‘All The Ugly and Wonderful Things’ While Traveling The Cascades by Train

I’m writing this from on a train. It was a gorgeous day to depart Seattle, the sun high in the sky above the bay. It will be dreary and drizzly when we get back to Portland, but I love that just as much, if not more.

The country going by is still verdant green, even at the end of September. Only the very edges of the trees are starting to turn yellow and red. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I spent a lot of time just staring out of the window and watching.

I also finished Bryn Greenwood’s ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS while on the train. I still don’t really know how I feel about it. It’s the kind of book that takes time to process. In short, it presented a situation of dubious, uncomfortable moral implications, and followed it through to a conclusion that I’m not entirely sure I agree with.

But I would say the book is worth reading, and not just because it makes you think. There are some moments of staggering beauty amongst the suffering presented, and maybe in the end, some kind of redemption for the wretchedness.

Photo Sep 29, 5 09 25 PM

The view out my train window

I also wrote, a lot, on this trip to Seattle. Whatever I read always becomes fuel for my writing, even if it doesn’t directly inspire what happens on the page. Whatever it is, prose, poetry, graphic novels, it acts as tinder for the things I create. No artist or writer exists in a vacuum, or at least, I certainly don’t.

Of course, I can’t go on a trip and not buy at least one book, and I got super lucky this time around and found a signed paperback edition of THE WISE MAN’S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss. I love this series, and own a signed copy and a 10th edition copy of the first book, but this is the first signed copy I have of the second book.

THE NAME OF THE WIND, his first book, has had a huge influence not just on my writing, but on me personally. It was the coming of age story I read when I was coming of age, the hero that I wanted to emulate. I read it every couple of years, and love it just as much each time.

I’m actually writing a coming of age story too, and I really need inspiration. So if you’ve got any favorite coming of age books, I would love to hear about them. Just leave me a comment and let me know.

Up next on my reading schedule is a book I picked up pretty much at random from the library. THE IMMORTALISTS by Chloe Benjamin looks really interesting. But if you give me some good recommendations, I’ll probably start in on those first.

Thanks for reading, and if you’re so inclined, pick up ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS from Powell’s, or wherever you buy books.

One thought on “‘All The Ugly and Wonderful Things’ While Traveling The Cascades by Train

  1. K Maureen Moses says:

    My inspiration is triggered by going to an art museum, looking at a book of paintings and
    being with other painters.

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