Friday, April 1, 2011

Upcoming Events, Literary and Archeological

I've got to sort out which of these I'll go to.

April 9-10
4th Annual Old World Stone Carving and Art Show
The vineyard at Florence (near Gault). See some of the oldest stonecarving in America while modern carvers do their stuff. Sheesh, that's soon! If I'm going I'd better decide this weekend.
For information:

April 12-15
Texas Library Association Convention, Austin
I always go to this when it's in town, and if I had a book to promote going would be a no-brainer, but this year...probably not.

April 15 1 PM
Dr. Bruce Bradley Texas State University Evans 114
“Aukward Proposal: The Origin of Clovis Culture."
I probably will go to this one - close by, big authority, subject of considerable interest, curiosity what Auks have to do with Clovis. It happens on tax day but I've been there, done that, spent the refund fixing Moby, ha.

April 22 2PM
Dr. Darrin Lowery Texas State University Evans 311
“Understanding Human Antiquity via Quaternary Geology and Geoarchaeology: A Chesapeake Bay Case Study“
Chesapeake Bay, huh. Geology, huh. On the other hand - there's no characters in geology, which makes it hard for me to take an interest. On the other hand, my most vivid research experience happened when I was reading about the geoarcheology of the Blackwater Draw site and found myself looking down through the page at a marsh swarming with birds on whom soggy Clovis people were sneaking up with nets. Plus, I know zip about Chesapeake Bay archeology, so it'd all be new.

May 7, Site Cleanup Volunteer and BBQ Day at Gault
I need to e-mail Nancy and sign up for this. Of course the barbeque does me no good, but I can eat my low-sodium vegetarian food and sit with people and listen to the archeologists and soak up atmosphere. I don't get to Gault often enough.

May 28 1 PM
Salado Public Library
Dr. Clark Wernecke will speak about the Gault Site
I can probably skip this. I've heard Clark talk about Gault more than any other single person, I think.

June 11 8:30 PM
Reynolds Creek Park Amphitheatre Waco.
Learn about the peopling of the Americas in an outdoor amphitheater on the shores of Lake Waco.
On the one hand, Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos is a fair drive away and I've heard Clark on this topic many times. On the other hand - excuse to go birding. Hmmm...I haven't been birding all year so far...

June 10-12, Austin
Writer's League of Texas Agents Conference
I need to meet and schmooze agents, but money's tight and we might or might not be in the middle of fixing the back of the house. Is meeting the agents and editors who'll be there worth the ticket price plus hotel, plus depriving Damon of the use of Moby? It's better to stay at the hotel than commute to a friend's house for events like this. I need to study up and make up my mind before the cheaper rates expire.

June 14 7PM
Sierra Club Austin Scholz Beer Garden, Austin
General meeting open to the public. Dr. Wernecke will discuss theories of the
peopling of the Americas.
Clark again; but closer, and he's almost bound to skew it a little differently for the Sierra Club.


  1. Not sure how sweeping your statement "there's no characters in geology" was meant to be, but I couldn't let it go without a comment! I know it's a long way from Texas, but in my part of the world one of the local heroes was Mary Anning (1799 - 1847), who was a geologist and a great character -- Tracy Chevalier wrote a novel about her!


  2. Ah, well, clearly there are characters and drama in the history of the science of geology, but I was referring to the things the science of geology reveals to us, which tend to happen on scales far too vast for human stories. With rare exceptions, involving catastrophic events, you'd have to tell a family saga in order to get at the story in the rock formations; whereas you can touch hands with an individual across millenia by picking up a sidescraper and recognizing it as something made and used by someone like yourself.

    However, in order to understand the archeology you've got to have the geological data, and a well-informed geologist can give you a landscape that your imagination can then populate. So this one's still on the list of possibles.

  3. If a geological catastrophe should happen to appeal to you, though, I can think of no better than the Missoula Glacial Floods that transferred the topsoil of eastern Washington into the Willamette Valley.

    The Valley was not inhabited by humans at all at the time, according to current archaeology, but current archaeology could be in error. The Valley might even be the sight of an Atlantis-like lost civilization. Or it could be time travellers.

    The dramatic sweep of events, though: the breaking of the glacial dam, the washing away of entire counties of soil (turning fertile grassland and forest into desert overnight), the flooding of the Valley with a short-lived inland sea, the receding of the waters to reveal a strange, Kansas-flat new landscape....

    Anyone who survived the disaster along any part of the Columbia's path would return home to find the world changed beyond recognition -- if only because the gorge now has an immense river flowing through it all the way to the sea.

  4. I actually have a campaign/book idea based on geology at the end of the Pleistocene, but that'll wait till Sunday.