Saturday, April 14, 2007

Misty River & Me

by Michelle Richmond

It's raining in the Richmond district today. From my bedroom window I can see the mist moving over the Pacific. While I was writing The Year of Fog, I spent a lot of time out at Fort Funston and Ocean Beach, trying to get the feel of the landscape right. In Chapter 2 of the novel, Abby describes her affinity for the fog:
I glanced eastward toward the park, where the fog abruptly ended, butting up against startling blue. As a transplant to this city from the bright and sultry South, I had come to love the fog, its dramatic presence, the way it deadens sound. The way it simply stops, rather than fading, opaque whiteness giving way to clarity. Crossing from fog into sunlight, one has the feeling of having emerged. Traveling in the other direction is like sinking into a mysterious, fairy tale abyss.

I'm heading over to Berkeley this afternoon to tape West Coast Live at Freight and Salvage with another Bay Area author, Peter Plate, author of Fogtown. Musical guests today will be Misty River, an all-female accoustic quartet from the Pacific Northwest. I also happen to have a sister named Misty, a local photographer who provided me with scads of information about photography; my narrator, Abby, is a photographer. The novel's epigram comes from Henry Horenstein's classic text, Black & White Photography: A Basic Manual.

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