Skip to main content

Writing Exercise #2 for Setting as Character

Today I tromped all over San Francisco to collect sensory details, photos (and a snack or two) from each of the neighborhoods that my novel's characters live in.  Now, they are not real people, but they do live in a real city, so the fun of it all is finding little details that I would never have noticed before because I'm trying to look for them through my character's eyes.  I discovered a few inconsistencies that I'll need to go back and fix (silly things like the wrong bus line, or the fact that type of architecture doesn't appear in that 'hood), and found a few details I will want to pepper the text with.  Mostly, I just had a really fun time walking all over the city (I clocked 6.5 miles of walking!), and BONUS, the water in my apartment was shut off for the day so it really was the perfect excuse to get the heck out.  Oh, and the weather was about as gorgeous as could possibly be.  Okay, now I'm just annoying myself with my own happiness.  Here are some pics from the day:
This little tree is JUST about to bloom.  Don't forget to turn your clocks forward this weekend!


Pretty Dolores Street with all its palm trees


In the Mission, murals are everywhere.  This one invites you to have an oceanside moment.

Gorgeous door in the Mission

Ah, Pop's.  I raise my glass to you.



A favorite taqueria and its accompanying mural

Dynamo Donuts for late morning snack!  Holy moses, that molasses guiness donut was good!!  Please also see the Gibralter: a drink that originated here in SF

View from back porch of Dynamo Donuts includes the strangest cat walk ever.  No porch: just a two-by-four leading to his cat door.  

Stop sign art made from shedding palm trees

Just liked the lines on this place

And now we come to Alamo Square with the prerequisite shot of the painted ladies.

Poppies!! 



Intersections: Muni art

I'm gonna go soak my feet now.  Have a great weekend!!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Litquake 2012 Report

I've been avoiding putting this together, because a part of me really doesn't want this year's Litquake festival to be over already.  The other part of me is still cranky-tired, wandering around trying to get to all those projects I said I'd get to after Litquake, and feeling post-Christmas like.

In short, this year's Litquake was AMAZING.  Every year has been awesome, but this one was particularly special for me because I got to actually help plan the awesome.  As a volunteer during the festival for the past several years, I definitely felt like I contributed to making each event I helped at awesome, but this year, being on the committee,* I got to witness the tremendous build up to the festival that happens the whole year prior.  The amount of love, sweat and time that goes into it is incredible, and I'm not sure I've ever been part of something so cool.  Which is not to say I'm not still cranky-tired and looking forward to feeling fully recovered.

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments.
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.



Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…

Time, as understood in the fourth trimester

Having a baby is not unlike accidentally slipping into a science fiction universe, everything you know is so completely upended. I wrote an essay about how my sense of time shifted out from under me in the first months of my daughter's life. 



Excerpts in italics are from the essay The Beginning Of Time, by Stephen W. Hawking

1.
The time scale of the universe is very long compared to that for human life. It was therefore not surprising that until recently, the universe was thought to be essentially static and unchanging in time.

The Longest Shortest Time is the name of a podcast on parenting that I heard about several years before becoming a parent and filed away mentally. “The days are long but the years are short” is another phrase used to both comfort and cajole new parents. The implication is that parenting shifts your experience of time, as if life simply advancing in years wasn’t enough to do the same. One hour of an infant screaming inconsolably after her two month immunizatio…