Arizona Desert Quotes

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For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
He'd always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite.
Dorothy B. Hughes (The Expendable Man)
Water, water, water... There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount...unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
They cannot see that growth for the sake of growth is a cancerous madness, that Phoenix and Albuquerque will not be better cities to live in when their populations are doubled again and again. They would never understand that an economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
New skin, a new land! And a land of liberty, if that is possible! I chose the geology of a land that was new to me, and that was young, virgin, and without drama, that of America. I traveled in America, but instead of romantically and directly rubbing the snakeskin of my body against the asperities of its terrain, I preferred to peel protected within the armor of the gleaming black crustacean of a Cadillac which I gave Gala as a present. Nevertheless all the men who admire and the women who are in love with my old skin will easily be able to find its remnants in shredded pieces of various sizes scattered to the winds along the roads from New York via Pittsburgh to California. I have peeled with every wind; pieces of my skin have remained caught here and there along my way, scattered through that "promised land" which is America; certain pieces of this skin have remained hanging in the spiny vegetation of the Arizona desert, along the trails where I galloped on horseback, where I got rid of all my former Aristotelian "planetary notions." Other pieces of my skin have remained spread out like tablecloths without food on the summits of the rocky masses by which one reaches the Salt Lake, in which the hard passion of the Mormons saluted in me the European phantom of Apollinaire. Still other pieces have remained suspended along the "antediluvian" bridge of San Francisco, where I saw in passing the ten thousand most beautiful virgins in America, completely naked, standing in line on each side of me as I passed, like two rows of organ-pipes of angelic flesh with cowrie-shell sea vulvas.
Salvador Dalí (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)
If it crosses your mind that water running through hundreds of miles of open ditch in a desert will evaporate and end up full of concentrated salts and muck, then let me just tell you, that kind of negative thinking will never get you elected to public office in the state of Arizona. When this giant new tap turned on, developers drew up plans to roll pink stucco subdivisions across the desert in all directions. The rest of us were supposed to rejoice as the new flow rushed into our pipes, even as the city warned us this water was kind of special. They said it was okay to drink but don't put it in an aquarium because it would kill the fish. Drink it we did, then, filled our coffee makers too, and mixed our children's juice concentrate with fluid that would gag a guppy. Oh, America the Beautiful, where are our standards?
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The gene pool ran pretty small on the Arizona Strip.
Betty Webb (Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2))
They hike almost three miles without incident, and it's amazing to watch the colors leach back into the desert after the day's blanching. There's a moment, Lydia realizes, or no, more than a moment - a span of perhaps fifteen minutes just at twilight - when the desert is the most perfect place that exists. The temperature, the light, the colors, all hang and linger at some unflawed precipice, like the cars of a roller coaster ticking ever so slowly over their apex before the crash. The light droops ever farther from the sky, and Lydia can smell the heat of the day wicking away from her skin.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Nonsense! Nonsense!” snorted Tasbrough. “That couldn’t happen here in America, not possibly! We’re a country of freemen.” “The answer to that,” suggested Doremus Jessup, “if Mr. Falck will forgive me, is ‘the hell it can’t!’ Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious!—than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr. Senator Berzelius Windrip owns his State. Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio—divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees? Could Hitler’s bunch, or Windrip’s, be worse? Remember the Kuklux Klan? Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut ‘Liberty cabbage’ and somebody actually proposed calling German measles ‘Liberty measles’? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia! Remember our kissing the—well, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aimée McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it? Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy?. . .Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children? Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon? Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution?. . .Remember the Kentucky night-riders? Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition—shooting down people just because they might be transporting liquor—no, that couldn’t happen in America! Why, where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours! We’re ready to start on a Children’s Crusade—only of adults—right now, and the Right Reverend Abbots Windrip and Prang are all ready to lead it!” “Well, what if they are?
Sinclair Lewis (It Can't Happen Here)
Fleetingly he wondered what the man's life had been like, where it had gone so desperately wrong. No one tried to end up like this, alone and defenseless and poor, eking a living from the harsh Arizona desert.
