In which a conversational exchange provides a writing lesson

I’m home. The clouds are the right shape. I’ve given myself a day to readjust to my timezone and get myself back to the latest version of normal.

While I was away, from time to time I’d find myself talking with someone who, when I said I was from Portland, would react to that fact.

My favorite of these exchanges was with an employee of a miraculously good Middle Eastern restaurant in a small Ohio town. When I confirmed that it does, in fact, rain frequently here, she said:

“That’d be a terrible place to have kids. Mud all over everything! And you’d always be coming in with wet grocery bags…I couldn’t handle it.”

So, from that we can reasonably conclude:
— she’s a mom
— she does both the cleaning and the shopping for her family
— she’s prepared to pass judgment on the livability of a city based on a single feature.

Writing Lesson: you can reveal a lot about a character through their reactions to a place.

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