Urban Wildlife in Portland, Oregon

I’m finishing a novel in Portland.

To clarify, I’m in Portland myself. The novel does not take place here. If a novel were to take place here, it would probably have to feature a sub-species of humanity endemic to the area, which I have mentally been calling hobo hipsterus urbanus. They are usually quite young, and they work very hard on their facial hair, tattoos and graffiti tags but not so much on taking showers or doing laundry. However, as I discovered, they are actually pretty nice, and they often have very cute dogs.

But back to me: I’ve discovered that three days holed up in a hotel by myself equates to about a week and a half of working at home. A lot of this is fueled by guilt about not being at home. It’s  a virtuous circle.
I have a wonderful new agent (more on this to come) who is pounding the table for the revised manuscript. There’s no literal table pounding, but it’s nice to imagine some dramatic gesticulation going on alongside our very friendly phone conversations.

The lovely thing about this hotel is that it’s situated right by the river, and there are four miles of walking/biking paths along the water where I can get some exercise for an hour or two and look at something other than a computer screen. And what I get to look at a lot is hobo hipsterus urbanus in all his many forms. Any natives of the Northwest reading this, please let me know if there is an actual word used to describe this sub-culture. I’m dying to know.

For some reason, I’ve had a hankering for bad 90’s music, so I actually walked around today (okay, and yesterday too) with big headphones on, while listening to Third Eye Blind. Don’t judge me. It made an interesting soundtrack for crossing very highly trafficked footpaths while being trailed by said hobos.

There were some other things to look at as well. I really do like Portland’s bridges.

Arwen