It’s December 2017. I’m at a windswept campground just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, about to travel to Baja California in a three-vehicle convoy of women I barely know. Lori hands me a walkie talkie so we can communicate while we’re driving. “I’m Big Bear. Oso Grande,” she says. “Cami is Little Bear, Osito.” She… Read More Call Me Jenny Quest.
I get this question a lot with the Avion — and now I’m getting it with the Silver Streak. No, it’s not an Airstream. But all of them drew on the same post-World War Two airplane design and technology — riveted aluminum, rounded edges for streamlined aerodynamics on the road. “Famous Aircraft Riveted Construction” They… Read More Is it an Airstream?
Radical Embodiment. The first time I heard the term, it raised the hair on my arms. It means different things in different contexts. In the world of artificial intelligence, it’s about the challenges of imbuing cyborgs with an innate sense of themselves, a “natural” embodiment in an unnatural body. In the diverse worlds of somatic-centered… Read More Radical Embodiment
SQUEEEEE! It’s official: I am the deliriously happy owner of this 1978 Silver Streak trailer! As with the Avion, this came to me through the kind of lucky coincidence that really suggests the hand of fate at work. In early February, I got a phone call out of the blue from Lois Codd, a lovely… Read More Home Sweet Home
As I was scrounging around in my Scrivener archive today, I found this piece I wrote nearly a year ago, in April 2018, as I was gearing up for the Heart of America tour. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it then. It seems even more relevant now that I’m back and have had… Read More Find Myself a City to Live In
It started as a goof. I saw the photo on Facebook (posted by Peritronia Espinel): a New Year’s street banner, photographed from the back so that “2019” reads as “eros.” I shared the on Facebook with a little blurb saying I’d been pondering my Word of the Year — maybe this was it! I had,… Read More Word of the Year: eros
Last August, I got an email about the 2019 Key West Literary Seminar. I’d been there ten years earlier, in 2009, when the theme was Historical Fiction and I was looking for help transforming my academic work on Crossfire and the Hollywood blacklist into a historical novel. That workshop a decade ago with novelist-memoirist-travel writer… Read More The Animal Club
Last winter I came to the Fountain of Youth intending to jumpstart — and hopefully finish — The File on Margot Black, the historical novel project inspired by my academic work on the 1947 film Crossfire and the House Un-American Activities investigation into Hollywood radicalism. Even as I was working on my PhD dissertation and… Read More Auf Wiedersehen, Margot Black
I discovered the Fountain of Youth on my first extended road trip in the Avion. I’d celebrated New Year’s 2017 on the road, but it was just a weekend jaunt to an RV park near Lake Berryessa. I’d won a drawing at CamperWorld for a free stay and that seemed like an auspicious way to… Read More Hello Again, Fountain of Youth!
We’ve run them, we’ve crunched them, added them up and broken them down, and finally, the numbers are in! For those of you with a quantitative bent, enjoy. For those of you looking for something a bit more qualitative, what can I say…. It was a really big road trip and we need some down… Read More By the Numbers: The Heart of America Tour