Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

Oregon Coastal Standard

Mention a day at the beach and most people imagine blue skies, bright sun, white sands, and warm ocean waves. I live in Oregon. A typical day at the Oregon coast involves none of the above. I took MBW and the HA to Cannon Beach on Saturday where we enjoyed the Oregon Coastal standard. In between drenching squalls we wandered down the sand toward Haystack Rock braving wind gusts.

Glorious. A fine afternoon.

No, I’m not crazy. (Of course, I might be. How would I know?) Look, I appreciate cloudless skies, palm trees, hammocks, and bare feet as much as the next guy. But a sort of generic, homogenous ideal gets boring. Y’know, eventually. Driving over the mountains in the face of near-blinding horizontal rain in order to bundle up against the cold and comb the beach is most decidedly not boring.

Borderline perfection is nothing to turn your nose up at. But as a writer I have to consider it poor stuff. Who wants to read about an idyllic day frolicking in the sun? Where’s the drama there? No, you need to chase hats blown down the strand, you need to huddle beneath the overhang of a restroom, waiting for a lull in the tempest. You need a clueless driver in front of you to make a sharp left across traffic without a backward glance (good brakes help there.) This is fodder for tales. Sunny beaches make for anecdotes at best. The typical Oregon beach lends itself to stories.

Why the long face, Ken?