Wednesday, February 9, 2011
From the Desert to the Snowpocalypse
So these are the extremes that bookended my very first stops on the wildly erratic couple of weeks that have followed the publication of The Dangerous Edge of Things.
My first stop was Scottsdale, Arizona, the Wild West, land of saguaro cactus and the black-tailed jackrabbit. The temperature hovered in the mid-seventies during the day, punctuated with clear sweet sunlight, and then dropped into the cozy fifties at night, under black skies so full of stars it looked like someone had thrown rhinestones up there.
That's what's called an organ pipe cactus over there (assuming my notes are correct -- there are cacti named after everything on land and sea: sharkfin agaves and jumping chollas and fishhook cactuses).
Sand and rocks everywhere. I brought back a pretty piece of rough chrysocolla from a gem shop. The turquoise looked lovely, but the real turquoise was very expensive and the cheap turquoise was probably dyed howlite. So I just admired it from afar.
Four days back in the 'Boro, and then off to Chicago, the Snow-decked City (I know what it's really called, but take a gander at the photo to the right -- that hunk of snowplow mountain blocked most of the wind. Except for that one night when the wind smelled like frozen iron and was so cold and liquid it poured right down into my thermal underwear . . . and for the first time in my life, I understood what COLD meant.
There's little visual reference to help you understand the massiveness of this snowbank. It's taller than you, that's for sure, even if you're a basketball player.
And oh yeah. I sold some books, drank some bubbly, met some dear fantastic people. But you know how it is -- in the end, we all talk about the weather.