Kristin Hannah (When Lightning Strikes)
Rather than let author and environmentalist Edward Abbey be buried in a traditional cemetery, his friends stole his body, wrapped it in a sleeping bag, and hauled it in the back of his pickup truck to the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona. They drove down a long dirt road and dug a hole when they reached the end of it, marking Abbey’s name on a nearby stone and pouring whiskey onto the grave. Fitting tribute for Abbey, who spent his career warning humanity of the harm in separating ourselves from nature. “If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves,” he once said. Left
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
You could have been Bethany Matthews, Delia Hopkins, Cleopatra - it wouldn't matter. And if you'd grown up with a thousand lemon trees in the middle of the desert, with a cactus instead of a Christmas tree and a pet armadillo, well then, I would have gone to law school at Arizona State, I guess. I would have defended illegal aliens crossing the border. But we still would have wound up together, Dee. No matter what kind of life I had, you'd be at the end of it.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
The region is altogether valueless. After entering it, there is nothing to do but leave. -Lt. Edward Beale, Congress report on Arizona, 1858
Sean Condon (Lonely Planet Journeys: Drive Thru America)
All the various time travel devices used by Verne and Bert were stored in the repository, Poe explained, including the ones that had never quite worked as they were meant to. There was one that resembled a blue police box from London—“Stolen by a doctor with delusions of grandeur,” said Poe—one that was simply a large, transparent sphere—“Created by a scientist with green skin and too much ego,” said Verne—and one that was rather ordinary by comparison. “This one looks like an automobile,” John said admiringly, “with wings.” “The doors open that way for a reason,” Verne explained, “we just never figured out what it was. The inventor of this particular model tried integrating his designs into a car, an airplane, and even a steam engine train. He was running a crackpot laboratory in the Arizona desert, and he never realized that it was not his inventions themselves, but his proximity to some sort of temporal fluctuation in the local topography, that allowed them to work.” “What happened to him?” asked Jack. “He’d get the machines up to one hundred and six miles per hour,” said Bert, “and then he’d run out of fuel and promptly get arrested by whatever constabulary had been chasing him. The sad part was that Jules figured out if he’d just gone two miles an hour faster, he’d likely have been successful in his attempt.
James A. Owen (The Dragon's Apprentice (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #5))
Many peoples practiced agriculture, but they were never obsessed by the delusion that what they were doing was *right*, that everyone in the entire world had to practice agriculture, that every last square yard of the planet had to be devoted to it... If they got tired of being agriculturalists, if they found they didn't like where it was leading them in their particular adaptation, they were *able* to give it up. They didn't say to themselves, 'Well, we've got to keep going at this even if it kills us, because its the *right* way to live.' For example, there was once a people who constructed a vast network of irrigation canals in order to farm the deserts of what is now southeastern Arizona. They maintained these canals for three thousand years and built a fairly advanced civilization, but in the end they were free to say, 'This is a toilsome and unsatisfying way to live, so to hell with it.' They simply walked away from the whole thing and put it so totally out of mind that we don't even know what they called themselves. The only name we have for them is the one the Pima Indians gave them: Hohokam--those who vanished. But it's not going to be this easy for the Takers. It's going to be hard as hell for them to give it up, because what they're doing is *right*... Giving it up would mean that all along they'd been *wrong*. It would mean they'd *never* known how to rule the world. It would mean relinquishing their pretensions to godhood.... It would mean spitting out the fruit of that tree and giving the rule of the world back to the gods.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
