Greetings from Eugene


I’m in Eugene for a few days, soaking up the ambiance of the Holy Land. Goal number one: make some progress on Getting Sideways. Goal number two: figure out how to relax for the first time since January. Goal number three: eat plenty of Track Town pizza and Euphoria truffles. (You guys knew it was going to come down to pizza, didn’t you?)

The relaxation part has been going pretty well.  I spent some time working on chapter 11 yesterday in Hendricks Park and took a two-mile walk along the river at sunset.

My “office” in Hendricks Park.

The entire length of the river’s path through the city has paved trails along both banks.

The middle third of the Willamette River trials through Eugene

My hotel room has a balcony overlooking the Mill Race, which, because this is Eugene, is filled with ducks. Occasionally you get some other local aquatic life, like this kayaker. If you think he’s unique, you should’ve seen some of the characters I came across on my walk last night. I love this town.

Dude picking blackberries from a kayak

The writing has been brutally painful lately, to the point where I’ve been wondering if my brain is broke. Then today Race came up with a zinger that told me the magic’s still lurking in there somewhere. Here’s a snippet of the scene. I don’t mind posting it online because I’m an indie author, so I don’t have to worry about some agent or editor getting in my face about copyright crap. Gotta love being in the driver’s seat. So here we go:

I went home to find the staircase leading to the front deck strewn with spider webs, fake bats, and an army of jack o’ lanterns. Dracula and a skeleton sat on the Adirondack chairs drinking Guinness, and Frankenstein’s monster leered over the railing. When I opened the front door, Race jumped out at me wearing a pirate costume.

“Holy shit!” I yelled, stepping backward and nearly tripping over the door jamb.

“I believe the proper term is ‘trick or treat.’”

“What are you doing? Where did all this stuff come from?”

“The basement. I always used to deck out my trailer for Halloween. The kids loved it.” He brandished his cutlass at me.

Okay, that’s all for now. I need to get back to work so I can make some progress before I go to meet my old racing buddy Shirley at the High Street Café, a place that makes more than one appearance in Getting Sideways. If you have a few minutes, check out this awesome review Tara at Book Babe left me. I love what she said about the testosterone. It’s great when criticism does double duty as a compliment. 🙂

And now I leave you with a picture of ducks. It’s a lousy one because it was getting dark, but I loved their synchronized dunking.

Do you suppose they’re bobbing for Track Town pizza?

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20 Responses to Greetings from Eugene

  1. Kat Juniper says:

    Hey Lisa! I hope you have a great time in Eugene. A few days away can make a big difference. Bring back some truffles.

    Like

  2. Angela says:

    Love the duck’s. Cute! 🙂 Great scene, to bad there wasn’t more. I don’t remember that one, is it totally new, or just rewritten? Miss you Sis, sounds like your having a great time. Eat pizza for me too.

    Like

  3. Alice Lynn says:

    How about I teleport over for a mere half hour (don’t want to interupt genius at work) and we can sit in the balcony and watch the ducks. 🙂

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  4. Rose L says:

    Truffles…yummmmm! Chocolate, right???!
    It is quite a compliment when a woman can get the testosterone in there.

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  5. Roxie says:

    Duck butts! Heehee! And I love the blackberry harvesting kayaker! Sounds like la dolce vita for you. Enjoy, enjoy!

    Good ol’ Race – always the perfect word!

    Like

  6. I’ve heard Eugene is great. You do deserve a nice rest.
    With some writing of course!
    I am going on vacation in September. It’s not a question of if I will be writing or not, just what.

    Have a great vacation.

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  7. Nice bit of writing! I’m getting ready to start a follow-up novel in literally a couple of days, and I’m feeling a bit nervous over whether or not I’ll be able to capture the magic again myself. I guess that’s normal.

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Being nervous about recapturing the magic is totally normal, Mark. I’m worrying about it, myself, even though I’ve had lots of good feedback on the follow-up books of this series. There’s always that fear that it will turn out like Karate Kid II, or other lousy sequels. Good luck with your new book. 🙂

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  8. Sounds lovely! And the snippet is great. Enjoy your office and the ducks…

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      I enjoyed the whole experience, Chris. On Friday I spent a couple of hours writing in the solarium part of the student union then went back to Hendricks Park for the afternoon. I followed up with a walk the full length of Amazon Park (the route Cody would take going from school to work) and had dinner at Mazzi’s, near where Kasey’s shop is located in the fictional Eugene of my books. I finished up with a visit to Skinner’s Butte at sunset then drove back to Portland as dusk settled over the Willamette Valley. It was one of those times where you think, “if I were to have one day to live, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend it.”

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  9. Great way to incorporate work and relaxation. I never had a doubt in my mind pizza would be part of your creative process.

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  10. Todd McCann says:

    Looks like you got a good review. Awesome. I just bought Running Wide Open through Smashwords. Looking forward to getting started on it.

    Todd McCann
    https://twitter.com/ToddMcCann
    http://abouttruckingjobs.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Todd. I’ll be looking for your advice when it comes time to do revisions on Driven and Redline, both of which feature a trucker character. (I know, all truckers are characters, right?) 🙂

      Like

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