When I was younger, I dreamed of going to Portugal. I had no idea why; perhaps it was my friend Tristen, who had Portuguese roots. 25 years passed. And now I’ve been lucky enough to come here three times in the last two years. What to say about Portugal, or at least about the bits I know? Quiet, stylish, fun, where there’s a poetry and theater book store down the street (A Lovers’ Discourse in Portuguese, Glass and God in English), and brunch all the time, and a Californianish ecosystem full of brightness and honeysuckle. Tomorrow, here in Porto, I start teaching Digital Creative Writing to RIT students, where, under the auspices of Professor Rui Torres and the Universidade Fernando Pessoa, I’ll grill the students on the short story form, and they’ll be learning StoryMapJS, a digital storytelling format. In part, this means that I get to give the students a location, and they show up, and I introduce some kind of challenge, much like America’s Next Top Model. Follow that litter of feral cats. What’s different in the supermarket? Go steal sugar packets for me, because I don’t want to buy a whole thing of sugar.
Life is rough (and Anne Royston, meanwhile, gets to do whatever she wants).