Some Things Going On

I attended my first hockey game in almost 50 years! A friend and I went to see the Portland Winterhawks play the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. We took an employee-owned socialist taxi to the venue. We watched an exciting game that went down to the final seconds (Portland lost). I drank a $13.50 beer. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of racial diversity in the fans. There were several fights! They played heavy metal during breaks. I had more fun than I ever imagined and felt good spending my money on a minor league, locally-owned sports franchise.

I have three books coming out next month. I will be promoting them in the usual ways, but also with some new marketing wrinkles. One distribution method has, to my knowledge, never been tried and that makes it all the more worth trying. It will rely on total strangers to support one of the books in their towns and neighborhoods.

I keep reading reports of declining enrollment in public schools across Oregon and the nation. Various theories are propounded for the reasons but I recently saw one outside my dad’s senior living center. A private school for 2nd-8th graders that specializes in the creative arts opened a couple years ago across the street from the center. The other day, all the school’s students and a lot of parents were taking a walk around the block for some reason. I estimated there were about 50 students and at least that many parents, all in their 30s and 40s, all white. A decade ago, most of those kids would have attended public school. Those same parents wouldn’t have had a type of lucrative, probably remote employment, that allowed them to take the time off to walk around the block in the morning.

I recently read a collection of WW II front-line reporting and was astonished at its clarity and brevity. Writing was so different back then and I actually prefer it. Edwin Murrow’s account of entering a German concentration camp is one of the best pieces I have ever read. I am keeping the book so I can read it at random every now and then to remind myself that brevity and clarity are excellent traits to emulate in writing.

My next literary project will be producing an anthology of writing for Nestucca Spit Press that will enlist the talents of new, aspiring, established and long lost Pacific Northwest writers. The plan is to have that book in the hands of contributors by the fall and then let them each gig it in their own way.

I look forward to warmer weather so I can plant my herb garden.