Random Slot Canyon Slideshows

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Southwesterner born n’ bred, and some of my absolute fave landscapes are red rock canyon lands. If you read the first book in my NM series (hint: “Land of Entrapment”), see if you notice the slot canyon reference. I derive endless hours of inspiration from visiting canyon lands and from just looking at photos of them.

And that’s why I’m sharing some slideshows I found with you. Because there’s just not enough beauty going around the world at the moment, and I think there’s always time for a zen moment.


From americansoutwest.net:
Slot canyons, Escalante River (UT) slideshow

Holeman Canyon, Canyonlands National Park (UT)

Static photos, Cottonwood Wash, Capitol Reef (CO)

Static photos, Buckskin Gulch, Paria River (UT)


Sunday readin’ tip

Hi, weekenders! A friend of mine and I were talking about books we’d read that really grabbed us and both of us agreed that rocker/poet/writer/Renaissance woman Patti Smith‘s memoir Just Kids that captures her younger years with fellow Renaissance man Robert Mapplethorpe was a hell of a read. I’m so glad she wrote this, because if offered a view of not only her inner workings, but Mapplethorpe’s, as well, and I think I, at least, came away with a new understanding of his work through Smith’s eyes.


Smith traces her life in NYC during the 1960s and 1970s, flavored by her own dreams and evolving relationship with Mapplethorpe. This was a time in which artists and musicians moved freely through each other’s circles, performed at clubs like CBGB‘s, and built networks across genres and disciplines. How much has changed in 30-40 years. This story, my friend and I theorized, could not happen today, because of the corporatization of the music industry and the advent of the Internet. The close-knit world of art, music, literature, and poetry that colored NYC during those years, and the historical backdrop of the 60s and 70s allowed a revolution in expression and captured a moment that both echoed its surroundings and shifted the currents of artistic discourse.

Smith’s book — winner of the National Book Prize — is a poetic rendering of those years, and a deeply moving and close-to-the-bone reminiscence of life, love, and the humanity within us all. It’s an homage, an epic poem, and an exquisitely rendered memoir. If you decide to embark on this journey with Smith, I don’t think you’ll be unmoved.

Happy reading!

All hail the TIKI!!!!!

I have another obsession besides zombies. Okay, it’s not as much of an obsession, but it is part of my kitschy side. At one time, I owned easily 15 different authentic Hawaiian shirts, many with tiki icons on them, a few genuine retro, and some so hideously ugly that only a furiously angry and displeased tiki god would appreciate them as much as I did.

I also try to go to tiki bars whenever I can to partake of the absolute kitsch fest that this aspect of our strange American culture hides in the backs of its lounges.

I bring this up because tiki culture just SCREAMS for some fun settings for writing.


Continue reading

Love them Smart Bitches n’ Trashy Books

I’m totally going to pimp one of the funniest freakin’ blogs I’ve come across. That’s Smart Bitches and Trashy Books, where the object of the game is to review and discuss romance novels, publishing, generalized awesome topics, snark at dickheads, and just flat out make me glad I’m not on their bad side. I was practically holding my sides at this review of a particular book that was so overburdened by metaphors and similes that the reviewer could not even finish the book.


The opening paragraph stopped me cold. Mostly because it is two sentences long, but oh, what sentences they are. Here is where I resolve never to use another metaphor or simile again, because clearly I don’t know what the hell I am doing.

Honey would sometimes think of Dusty, and it was like she twisted a dial and opened a steel door to a safe in her heart where she kept her grandest jewels—bittersweet memories, surrounded by a poignant moat. Some were vivid as fallen red bougainvillea petals, while others drifted by aimlessly, as vague and faded as old photographs in a dark flooded cellar.

I feel like I’m watching one of those informercials about educational programs guaranteed to improve your memory. Safe! Jewels! Poignant moat! Petals! Photographs! Flooded cellar! French drains! Homeowner’s Insurance! Flood Policy!

The awesome-ness continues from there. Check it out. And FOR SURE check out their “Greatest Hits.” It will leave you achy with TEH LAUGH.