3 min read

Oregon Bookstacks Fiction-vs-Non

Oregon Bookstacks Fiction-vs-Non
Photo by Jeff Finley / Unsplash

Welcome to the October 2022 edition of...
What I'm Into, What I'm Up To

What I'm Up To

Earlier this month, Wendy and I took a magical little trip to Oregon.

She had a work thing for a few days in Central Oregon and I try to tag along on her work trips every chance I get, sometimes with the kids, sometimes just the two of us.

We spent a few days on either end of the trip in Portland with our friends, Matt and Heather. We got donuts and chai at Pips, tried a few food carts (with lackluster results), borrowed a mountain bike from a bike charity in Vancouver, Washington, saw some local sites (including a live sturgeon the size of a manatee), drank lots of great coffee (seriously, why is their coffee better than ours?). We hung out with Matt and Heather's fun and funny kids, Matt and I caught the F1 Japan race (so nice to watch a race with a fellow fan), and the four of us adults conversed deeply and widely about our experiences inside and outside the world of immersive Christian organizations (we all spent time in Youth With A Mission)—always a fascinating and cathartic exercise.

In the middle of the trip, we drove our rented Kia Soul to Sunriver in Central Oregon, near Bend, stopping along the way at Bonneville Dam (home of that sturgeon I mentioned earlier, also unbelievably good giftshop coffee—seriously, what's the deal?), a Thai food cart at Hood River (best AND cheapest food cart/trailer of the trip), and the famed Timberline Lodge built high up on Mount Hood in the... 1930s? I think? Yes, Wikipedia confirms it, the 1930s.

Wendy was booked with back-to-back-to-back meetings our whole time in Sunriver, so I explored, rode my borrowed bike on paved paths around the resort complex, hit some mountain biking trails (actual up-and-down mountain biking—I'm from Florida, remember), watched river surfers surf the manufactured standing wave in Bend, hiked around Tumalo Falls, met up with my friend, Geoff, who showed me around Smith Rock, then talked long with him over really great tater tots in Bend about the challenges of stay-at-home-dad life, future dreams, past failures, and all the stuff you talk about with someone you haven't seen in over a decade.

What a trip! (Sorry, I know this is a lot of words to dedicate to something that probably won't be that interesting to read. But for those of you who know Oregon, or are dreaming about your next travel adventure, maybe this was interesting.)

Also, I've started a bunch of new books lately which are all good, but only some of which I will probably actually finish.

You may notice a distinct lack of fiction in my reading stack. My friend Chris asked me recently what my  favorite category of fiction is these days, and I had to honestly reply, 'Non.' I don't know why, but I have a really hard time getting into fiction anymore. Which is weird, since I love writing it so much. I expect at some point I will find some stories or authors that draw me in and return me to my original love, but for now I am just following where my interests lead me. (Graphic novels, TV shows, and movies are all exceptions to this genre exclusivity—maybe that has something to do with it.)

So, what have I been working on this month while not traveling, adventuring, starting new books, and reconnecting with long-lost friends?

What I'm Working On

  • Mudwash—chapters 20 - 23 (basically, publishing one chapter a week)
  • Greysuits Audiobook—this one is a pain as I need to go through each chapter to make sure the words and phrases all sound right, especially the made up ones. As I'm doing that, I am finding edits I missed the first time around, but I can't just change them on Google Play and move on, I need to change them on my book publishing app (Vellum, if you are curious), so the source material is consistent with the Google Play version, so I can eventually publish those changes across all the book platforms. Yikes. I might need to steal one of my kid's PC monitors for a dual-monitor setup to make it a little easier to switch back and forth between the app and the Google Play website. And I can't work at the picnic tables outside the gym while Harper is in the gym's kid care area lugging around an extra PC monitor... or while laying in my hammock in the backyard. Sigh. First world problems and all.
  • Ghost_Layer: Episode One—I need more 'beta' readers to look at this one before I publish it. If anyone is interested in reading 20,000 words and sending me feedback, let me know!
  • Anhinga—secret website stuff for the secret non-book project (insert maniacal mad scientist laughter here).

Thanks for following along! How's your Northern Hemisphere fall/Southern Hemisphere spring going?