Which is pretty much what May was, when Mongrels came out. But this is September-land, man. The road, though, it’s a big long slip ‘n slide, isn’t it? You take that first step, then you just keep going and going.
This is from the plenary address/discussion/interview at the Western Literature Association’s 2016 conference in Big Sky, Montana (I think all these pics are from/by Billy Stratton):
That’s Susan Bernardin on stage with me. Also? There were moose galumphing around the property. And, got to ride up with Earl and Maxine Kingston—very cool people. Her keynote killed.
But then, all too soon, I split out of there with Theo Van Alst and Billy Stratton:
And, whilst driving west to Missoula/the next event, what’d we see but this sly character slipping over from another reality:
Roundabout Butte, there may have been a triple-meat Whopper situation.
Okay, there probably almost definitely was. It came to involve chicken fries as well, even. Because: chicken fries.
As for why we were headed to Missoula? The Montana Book Festival:
And, since I was having to slip out right after my reading, I went ahead and signed everything early (this pic’s from/by Sherwin Bitsui):
That werewolf medallion’s by Cinnamon Spear. So cool. And that book I’m actually holding there, it’s thanks to Theo Van Alst. And the one on the far end of the table’s thanks to Richard Thomas.
Then, mere moments later, I read them about bestiality, then pet-grenades, then cannibalism—as Reader’s Digest would say, “All in a Day’s Work”:
Was a good crowd at the Union Club Bar. They were up for all of it. But, right after Sterling read his cool piece, right before Adrian and Theo and Tiffany were about to read theirs, I had to get to the airport, for this kind of fun:
And, okay, I may or may not have bought this shirt as a gift for someone:
And then, magically, here I was home in Boulder, for my first time actually in town for the Jaipur Literary Festival:
That’s us panelists on the jumbotron (“we” panelists? Dominic Smith, Laura Pritchett, and our moderator Sarah Crichton (here’s a close-up from The Daily Camera).
And this is always one of my favorite tables at the con/fest:
Too? Ended up hanging with the excellent G. Willow Wilson at the signing table. Came away with a signed Ms. Marvel, of course. Another gift for someone. Usually? If what I’m buying isn’t a Waylon-thing or a Bob Seger-thing—okay, or boots—chances are it’s for someone else.
And here’s moderator Margaret Coel, then Jennifer Foerster, Tanaya Winder, and the not pictured (because she had to split) Layli Long Soldier:
Busy times. Good times. Wouldn’t trade them.
Oh, and, as for why I’m wearing that same An American Werewolf in London shirt at a couple of those events? I’ve got two of them. Wish I could say it was due to my thinking ahead, but really it was a misorder. Well, that plus I really like that shirt. As for the shirt I was wearing in Big Sky, that’s my Clarion West 2016 armor:
So, until the next time out in the world, in the, as Geddy Lee so perfectly put it, “fisheye lens” (which I used to think was “fish islands”), I’ll be here chopping away at lines, trying to stand them up into paragraphs which I can string together into stories and books and more. Always more.
See you soon.