Done. That's it. Last trip for the year. I went to Phoenix to talk to librarians about Teresita and Into the Beautiful North and The Devil's Highway. The medicine is still powerful: as I was leaving for the airport, Teresita's great-granddaughter called to ask if I was coming to Phoenix anytime soon.

I met great people in the planes going both ways. usually, I am the grinch in headphones, but I got all chatty. You'll appreciate this, though: on the way back,. I was at the US Air counter, and the woman asked me what had brought me to AZ. Writer, I mumbled. Oh? And what do you write? Novel, non-fiction book about the border patrol. The guy next to me said, "There's nothing about the border patrol that's non-fiction." I looked over at him and he just looked migra. Had the haircut. I said, "Are you an agent?" He said, "Pilot." I said, "Are you a BorStar guy?" He flew with BorStar. Then it became the usual border enforcement exam: who do you know? We knew the same Yuma guys.

As soon as that was ascertained, he invited me to come fly the border with him in his helicopter. See how it works? The writing writes you if you get out of the way.

I swear, if I were more open and in tune, the world would give me a new book every day of my life. But if I were more open, my head would explode.

Get this, though--and this is where the new book popped up in my face: he started telling me (blushing a little that I was going to think he was crazy to tell me this--something people do a lot; I can't tell you how many times I hear "I can't believe I'm telling you this"), but out along the Camino del Diablo, east of the spot where there are old graves, there is a haunted patch that nobody likes to go to. Agents will confess if you push them that if you stand there, you feel the vortex of energy, and it gets really spooky. Sometimes it gets cold. And if you watch long enough, you start to see mists and forms moving toward you. OOO-EEE-OOO.

Sign me up, pilot! Ghosts? Helicopters? I'm there!

Beautiful North is starting to head into the world in galleys as we speak. We'll post the cover here very soon. I think you're going to like it.

Sky King Urrea

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