Archive for April, 2011

Have a free day? Take in some Titian!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The other day I mentioned to my sister, Ryma, that there was an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) that I wished I could see before it closed in early May. Knowing this sister, I should have expected soon to be in a car headed to Minneapolis. I learned at an early age (“Hey, I wonder what it would be like to have hand lotion squirted up your nose?”) not to put an idea into her head unless I was ready to see (feel) it carried through.

So, yesterday, with no reading events scheduled, Ryma, our friend, Becky, and I drove the four hours to the Cities, and took in those gorgeous Diana paintings by Titian (Diana and Actaeon, and Diana and Callisto) that anchored the exhibition: Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting. We met my college buddy, Shari Lynn, there, then grabbed a lunch, and headed back to Fargo. Great day.

When we were at the MIA I kept waiting for one of the docents leading groups through the exhibition to ask for some questions about the methods of that interesting artificer, Jupiter, who had disguised himself as the goddess of the hunt (not to mention chastity), Diana, in order to seduce one of her maidenly followers, Callisto. But they weren’t going there in any detail. Titian’s painting doesn’t focus on that seduction either, but rather on the moment of shame and banishment when the real Diana discovers that Callisto is pregnant.

Radio Interview Tomorrow (April 26)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Tomorrow (1:40 p.m.) I’ll be on the Jack and Sandy Show at KFGO/radio, talking about Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For. I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I’ve been up and down I-94, in and out of Fargo, where, as you can see, things are a little damp. (As a good North Dakotan I feel the need to include a weather report now and then.)

Is this a canal? Nope, just a ditch alongside the highway.

A lake? Nope, a field under water.

This one's easy: a water hazard at the Maple River golf course.

Rain vs. Blue Sky (The blue sky won.)

Spring in Dakota…

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

…is as cloudy as Nabokov’s Fialta, but not at all dull. I have met my new grand-nephew, Jack, and spent some time with his rampaging 2.5-year-old sister, Molly, shared a couple of glasses of wine with friends, taped a TV interview for Prairie Public TV (tentatively set to air on June 17 and 18), and caught up with a college buddy.

Just beating the self-timer on my camera. Here with my college buddy, Kroghie, in Bismarck.

Kroghie lent me some fancy footwear so I could comfortably tromp through the mud (et cetera) while feeding the horses (see background beasts). It’s mud season in the Dakotas.

In Bismarck, April 20, 2011

And then, passing through Jamestown, ND, I decided to make a quick stop to check out the world’s largest buffalo (sitting atop the world’s windiest hill). The buffalo is wisely fenced in to keep local farm kids from backing up with a truck load of manure to dump behind it on Halloween.

World's largest buffalo, Jamestown, North Dakota

Dakota Tour Begins Soon!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I am just about ready to head to the Dakotas (with at least one stop in Minnesota) for my month-long book tour for Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For. I start by taping an interview with John Harris for “Prairie Pulse” on Prairie Public TV on Wednesday, April 20. (I’ll post the date the segment airs as soon as I know.) Then things are quiet until my first reading, at the Fargo Public Library, on April 28th at 7 p.m. After that it gets crazy, but in a good way. Check out Events & Schedule for a listing of tour events.

I’ll be sharing my experiences (and photos, I hope), so please check back, and feel free to add comments!

Authors on the Road

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

(It’s not as dangerous as it sounds.) I will be one of the authors available to travel to schools and communities throughout South Dakota before and after the South Dakota Festival of Books this October as part of their “Authors on the Road” program.

Authors@Google

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

This past week I had the opportunity to read from Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For at the Ann Arbor Google office. The Authors@Google program brings authors of recently published books to the Mountain View headquarters as well as to New York, Santa Monica, Cambridge, Ann Arbor, and other offices. It was a lot of fun to be hosted by this lively group of readers, and to be invited to take a quick tour of the Google office. I’ll post the link to the reading as soon as the video is edited and available.