Thursday, January 03, 2019

Chicanonautica: Hiding Out in Sedona, Thinking About 2019

Emily and I had been trying to sneak out of Phoenix for months. We finally managed to do it the day after Christmas.

Flags were at half-staff across Arizona. I can't keep track about what it's for anymore. Maybe the government shutdown. Maybe we should leave them like that until the administration self-destructs.

Meanwhile, electric signs flashed: GRAND CANYON IS OPEN TRAVEL SAFELY.

Our room at the Matterhorn Inn in Sedona had a spectacular view of the red rock mountains, and their fantastic, slow-motion, light and shadow show, not to mention Venus rising in the morning.

Most of the restaurants were closed on Christmas, but we did find Los Rosales Authentic Mexican food in what Emily called the “multicultural part of Sedona.” It was a family/neighborhood place.
Sedona is getting barrio. Good. Remember that barrio means neighborhood, not ghetto.

Emily an I taste salsa the way other taste wine “Not bad . . . A hint of lime . . . Flavorful rather than hot . . . Wait! . . . The spices sneak up on on you . . .” 

When I first moved to Arizona, back in the Nineteen-Eighties. Sedona was so Anglo that it felt like I as scouting for an affirmative action program when I went there. Now it's less of a safe place for lotus-eating white people to buy high-priced spirituality products and more of Wild West Disneyland with lots of brown and Asian tourists. You hear Spanish spoken along the main drag.

What a brave new world . . .

We ate at some of our favorite restaurants, and did some hiking at Red Rock State park.

All the while, I contemplated 2019, how it may outperform 2018 on all fronts, and what it means to be a Chicano science fiction writer in these tumultuous times. There have been opportunities, even though mainstream publishing still treats me like I'm on probation. My growing reputation at universities will come in handy. I have projects to finish, and deals to pursue. 
And then there's all those unexpected things that keep popping up.

Meanwhile, news keeps leaking in about the threats to close down the border.

Will the electric signs soon flash: THE BORDER IS CLOSED TRAVEL SAFELY?

Life gets more rasquache sci-fi every day. Somehow, I manage to keep ahead of it in my writing.

As we left Sedona, clouds brushed the mountain tops. We ran into snow flurries in Jerome.

In 2019, Ernest Hogan is going to struggle to finish a novel about a Chicano science fiction writer dealing with a singularity that's crazier than anybody imagined.


Javier Hernandez said...

Wishing you good times ahead!


Thanks, Javier! I don't know how the robots got in. Guess it's gonna be that kinda year.