Picking oranges in Florida. Pushing a broom in New Orleans. Mucking out horse-stalls in Lufkin, Texas. Handing out real estate brochures on street corners in Phoenix, Arizona. Working jobs that pay cash. ... The faces on the currency don't matter. What matters is the sight of a weathervane against a violent pink sunset, the sound of his heels on an empty road in Utah, the sound of the wind in the New Mexico desert, the sight of a child skipping rope beside a junked-out Chevrolet Caprice in Fossil, Oregon. What matters is the whine of the powerlines beside Highway 50 west of Elko, Nevada, and a dead crow in a ditch outside Rainbarrel Springs. Sometimes he's sober and sometimes he gets drunk. Once he lays up in an abandoned shed-this is just over the California state line from Nevada-and drinks for four days straight. It ends with seven hours of off-and-on vomiting. For the first hour or so, the puking is so constant and so violent he is convinced it will kill him. Later on, he can only wish it would. And when it's over, he swears to himself that he's done, no more booze for him, he’s finally learned his lesson, and a week later lies drunk again and staring up at the strange stars behind the restaurant where he has hired on as a dishwasher. He is an animal in a trap and he doesn't care. ... Sometimes he asks himself what he thinks he's doing, where the hell he's going, and such questions are apt to send him in search of the next bottle in a hurry. Because he's really not going anywhere. He's just following the highways in hiding and dragging his trap along behind him, he's just listening to the call of those roads and going from one to the next. Trapped or not, sometimes he is happy; sometimes he sings in his chains like the sea. He wants to see the next weathervane standing against the next pink sunset. He wants to see the next silo crumbling at the end of some disappeared farmer's long-abandoned north field and see the next droning truck with TONOPAH GRAVEL or ASPLUNDH HEAVY CONSTRUCTION written on the side. He's in hobo heaven, lost in the split personalities of America. He wants to hear the wind in canyons and know that he's the only one who hears it. He wants to scream and hear the echoes run away.
Stephen King
Lydia can't see it from the dark place where she is, but she can sense it. She knows that it's the perfect time of day out there in the desert. She imagines the colors making a show of themselves outside. The glittering gray pavement, the aching red land. The colors streaking flamboyantly across the sky. When she closes her eyes, she can see them, the paint in the firmament. Dazzling. Purple, yellow, orange, pink, and blue. She can see those perfect colors, hot and bright, a feathered headdress. Beneath, the landscape stretches out its arms.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
The sky is scrubbed fresh and stark blue by the gone rain, but every trace of that water has evaporated from the earth around them. It feels like a dream, all that rainfall. 'This is a cycle,' she thinks. Every day a fresh horror, and when it's over, this feeling of surreal detachment. A disbelief, almost, in what they just endured. The mind is magical. Human beings are magical.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
I take it that liberals would be dismayed if Mexicans began beheading people in America, based on their relentless mocking of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s claim, in July 2010, that there had been beheadings in the Arizona desert. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank sneered: “Ay, caramba! Those dark-skinned foreigners are now severing the heads of fair-haired Americans? Maybe they’re also scalping them or shrinking them or putting them on a spike.”57 Salon.com cited Brewer’s remark to sneer that “as you can see, Jan Brewer is crazy.”58 Apparently, liberals considered it pretty far-fetched that Mexican cartel violence would ever, in a million years, cross into America. So if it ever did, that would be a big deal, right? Three months after Brewer’s claim, Mexicans beheaded a man in Arizona.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
By the time Professor Krutch retired from Columbia, he moved to Arizona and embarked on a new profession: biologist. He studied the ecology of the desert. In his autobiography, he asserts that the ideal would be to change professions every seven years. He started out originally to become a mathematician, was a biographer, writer, critic, professor and, later in life, a biologist. He appeared several times on national T.V. in 1958-9, discussing the fauna and flora of Arizona and of Baja California. It was my privilege to be his student. On T.V. I relished the sight of him and the sound of his voice. His autobiography "More Lives than One" gives the whole picture of this universal man, the life of this extraordinary intellectual, of his unbounded curiosity and depth of observation.
