It was fantastic to meet with Tara Singh Carlson, my editor at Penguin. She brought me and my agent, Gráinne, for lunch in Giorgione and we had a lovely companionable natter over delicious pizzas. Back to the Penguin Office on Hudson Street then for a meet-n-greet with lots of the people who will work on my book: sales and marketing people, mostly. All lovely and brimming with positivity about Miss Emily.
The road between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is remarkable - vast blue skies one day, mountains marbled with clouds the next, red earth, reservations dotted with piñons and casinos. These places are at high altitude and the air is thin and fresh and the sun extremely bright. It is a beautiful drive.
|Rail yard, Santa Fe|
|Myles Dungan & Glen Gendzel do Mr Dooley|
|UNM students perform The Weir|
Margot Gayle Backus, who can only be described as a genius, gave an erudite and lively keynote on Irish children in Imperial scandal. Lucky are the Belfast students who will benefit from her being at Queen's on a Fulbright from January 2015.
|Saint Kateri Tekakwitha statue at St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe|
|Gerry Carthy & friend play at the Swiss Bakery|
I went to the launch of a photography book about Ireland by Elizabeth Billups and Gerry Adams (yes, that Gerry) in Collected Works Bookstore. The owner Dorothy fed us tea and cakes while we listened to Elizabeth's enthusiastic take on Ireland and its landscape and people.
|Elizabeth Billups at her Collected Works launch|
It reminded me of my late sister Nessa, a theatre designer, who also specialised in miniature foods and dioramas, among other things. As a collector, and the daughter of committed collectors, I felt right at home among the glorious, eccentric clutter of it all.
|A Tinkertown clown sums up how I felt leaving Santa Fe|