Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[personal|process] The day that was

You'd be hard pressed to tell that yesterday wasn't a vacation day. I did manage a full shift at the Day Jobbe, but I also taught at [info]the_child's eighth grade class, put in 90 minutes on Going to Extremes, and squeezed in an entertaining if unsuccessful aurora hunt last night with [info]the_child and [info]mlerules.

So about that day...

Yesterday on my lunch hour, I went to [info]the_child's class yesterday and talked about creative writing for publication. That makes me sound so organized, doesn't it?

Going in, I did have a stack of my books for show-and-tell, and an outline of what I was going to speak to. The first round of questions largely derailed the outline, but that was fine. They were smart kids asking smart questions. And me, I'm pretty quick on my feet. I still managed to cover everything I had originally planned to. It was joy to talk to them. Ghu, I love Waldorf education.

I've left the kids with a homework assignment. We developed a character in a setting with a problem as a writing prompt, and they're to give me flash fiction stories next week based on that. Third session with them, I'll walk through the stories as if I were editing an anthology, talk about what I see, how I'd select them and order the table of contents, and so on.

Smart kids make me feel smart. And I managed not to embarrass my daughter, at least insofar as she's been willing to confide in me about the experience. I think it was maybe a little strange to be receiving homework from her dad, though.

Then yesterday evening we got a wild hair to head out to the Columbia Gorge and look for the aurora borealis. The sky had been pretty clear throughout the daylight hours, and this had been the warmest day of the year so far. In other words, we weren't going to be wet and miserable. I was already tired by the time it got dark, but what the heck. I'm trying to have fun here, people.

We knew the odds of seeing the aurora were pretty low at this latitude, but we thought the trip would be fun in its own right. So [info]the_child and I hied ourselves in the Genre car to pick up [info]mlerules and we drove out to the Columbia Gorge. Once we got off I-84 onto the old scenic highway, we dropped the top and cranked the tunes, and enjoyed the drive up to the Portland Women's Forum park and Vista House. Those are both on top of the southern flank of the Gorge, with good views of the northern sky.

First, we had to stop and look at the dragon.


That's the (nearly) full moon in the trees behind.

When we got up to the Women's Forum park, we realized the northern horizon was occluded by clouds. We pooted around a while to see if they were moving on, and enjoyed the full moon some more.


Oddly, the mountain was hiding. (It does that sometimes.) We did meet a fellow in the parking lot when we arrived who said he'd seen a few colored flashes in the north, but we never managed that. The light from the moon was amazing, and the Gorge at night is incredible to look at. Unfortunately, our camera isn't good at night time photography. [info]the_child did get a neat shot of I-84 running through the Gorge.


After a while we headed down to Vista House, but the wind was sharper and colder there, and the northern horizon no less occluded, so we punted and headed home.

Though I stayed up too late, it was a lot of fun. Maybe some other time for the aurorae.

Photos © 2012, B. Lake

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Tags: child, friends, photos, portland, process, writing

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