Saturday, September 4, 2010

Viva Tucson

This I believe.
There are places on this earth that resonate beyond the five senses. For me, here in the lower forty-eight, I discovered one in Abiquiu, New Mexico, near Santa Fe – Ghost Ranch – where Georgia O’Keeffe waved her magic brush. The second is located in Chinle at Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de Shay), in the northeast quadrant of Arizona. The third is the state’s second city, Tucson, where I lived for seven glorious years. It was in Tucson that I wrote my first novel and discovered poetry, thanks to Penny Porter, matriarch of the Society of Southwestern Authors, who invited slam poet Taylor Mali to perform at its 2008 conference. Tucson, the Old Pueblo, is where I learned to appreciate a desert’s spectacular beauty, where I experienced its unfathomable wonder and gathered up the vibrations it sent my way.
Been kicking myself rather hard since I missed the second annual Tucson Festival of Books in March, where 450 writers assembled to thrill over 50,000 readers. Titled, “Where Words & Imagination Come to Life” the festival even featured a hummingbird as its symbol—kismet. I squandered the opportunity to mingle with authors Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty and 3:10 To Yuma); Michael Gelb (How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci); and Mark Frost, who along with David Lynch produced the phenomenal 1990s television series Twin Peaks. I lost the chance to talk with my old friend, Academy Award screenwriter/novelist Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves and Indian Yell) I also missed out on visiting with The Hummingbird Review's inspiration, Luis Alberto Urrea (Into The Beautiful North, Hummingbird’s Daughter), who was blessed by a shaman during his signing session. Whoa! I've already marked my calendar for next March 12-13.