Wednesday, April 2, 2014

To Aberdeen and Back!

This doesn't count as a Scamping trip, but I went down to Aberdeen to Northern State University yesterday and today to do a reading.  I was supposed to do it last semester, but then there was a blizzard.  As I was prepping to go on Monday, a blizzard hit, bad enough for Concordia to call off classes at noon--and they didn't even close when it was forty below.  I thought that if a blizzard cancelled my reading again, I was going to take that as a sign from the universe that I wasn't ever supposed to go to Aberdeen.  But yesterday was gorgeous, the roads were dry, and it was a lovely drive down.
Is it April Fools that I'm billed as a fiction writer?

I had a great time with Dr. Pen Pearson and her students, as well as a number of her colleagues.  I read some fiction and some nonfiction last night and then visited her fiction class this morning to talk about writing and reading and the publishing life.  Strangely, I thought, the piece that garnered the most attention was the bit I read on what will be part of the intro to the Nova Scotia book, so I got to talk a lot about Scamping.

And I will always think of Aberdeen when I'm in the Scamp, because I stopped at their Goodwill as I drove out of town, and found a little Crock Pot for $4. I'm attempting my first concoction in it right now, on my counter in my apartment, and so far, it seems to be heating up nicely.  I'm experimenting with modifying my favorite beans recipe to fit in the smaller space: today's experiment is one can black beans (rinsed); one can corn; one can Rotel tomatoes with lime and cilantro; one can diced tomatoes.  Some garlic, some Paul's Gunpowder.  I didn't have any fresh cilantro, so we'll see how it goes. I'm not sure the proportions are right--I might want two cans of beans next time.

On the way home, I stopped at the side of the very busy road at a tiny cemetery I saw as I drove into town.  It's no secret that I love cemeteries.  And this one was one I'd like to do more research on.  Too many babies in this plot of ground.
Prairie Cemetery, outside Aberdeen. SD






Lichen on tombstone



And now that I'm back home, safe and sound and catching up on the surprising amount that piles up even over 36 hours, I'm prepping to read with two great students tomorrow night.  All travel writing, all the time!