Over the Hills and Far Away
Bye-bye, y'all. I'm packing up the Little Brown van. I'm consulting AAA. I'm looking at ways west: floods, tornadoes, devatstation, lightning, weird killings, $5 gas. Must be in Santa Barbara June 24. Must be in Solana Beach June 26. Must be at Fishtrap July...uh...sometime in July. Must get home afterward to get to Breadloaf in Vermont, then to American University in DC.

I'm reverting to my joyous Wastelander mode for the summer. Fast supple bizarre poem-like notes. I'm kind of tired and kind of irritable and kind of fed up with angry immigration freaks and strange scary people and the daily grind. I'm working hard on the final draft of Into the Beautiful North. Although I dread the gas prices and the strangeness that seems to be consuming America right now, I think I'm eager to roll. You know me. I'm eager to skethc it out. I'm eager to see the eagles and the trading posts. "I'm a roadrunner, baby, you know what I am." --The Screaming Blue Messiahs.

Will I see you out there? Forgive me if I'm buried in bodies. I have been caught in crowds lately, and I feel awful when someone I love appears and gives me a hug and a peck on the cheek and then, when I'm done signing books an hour later, is gone without a trace. One day, I'll come home without any touring hype attached. I promise. Meet you at La Jolla Cove and we'll just watch the sea lions.

There seems to be a TV crew from New York planning to fly out to Solana Beach and film me. Why? I don't know. Maybe they want to get a gander at Prudence! Somehow, in the swirl of whatever is happening in the Solana Beach library, I'm going to talk with Judy Bell (remember, San Diego, the Theater Arts Guild?) about making a film of my short story, "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses."

Today, I allegedly receive the first version of the new book cover. By Sunday, I get the red ink massacre of my manuscript. Cinderella and I will attack it on the laptop in motels all across this fine country. And Into the Beautiful North will come out and try to win your hearts in Spring '09. And then we can all go to the premiere of The Hummingbird's Daughter soon after that. Then, I guess, the next Hummingbird book will come out. And the graphic novel of "Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush."

We will tear down this website and redesign it to reflect the Beautiful North Look, whatever that will be. I want to add audio. Would you like audio? I have so many recordings here--so many cd's of events, interviews, radio shows, songs, readings. They're just sitting in my cabinets. Why don't I let you hear 'em?

After all that, if luck holds out, we can go see The Devil's Highway.

What's happening? I don't know. But it is happening, whatever it is. Honestly, I'm just trying to roll with it. Make good art while I have my faculties. Be a good dad. Be a good husband. Look to the hills and plan my grand escape, my vanishing, where I can eat blueberries and watch elk on the rancho down the valley from my pal Sheriff Ogden. For, like Bob Dylan, "My heart's in the highlands." I think ol' Bob's talking about the mtns, sure--but he's also talking about Heaven. I'm with him on both counts.

So. Whew. I'm spinning.

I'll try to post The Wastelander here. I don't know if you even like to read it. But I like to write it. It's almost the only thing I really like to write, right now. The seven or eight readers of Wandering Time will know why.

In parting, I turn, as I often do, to our old friend David Grayson. He said something that seems to be the perfect reflection on bth Writing, Being and...well, Going. (See below.)

See you soon, L

"It is never far to the unfamiliar; at any moment the wild, the eerie, the mysterious may ruffle the stagnant pool of our mediocre days." --David Grayson

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