Midweek Mumbles – 5 Seattle Myths Uncovered

As I was researching Seattle, I wanted to make sure that I was getting as many details correct as possible.

Part of bringing a city to life, even a fictional one, is knowing what the myths of that city are, even if you never feature them. Because, unless you know what people believe about a place, you can’t find ways to show that they’re false, or more potentially fantastic that people think.

I came across a lot of myths about the city. Some of them are actually true, others are popular misconceptions, while others have been made up for various reasons. Here’s a few of my favorites:

It always rains in Seattle

True/False? – Mostly False

There is a rainy seasons between May and October, but it’s mostly light showers rather than the torrential downpours that people envision.

Seattle doesn’t even rate that highly in terms of annual rainfall compared to many other US cities.

Source: Highbrow Magazine

Prostitutes opened the first public school in Seattle

True/False? – False

Rumors were the Lou Graham, one of Seattle’s earliest madames had left money to education funds, but she had actually given the money to relatives abroad.

Instead the earliest teachers in Seattle were the Mercer Girls, who had moved from the Northeast and South during the Civil War. They had been promised high wages and beautiful scenery by Asa Mercer as potential companions for eligible bachelors, though many never married.

Source: KUOW

Seattle is the suicide capital of the US

True/False? – False

Whatever the reason for the title “Suicide City USA”, Seattle is far from warranting such a scary moniker. In almost all studies of the suicide rates, Seattle doesn’t even make the Top 10.

However, my home state of Alaska DOES rate a “Suicide State USA” title, topping off the suicide rates for states.

Source: Forbes

Rent is cheap

True/False? – False

If you’re outside the city itself, rent is reasonably cheap in comparison to the city. But unlike in the past, there are parts of the city where $1000 only gets you a micro-studio apartment. So to live in the city, prepare to live a compact life.

Source: Seattle Socialites

The Disappearing Lake Union Islands

True/False? – True

In May 1962 police filed reports of an island that had formed in Lake Union, but it vanished two months later, only to have other such islands repeat the cycle later in the year.

Interestingly this one is true, and was the result of fill dirt being dumped during the construction of I-5.

Source:My Northwest

Check out the sources above for some other great myths about Seattle, and then share your thoughts, or Seattle myths in the comments…


Another Day, Another Round of Edits

The deadline for the Laurel Highlands Publishing anthology “Moon Shadows” submissions is rapidly approaching. Never having submitted for publication, I have no idea what to expect. All I can do is run one final edit, get a copy off to a couple of my beta readers, and hope. April 23rd 2014 is the final day for entry, and I am scrambling toward the finish.

“Under a Hunter’s Moon” starts with the arrival of a museum exhibition in Seattle. The story examines the ties between one of the displays and a dark time in the lives of Seattle’s lupines (werewolves). At around 4,500 words, it takes place before the opening of my first novel. I am using this, and several other short story ideas to explore character concepts for the novel.

I am also working on a second short story, that I hope to have ready for entry into the Bridport Prize. Several ideas are circulating through my head. With only 6 weeks to get the story outlined, written and edited, I will be cutting it close. I am hoping to have an entry ready before the deadline, since this competition comes with prize money awards. Of course, I will have to pay an entry fee, but it is’t too costly.