“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Friday, August 27, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA EMERGES WITH THE EXTRA-FICTION CONTEST IN 2021


Once again, I'm judging Somos en escritos' Extra-Fiction contest.


I even made a video with my phone in a motel room:


 

Here' a screen shot of the flyer:



Yeah, it's hard to read, but links to all the information is in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.


Hurry, the deadline is September 30, 2021!


When in doubt, break format . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2021

FINDING AZTLÁN ALONG OAK CREEK


The previous day I spent slaving away at the computer. When Emily and I had breakfast at Kiss the Cook (where they have a  bas relief version of the classic Wild West “End of the Trail” Indian in the men’s room), and she suggested we play hooky and go somewhere, my reaction was, “What the hell!” 


So, we headed up to Sedona, with the maskless summer tourist season taking off in full force. As we got into the town, it got crowded, spilling out into the road along Oak Creek. Our hopes of finding a place to hike were soon dashed. All the big hiking places were full, or had long lines to get in, or parked cars strung out at the roadside for about a mile.



Finally, we decided to park at a place by the river that wasn’t full of cars, and near a rustic stairway leading down to the water. Oh, yeah, there was some interesting graffiti--especially a drippy smiley face, on some of the signs.



Turns out it wasn’t a bad hike. All nature-y and quiet enough.

There were other people, but they weren’t many, and were not making too much noise.



Especially some kids, balancing on rocks across the river. They were quiet. Too quiet for kids on an outing. They were all looking in the same direction. One of them looked our way and pointed.

There was something near the riverbank. At first, I thought it was a statue of a dinosaur. Then it moved. It was a bird. A large bird. A heron.



In case you didn’t know. Aztlán is Nahuatl for “Place of the Heron.” Kinda mystical, huh?


On the way home we ate at the Lone Spur Cafe in Prescott, where Festus from the antediluvian TV show Gunsmoke smiled down on us.


Friday, August 13, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA GETS HIGHAZTECHIZED

 


At La Bloga, Chicanonautica looks at news that sounds a lot like High Aztech.

 

Who remembers Tenochtitlán?



Aztec culture is not dead:



New technology is bringing back the past:



And the culture wars go on:


Thursday, August 5, 2021

MEMORIAL DAY AMID ARIZONA RUINS


Trying to avoid traffic jams on the day to honor fallen warriors, we headed north into cooler weather, toward the remains of lost civilizations. It was the beginning of the almost, not quite post-pandemic summer. NOW HIRING signs were replacing MASK REQUIRED. Everybody was ready to jump the gun while the Delta Variant lurked in the dark corners.



People had come to do the trails around Walnut Canyon with the Sinagua cliff dwellings, but not enough to crowd things. The 736 step (that’s just one way) vertical hike is quite a work out. Emily had to rest. I can still do it without getting winded. The visit to a lost world makes it worth the effort, though.



Then we went to Flagstaff, and just for the hell of it, down Route 66, to pass the site of the late, lamented Galaxy Diner--and lo and behold! It was back from the dead, fully resurrected, and back in business. There was live music and the joint was rocking.



Lost worlds do come back. Better keep an eye out for Sinaguans and Anasazis . . .



We still had time so we visited the lava fields of Sunset Crater and the buildings and ball court of Wupatki, that got me thinking about that ball game novel I want to write.



It was a day in worlds lost and found, old and new . . .