?? However, I did complete a short story last week, my first "done done" non-flash story in three months.

Some thoughts on our half-Portlandiversary: It's been six months since we did this crazy, monumental move, and right now all I can say is that every day, Portland feels a little more like home. It feels like home in a completely different way than Pittsburgh did. Pittsburgh felt like home because I was basically from there, I fit into the culture and the history of the city as much as any other local (even though I never set foot in Pittsburgh-the-city until I was seventeen years old).

But almost nobody in Portland is from Portland. I'm sure some people move here for jobs or family, but in general, you move to Portland because you really want to live here. Only people of a certain temperament are actually going to like this place, meaning that it's a city that's as close to an intentional community as you're going to get. I can't explain Portland culture without resorting to stereotypes, but in general the atmosphere is more collaborative, less steeped in tradition, and much more laid back. In a sense, Portland lacks a certain burden of history, leaving people more free to chart the course of their own lives without the feeling that you have to do things in a certain way because "that's the way it's done." See, stereotypes! But true!

Ever since I was a kid I had dreams of moving "out west." I don't even know where that idea came from. Until we moved here, I'd never been west of Columbus. While at my rural college, I'd research cities I wanted to move to: Denver, the East Bay, and yes, Portland. When the time came when I had to move to a city, though, I took the safe option and moved to Pittsburgh. And I don't regret it, at all! But I think I always knew deep down that I'd wind up out here eventually, given enough time. Now I have. It was so worth it to make that leap of faith.

It's after midnight here, so I'll close for now. I don't like writing blog posts anyway.

Just another day in Portland.

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