November 13th, 2005


The Child Writes

The Child came down this evening and decided to begin writing (as in literally by her hand) her own story. While she has been telling me stories for years, this is a new development. Here's what this evening's session has produced.

"Hi, my name is Amanda. My mom is in heaven and my dad is far, far away. I'm in boarding school."

Not saving enough room for pie...

Home from the coast. Had a good workshop. Tiring but informative. Still processing. Ate way too much.

On the way back TG and I stopped at the Otis Cafe, which was one of the better restaurants I've eaten at in a long time. I had an excellent chicken fried steak breakfast with two kinds of homemade bread for toast -- one was was a whole grain sourdough which was quite tasty, the other a black molasses bread which tasted like gingerbread without the ginger. The molasses bread was excellent, almost a dessert, if it had come with butter and honey. She had the German potatoes, which was their excellent hash browns covered with white cheddar and various goodies. My only regret is that we didn't save enough room for pie. Still ate too much (more?).

It was fun to see K&D, the Crown Prince of the Sex Pirates (who was remarkably subdued, for him), and a number of other friends old and new. Two of our class had HMs in the new America's Best Mystery Stories, which was the cause of much celebration. Some good ideas flowed.

Once home, the Child discovered the copy of Terry Pratchett's Where's My Cow [ Amazon ] which had recently arrived. She demanded we read it, which we did. Talk about context issues.

Wishing I'd saved room for pie. It would have been too much, but, mmm...

Speaking of eating, hey, deedop, when are we going to see another installment of your journal of the flu years?

Did I mention that I ate way too much?

Why did I choose to become a writer?

Per this recent post of mine, the Child had asked me why I chose to become a writer. Minor memage ensued. My answer:

Words were always in my life. I grew up in the Third World, before satellite tv or VCRs, so it was books, books, books. We moved every year or two, so books were my portable friends. My parents have several degrees between them, so the household carried its own fairly robust reference section with it. Once I understood how it worked, reading the 1950's and 1960's juveniles, then Tolkein and Delany, then on out into the whole wide world of fiction -- especially but not exclusively genre -- I wanted to play, make the words my own, give other people what I had been given. Stories saved me, over and over and over. With luck and skill, I will be privileged to give back, and maybe extend the great dialog that is literature a tiny bit more.

And besides, I love the words.

A bit more on the Otis Cafe

Anent my earlier mention of the Otis Cafe, it's in Otis Junction, OR, on OR-18 right before it hits US-101 north of Lincoln City. [ map ] That makes it about two hours out of Portland.

The place has about six tables, and usually a line out the door. All day breakfast, with a shifting lunch and dinner menu, and what appear to be some seriously magnum pies. To go to the restroom you have to walk through the kitchen and into the bakery/prep area. That's worth the trip alone. Everything there is made by hand from scratch, including baking all their own breads. Their German potatoes (no idea why the name, btw) are excellent. This is a greasy spoon/roadhouse of the first water, of the sort I've rarely encountered in recent years, and I can't recommend it enough.