Tomorrow, I fly to Seattle for a conference and I won’t be home til Thursday. I’ve already spoken for all of my vacation time this year, so I couldn’t tack an extra day on to explore. This bums me out a bit. I’ve never been to Seattle.
I know very little about the city, so here’s my free-association my very limited exposure to pop culture and my impressions of Seattle before I go:
Yasmine Galenorn’s books are set there, Heart (Anne and Nancy Wilson) are from there, so are a lot of alternative / grunge rock bands from that time when I was vaguely aware of music trends in high school, seafood, big trees, misty rain, the fish market where people throw fish, Frasier was set there, the space needle thing, good coffee is from there, Mount Si, Mount Rainer, the Cascades… It’s very close to Canada, particularly Vancouver, which I have a lot of associations with. I can get zipcars in Seattle, and natives are less likely to think I’m weird for preferring to bike or walk everywhere. Everyone tells me I will be able to eat allergy-friendly food without a problem, and I believe them.
I think I’m going to like Seattle.
Now, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve got a lot going on. This conference is an all-day, after-hours gig. It starts with cocktails on Monday and cruises right through to Wednesday afternoon. I’m not going to have a lot of down-time. I’m potentially going to be jet-lagged. I really need to concentrate and soak up everything I can. Needless to say, I’m not planning on getting a whole lot of writing or editing done next week. Luckily, I will have time in the airports to write.
I like writing in weird places full of lots of people. Jury duty was an amazing place to write. Airports are another one. I’ve actually – on more than one occasion – hung out at the atrium of my local airport to write. Not going anywhere, just soaking in that energy – the movement, the exhaustion, the nervousness, the joy, the anticipation, the weariness. It’s a great place to feel connected to other people.
I like these places better than coffee shops because the people are essentially in limbo there. Coffee shops are deliberate islands. People who sit in them are doing so because they have the time and inclination. Jury duty and airports are essentially people-traps. People have to sit and wait, and wait, and maybe nap, and wait. I like writing while people are waiting. I like watching what people do when they have to wait. I like figuring out their characters based on how they wait. I also like the essential element of movement at airports. It’s not quite as fluid as writing on the transit train (which I also love to do), but I like the fact that no one stays there one instant longer than they must.
Wish me luck with my trip and my conference (It’s an SEO thing, so my alter-ego will be managing the live tweets, blog updates, and whatnot). I will pre-post a few things to appear while I’m gone. I’m thinking it’s time for some Works in Progress Posts…..