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Tucson Festival of Books brings joy and love along the way

Along the Salt River Canyon on the way home from the Tucson Festival of Books, Bill and a beautiful view.
Along the Salt River Canyon on the way home from the Tucson Festival of Books, Bill and a beautiful view.
Kareena Maxwell

Last July I sat in my unfinished house and office with fiberglass insulation in pink rolls on the floor. The internet connection was poor and I had to place the computer in the window to get a bar or two of reception. The challenge was also with the publication I write for, the Examiner as I was unable to connect with Google to get my stories out. I was a month over deadline. The window in my unfinished office looked out at raw tumbleweed and the dusty land in the White Mountains. There were barking dogs across the street on chains strong enough to hold back King Kong and they barked every time I went to the window.

In the throes of frustration as I integrated my life to Arizona with my husband, I wanted something to happen. Where are the book festivals I wondered? So with the lap computer up to the window and dogs barking and the heat of the monsoon July in Arizona forcing me to wear a hat and sunglasses in the house, I hooked up the floor fan that clanged as it turned and looked up book festivals.

During challenge that screamed “no” to me that looking at book expos or trying to drum up some book excitement for this former New York City run-around-town type woman; I don’t know if it is me! Or because I come from the media capital of the world, but I always feel like I can make it happen. Anything. Call it alchemy, or desire, visualization and living from the end. Whatever, “it,” is I create my ideas and find them in tangent form and then go after them.

With the computer going on and off with a backwoods type connection, and trying to finding my documents while I was on my husband’s lap top, I found the Tucson Festival of Books. I opened their page, filled in the form and immediately they accepted my application to showcase, and sign my books at their Author Pavilion tent at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They wrote back that in December I would get the information on how to go forward as a signing author for the festival.

As I look back and remember the adversity I remember the unrelenting attitude I had like the pioneers in this country and the folks who keep prodding along even when everything around them says they can’t, not now, I’ll do it later, someday…yeah someday. With no walls and dust and extension cords and centipedes crawling and crickets hopping inside my unfinished home, I finished a thought. I completed a goal.

We made it to the festival on Saturday, March 15th. We wandered the University of Arizona campus, which is amazing with trees and space and ecologically energy sensitive conserving buildings and a great wholesomeness that shows respect for education and students. We roamed and held hands. We took pictures and showcased 2 of my books, “Stanley,” and “The Sex Life of the Everyday Woman.” We had many discussions with the festival roamers… they were there too finding their festival within the festival. Unfinished projects in all of our lives…one 16-year-old student who seemed much older as he asked about my books and an inquisitive woman in a wheel chair who thanked me for writing Stanley…The Stanley Ann Dunham novel.

There are always things around us that can keep us from finishing things off. Do it anyway. Sit in dust and dishes in the sink. Let the flies buzz around your head and interrupt you but don’t let the mundane life chores and uncomfortable unfinished projects hold you back…you can’t go forward unless you see the festival and fun as a possibility. I say go for it. Who needs walls anyway?

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