The View from the Fishbowl

Me working in a starbucks, through the fishbowl, copyright Dan Riffero 2013 <– The Starbucks in my son’s office building has a fish tank, and this is what the fish see when I am working there!

One of the more awesome things I get to do frequently is drive to and through Seattle.  It used to freak me out to even contemplate making that journey, but now I’m so used to it I barely notice it unless something is on fire alongside the road.

We’re stopping…we’re going…stopping…going…meh….

Downtown Seattle isn’t all that user friendly if you are in a car.  I am becoming the queen of negotiating  one-way blind-alleys and parking garages designed by Daedalus.

Driving in heavy traffic has a great deal in common with writing a novel. It is important to develop a sense of Zen-ness, ninja-like calm; keeping the flow going in the face of roadblocks and characters with limited vocabularies.

You start out going really well, at the speed-limit or even above. You’re sailing along! Suddenly you notice brake lights ahead and you slow down, or even come to a complete stop, hoping the guy rapidly approaching your rear bumper has insurance.

Then you go, real slow. You may be doing 10 mph, but you are doing in a forward motion. You are rolling! You pick up a little more speed and you think “This isn’t so bad, I think were past the worst of it.”

You’re wrong, but hey, you actually gained 500 feet of forward motion toward your goal before you had to stop again!  After 10 miles of that you find yourself once again sailing along and life is good!

Negotiating rush-hour traffic on I-5 is exactly like writing a book, or indeed, completing ANY artistic endeavor.

What’s important is not how fast you made the journey.

The important thing is arriving at your destination alive and with your temper and your dignity intact


Filed under Adventure, Battles, Books, Fantasy, Literature, Uncategorized, writing

6 responses to “The View from the Fishbowl

  1. Irene Roth Luvaul

    I think you were riding with us yesterday as Hildegard, the voice on my GPS, directed us to exit too early so that we could mosey through downtown Seattle, emphasis on “mosey.” It was rush hour (what else?) and a trip that should have taken us an hour and a half took us over two hours. I must rethink my love for Hildegard.


  2. Thank you Alison and Roxanne – and Irene, I did wonder if you were in that nice mix of folks as I was leaving town! I love that your GPS is named Hildegard!


  3. It’s all about the journey 🙂