The Overdue, Untimely, Yet Unforgotten Phoenix Post

I am alive. Working on pacing in the last third of this novel. Working on pacing in my life, so at least I have that meme going for me. Working on not being distracted by the news from the publishing world which increasingly makes my goal of being in print seem fantastical and naive. Working on embracing the new brave world seeing its promise of self-determination as an advantage, rather than daunting.

Speaking of fantasy, though, I never did tell you about what I’ve been doing. Shall we begin with my trip to Phoenix?

The ToolMaster had to travel for work, and Grandma was kind enough to come stay with the kids, so P and I had a week together. It was lovely, peeps. Lovely. He’s a hard-working man and we aren’t as careful as we could be about taking date night. But date week? Amazing. Really nice to know that I’m still married to my best bud, even nicer when it comes with a housekeeping-free backdrop.

He’d work all day and while he did, I gave myself permission to read — I think I managed 9 novels; to write — I took care of interviewing business; to eat — which was my second most successful endeavour. (If you are American, let me just say I’m jealous of you and your Sweet Tomatoes restaurant with its 50-foot salad bar and amazing service. Every day I’d get up and walk from the hotel through the desert heat the mile or so to the nearest one. I would be drenched with sweat and righteously salted and still feel like I’d snagged a deal.)

I also became reasonably good at the always-dangerous, high-contact sport of pool-lounging, though had two close encounters with dangerous beasts: $12 cocktails.


This is another place I will betray my garage-sale-lovin’, thrift-store-savvy roots, because while those drinks were good, they amounted to a blenderized  7-11 Slurpee, 3 berries, and a shot of vodka. What’s up with that?

Anyway, here are a few shots of the city and hotel. None of the people in the pictures are the ToolMaster or I.

Driveway approach to the hotel

Cultivated cacti

The lazy river pool

A lounge in our hotel

Now, I live in a forest-shadowed city in the midst of the prairies, so this landscape is exotic to me, never mind the deluxe accommodations. Truthfully, I’m more at home in the mountains and a tent. But I sure liked the change from the routine.

Also, my first novel, which I’ll be revising and hoping to shop when I’m done this one, was inspired by the Sonoran Desert and Phoenix. Reconnecting with that quite foreign landscape was wonderful for writing.

How has your summer been? Are you making time for your significant other? Have you been anywhere that’s pushed you out of your comfort zone? Have you been to Sweet Tomatoes, and if not, why not? If you appreciate simple, home-cooked food, their corn bread and chickpea soup is fantastic.

Now, if I can keep my momentum going, I’ll share pictures from New York soon, talking about leaving comfort zones…

20 thoughts on “The Overdue, Untimely, Yet Unforgotten Phoenix Post

  1. Gorgeous photos!!

    I lived in Tucson for two years in the 90’s, and we always went to Sweet Tomatoes — loved it because I think we paid for the kids by their ages!!

    Love the landscape of the Arizona Southwest. I have not been back since leaving in 1999. I just wrote a short story about the desert, I’ll surely let you know if it gets published!

  2. I’ve been to that resort! It’s gorgeous. There was/is a Hawaiian themed restaurant there where I had the best mahi-mahi ever, with a macadamia nut crust. Those bring back some memories of what was good about AZ (which isn’t much 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed it there. It’s a lovely place to relax and spoil yourself.

  3. Sounds like you had a lovely trip! I enjoy going to the desert every once in a while, although the last time it was Las Vegas, which makes you forget there’s a desert. LOL There’s always something beguiling about the lack of green and the wide-open flat spaces. . .but then I’m ready for the greenery again after a few days.

  4. The landscape around Phoenix is inspiring. Not a big fan of Sweet Tomatoes, OTOH. I used to love the Rotten Tomatoes show on Al Gore’s Current TV network, but it got cancelled.

  5. Beautiful pictures, Jan — made me want to go there.

    My summer is unspooling too quickly, but it was nice to check in here and see what you have been up to!

  6. Much self-imposed computer-interruptus while I’m in Australia this trip, so I’m very, very late commenting on this post. Great to know you had this trip together. I love the Arizona desert, although a bit like a furnace at this time of year.

    Summer has been a fiction writing drought for me, and also a non-event in terms of time off for both husband and me. But I needed to shake it up and reconnect with family, so I impulsively took myself off to Australia on a very cheap flight and here I am – in Winter! A change of scene has been great and my mother is happy to have real hugs after months of virtual ones. My batteries are being recharged and I’m looking forward to ‘date week’ with my husband when I get back, plus a new writing critique group.
    Good luck with your writing goals, Jan!

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