Pearl Fichman (Before Memories Fade)
Twelve years ago I left Boston and New York, and moved east and west at the same time. East, to a little village in Devon, England, a town I’ve been familiar with for years, since my friends Brian and Wendy Froud and Alan Lee all live there. It had long been my dream to live in England, so I finally bought a little old cottage over there. But I decided, both for visa and health reasons, living there half the year would be better than trying to cope with cold, wet Dartmoor winters. At that point, Beth Meacham had moved out to Arizona, and I discovered how wonderful the Southwest is, particularly in the wintertime. Now I spend every winter-spring in Tucson and every summer-autumn in England. Both places strongly affect my writing and my painting. They’re very opposite landscapes, and each has a very different mythic history. In Tucson, the population is a mix of Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Euro-Americans of various immigrant backgrounds — so the folklore of the place is a mix of all those things, as well as the music and the architecture. The desert has its own colors, light, and rhythms. In Devon, by contrast, it’s all Celtic and green and leafy, and the color palette of the place comes straight out of old English paintings — which is more familiar to me, growing up loving the Pre-Raphaelites and England’s ‘Golden Age’ illustrators. I’ve learned to love an entirely different palette in Arizona, where the starkness of the desert is offset by the brilliance of the light, the cactus in bloom, and the wild colors of Mexican decor.
Terri Windling
When a middle school teacher in San Antonio, Texas, named Rick Riordan began thinking about the troublesome kids in his class, he was struck by a topsy-turvy idea. Maybe the wild ones weren’t hyperactive; maybe they were misplaced heroes. After all, in another era the same behavior that is now throttled with Ritalin and disciplinary rap sheets would have been the mark of greatness, the early blooming of a true champion. Riordan played with the idea, imagining the what-ifs. What if strong, assertive children were redirected rather than discouraged? What if there were a place for them, an outdoor training camp that felt like a playground, where they could cut loose with all those natural instincts to run, wrestle, climb, swim, and explore? You’d call it Camp Half-Blood, Riordan decided, because that’s what we really are—half animal and half higher-being, halfway between each and unsure how to keep them in balance. Riordan began writing, creating a troubled kid from a broken home named Percy Jackson who arrives at a camp in the woods and is transformed when the Olympian he has inside is revealed, honed, and guided. Riordan’s fantasy of a hero school actually does exist—in bits and pieces, scattered across the globe. The skills have been fragmented, but with a little hunting, you can find them all. In a public park in Brooklyn, a former ballerina darts into the bushes and returns with a shopping bag full of the same superfoods the ancient Greeks once relied on. In Brazil, a onetime beach huckster is reviving the lost art of natural movement. And in a lonely Arizona dust bowl called Oracle, a quiet genius disappeared into the desert after teaching a few great athletes—and, oddly, Johnny Cash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers—the ancient secret of using body fat as fuel. But the best learning lab of all was a cave on a mountain behind enemy lines—where, during World War II, a band of Greek shepherds and young British amateurs plotted to take on 100,000 German soldiers. They weren’t naturally strong, or professionally trained, or known for their courage. They were wanted men, marked for immediate execution. But on a starvation diet, they thrived. Hunted and hounded, they got stronger. They became such natural born heroes, they decided to follow the lead of the greatest hero of all, Odysseus, and
Christopher McDougall (Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance)
The route led through the enchanted chaos of the Arizona deserts, a country mostly of naked rock in mesas, peaks, and gashed canyons, painted tremendous colors with brushes of comet’s hair. Frequently it was a giant-cactus country — saguaro by designers of modern decoration, cholla by medieval torturers — or a country of yuccas and the yucca’s weirdest form, the Joshua tree. Sometimes it was even a grass country. And through most of the route it was a country where occasionally you could find the characteristic oasis of the Southwest, a little, hidden arroyo with something of a stream in it, choked with cottonwoods, green plants blooming only a rifle shot from desolation.
Bernard DeVoto (The Year Of Decision, 1846)
ONCE, WHEN I WAS THIRTEEN YEARS old, my parents moved me from the land of flat, grassy prairies and towering, angry tornadoes and life-giving cool country air to the mysterious land of suffocating dust and prickly cactus and life-sucking desert heat to lord over a park of western-themed amusements that bring delight to many young children and a handful of immature grown-ups. In other words, we moved from Kansas to Arizona to run a theme park, but it sounds much more exciting when I say it the other way, and I want you to think this is going to be an exciting story. What I mean is, it’s absolutely going to be an exciting story. Prepare yourselves accordingly.
