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Vision Quest 2012: The big city, a new book

December 13, 2012 by Kiersi

The epic Golden Gate Bridge. Taken during the Bay Cruise on a peculiarly calm, un-blustery winter day.

This post has two parts: first, my adventure south to San Francisco, where I met up with some friends and experienced the city for a weekend. Second, an update on the Vision Quest, and other bookly-things. I’ll be reviewing Stephenie Meyer’s The Host tomorrow, so please check back for a review that will probably surprise the hell out of you.

So, on to part one: I love San Francisco. Not in the way I love Portland (for its culture, art scene, and greenness), and not in the way I love Los Angeles (drivers I actually understand, beautiful people, also Venice Beach). I love San Francisco because it is insane.

The hills are insane, the people are insane, the parking is insane. Even the views are insane. I just feel like everything in San Francisco is cranked up to 11. Even the holidays and the homeless people are insane. I passed a guy panhandling on a corner singing, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, TIME TO GET DRUNK.” Then he would stop, look at someone, and say, “I’m the world’s greatest wino!”

Yep. I bet you are. At least he’s honest about what he’ll use your money for.

Some weird inspiration. I found this bugger stuck to the dog's fur. Still not sure what it is. Guesses?

But I want to move on to the big news of this trip: I finished the first draft of Gryphon, my middle-grade epic fantasy novel. Yep. Done. I did the last 20,000 words in about two days–and each session was only about 4 hours long. I guess the ranch life is good for my productivity when it comes to drafting. No distractions without phone, internet, even people. Very easy to focus on a story and get lost in it. It’s too bad the drive is upwards of 10 hours, or I’d make this trip every time I’m ready to start a new manuscript.

I don’t like most of the things that I write. I go through phases with them–love, hate, love, hate, sometimes apathy. Gryphon is the first time I’ve really felt, deep down, that I wrote a great book. That I wrote something anyone can read, that will stick with the reader long after it’s over. I hope that this feeling isn’t just a post-first draft high. Sigh. Only time, and a second (and third, and fourth) draft will tell.

To end this brief update, a snippet from the final pages of Gryphon:

Flying was like being born again.

The ground raced underneath them, a blur of brown and green and the occasional silvery-blue of a pond or creek. Herds of deer ran in formations, in patterns, like tributaries of a great river. Birds sometimes joined them or squawked as they passed in the sky.

Frost pulled his furs tighter as Brother’s flight wound northward. The Sky Mountains appeared through the mist, huge snowy fangs that jutted into the sky, and his arms tingled. This was home.

He had missed it.

And, of course, a cute picture of my most venerable sous chef, Wilbur:

Oh, why, thank you, kitty. Couldn't have made those potatoes without your judicious supervision.


  1. kellyhashway says:

    Congrats on finishing your manuscript, Kiersi! And no clue what that creature is. It sort of looks like a salamander but I’m not sure.

  2. Jenny Brooks says:

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I dream of my completion day… Good luck and best wishes for your manuscript!

    • Kiersi says:

      Haha, thank you, Jenny! And thanks for stopping by. I’m sure you’ll get there. Sounds like from your blog you’re thinking about leaving civilization behind, as well. That’s the way to finish!

  3. H.L. Pauff says:

    San Francisco is a wonderful city. If i ever leave the east coast, that’s where I’m going. Congrats on the novel. Sounds very promising

    • Kiersi says:

      Oh, yes, I’d definitely recommend passing through SF. Also hit Portland–especially in the summer! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Michael Pearce says:

    Great work on your new novel. The creature looks like a baby allosaurus, which are reputed to have gone extinct 6.5 million years ago. Maybe they should keep better track.

    I think you should really experience flying in an ultralight. Come summer, I will look to see if anyone is offering tandem rides and flight training. You will never experience flight more bird-like outside of parasailing or hang gliding.

    You could also fly a wingsuit, but those are for only the hardest of hard-core sky-divers. I really wish I could do that. Google it for some great YouTube videos.

    • Kiersi says:

      Hahahaha yes! Baby dinosaur! And as for flying the ultralight, I would really love to do that. Let me know how that pans out.

  5. Congratulations on your first draft! Love your exerpt–very poetic. Sounds like a fun book.

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