It’s the heat. I’m losing my mind. It’s a dry heat, to be sure, but it’s still hot. It’s so hot even the weeds are wilted.
It’s too hot to work in my studio. The thought of handling fabric when it’s this damn hot is a non-starter. Plus, in an effort to survive, I’ve got the doors and windows open because the breeze makes the heat kinda sorta tolerable. Of course, that same breeze blows fabric and papers all over the place, so no way I could work in there anyway.
The saddest part of all is that it’s so hot the water in my solar-heated spa (okay, it’s a black horse trough with clear plastic over the top to trap the heat) is too hot to enjoy. Maybe come midnight when the sun’s been down a while and the water’s cooled some… but by then my plan is to be asleep.
The heat has sucked the energy out of me, sapped my will to do anything productive, and made me cranky.
But wait – there’s more!
I don’t mean more complaining, I mean there’s good stuff to share. Last time I posted, it was about the Artists & Author’s Expo. Hmmm, now that I look at it, I realize I only announced that I was going to have a table there, and then I left it at that. Sorry! Let me catch you up.
This was the first annual Artists & Authors Expo, put on by the local Chamber of Commerce. By ‘local’ I mean 30 miles from here, over the state line, in Round Valley, which is not the name of a town. It refers to the geographical location, a broad, relatively green, basically round valley that the Little Colorado River runs through. Some of you easterners and coastal westerners will not recognize the Little Colorado as a river, since you can easily step across it in many places, but it is the headwaters of a tributary of the mighty Colorado River, and it’s wetter than most of what we’ve got around here.
If you’ve got your hands on a copy of my book, Dark Green, you’ll find the town of Round Valley on a map in the front. If you look in the same spot on a real map, you’ll find the towns of Springerville and Eagar AZ, which share a border, emergency services, and a few other public services including a Chamber of Commerce. Anyway, the Chamber hosted the Expo in the huge Dome there in Round Valley, a big enough place to put on a football game while track events are held around the perimeter of the field.
I’m guessing under a dozen authors showed up.
It would have been kind of creep/pitiful except that more than just authors were there. Thank goodness, there were also artists selling photos, paintings, drawings, jewelry, hand-made clothing, and all kinds of beautiful temptations. Plus there were vendors selling edibles, like freeze dried candy (who knew there was such a thing and why would anybody eat it?), real candy (by which I mean chocolate), baked goods, and samples of yummy food dishes with recipe books so a person more inclined than me to cook could make those dishes. A lot of baked goods went home with me.
And then there was the guy who made cigar box guitars so that he could show off the engraving he did on them. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. I could have sworn I took photos of those cigar boxes, but no matter, because I’ve got a WAY better photo to share! Check out the stainless steel mug with my avatar/logo on it! Dwayne Shepard did such a great job with it, don’t you think? I was worried it wouldn’t look as cool as my actual avatar image, which is in gradations of red, because the engraving could only be in black – but wowza! I’m absolutely thrilled with it! Now I want to get everything I own engraved, printed, and otherwise logo-ed up the wazoo! I mean, is that cool or what? Every time I see it I grin!
That got me thinking — but wait, I’m ahead of myself. About that Expo: I actually sold a bunch of books as well as a few chapbooks I’ve made over the years. I was right next to Steve Havill, who’s not only my writing mentor and author of a wonderful mystery series, but he’s a fun guy to hang with.
Being in that huge open space turned out to not be so bad after all, not when the people who came to the Expo were in such a buying mood! This photo was taken by Fely Earl, who is not only the librarian at the Round Valley Public Library, she’s an excellent wildlife photographer. I mean, look at that photo. She is so good at sneaking up on unsuspecting critters and capturing their actions in their native setting. That would be me and my books, almost on the 50 yard line. Haha. (The person who belongs to the denim jacket is my dear friend Laura Brush, who is an incredible editor and cheerleader for all my writing).
More thoughts I’ve been thinking
I gotta keep typing here because doing so keeps me from noticing how the heat’s melting my brain cells. Just think, this isn’t even the hottest part of New Mexico’s heat wave. The high altitude where I live (over 7,000′) keeps it a smidgen cooler than, say, southern NM – especially the parts down by the US/Mexico border. That’s where you’ll find the northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert on your maps. Not for weenies, and that would definitely include me.
So anyway, I’ve been thinking about the publishing business. My late friend, Gale Moore, long-time publisher of the Glenwood Gazette monthly newspaper and the Forever Frontier magazine, had talked with me about us starting a publishing house that focused on books about the southwest and by southwestern authors. Gale was a real go-getter and she was hot to get going on the project, but the momentum died when Gale did. It stayed in the back of my mind, though.
I don’t have the connections that Gale had, and I am definitely a hermit compared to her. She was constantly on the road, drumming up advertising, delivering newspapers and magazines from western Texas through New Mexico into eastern Arizona, and from the Mexico border up into the mountains of Colorado. So yeah, I’m no Gale Moore, but I keep thinking about her idea. It would be a lot of work. There would be editing to deal with. Numbers to maintain. Contracts to negotiate. Marketing and advertising and what the hell am I thinking?
OMG, totally crazy, yeah, but I can hardly blame it on the heat. I set up OneHorse Publishing LLC eleven years ago. Why? I don’t know, seemed like a good idea. I think my logo would be a good one for a publisher named OneHorse Publishing. So I got the name, I’ve got the LLC, I’ve got the logo. I even know an author that’s not me who’d probably give me manuscripts to publish. But marketing. Going to shows. Advertising. All that stuff that makes a publisher worthwhile to a writer who has better things to do. Like writing books.
I want someone to be my publisher that isn’t me. I want to be the writer, dammit! I am definitely losing my mind.
PS, I’ll be hauling my books down to the the Southwest Word Fiesta (formerly the Southwestern Festival of the Written Word) in Silver City NM in late October. More on that when my brain cools off.