Dusti Bowling (Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus)
The city of Gregoria was ahead. The boys were sleeping, and I was alone in my eternity at the wheel, and the road ran straight as an arrow. Not like driving across Carolina, or Texas, or Arizona, or Illinois; but like driving across the world and into the places where we would finally learn ourselves among the Fellahin Indians of the world, the essential strain of the basic primitive, wailing humanity that stretches in a belt around the equatorial belly of the world from Malaya (the long fingernail of China) to India the great subcontinent to Arabia to Morocco to the selfsame deserts and jungles of Mexico and over the waves to Polynesia to mystic Siam of the Yellow Robe and on around, on around, so that you hear the same mournful wail by the rotted walls of Cádiz, Spain, that you hear 12,000 miles around in the depths of Benares the Capital of the World.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Ginny had named her supper club after the prominent mesquite tree that shaded the home's picturesque front garden. She adored these deciduous trees---native to Arizona---with their soft, ferny canopies that dotted the desert landscape. The species of velvet mesquite on her property routinely produced fragrant spikes of yellow flowers in April and sometimes again in August after it rained. The blossoms reminded Ginny of random bursts of sunshine. She hoped all who saw them took them as a good omen, just as she had upon discovering the house.
Nicole Meier (The Second Chance Supper Club)
Not infrequently in the wide skies over Yuma and other parts of the arid Southwest, residents watch sheets of rain begin to unfurl from auspicious purple storm clouds, backlit by the sun. But the rain stops halfway, hanging mid-horizon like a magician's trick. Known as rain streamers or by their scientific name VIRGA, the half-sheets evaporate into the dry air before the rain can reach the ground.
Cynthia Barnett (Rain: A Natural and Cultural History)
Will nature rebel? Will the Colorado burst its dams? Will the cost of maintaining our enormous water and energy networks become prohibitive? Or will we ourselves rebel for spiritual and ascetic reason and put a brake on growth? No one really knows. But if we want to create a society in Arizona that is more than a series of booms and busts, we need to make the fit between nature and culture more like a membrane and less like a life-support system. There is too much at stake in this wild, dry land to do otherwise.
Thomas E. Sheridan (Arizona: A History)
Major Donahue was briefing them on their mission. Their very classified mission. Their very classified mission to use their attack helicopters on a civilian target, inside the United States. Arizona to be specific. They were briefed that a very dangerous parahuman was on the loose in the desert, being tracked by another military unit.
C.E. Martin (Brothers in Stone (Stone Soldiers #2))
a seasonally flowing stream of water and an amazing amount of desert vegetation, trees, and wildlife. Just to the west, the San Pedro River valley and the richest habitat for birds and mammals anywhere in the Southwest. With over eighty different mammals and four hundred species of birds, the San Pedro River Valley was home to more than half the species of birds found in the entire United States. This little section of southern Arizona had more species of animals than any other place in the contiguous United States.
William Struse (The 13th Enumeration)
Teenagers without strong family ties can become so dependent on their peer group that they will do anything to be accepted by it. About twenty years ago in Tucson, Arizona, the entire senior class of a large high school knew for several months that an older dropout from the school, who had kept up a “friendship” with the younger students, had been killing their classmates, and burying their corpses in the desert. Yet none of them reported the crimes to the authorities, who discovered them by chance. The students, all nice middle-class suburban kids, claimed that they could not divulge the murders for fear of being cut by their friends.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
As they passed the giant saguaro cacti, Amelia knew they were getting close to home. They were magnificent, standing like humungous pitchforks in the middle of the desert. To her, it represented the American West... Amelia noticed Sam in the distance. He seemed intrigued by the Teddy Bear Chollas. Sam was not originally from Arizona, so he seemed enchanted by the fuzzy little cactus. As he reached toward it, Amelia yelled, "Stop! No! Don't touch that, Sam!" But it was too late. The little razor sharp needles seemed to jump toward his finger...
