Just back from the whirlwind readings in Kansas City, Topeka, Mission, Marysville, Lincoln and Omaha, and more notably, all that happened in between. Here’s the surrealistic tally of what I can remember at the moment:
- My name in cookies at a Topeka coffeehouse, the best lobster bisque in Kansas City, peach-jalapeno-asiago foccacia on the street thanks to a stranger, lavender short bread in the kitchen of a haunted house, crab cakes in a fine dining establishment, and cold french fries in the car.
- A lost map of Kansas dovetailing with the end of the book of tape (making it IMPOSSIBLE to stop and call Ken for directions), which left me edging south and east until I found a highway I had heard of, all the time hoping the overcast sky (no sun to navigate by) wasn’t confusing me.
- Jules, my fabulous-o traveling companion, and her stories of 13 houses, three husbands, and the legless Nazi who moved in with her so she could help him heal and die.
- Re-uniting with my former very witty and wise student Anna
almost 20 years after she was in my creative writing class at KU.
- Driving on I-80 (my least-favorite, and always most-crowded highway in America) in a blinding thunderstorm, at night, through long narrows of construction while passing by various accident scenes.
- For the most part, posters, flyers, radio spots and even balloons to
promote the readings (and thank you so much to Jennifer, Melissa, Wayne, Sharon, Jennifer, Julie, Jaine, Anna and others).
- My first reading in a creperie after eating a glorious chicken-pesto-marinara-sauce crepe and trying the smoked salmon crepe. Crepes make better writers (and readers) of us all.
- Long walks across downtown Lincoln for hours, alone or with Carolyn and Hubble the wonder dog; around an area of Kansas City, more like Brooklyn’s hipper neighborhoods, with Wyatt, Roderick and Ken; around a strip mall in the Omaha ‘burbs to find cello rosin; and up and down streets in Marysville, looking for the illusive and handsome black squirrel.
- Watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in the haunted hotel and discovering just how crass Marilyn Monroe’s character could be juxtaposed with Jane Russell’s fistful of awesome.
- Swinging on a hammock in an old neighborhood in Lincoln while having a phone conference with Goddard faculty in Vermont, Montreal, Georgia, Virginia, and other locales.
- Arriving home to the most ecstatic dog in the world who could not stop leaning his big head into my leg as if to say, “Heavens! The master has returned!” while the rain began to gather itself in earnest.