The thing that tipped me off to it was this rinky-dink little historical society pamphlet from 1962 in which they were trying to get volunteers in Wyoming to go work on some of these water reclamation archeological surveys, and they mention River Basin Surveys in conjunction with Bighorn Canyon. I thought, “Okay, that has to be a real thing.”
by Lisa Peet
What is a Western today if not its iconography?… We have exhausted the old conflicts of cowboys against Indians, or townspeople clashing with range riders. There are no longer fixed points in the genre except perhaps for this: a Western is the light, the landscape, the beasts that run through it.
You might ask, what of the imagination, but I do not see a separation between the senses and imagination. One flows into the other. Writing from the body has led to writing about the body. Rather than easier or more difficult, my writing has moved into it as I’ve aged.
by Lisa Peet
The Moomins’ is a warm, vaguely communal world of adventurous children—often referred to as “little animals,” which surely tapped right into my fantasy life—and unthreatening adults.
I read a beautiful and haunting anecdote in a guidebook to Rajasthan: it’s possible for children to reach the age of five without ever seeing rain, and therefore the ceilings and walls of royal children’s bedrooms were sometimes painted with cloud designs so that when it did finally rain, they would not be afraid. I wrote this image down, and everything else started spilling out.
We interviewed relatives…. The discussions were lively; people disagreed about what had happened in the past. My great-grandfather had been murdered in Russia. My great uncle, a man in his late 60s, described the murder to us and as he did, he cried. That moment stayed with me.
The hardest time to write is around two in the morning, when it might still be reasonable to turn in. Your throat starts to hurt; you’re sure you’re getting sick; your head feels like a sponge. . . . After 2:30 or so—well, there’s something that happens when it’s late enough.