Linda Weaver Clarke (The Mysterious Doll (Amelia Moore Detective Series #4))
Wait a goddamn minute!” Rick snapped. “You have to tell me about the fucking spaceship!” “Will your ride be waiting?” Jerry asked. “He’ll wait!” “Well, okay then. I was camping with a couple of friends. We were in Arizona, way out in the middle of nowhere. We’d been in Sedona, but we moved out into the desert. When my friends woke up in the morning, I was gone. I woke up—I don’t know when—inside this spaceship. I had no memory of being snatched. It was like silver glass on the inside and the people—the aliens—had on suits that covered them from head to toe, breathing like Darth Vader, and I was stripped bare and lying out on a silver table. They were studying me and poking at me and talking in what sounded like high-pitched squeaks. Like dolphins. “My friends got a search party going back in Arizona, but after two weeks of not being able to find me, they all gave up the search. They assumed I’d wandered off and died in the desert. But at some point, again in a total blackout, I found myself back in the desert of Arizona—alone. A park ranger found me and picked me up. The story goes that I wandered off from our camp and hallucinated due to dehydration, but that isn’t what happened.” “Maybe it did,” Rick said. Jerry shook his head. “I wasn’t dehydrated. And after weeks of being missing in the desert, my clothes weren’t damaged. Not torn or dirty or anything.” He looked at his watch. “I’ve researched—mine is not the lone account of such a thing. I’ll be glad to give you what other details I can remember at the end of our next session, if you’re interested.” Rick sat back in his chair and just stared at the guy. “How often does this spaceship trick work for you?” Jerry grinned. “Every time.” *
Robyn Carr (Paradise Valley)
Oliver Marley supposed there were more dignified ways to end his life. A lifelong victim to the twin sins of an infertile imagination and pragmatism, the thought of travel simply never crossed his mind.   Had it occurred to him, Oliver could have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, into the abyss of the Grand Canyon or said au revoir off the Eiffel Tower. But truth be told, Oliver never was much of a traveler. Even locally there were certainly higher quality casinos to choose from, taller parking garages from which to leap. Instead he found himself perched atop the nearest appropriately-sized structure to his home, that being the parking garage of the Circus Time Hotel & Casino. His view not of Alcatraz Island and the rough waters of the San Francisco Bay, nor the breathtaking vistas of the Arizona desert, or the romanticism of the Paris skyline for that matter. Rather he found himself bathed in a noxious blend of pink and green neon, staring into a pair of giant blinking pastel eyes belonging to the eighty-foot clown staring down at him like a frilly guardian angel. Then again, when your primary objective is to pancake yourself on a public sidewalk, perhaps you’re not in the best position to nitpick over the intricacies of what does and does not constitute bad taste. Oliver would just have to live with the clown, at least for another minute or two.
Kingfisher Pink (Marley)
Desert Ridge High School in Arizona even blamed the future unemployment of high school boys on the domino effect that occurs when boy sees young woman in yoga pants, boy gets distracted, boy fails all his classes, boy works as a fry cook. Boys getting distracted is not the female student’s problem. I spent half my time in high school looking into basketball shorts to stare at dicks and I graduated with a 4.0. Sounds like these boys have a time-management problem, not a yoga pant problem.
Erin Gibson (Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death)
The two bodies lay in plain sight of the shuttered Salt Bingo Casino, though there are no witnesses other than a coyote and its jackrabbit prey. The two bodies lay still until the sun-cracked it is light over the Arizona desert like a sky egg.
Jennifer Leeper (The Poison of War)
For a few moments he indulged his old joy in range and mountain, stretching, rising on his right, away into the purple distance. Something had heightened its beauty. How softly gray the rolling range land—how black the timbered slopes! The town before him sat like a hideous blotch on a fair landscape. It forced his gaze over and beyond toward the west, where the late afternoon sun had begun to mellow and redden, edging the clouds with exquisite light. To the southward lay Arizona, land of painted mesas and storied canyon walls, of thundering streams and wild pine forests, of purple-saged valleys and grassy parks, set like mosaics between the stark desert mountains.
