I was able to join a tour, with the Forest Service, county officials and assorted ologists, of last summers Pole Creek Fire. It burned nearly 40-square miles of the Deschutes NF, private land and Three Sisters Wilderness Area northwest of Bend.
Took the ole camera along with me, here’s some shots:
It’s been 10 years since I’ve stilt-walked, so the first few steps were treacherous as I clung to my zombiecusher, a pair of kneepads the only thing between me and the distant pavement. My internal gyroscope was working good this morning, and I was gallivanting about the parking lot in no-time:
There’s a really nasty wildfire northwest of Bend, up near Sisters. It’s not threatening any property or people, but still sadly burning deeper into the Three Sisters Wilderness Area deep in the Deschutes National Forest. The Pole Creek fire is over 25,500 acres as of this posting, and only 50% contained. This post/update is especially for my All Around Bend readers, and an advisory to keep clear of parts of the Cascades…any trails, lakes and other attractions southwest of Sisters. Bend’s only getting moderate smoke, and attractions south, such as gorgeous Newberry Caldera‘s Paulina and East Lake should be clear and beautiful this weekend!
I am picking up freshly-printed All Around Bend books later this week, Huzzah!
I’m hoping to spend a good bit of this weekend out distributing the books around town. I think putting them online would be a good idea too. Definitely an order/eCommerce shop…but eventually an ebook version could be made, thoughts? Check out AAB over at http://allaroundbend.com
In addition to peddling books this weekend, I am also hosting an Adult Spelling Bee down at Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, should be fun and fairly informal (ie- there will be beer). It’ll be a hoot. Also…when I say ‘adult’, I don’t mean nastay. The event will be more like a trivia-night.
Finally, All Around Bend 4th Edition is close to completion. Hoping to send it off to the printer early next week! It’ll be hitting shelves around Memorial Day if all goes well.
Made a number of changes, especially a revamp of the layout and formatting. Changed up fonts, header boxes, and all sorts of other styling. Not a ton was added as far as content, though some sections got heavy updates, such as breweries and events. This edition also features some guest photography, as well as updates on existing attractions and new ‘achievements’ at the end. I’ll keep posting as the sell-date approaches.
It’s official, I am moving back to Bend next month after almost half a unique year in Nebraska. One of the first things I’ve thought about doing, when I knew we were moving, was to update and release a new version of my All Around Bend guidebook. This new edition will be more of a stylistic revision, with a number of layout and design changes, as well as some updates to things like fonts and photos. I will not be changing the actual content much, nor will I be adding new attractions…mostly because I’ve not been in Bend for the last six months, haha. The books got enough content I feel, and will only require a couple weeks of fact-checking and research to make sure my attractions are still current. Aside from that, expect a book that looks great, and has the same depth as my 2011/3rd Edition. If you own a 3rd Edition already, you can pass on this one. If you haven’t picked one up? Check out some local Bend store, or my website sometime in perhaps April!
In general, editing my own writing is fairly tedious. It involves staring at the screen, scrolling through the text. Obviously, catching the spelling and grammatical typos is the easy part. Beyond that, my editing involves the actual manipulation of my words; changes to the story itself. At times, it’s simple tweaks to my character’s conversations, clarifications or re-wording something that I think might be confusing, moving sentences around; little stuff like this. On rare occasion though, it’s major. For example, the main character of every book had been ‘renamed’ at some point. Granted, this is an easy feat from a technical standpoint, just using the find/replace functionality in Word, but it brings a quote from Tolkien to mind, referring to trees and spoken by Yavanna: “But the kelvar (animals) can flee or defend themselves, whereas the olvar (plants) that grow cannot. And among these I hold trees dear. Long in the growing, swift shall they be in the felling, and unless they pay toll with fruit upon their bough little mourned in their passing.”
Tolkien is talking about trees here, how they take many years to grow but can be cut in an instant, and rarely with remorse. I feel this way about my writing sometimes as well. I make such an emotional connection to a character, to an event or situation in one of my books, then poof! I decide to make a change. A reader would’ve never knew it any other way, that a sentence, a character, an event had existed. It’s the most apparent in a recent case where I decided that a character of mine should die. It was one of those ‘re-write’ situations I mentioned earlier. I woke up one morning, spacing out as I took a shower, when it just clicked: that this specific character should die. When all was said and done, I feel any reader couldn’t have expected it any other way, yet for two years and plenty of reads and revisions on my part… the story unfolded starkly different.
In that Tolkien quote, Yavanna’s solution to protecting her trees was the creation of Ents, the tree-like creatures that guarded the forests from the axes of other races. In my analogy, I have no such protection for my characters, for my story’s continuity and original ideas. When it comes to fiction, the author is ultimately godlike in their abilities; omnipotent and able to alter both the future and history itself with the swiftness of a penstroke. Perhaps that’s why a lot of authors write fiction; they relish in the total control, the world-building aspects of it. It’s no surprise how disheartening it is for most authors to then have their work picked apart by a publisher or third-party editor. I’ve not had to deal with this reality yet, but it’ll probably be coming…