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.

Finally Rajasthan (Part 3 of Return to India)

After five days in Northern India seeing the iconic sites of the classic Mogul emperors, we headed west.  Finally, I would see Rajasthan. The largest state in India, it hugs the Pakistani border and much of it consists of the inhospitable Thar Desert.  Once the home of the Rajput maharajas, Rajasthan literally means “the land of Kings.” […]

Elderhostel and Agra Revisited (Part 2 of Return to India)

After 28 years, I was again in India.  This time, rather than sharing a romantic adventure with my new husband, I was on an Elderhostel tour with my older sister, Una. I had reached the ripe age of 55, which at that time was the age the travel group considered elder-enough. Of course, younger travel partners were allowed to accompany their significant other, but Una and I both qualified on our own. […]

2021-05-02T20:09:40+00:00April 16th, 2021|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Memories of Christmas Past or, So You Think this Holiday Season is Sad?

2020 has been a year to forget.  And now we are looking forward to a Holiday that is limited by a pandemic – a Christmas or Chanukah without our usual parties or family gatherings.  This got me thinking about other Christmases that were less than perfect. There have been a few, but one stands out in my memory as the worst. In December of 1969, I was teaching, living in Southern California, and busy falling in love with Tom who would later become my husband.  His career as a ship’s engineer took him away for long periods of time, and that year I expected him to be away.  Then late at night on December 22nd, I got an unexpected ship to shore radio phone call. Tom was excited. “The ship is coming into San Francisco the day after tomorrow but instead of only one day, we’ll be in dry dock [...]

2020-12-27T19:25:18+00:00December 18th, 2020|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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 limited. Now many who would otherwise be roaming the globe are stuck at home. The AAA membership magazine Westways (September /October 2020) featured an article titled “Transported by Armchair.” The authors, Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, state, “Vicarious adventures can get us through tough times.” They point out that would-be travelers can adventure vicariously through movies, books, magazines, and on the internet. I have always loved books and movies that take me to foreign places. Everything, from my favorite childhood book, Heidi, to the 2014 movie The Hundred Foot Journey about Indian food in a [...]

2020-12-03T20:10:42+00:00December 3rd, 2020|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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 in the falling dusk, we fell into bed, heavy with travel fatigue. But our body clocks were not yet on Beijing time and we were both wide awake while the city still struggled to turn night into morning.  My husband, normally an early riser, decided to explore the neighborhood as dawn slowly crept through the alleyways. I opted for a quiet moment with hot tea and a guide book. […]

2020-08-30T04:13:35+00:00August 30th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Book Release in the Time of Covid

The summer of 2020 will stand out in history as the summer of Covid-19 – a time to avoid crowds at the beach and the amusement park, a summer when airports are more dangerous than sky-diving, and days of longing to gather with friends and family. The summer solstice has come and gone. But for most of us, at least in the US, July 4th Independence Day marks the beginning of full-on, serious vacation season. 2020 will be the summer of staycations. Those of us who have a pleasant patio, a comfortable lounge chair, and a good book will be the winners during this  stay-at-home summer. […]

A Book Cover for Wherever the Road Leads

Efforts to design the perfect book cover for Wherever the Road Leads have been grueling. So many decisions! So many great ideas! Thank you to my wonderful team of advisors. Recently, I posted blogs about selecting the photos and the pen and ink illustrations for my memoir. The process of choosing from an existing group of possibilities was much easier than creating a book cover. With a good designer there are infinite possibilities and variations. Ideas flow, but in the end I had to make the final choice. […]

Paris Memoirs of Art and Love

Art and Paris memories flow from A Paris Year, by Janice MacLeod. I found this book just as the Covid-19 pandemic nudged into our consciousness. Days later, I regretfully cancelled a planned “April in Paris/Tulip season in the Netherlands” trip. Instead of walking the streets of Paris myself, I read Janice’s book, a delightful guide to the vicarious delights of France’s most famous city. […]

2020-05-25T19:51:01+00:00May 25th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Illustrations for a Travel Memoir, Wherever the Road Leads.

Wherever the Road Leads has always been planned as an illustrated memoir. After all, with a subtitle that starts       “An Artist’s Memoir . . .,” readers will expect to see artwork. Luckily, I didn’t have 1000 drawings to choose from like I did with the photos. However, because of page consideration (Print on Demand services charge by the finished number of pages), I still must be selective. […]

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