Zane Grey (Valley of Wild Horses)
The luminous light that burns on the Arizona desert, out of long miles of untouched sage and sand. . . . Yes, that's where I want to be, on an observation car traveling swiftly into the Southwest. Losing myself in a shimmer of fine dust.
Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant (Shadow-Shapes the Journal of a Wounded Woman October 1918-May 1919)
For years, NASA has run experiments replicating the environments of space and alien planets. Rovers and robotics have been tested in the Arizona desert and in the Canadian Arctic. “Human factor” studies in preparation for space-station duties have been carried out in a capsule at the Johnson Space Center and in an underwater lab off Key Largo.
Anonymous
Wait till Buzz takes charge of us. A real Fascist dictatorship!" "Nonsense! Nonsense!" snorted Tasbrough. "That couldn't happen here in America, not possibly! We're a country of freemen." "The answer to that," suggested Doremus Jessup, "if Mr. Falck will forgive me, is 'the hell it can't!' Why, there's no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious!—than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr. Senator Berzelius Windrip owns his State. Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio—divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding's appointees? Could Hitler's bunch, or Windrip's, be worse? Remember the Kuklux Klan? Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut 'Liberty cabbage' and somebody actually proposed calling German measles 'Liberty measles'? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia! Remember our kissing the—well, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aimée McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it? Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy?... Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children? Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon? Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution?... Remember the Kentucky night-riders? Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition—shooting down people just because they might be transporting liquor—no, that couldn't happen in America! Why, where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours!
Sinclair Lewis (It Can't Happen Here)
In the West, however, climatic differences far more striking than these may occur within the same state, even within the same county. In the Willamette Valley of Oregon, a farmer can raise a number of different crops without irrigation; there is usually a summer drought, but it is short, and even if he decides not to depend entirely on rainfall, a few inches of irrigation water—instead of the hundred inches used by some farmers in California and Arizona—will usually do. Two hours away, on the east side of the Cascades, rainfall drops to a third of what the Willamette Valley ordinarily receives; not only that, but the whole of eastern Oregon is much higher than the section west of the Cascades, and lacks a marine influence, so the climate is far colder as well. It can be forty above zero in Eugene and ten below zero in Bend, a two-hour drive to the east.
Marc Reisner (Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water)
Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees? Could Hitler’s bunch, or Windrip’s, be worse? Remember the Kuklux Klan? Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut ‘Liberty cabbage’ and somebody actually proposed calling German measles ‘Liberty measles’? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia! Remember our kissing the—well, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aimée McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it? Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy? … Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children? Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon? Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution? … Remember the Kentucky night-riders? Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition—shooting down people just because they might be transporting liquor—no, that couldn’t happen in America! Why, where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours! We’re ready to start on a Children’s Crusade—only of adults—right now, and the Right Reverend Abbots Windrip and Prang are all ready to lead it!
Sinclair Lewis (It Can't Happen Here)
there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious!—than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr. Senator Berzelius Windrip owns his State. Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio—divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees? Could Hitler’s bunch, or Windrip’s, be worse? Remember the Kuklux Klan? Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut ‘Liberty cabbage’ and somebody actually proposed calling German measles ‘Liberty measles’? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia! Remember our kissing the—well, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aimée McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it? Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy?. . .Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children? Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon? Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution?. . .Remember the Kentucky night-riders? Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition—shooting down people
Sinclair Lewis (It Can't Happen Here)
The next time you clap on your expensive Bose headphones or fire up your car stereo, you had to consider that they were put together a hundred yards from Arizona by someone living in a hut in the Sonoran Desert,
Paul Theroux (On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey)
He told me about Jesus & Arizona & the best way to make beer & I said you're a funny kind of preacher & he said it's a funny kind of world & I still remember his eyes as clear as a desert morning. —Funny World
Brian Andreas (Still Mostly True)
Next came a desert, the Coconino Sandstone, which is believed to have persisted for about 10 million years and covered a large area from present day Arizona to Canada. Given the secular interpretation, it seems only natural to assume that these cracks at the top of the Hermit Shale and the bottom of the Coconino Sandstone be interpreted as bona fide mud cracks. Whitmore and Strom, however, were intrigued by several inconsistencies with a mud crack interpretation. Many of the cracks intruded into the Hermit Shale more than 9 meters and perhaps as deep as 15 meters (nearly 50 feet, Figure 3C). Go out to a modern-day floodplain during the dry season and you will find mud cracks that are typically less than a meter deep.
