Short-story writer Ruben Mendoza, author of Loteria & Other Stories, reads from and signs his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 10, at the Tempe Square location of Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe. Admission is free. 730-0205.
Glendale Public Library hosts "Hypnotic Nights and Powerful Days!", two free shows of the mesmerist's art in which volunteers from the audience are given a "suggestibility test" and then helped, through hypnotism, to perform remarkable feats. The first of the two shows is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, September 10, at the library, 5959 West Brown in Glendale. The second is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, September 27. Both are free, but prompt arrival is requested; latecomers will be asked to come again another day. 930-3573.
"Dirk glanced from the sight of the high-powered rifle he trained upon the rare Himalayan snow leopard, the prize he had sought so long. His eye full upon Maggie's perfect face, flushed with cold and rage, framed in tendrils of her raven hair. She was a prize to rival even the rare cat a few hundred feet away. But she was a respected zoologist, and he was one of the world's most famous big-game hunters. Was there any hope for them? Dirk decided it was worth missing his shot at the leopard to find out. He lowered the rifle, and turned toward Maggie. Mehendra, his loyal Sherpa guide, turned away discreetly, but with a fatherly smile, as he put his arms around her. . . ." Do you think I show promise, or need work? Either way, maybe I should check out The Desert Rose chapter of the Romance Writers of America's 10th annual Romance Writers Conference on Friday, September 11; Saturday, September 12; and Sunday, September 13, at Mesa Hilton Pavilion, 1011 West Holmes. Carla Neggers, author of Pocket Book's White Hot, is this year's keynote speaker; other speakers include Lori Copeland, Justine Dare Davis, Christina Dodd and Roz Denny Fox. There are luncheon autograph sessions and brunches with the authors, and even opportunities to play "Romance Jeopardy." The cost for the full conference is $155; admissions to individual events range from $29 to $89. For more information, call 917-7206 or 969-7505.
The touring, San Francisco-born arts/crafts marketplace Harvest Festival celebrates its 10th year in the Valley. Petaluma's Southex Exhibitions presents the event, which is open for business from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, September 11; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 12; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, September 13, in exhibit halls A and B at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Admission is $6.50, $5.50 for seniors, $3.50 for kids ages 6 to 12, free for those younger; adults who bring canned goods for donation to the national "Second Harvest" food drive get in for $1 less. 262-7272.
Their song "Truth Serum" is heard on the soundtrack of The Avengers, but don't hold that against the lads of Dishwalla--the track record of the Santa Monica-based outfit includes such notable highlights as an earnest cover of Karen and Richard's "It's Going to Take Some Time" on the If I Were a Carpenter tribute disc and the minor hit "Counting Blue Cars" from its A&M debut disc Pet Your Friends--which features the excellent lines "Tell me all your thoughts on God/I'd really like to meet Her." Touring behind its latest, And You Think You Know What Life's About, Dishwalla performs on Saturday, September 12, at the Bash on Ash, 230 West Fifth Street in Tempe. Jack Drag shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $10, available at Ticketmaster. 784-4444, 966-5600.
In preparation for the upcoming High Holy Days, mystic, musician and rabbi Michael Shapiro, a veteran of everything from a rock band to a Hassidic yeshiva in Israel, is scheduled to perform a public concert of Hebrew and English spiritual music at 7 p.m. Sunday, September 13, at the Phoenix Center for Community Arts, 1202 North Third Street (three blocks south of McDowell). Tickets are $10. 482-7266.
"Don't show your ignorance!" Darla used to exhort her pals in The Little Rascals when they were about to go into someplace respectable. In July and August classes, David Rothschild, the guy behind EATiQuette, showed us slobs how not to show our ignorance at lunch and dinner; now he gets us through brunch with a class at 11 a.m. Sunday, September 13, at Havana Patio Cafe, 6245 East Bell in Scottsdale. Rothschild promises to put the "man" in manners, insisting that the table-etiquette class ". . . is no prissy, 'pinky-pointing' presentation." Besides, you get to chow down during class: A three-course sit-down brunch is included in the $25-per-person tuition. Another luncheon version of the course is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday, September 19, at Milano's, 16 West Monroe (in the San Carlos Hotel); tuition for this class is $22 per person. Reservations are required; call 991-1496.
Valley bards Ron Dickson and Nancy Germond are the featured artists at this month's edition of the Divergent Arts Poetry Series, at 7 p.m. Sunday, September 13, at Long Wong's Live, 3623 East Indian School. Admission is free; donations are accepted. 947-0371.
Big-time Native American artist Fritz Scholder "challenges us to re-examine our views and values" in a lecture from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, September 14, in the fourth-floor lecture room at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. Admission is free; the talk is part of the library's ongoing celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 262-4636.