We just got back from our Guatemala trip and I’ve got grants to write and errands to run, so for now just a preview of the posts-to-be-written:
The Most Dangerous Moment on our trip was at about 5 in the morning on the tourist shuttle mini-van to the airport on the road from Antigua. The road is curvy, but newly paved and well-lit. Up ahead a truck is turning on to the highway. The truck isn’t moving fast. Suddenly, we are stuck in a moment. The van hasn’t slowed down, but time decelerates as we are very closely approaching the metal wall that is the side of the truck. I am sitting in the middle seat of the second row with no seat belt, perfectly positioned to fly through the space between the driver and the front passenger seat and crash through the windshield. The moment lasts long enough for me to experience the irony of my coming death. My husband is the uncomfortable flyer. I’m the one always arguing that you can trust the pilots who are for the most part professionals. It’s the idiots on the road who will kill you. The van suddenly without even the screech of breaks comes to a halt about a foot from the truck bed. The truck pulls onto the highway, and then we keep going.
The book I’m currently reading is Larry Harrison’s, Glimpses of a Floating World. Here’s the mini-review, I posted on Amazon: “1963, London, Soho, sex, drugs and yes even rock and roll. Ronnie is like a strung-out, hipster, Holden Caulfield if Holden had been a seventeen year old working class Brittish junkie. Harrison perfectly portrays Ronnie’s world, “the scene” that Ronnie will do anything to get back to — the “floating world” of illusion so expertly shown that the reader will never forget the journey. This is an amazing story and a very addictive read.” I promise to write a better, longer-one soon, but please buy the damn book.
State of the Union — I so want to believe in Obama. Travelling, I kept thinking about the President’s mother and how she was a woman who if she hadn’t spent so much time in Indonesia, could have loved Guatemala and isn’t it remarkable that the son of a woman like that could be President of these United States? And then tonight I’m watching that speech hoping for something that doesn’t sound like the sos, and he says how he’s going to “work with Congress” on repealing don’t ask don’t tell? Work with Congress, my ass. This is an easy one. Executive order Mr. Commander in Chief. Harry Fucking Truman did it with integration.
The Writing Life — So I come back to the good news that I’ve got honorable mention for my 3 day novel entry! No money or publication but the possibility that if I turn the damn thing into a full length book, I could at least mention the honor in a query. Needs work but think Lolita from Doleres Haze’s POV meets The Shining or maybe The Lovely Bones for cynical adults without a happy ending. Meantime, Loisaida is sitting, requested as a full on some agent’s desk.
My addictions — Honestly think that the internet/social networking may now have taken over my life more completely than even the television machine. Still experiencing authonomy withdrawal. Having just got back from a vacation to a previously “remote” part of the world, I’m more and more concerned about how the net (and easy access to it) may affect how we experience travel. Anyone remember the ritual of the picture postcard or letters? Stopping to write them on the road. Maybe if you could find a place to make a copy in case they got lost or mostly you took your chances and sometimes finding the post office was an adventure itself. If you came across a phone, you probably used it to check in same as you would a clean toilet whether or not you needed to go. You were forced to talk to people or to no one because you didn’t have IM or the office party atmosphere of facebook at your disposal. (We didn’t have laptops with us this trip and actually didn’t spend much time on the web, but it was available everywhere.) I remember meeting people simply by asking for directions which I’m sure in a couple of years won’t be done when every street in every town in every country is instantly on google maps and accessible on a variety of devices.
More to come. Stay tuned boys and girls.