Some Summer Snapshots: Why I Love Portland

Preschool begins Monday, so it seems like the perfect time to look back at the past few months. Rainy, gray days here in Portland, Oregon, eventually turned into a beautiful summer.

Since June, I have posted ten Seven Questions interviews, featuring middle-grade author Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, children’s author Paula Kay McLaughlin, travel writer Crystal Wood, journalist Shasta Kearns Moore, historical fiction author Faith Elizabeth Hough, nonfiction author Kristin Bailey Murphy (part one and part two), publisher and nonfiction author Matt Love, figurative painter Stephen O’Donnell, WIRE TO WIRE author Scott Sparling and Melissa Donovan of Writing Forward.

If you missed any of those, please go check them out. You’ll hear about blogging strategies; what it really means to write a travel book; some stories about a dramatic and motion picture agent who represented Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and other famous American authors; tips on marketing books from one of the best promoters I’ve ever met; and how 20-plus years of working on a manuscript can earn dream-come-true success. I was so honored to work with each of these creative professionals, and I look forward to running more interviews this fall.

In other writing news, I completed the second section of my first draft of my historical novel, LOST NOTES, and began work on the final third. I spent a week with Emma Burcart in a small community outside of Ashland on a fruitful writing retreat. And I tidied up those finished pages to submit to my critique group.

But this summer really has been about family and friends. Back yard get-togethers. Potlucks. Barbecues. Visitors. Birthday parties. Playgrounds and fountains and Oaks Park, an old-time amusement park. Here are a few of the highlights:

Getting to see the impressive Navy ships with my friend Caroline Rodi was one of the summer's most memorable events. Three massive ships arrived in June for the Portland Rose Festival, and Caroline was one of the Naval coordinators for the event. I don't remember her fancy title, but it was lovely to spend time with her. We hadn't seen each other since 2006.

H is for hospital cupcakes, served at our July 4 Red, White and Scrubs birthday party at the request of my daughter, who turned 4.

Oh what joy when the berries finally arrived at local farmers' markets!

Portland is full of shallow kid-friendly fountains. Look at the sparkle! We (finally) got some sun around here!

Yana Weinstein chose this photo of mine, which I took after attending Sock Summit, as a Knitting Photo of the Day. It's Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn Knitter's Six Pack, and I'm turning it into a Spectra (pattern by Stephen West).

I loved photographing the landscape during walks in southern Oregon as part of my weeklong writing retreat.

This writers' soiree in the country was one of the best get-togethers during a very busy summer. Great writers, delicious food, horses and conversation--amazing! We all brought pastoral paragraphs (or poems) and guessed who wrote each piece.

Preschooler ballet--so cute!

I have been working on finishing some UFOs this summer. For non-knitters, that means unfinished objects. This easy sock has languished for two-plus years, and I trotted it out to the first Oregon State football game of the season, Sept. 3, against Sacramento State. The Beavers lost in overtime by a point, but hey, I'm about to turn my heel, and I'll have a pair of colorful wool socks to brighten my feet this winter.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Community, Knitting, Revision, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Some Summer Snapshots: Why I Love Portland

  1. Michael G-G says:

    Love your pictures, Laura. You had a great summer, by the looks of things.

    I’ve been busy, and thus haven’t been as good a blogging friend as I could have. In fact, I have been invited to be part of a group blog, so am worried that blogging is about to take over my life. We shall see.

    And congrats on finishing the first draft of your novel! I hope the critiques you receive are awesomely helpful.

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