Blogging from Phoenix

The road goes on forever, and the party never ends, as Robert Earl Keen would say.

I’m writing from Phoenix after my first Arizona school visit yesterday to the Phoenix Country Day School. Beautiful campus, and the kids were great. The school is a private K-12 that struck me as a hybrid of two schools where I’ve taught, Saint Mary’s Hall and Presidio Hill School. I presented to grades 3-8, and we also had visitors from the St. Peter Indian Mission who drove quite a distance to attend the event. In the afternoon, I did two writers’ workshops with grades 5 and 6. They came up with some fascinating characters during our character profile activity — Frank the carwash worker from Houston and Jebediah the forensic pathologist with the artificial leg. We had some budding novelists in the group, no doubt!

This was supposed to be another quick solo trip for me, but then the Guardian newspaper called from the UK. They’ve asked me to participate in a family feature called Cultureshock. The idea is for two family members to trade activities that one likes and the other does not. And because my son Haley was the one who heard Percy Jackson first, they wanted to feature him. Poor Haley! He is extremely media shy (anything that has to do with Dad’s books – except for reading them — he would prefer to steer clear of) but he reluctantly agreed to participate. Because we were short of time, we decided Haley would go with me to my Phoenix book signing at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, something he would never choose to do. Then I would take him to Las Vegas to play in the Circus Circus Midway, which he loves and I don’t. Long story short: the trip became an impromptu family vacation. Haley braved the book signing last night. Now it’s payback time. We’re heading off to Vegas this morning. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we’ll meet our British photographer in Circus Circus to take some photos, and then conduct an interview with the writer in London from our hotel in Las Vegas on Friday. How surreal is that? I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

If you haven’t checked the on-line event calendar in a while, take a look! Most of my May tour dates are now on-line.

Rick Riordan