Noticing Magic Everywhere

Kate Comings' journal


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Manzanita

First off, I want this little house by the beach in Manzanita. Isn’t it cute?

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We’ve been having days and days and days of humid, ninety-plus temperatures in Portland, and I discovered that when it’s sweltering, my brain doesn’t work. I can’t concentrate, can’t focus… can’t write. I’m almost finished with the first draft of Zen Flowers, the fourth book in my series. It’s in two parts and has gotten up to a whopping 158,000 words and will be well over 160,000 when I get to the end. Big editing job ahead, but that’s in the future. Endings are excruciatingly difficult for me to write. Everything slows down to a crawl. I hate everything I write and keep deleting and starting the last chapter over again and again. That’s where I am now.

Yesterday, I couldn’t face going out for my daily walk and on impulse, drove to the Oregon coast where it was in the 60s, thirty degrees cooler than in Portland. I went to Manzanita for the day this time. People come here for writing retreats. I’d like to have one in the little house above (Yes! I could write here!) but one of the motels would be just fine, too. I will do it someday. Even before I got to Manzanita, ideas began to percolate. I brought my iPad for that just in case.

The beach is long; it goes on forever. First, I walked north to the end of the beach.

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Then I turned around and walked south for a couple of miles. As I walked, I told myself the story I’m writing in between gazing at the gorgeousness of it all and taking photos like the main character of the book.

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Looking east over the dunes, in the direction of Portland, the sky was an astonishing blue.

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There were lots of sand castles all along the beach. This one was my favorite.

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Whenever I go to the coast, I get hungry for clam chowder. I planned to sit at the restaurant table, write, and savor a bowl of chowder, but I couldn’t find a seafood place. Google said the one there was permanently closed. I wandered around the town for a bit, then stopped in Cannon Beach on my way home. By then, I was famished, and the bowl of chowder at The Wayfarer was wonderful, packed with clams. Between bites, I wrote down the ideas that came to me driving and on the beach. I can’t wait to get started again.

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