Dry Heat By Steve Brown
08/01/2012 03:42PM ● Published by Denise Brown
For me, this has been the summer of the Oasis of Mara. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the oasis and the 29 Palms Inn this summer, and I’ll be back again soon for our Desert Writers Celebration on Saturday, September 29. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I love the oasis and the Inn, and even chanced across this wonderful heron while scouting the oasis for our cover shot of author Robin Maxwell and her husband and supporter, Max Thomas. The two “jungled” it up in celebration of Robin’s latest book, JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan, that will be published by Tor this September, with the full support of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., as part of the official Tarzan Centennial.
I have to say, I loved JANE. It had me hooked from the start, and if it had a fault, it was that it read like a book that just couldn’t wait to be made into a movie (deservedly so). If you were hoping to find an adventurous female equivalent of Indiana Jones, you get it with Robin’s Jane. Robin has never served up a wimpy heroine, and wasn’t about to start now.
This issue is all about celebrating our literary creative spirits across the desert—our poets, authors, and writers of all spots and stripes. And on Saturday, September 29, we’ll be at the 29 Palms Inn, celebrating their creative contributions to the culture of our desert. There will be food, drink, writers and poets, African dancers, and much more, so I hope you—our readers—will join us. All desert writers and poets are invited to attend, read their work, and sign and sell their books.
My favorite part of our annual celebrations is getting to meet our writers and poets and enjoy their work in person. This year, we’re adding another dimension to the process. We have invested in a new website this year that allows us to host bloggers from all across the desert region. We have launched the AdventureCORPS Desert Voices Contest online to recruit bloggers from across the desert region, and across the spectrum of interests found in the desert.
Our goal is to recruit bloggers from Calexico to Ridgecrest, Shoshone to Palm Springs, Indio to El Centro, Borrego Springs to Needles—you get the idea. We want to turn our website into a desert-wide community, a location where desert locals and visitors can find useful and lively insights into desert culture, happenings, issues, personalities, and more. When you combine that with the ability to include video, sound, and photos, to list your business or organization for free on the site, to enter your events for free in our online calendar, and all of our content can be shared on social media, commented on or rated, and used to help promote desert businesses and organizations via social media, you’ve got a powerful tool for bringing people together.
We’re not stopping there. Together with Leanna Bonamici and the superb crew from Coachella Valley Entertainment, we just finished filming our pilot episode of The Sun Runner’s Real California Desert TV show—at the Oasis of Mara and the 29 Palms Inn, of course.
The Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms has been welcoming travelers for more than 9,000 years, and continues to welcome them today. That’s a heck of a track record, and the oasis, while it continues to change and evolve, remains a source of life, activity, and beauty. If you’ve been to the Inn a hundred times, or especially if you’ve never been there, I encourage you to come join us for the Desert Writers Celebration and to enjoy an evening with some very creative people at the Oasis of Mara. Thanks to the 29 Palms Inn, the City of Twentynine Palms, and AdventureCORPS, for their support of our creative efforts on behalf of our desert region.