For research on a very fun story, I recently took a road trip with the family to Death Valley, the hottest place on earth, having reached a record 134 degrees in 1913. Happily, the hotel had air conditioning. The picture above is the evidence. Bad Water is the lowest point on earth, at 282 feet below sea level. All around it are salt flats, which look like cartoon water mirages in the distance. The stars at night in death valley are gorgeous.
We also went to Meow Wolf in Las Vegas, an interactive art installation that tells the story of the Omega Mart supermarket. I know I was supposed to like it, as the whole thing was definitely my wheelhouse, but while skewering consumerism, it was reveling in consumerism, and mostly it made me tired. There’s a fun mystery embedded in the show, which my daughters Clem and Frances enjoyed solving. I did love Sleep No More in New York, another interactive show based on Macbeth, but then again I’m a huge Shakespeare fan.
Finally, we went kayaking on the Colorado River. This was great fun. The water was about 50 degrees, and as I’m part polar bear I found it very refreshing.
A BETTER WORLD is now in copy edits, which means I’m done. I’m proud of the book. Upon reading it, I thought, “I never want to work this hard again. I’d never even try writing something like this again,” which is exactly how I hope to feel when finishing any book. I’d never write Keeper, or Good Neighbors again, either. A book ought to be so hard and unique that you think: Well, holy crap. I don’t know whether I’ll succeed commercially, but I can’t believe I wrote that. The hours, months, and years actually amounted to something.
Until next time, thanks for reading and don’t get none on you.