Ken Coulson (Creation Unfolding: A New Perspective on Ex Nihilo)
Richter needed no convincing for a fight. He would know what I meant by the mountaintop. Yes, it was in Washington, far away from the Arizona desert where the nuke would go off, but I had to pick a location that wasn’t suspicious. If I said, Hey, meet me in the desert where they used to test nukes all the time, he’d probably realize something was up.
Logan Rutherford (The Second Super (The First Superhero, #1))
So this journey could have begun when I learned sometime in the late 1990s about Abbey’s mysterious burial. Abbey died in Tucson, Arizona, in 1989 at age sixty-two from internal bleeding. After his death, four friends transported his body to a desert. There, they illegally buried him in a grave hidden to all but his friends and family and those turkey vultures banking overhead. His friends laid a hand-chiseled basalt tombstone atop the grave. The stories tell us that the tombstone reads, “Edward Abbey. 1927–1989. No Comment.
Sean Prentiss (Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave)
Catty had the freakiest power. She could actually go back and forth in time. She missed a lot of school because she was always twisting time. But her mother didn't care, because she knew that Catty was different. She wasn't Catty's biological mother. She'd found Catty walking along the side of the road in the Arizona desert when Catty was six years old. She was going to turn her over to the authorities in Yuma, but when she saw Catty make time change, she decided Catty was an extraterrestrial, and that it was her duty to protect her from government officials who would probably dissect her. She still didn't know that Catty was a goddess. Somehow it was easier for people to believe in space aliens than in goddesses.
Lynne Ewing (Into the Cold Fire (Daughters of the Moon, #2))
At last count, eight-hundred and fifty-nine travelers had stepped off Trans-Continental Airlines at Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, at high noon in Mid-August without sunglasses. No one has ever done it twice. The desert sun, at high noon in Mid-August, rains down a torrent of silver needles. The sky burns white. The mountains that ring the city - Maricopas, White Tanks, Superstitions - flatten into dusty, two-dimensional mounds. Desert plants turn pale. Crawling, slithering, running creatures surrender to the heat and hide. The air shimmers on the horizon and flows in sluggish currents along the airport tarmac. Tires go soft. The odor of melting tar lies heavy along the ground. Light explodes in tinsel stars from moving glass and chrome. Phoenicians huddle indoors around their air conditioners and wait for the time of long shadows. Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, at high noon in mid-August is a white-hot Hell.
Sarah Dreher (Gray Magic (Stoner McTavish Mysteries Book 3))
Father Joseph had come to love the tamarisk above all trees. It had been the companion of his wanderings. All along his way through the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, wherever he had come upon a Mexican homestead, out of the sun-baked earth, against the sun-baked adobe walls, the tamarisk waved its feathery plumes of bluish green. The family burro was tied to its trunk, the chickens scratched under it, the dogs slept in its shade, the washing was hung on its branches. Father Latour had often remarked that this tree seemed especially designed in shape and colour for the adobe village. The sprays of bloom which adorn it are merely another shade of the red earth walls, and its fibrous trunk is full of gold and lavender tints. Father Joseph respected the Bishop’s eye for such things, but himself he loved it merely because it was the tree of the people, and was like one of the family in every Mexican household.
Willa Cather (Death Comes for the Archbishop)
The moon? No moon, only a sound stage in the Arizona desert. Stars were bullet holes in the galactic canvas. The
Laird Barron (The Imago Sequence)