A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Surprise Yourself With a Staycation

I never thought I'd say these words in such a happy tone:

This sure wasn't what I'd planned. For almost half a year I'd planned on a new cross-country train trip with my arriving Sunday in a town I'd never seen. But for a number of reasons that wasn't meant to be. Not yet.

So, here I was with my time off work request approved...but not the bucks to travel.

I might have canceled the time off from work. But I decided to keep the five days (including my regular weekend). I could get ahead of schedule on my work in progress and see a few things in the city I've never had the time for.

In the first three of five days off, I've logged in three marathon writing sessions and tackled some narrative issues I hadn't known how to fix. I've slept in shamelessly until 7 a.m. each morning. I've taken long walks, exploring my new neighborhood. (Capitol Hill turns out to be much closer than I'd thought: no need at all to take a bus when I can walk there in only ten minutes.) Nights belong to Netflix or Amazon Prime and a little research reading.

Just halfway through my staycation, I feel more rested, recharged and refreshed than I have from a lifetime of travels at home and abroad. There was nothing that special about it. Lord Byron would not have approved.

Not would Hemingway:

Or Jack London:

Oh, I've had my own past adventures and I look forward to more still to come. And some may match, but none will surpass, the quiet joys of an unrushed staycation...and bringing a challenging new book to life.

Tomorrow, as a special treat, I'll take a cross-city trip to an independent bookstore said to be Seattle's best: Third Place Books/Ravenna.

So, remember, if you're in between jaunts to Cairo, Rome, or Katmandu...or if you simply need a break from wrestling alligators or hunting wild boar with a pencil, no gun...consider the alternative.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Something Big is Going Down

A day that might have been like any other day ain't so.

This day's been a long time bornin'. Four days from now, it will arrive with minimal fanfare but high hopes. After all, I dreamed of it for longer than I can remember and I worked like a bastard to bring it about.

But you all know all about that, in terms of your own lives. You've had your share of days like this, when you were on the cusp, at last, of a brand-new amazing adventure, the publication of a book, the start of a thrilling new job, the move to a new city. So you know how diabolically difficult it is to live fully in the present while you're counting down the days. And, of course, it's no less difficult to keep your head on straight: nothing will change completely overnight...no new city will be perfect...

Then again, a little realism can go a long, long way toward making sure our dreams will fail. 

You go, Bertrand Russell!

And you go too, Will Smith!

While March 14 approaches in its own loose, ambling stride, I march through the receding timeline that precedes it. I work daily on my new book and take care of the business at hand. I prepare to start actively seeking a new job. I do all the little things that add up to my life today, but with a little more pizzazz. I go for the gusto now.

So, okay then. March 14 is coming. And--yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah--not everything will be perfect. I fact, one or two things in my life may still suck. But I'm okay with that because I believe in March 14. And I'm telling you, it will be

And I can say that truthfully because I'll make it so.