Well, the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 came and went, and it was a great disappointment in these parts…but not in the way you think.
The eclipse itself was spectacular. I mean, truly amazing. If you’ve never seen totality, you really must add that to your bucket list. I now understand why people chase these things. I really don’t have the words to describe it properly.
But the Apoceclipse that everyone (and I do mean everyone) predicted for Lincoln City…well, the opposite happened. Its own apocalypse, in a way, for local businesses.
As late as Wednesday, predictions for up to 100,000 people flocking to Lincoln City were alive and well. The police closed crosswalks and streets in preparation for the impending gridlock. Portable toilets were lined up in public spaces. Stores stocked shelves and announced they’d be open 24 hours over the weekend. Locals stocked up on food and water like we were preparing for a major winter storm. Here at WMG, we adjusted work schedules to accommodate the influx of people and the predicted lack of services, especially internet.
Then, on Thursday, things started to get weird. The town started to empty. And it didn’t fill up again. At all. By Friday, Lincoln City was a ghost town. On Saturday, you could have run down Highway 101 naked and no one would have been around to witness it.
This was peak summer tourism season, but I’ve seen more people out and about on a winter Wednesday in the middle of a hurricane-force windstorm.
If you’ve ever watched The Leftovers, that was what it felt like. The tourists just disappeared.
Town is just now returning to normal. And local businesses have plenty of ire to spread around about who is to blame. It’s ironic: Many locals complain endlessly about the tourists and their wish that they’d go away. Last weekend, they got their wish. Like the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for…
So, while we spend the week in a state of in-between (night in the middle of the day, deserted streets in the middle of the high season), I will remind you that we’re right in the middle of a bundle inspired by the in-between: The Universe Between Storybundle curated by Dean Wesley Smith.
If you missed my earlier blog on this bundle, you can read all about it at https://storybundle.com/fantasy.
But don’t dally. This bundle ends in a couple of days.
And that’s a prediction you can count on.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.