books on a shelf. Text in foreground reads: "Books, Writing, History and Me"

Books, Writing, History, and Me

In “Books, Writing, History, and Me” I share my thoughts on travel, cooking, van-life, books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, WWII, the Holocaust, and anything else I feel might be of interest to readers of my books. Please send me comments and let me know what you like and what you want to know more about. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

  • Books for the Armchair Traveler

    In early January of 2017, when I sat down at my computer to begin my memoir, I knew it would be of interest to armchair travelers.  But I never imagined, as I typed the first words of the first chapter, that the book would be released in the middle of a pandemic when travel was…

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  • An Indie-author’s Quest for Book Reviews

    As an indie-author/publisher, my work does not stop when a book is released. Unlike 4 years ago when I launched Immigrant Soldier, 2020, with its Covid-19 shut-downs, has made live visits to bookstores, libraries, and book groups impossible.  These days, my publicity efforts must center on social media and gathering book reviews. Getting reviews is…

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  • Covid-19 Journals

    Covid-19 Journals

    Recently I spent a few hours looking through my dozens of travel journals. As I flipped through the pages, it occurred to me that now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, would be a good time to keep a diary.  Unlike many who love to write, I’ve never been a consistent journalist.  In fact, the only times…

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  • Maps for a Travel Memoir

    From the very beginning, I knew Wherever the Road Leads needed maps.  Once the early manuscript draft was sent to Beta Readers for feedback, I filled the waiting time working on the seven maps I envisioned.   I wanted them to show the journey’s route, major stops along the way, and display a few small drawings.

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  • Readers Can Help Get the Word Out

    Trying to launch a new book during the Covid-19 Pandemic calls for special tactics.   Normally, I would be setting up in-person author visits at bookstores and giving presentations and talks at libraries and to book groups.  Now, with personal appearances impossible, I’m trying to figure out new, digital ways to let readers know about my…

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  • Climbing the Mango Trees

    I am at it again – reading memoirs. Recently I was lucky enough to find the delightful memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees, A Memoir of a Childhood in India, by Madhur Jaffrey.

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  • Memory of a Beijing Market

    March 2003. Tom burst into the room as I finished my second cup of tea.  “I’ve found the market,” he announced.  “It’s just around the corner.” We had arrived in Beijing the afternoon before.  After checking into the hotel, eating a Chinese meal in a dining room filled with western tourists, and wandering Tiananmen Square…

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  • Collecting Fabric as a Travel Souvenir

    A Facebook friend, a lady who is a master quiltmaker, recently posted a T-shirt with the following slogan emblazoned across the front: “I sew, but my favorite hobby is collecting fabric.”

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  • A Mother’s Memories of her Son’s Boot Camp Graduation

    Some years ago, I took an emeritus class at U.C. Irvine in Travel Writing. There I learned that a travel essay needs to be more than a travelogue.  In order to interest a reader, travel writing should also have attitude. The writer’s voice is essential as it is through their eyes we view the adventure.…

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  • A Lifelong Traveler Looks Back at her Passports

    A Lifelong Traveler Looks Back at her Passports

    “I am a lifelong traveler, have visited every continent except Antarctica, and have not been without a valid passport since I was sixteen.” This quote, lifted from my Instagram bio, represents what I believed to be true until I began to write this post. . . . which says something about personal memory and the…

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