So in a few days I’m heading off to Reno for the Western Literature Association conference. I’ll be reading my story “A Quiet Place to Hide” and handing out my business card to people. I go every year and I’m excited to see Reno again. It’s a great city. The WLA always has a lot of interesting people and panels. I only wish I could go to them all. My pal Steve Davis will be up there and reading an essay he published in Southwestern American Literature. Mark Busby who ran and co-edited the journals for years will be there, too. I know my student Christian Wallace got accepted, but I’m unsure if he’s going. I hope to see a few other familiar faces while I’m there.
Last year the conference was in Victoria, British Columbia. That was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I still can’t believe how wonderful the hotel was. One of the best things about last year was that my friend David Latham was able to come up. David went to grad school with me, and he now lives in Seattle with his wife. Last fall David caught a ferry from Seattle and made it to Victoria in time to see my panel. It was the last one of the conference so afterwards he and I hit up the pubs and shot the bull and had a great time. David is a white guy but he has lived a majority of his life in China and speaks the language like a native. It turned out that Victoria has a thriving Chinatown so he and I walked around there, and David freaked out one lady when he approached her and started speaking in her native tongue. Her eyes got real big and she said, “Holy shit!” That was pretty funny.
Victoria had some great pubs. I had a beer called Vertical Winter Ale that was one of the tastiest brews I’ve had in a long time. If anyone knows where I can get that here in the states, please let me know.
Anyway, I hope Reno is just as much fun this year. I hope to get some good food, meet some nice people, and maybe pick up a T-shirt or two to prove I went. Who knows. Maybe I’ll even play a hand of Blackjack or two for my old man. I’ll write all about it before Halloween.
A lot is going on this October. The Sacred Springs Pow-Wow is tomorrow, WineFest is going on in Gruene, and the Renaissance Fair is starting up down near Houston tomorrow. It looks like I’ll be going there for Halloween if you can believe it. That will definitely be a blog post. Happy Friday!
Writer living in the hill country of Texas