The Writer’s Life: Autumn In Oregon City

oregon city, erick mertz author

Fall has arrived in Oregon City. Its seasonal mercy has descended upon the Pacific Northwest. While the summer blood may flow quicker, it is here, in this season between extremes when I feel the most alive.

As the calendar peeled off from September into October, I dropped the pencil on The Mask Of Tomorrow. This is The Strange Air book that I had started roughly a year ago and put down for more than six months.

Now it is done. At least it is done for now and this draft.

A Writer Lost In Head Space…

More often over the last month or so, I have been writing in the library. Schedule drives some of my rhythms. I cannot work at home, so instead, I flee to that book lined sanctuary.

I have been writing in the Oregon City Library, to be more precise. The brand new building is a stately fusion of 1913 Carnegie brick and clean, glass walled postmodernism.

I like working there. It’s like a second home. Working in that space infuses my process with a different kind of energy.

A long time ago, I craved my own physical space. I wanted the office. There was nothing I wanted more than a door to close and a desk on which I could hew my rough stories of broken down trucks and ancient haunts.

I have that office now. I have that desk, too. It is as much as I had hoped it would be, too.

Now though, more than ever, I need something more. I need the door that is open and the one that is closed.

While I balk at words like “transformational” there is an element of that baked into what I am writing here. Good writing seeks to transform. Right?

As creative writers, we want to, in small ways, transform our readers. What we lose sight of, however, is that good writing also transforms us. After writing about Jack Sibley from Meeting At Bishop’s Rest I felt altered.

The sheer process can and should leave us feeling different inside. Writing and finishing The Mask Of Tomorrow made me feel different. When the Willamette Writers Conference closed up in August, this was what I was working toward.

This novel was what needed to get done.

From my spot in the upstairs corner of the long work station made of repurposed wood, I can see everything. There is nothing going on in the Oregon City Library that I cannot see or hear.

The stairs leading up from the main floor are headed straight for where I sit. The pink spires of the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Church across the 6th Street peek through the upper windows. The leaves on those trees on the hill across the river in West Linn are still hearty green though.

You can just hear those leaves quaking on the brink of a transformation. Or wait a moment, hold on… that may be me. The door is open.

Happy reading friends. More to come.

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erick mertz, the strange air, oregon city

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emertzThe Writer’s Life: Autumn In Oregon City

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