Friday, May 25, 2007

Live from Tucson

Arrived here after 23 hours enroute - including 4 at LA airport where I fell asleep in my chair and then nearly fell off it when a really loud PA announcement woke me up. What happened to the days when airlines flew direct from Melbourne? I think I am getting spoiled because my flight had the old movies on the screens up the front instead of in the seat backs and I was very upset about that! I love being able to press buttons and watch a choice of 20 movies on a little screen right in front of me.
Instead (seeing as how I had seen most of the movies on offer in the distance) I read a Jack Reacher novel - "Tripwire" by Lee Child, and had finished it before I boarded the last leg to Tucson. No wonder my eyes are hanging out of my head. And I spent most of the Tucson trip asleep (probably snoring). Woke up in time for the approach, and was just wondering if the very spread-out area of buildings in neat patterns below me was an army base or something when the man behind me said, "Wow, that is a huge prison, isn't it?" Guess that answered my question about the fences.
I always forget how Tucson is in a desert. And then I see the brown land stretching far and wide, and I remember. It reminds me of the Australian outback.
My volunteer conference driver, Kate, picked me up at the airport and dropped me at the hotel, so after a shower that woke me up a bit, I checked emails and found a dinner invitation from the Gila Gang. They are a group of children's writers whom I met when I was here last time. So after some fast ironing of clothes and a wait for a cab, I arrived at the restaurant, and no one was there. Small moment of panic - the email had been dated 24th, but I'd figured it was a day ahead because of Australian time on receiving log - had I miscalculated? No, they were out the back and I did find them. It was great to meet them all again and talk a bit about books and writing. The restaurant was Guatemalan, food was lovely, and I had this yummy drink made from rice milk with cinnamon and stuff in it.
This morning Meg called in with all my conference bizzo - schedules and location maps etc - and the last manuscript for me to read and comment on. It is two picture books that the authors have already created as mock-ups, and they look good - hard covers and all.
Meg also brought me some books, including her new collection of poetry - "Love Hunter" by Meg Files. More excellent reading to look forward to.
I'm reading Sherman Alexie's new novel "Flight" at the moment, which I bought at LA airport (why wait to start buying books?). It is very weird but I am enjoying it - and waiting to see where it will lead me next.
Now I am off for a walk around Tucson's historic area - sunscreen and sunglasses at the ready.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

I can imagine the moment of panic for you -- especially given your experiences last time of having missed a plane because you'd switched time zones. Have I got that right? Is that how it went? I'm glad you found them, anyway!

Can't wait to see all the books when you get home!