SW Tour 2.0: The Grand Canyon State in Bloom

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I was back in AZ last week, and it seemed as if the whole state was in bloom. This meant the junipers were in bloom as well (see this video, recently filmed in Prescott), which meant a whole lot of sneezing for me, but even those randy male trees, broadcasting their biz, could not put a damper on the SW leg of Hot Season Tour 2.0.

Look at these photos, taken at Sunset Point! Seriously, never have I ever. The state was an unbroken sea of green, all the way down to Tucson, where I presented a Tent Talk for the Tucson Festival of Books (and met the whipsmart and charming Ilana Maletz, author of Cha’risa’s Gift).

I also had the good fortune to run into my old mentor from Prescott College, Sam Henrie–and his son, who is also Sam Henrie (confusing). Sam Jr. is on the board of the fest and invited me to submit a panel proposal for next year, so here’s hoping I’ll be back. (I didn’t get a picture of the madness that is this book fest, but let me tell you, it is big and beautiful and diverse.)

While I was in Tucson, I stayed with my old friend Lara Ruggles, an immensely talented musician and songwriter (whose album, Cynics & Saints, you should totally get). I also met with a friend of a friend, Mateo Keegan Burbano, and ran into all kinds of old homies at Five Points Market.

I also got to eat one of my favorite dishes, Jack’s Magic Beans at The Coronet. (I love this dish so much I took a picture of the menu so I could try to recreate it at home.)

Sunset at The Raven with Michaela Carter? Check. The perfect light to show off her wild and brilliant beauty? Check. Great conversations with old friends? Check on that too.

Oh, and I read at this great reading series in Phoenix called Spillers at Valley Bar. It was so much fun! And the whole thing was recorded for a podcast! More on this to come. =)


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