I moved my family to Portland in late 2012, which means we've been here almost two years now. The transition from California's very pretty central coast hasn't always been an easy one. I was warned that it takes years for the city to really warm up to newcomers, and then I was surprised to find out how true that is. My wife and I are still trying to figure out just how we fit in here. But we're determined.
A few months after we arrived, I started to make connections with other local authors. I had only just started publishing when I met William Hertling and Erik Wecks, two local independent authors who write technothrillers and space opera, respectively. Over the next while I met more authors, all of whom have welcomed me into their ranks. They pulled the first bricks out of the wall between us and Portland.
The next few bricks came down when I started working at Puppet Labs, a technology startup. The people I work with are warm and friendly and talented and interested, and from the first day that I joined them, I've felt at home. The work that I do is well-received, and everybody is smarter than I am, but they're pretty nice about that.
Then Powell's City of Books, the most amazing bookstore in the country, agreed to stock my books. Over the past couple of months, I've watched my titles appear on the shelves of their various locations. They've even invited me to join Authorfest, their author signing event that caps Orycon each year.
Today I saw that their flagship store in Portland's Pearl District had finally gotten copies of Eleanor in stock, so I went by after work to sign them. Everybody at the store is ridiculously nice, and after I'd signed the books, they knocked down the last couple of bricks in the wall.
"Have you signed our author wall yet? You've got to sign our author wall!"
Portland, I've been in you for a little while. But now I'm on you.
Maybe this city is starting to feel a bit more like home.