Sunday, December 31, 2006

Arrived back in Bamako last night. Another long trip, more than 27 hours door-to-door from Allyson’s parents’ home in Johnson City, Tennessee. I’ve done a lot of traveling since Thanksgiving: Bamako to Kansas City to Paris to Johnson City to Bamako. The research in Kansas City went well, and Allyson and I had a great time in Paris. But it’s good to be home again.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Out on Highway 24 near Moberly, Missouri, I saw a sign that said TRUCKS OVER 22 TONS 15 MPH ON BRIDGE. Now, if a truck might be too heavy for a bridge, wouldn’t it make more sense for it to spend as little time as possible on said bridge? Why slow down? I say the heavy trucks should floor it when they get to that bridge.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Been on the road most of the week, doing research in Hannibal, Missouri and Decatur, Illinois. Hannibal is a nice town, even if they take the whole Mark Twain thing a little too far (e.g., Huck’s Taxi Service). Decatur is just plain scary. Kind of post-apocalyptic, actually. Broken traffic lights, street signs faded beyond legibility. The parking meters downtown are covered with green and red plastic bags, presumably because parking is free during the holidays, but it just looks kind of trashy. I stayed at the Tri-Manor Motel – scariest motel I have stayed in EVER. I think Harry Truman might have stayed there when he drove across the country in 1953, but you won’t see any ex-presidents there today. The lock on the door was what you’d find on your bathroom door at home, no deadbolt, no chain. I guess I didn't shut it tight enough, because the wind blew it open at two o’clock in the morning. Scared the s*** out of me.

I’m back in Kansas City now. Plan to do some writing this weekend. Next Wednesday I leave for Paris. Allyson and I will spend a few days there, then fly back to the States for Christmas.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nice piece about my book (for some unknown reason) in today's Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal. Click here to read it (it's toward the bottom of the page). Once again, however, a good blurb eludes me...