Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dogs and fireplaces and walks along the river.

It never fails. Somebody arrives to town, buys ads on the local T.V., extolling his taste and class in front of a cheerful fireplace, with his dogs at his feet. Usually, there is a second commercial with him walking along the river with his dogs, to show what a humble, down to earth kind of guy he is. (kids, optional.)

Pure ego driven stuff.

And those people are bankrupt a few years later.

Hint: if the dogs are mutts, the curse is lifted.

On the other hand, cats in a store are a sure way to ingratiate yourself with the customers....

My wife bookstore has a Christian writer's meeting, after closing, and last week she took our cat.

"Cats are pagans," I protested. "Everyone knows that."

"Not our cat," my wife said firmly.

O.K., maybe not pagans. Some cats still believe in Egyptian gods, but most can't be bothered.

By the way, The Bookmark space also host the Farewell Bend Writer's Roundtable on the second and Fourth Tuesdays of every month, at 7:00. This group has been going since 1980; and everyone is welcome. In fact, I would encourage you to come.

This is a regular writer's group.

You can bring something to read, with 8 or 10 copies, and read for 20 minutes, more or less. Then we go in a circle with critique, which is meant to be helpful and constructive. I've always felt the majority of suggestions were good, though even helpful criticism can feel painful at first, if you're not prepared for it.

Like I said, I think the advice is helpful.

We could probably use a few new members. The lady who was doing all the organizing and sending out of notices and such, quit a year ago, so we've been running a bit on auto-pilot.

All types of writing is welcome, and you don't have to read. Indeed, many members read infrequently, but still give great advice. It's very down to earth and welcoming.

I have found it to be very motivational when I'm writing; both good writing and bad inspires me. I also think that exposure to others ideas and suggestions generally helps the writer. I've even spent a year or more reading a chapter per visit and finished an entire book. It seemed to really make me get ready for the next meeting.

If you have any questions, you can come in to Pegasus and talk to me, or go into the Bookmark and talk to either Kent or my wife, Linda.

Next meeting is next Tuesday, March 25, 7:00.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

On the housing front, I'm still getting a fair number of people in the store who just moved here, or are planning to move here.

They seem relatively clueless about the pricing and inventory of Bend.

So the good news: stupid money is still coming!

Meanwhile, if you check the national Housing Bubble Blog, there is a fairly constant lament from people who thought they were buying houses at a bargain in Florida and California, who are finding that their houses got much cheaper.

Florida and California are our future, I think.

The latest thing to happen, is some of the formerly red hot counties of Florida are losing population.

When I first brought this up a year ago, most people thought that was impossible.

But combine lack of jobs, low income, sticky housing prices, baby boomers seeing their chances to sell their houses for big bucks and moving away start to disappear, and losing population is indeed a possibility.

Not for a year or two, granted. But if things keep getting worse.

Meanwhile, people who have lived in Bend for five years or longer are starting to get a clue.

They start to talk like they've actually read the bubble blogs, but when I question, they haven't. They just see the obvious. Their observations may not be as filled in, but they're getting a clue.

The Bulletin also sort of fuzzed up the commercial prospects of Bend. Gee, more opportunities are opening up!

Sort of like saying losing your house just means you get to camp out.

Cascade Business news had two different malls being advertised, one with the future Gottshacks, and the other....not sure. But I saw 75 thousand sq. ft. available.

Or 75 stores Pegasus Sized. In just two strip malls.

Not to mention, Kohl's.

I figure all these national chains are looking at the 10 year window, where I think Bend is likely to revive.

But a whole lot of smaller stores don't have the kind of resources to be underwater for three or five years.