Rain Boots Required as Fall Descends on the Pacific Northwest


Two days ago I wouldn’t have believed it was almost October. Summer came so late in the Pacific Northwest this year, and we had our second hottest September on record, with ten days at the beginning of the month in the upper 80s and low 90s. But the rain snuck in Saturday night, and now it feels like fall.

Some locals may want to kick me in the head for this, but I’m happy to see the return of that “liquid sunshine.” Summer really wore me out, especially the past month. I spent the last week of September in California, which meant the two previous weeks were full of preparations, including cramming appointments, landscaping customers, and author events in around the trip. It’s been at least a month since my life felt like it belonged to me, so I was happy for a cool, gray, October weekend where I could hide out in my office and catch up on things. The yin energy feels so soothing after a particularly yang summer.

On September 20th, the day before we left for L.A. I did a TV interview for Veronica Esagui’s Author’s Forum. Alice Lynn went along with me for moral support, the way I did for her when she was interviewed back in January. I was scared out of my mind because the last time someone shoved a microphone in my face I started shaking like I was gearing up for one of those legendary California quakes. I knew what the questions would be in advance, but still I worried that my brain would freeze up and I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to say. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Veronica’s a super-nice person, and her production crew is fantastic. They all put me at ease. Author’s Forum is a public-access show, so it has odd viewing times and won’t even be on the air for a couple of months. I’ll get a DVD, though, which I’ll be able to break down into ten-minute segments and post on YouTube. The thing is, I’m not sure I have the guts to watch it. 🙂

Look at our cute rain boots! Mine are the yellow ones.  (Photo by Stacey Wallace Benefiel)

Saturday night I took part in an author event, the first stop in the Rain Boots Required YA Author Tour, along with Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Angela Carlie, and Rebecca Knight. These gals are an awesome bunch—very friendly and a whole lot of fun. We spoke at Cover to Cover Books in Vancouver. Each of us did a short presentation then followed up with a reading. Stacey covered young adult voice and believable dialogue, Angela talked about edgy YA fiction, Rebecca discussed creating flawed characters, and I addressed using life experience as research. We had a crowd of about 30 people. If you live in Southwest Washington and want to support a great indie bookstore, drop by Cover to Cover Books at  6300 N.E. St. James Road, Suite 104B, Vancouver, Washington. Mel, the owner, is awesome, and they have a very cool cat, Smedley. Books and cats, what more do you need, except maybe chocolate? But wait! They have that too, at least in liquid form, since they’re also an espresso bar.

How could you resist snuggling a cute kitty like this? (Photo by Angela Carlie)

This coming Friday we’ll be making the next stop in our tour at the West Linn Public Library between 6:30 and 8:15. Author Laura Elliot will be joining us there. I also plan to attend Wordstock at the Oregon Convention Center, along with Alice Lynn, all day Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be in the Starving Writer booth with Laura Marshall. If you look at the tabs at the top of this blog, you’ll see that I’ve added an events page so people can keep up-to-date about my public appearances.

For those of you who are curious, I’m still whittling away at Getting Sideways. I’m up to chapter 22 now. I tried to write while I was down in California but only managed to get a few chapters done. I’m getting caught up on other things, though, and it looks like the leaves are going to be late in falling this year, so I hope to finish it up in the next couple of weeks.

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10 Responses to Rain Boots Required as Fall Descends on the Pacific Northwest

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Sounds like so much fun and excitement happening.

    And that kitty…so adorable. 🙂

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  2. Beth says:

    As an accomplished cat whisperer did it take you long to get Smedley to cozy up to you? Your whole appearance gig seems to be getting off and running big time. Love it.

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  3. Alice Lynn says:

    Your itinerary leaves me breathless even though we’ve been friends now since 2005 and I’ve seen you in action! Hope your kitties aren’t too jealous when they see that picture of you with Smedley. Thanks for the update and a preview of coming attractions.

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  4. rose says:

    You are on the go!!! Such dedication. Good to see. You are an inspiration to us all.

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  5. Barb says:

    I love the boots and I have the perfect OSU sticker to really add some color to them. Congrats on completing your interview, you always have so much good reliable information. I’m sure the jeebies fell away and the whole event flowed wonderfully. Cats are a good indicator of smooth energy.

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  6. I’ve always loved the rain, and fall is my favorite season, so this week? It’s full of winning, in my book!

    Speaking of books, congrats on the interview and readings. I’ll have to check out Cover To Cover Books – I actually live in Vancouver. Have heard of it, but never been there.

    Good luck with Wordstock – see you there!

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  7. Yay for rain! And rainboots! And indie booksellers! And cats! And chocolate, coffee, and readings! What a great thing to meet all of those lovely PNW writers–good for you!

    Fall is my favorite, favorite season. I am in heaven right now with this rain, the overcast skies, the cool weather… It’s perfect, IMO. My Muse is happy. She’s lazy, but she’s happy.

    Wish I could come to Wordstock… I’ll be out of town this weekend… Have a great time!

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  8. I wouldn’t say I’m happy to see the rain…more like resigned. It’s good writing weather, anyway. 🙂

    Congrats on the appearances! Sounds like you’ve been having fun, even though it does get stressful. Have fun at Wordstock! I won’t make it this year, I didn’t get time off from the day job.

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  9. I love the name of the conference. Your YA sessions all sound great. Wish I could have been there.

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  10. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks, everybody, for your support. October was a crazy, hectic month, and I’ve fallen behind on all my social networking obligations due to trying to finish my edits to Getting Sideways. But they’re done now and it’s off to the editor. Woohoo!

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