So, thanks to the wonderful Theresa Beckhusen, I read at Indy Reads Books, a lovely bookstore in Indianapolis, and also led a WordLab session there.  The bookstore itself is lovely–the photos below don’t really do it justice–and I can’t say enough about how kind and accommodating the staff was.

The reading and WordLab session went well (to read a summary of the character-mapping exercise I led, click here).  We had a good crowd, and they were game for just about anything, which is a fantastic energy for a teacher to work with.  It’s been a while since I’ve done a reading, and I was happy to learn that I wasn’t as rusty as I’d feared.

Sal and Theresa gave me a whirlwind tour of Indianapolis.  Honestly, I had no idea what to expect.  I visited Purdue’s campus back in 1998 (for Triennium, for those of you who know what that is), but that’s about it.  I must say that Indianapolis is one of the cleanest and most progressive cities I’ve ever visited.  By “progressive,” I mean that things are improving steadily there.  They have an active literary scene.  There are a number of new restaurants featuring locally sourced beer and meats.  There’s a huge brewing scene in Indianapolis, which means every restaurant has 12-300 craft beers on tap.  There’s also a healthy cycling and outdoorsy community there.  Being from Pittsburgh, I couldn’t help but marvel at all the space they have.  Also, since the city’s laid out on a grid, you can just look at something in the distance and directly drive there.  Try that anywhere in Allegheny County and you’ll end up in a river.

Some highlights:

Suntory Whiskey actually exists.  Sal built a fire and we drank about a gallon of it.  It was magical.

Visiting Hero House, a great comics store in downtown.  I bought Issue #1 of Outcast and a copy of Don Lomax’s Gulf War Journal.

The Indiana State Fair.  They had a number of “selfie stations” set up.  I got one in front of a hog farm, and also took one with the Soybean mascot.  It took several tries, considering the sheer size of the costume.

At Fat Dan’s restaurant, eating a rack of ribs off a sheet of butcher paper, with thick brown high school-cafeteria paper towels as napkins.

We didn’t have time to visit the Kurt Vonnegut museum downtown.  So it goes.

Every time a character swore in the new Dragonball Z movie (“That talking purple cat is a real bastard”), you could hear everyone in the theater clucking in disapproval.

The new Dragonball Z movie features a talking purple cat.