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Showing posts from March, 2010

My Discovery Channel

For our last post of Travel Month, I thought I'd honor the thrill of discovery. For me, that's what travel is all about. Ever since I learned to read, I've loved stories of explorers discovering places long hidden from the world. My parents had a collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to the nineteen-teens, and I loved the pictures of long-lost ruins hidden in South American jungles and ancient tombs buried in the Egyptian sand. When I visit an archeological site, I always try to imagine what it was like to actually discover it--to be the first to see the outlines of a Mayan temple in a vine-shrouded pile of rubble, or to enter a buried tomb untouched for centuries. In fact, if I could choose to be present at one historical moment, it would be Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb. Imagine working your way through the passageway and breaking the seals on the door to see, by wavering candlelight, a treasure trove that was hidden for over 3

How Much Reading Material Should One Take On a Trip?

by Deb Werksman Since this month's theme is travel, and since I travel a lot, I thought I'd share my process for choosing which reading material to take with me. It's really not as easy a formula as that for shoes (one pair for every day of the trip plus one extra--my motto is "there's always room for one more chair at the table and one more pair of shoes in the suitcase"). Business trips are a great opportunity to catch up on my reading, and unexpected delays have to be planned for. There are 4 pools from which I take my reading materials: *manuscripts I'm editing : these are organized in my office according to the date they're due to the copyeditor, with lead time factored in for editorial notes and prepping. Any time I'll be away more than one night, I always travel with a minimum of 2 manuscripts to edit. This is because: a) I might get only partially into the manuscript and require a revision before I can go further b) I

Top 10 Things About Returning Home

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Our month of posts about travel is almost over and we've certainly been to an exciting array of interesting places. However, having returned just a few days ago from my latest cruise adventure, I can strongly identify with Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz . There really is NO PLACE LIKE HOME! As much as I love to travel (and you all know I love it A LOT ) , I'm usually home sick after a couple of weeks and ready to hop on the nearest plane, train, automobile, or available transport device and head back to my humble abode. So with a nod to David Letterman's Late Show , here then are my Top Ten Things About Returning Home: I miss my dogs! Sometimes I take them along, but usually I can't, and I always worry about them when they aren't with me. Plus, it doesn't matter if I've been gone five minutes or five weeks, they are always thrilled to see me when I walk in the door. I like sleeping in my own bed. For over twenty ye

All Aboard!!

by Amanda Forester Grab your knapsack; it’s time to ride the rails! There is something nostalgically romantic about boarding a train and experiencing that rush of excitement as it lurches from the station and chugs down the tracks (ok they don’t exactly chug any more, but you get my drift). I have been fortunate to be able to take several long train trips. Of course, those who read my previous blog will know this is due more to my deep and abiding fear of planes than to an innate love of train travel, but in taking train trips I have found many things I enjoy. The one thing I realized as I started to travel by ground is just how BIG the country is. When you get on a plane and disembark at your destination several hours later you miss the true feeling of how big this place is (though I grant you an aerial view can be illuminating). There is also something very grounding (forgive the pun) to experiencing travel from a slower perspective. It forces me to acknowledge the spaces between ci

Dream a Little Dream

We are closing out our month long discussion of traveling and that is rather sad. I have SO enjoyed hearing of the wonderful places both domestic and foreign that the CasaBabes have visited over the years. I have, I confess, been a wee bit jealous upon occasion as I have only ventured outside of US borders twice in my lifetime, and that was only to Mexico! Fun, believe me, and somewhat exotic, but give me Greece any day! Or even Brazil, right Cheryl? LOL! Cheryl’s tongue-in-cheek blog 2 days ago (scroll down) had us virtually traveling to some stunningly gorgeous locales without concern for packing the sunscreen or appropriate clothing. I mean, I have traveled through parts of the American West, heck I live in the American West, and my Native American experiences have never been THAT good! So, super stud hunk muffins aside, if I could go anywhere with money not an object – we are still in dreaming mode apparently – Where would I go? 1. England. “Naturally,” you say in a sarcastic ton

Such a travel-novice

By Lydia Dare (the Tammy half) Travel is a very new thing for me. I never did it, aside from short trips to the beach with the husband and kids, or a day trip to the zoo or some other family-centered activity. My first actual plane ride was three years ago, when I went to the national convention for the Romance Writers of America in San Francisco. Before that, I’d never even considered flying. Much less traveling long distances. Yet, there I was, on a plane from NC to CA. All by my lonesome, too. Now, I’m hooked. Since then, there have been quite a few trips. I’ve flown to Boston. The moment I stepped off the plane, everyone looked at me like they needed a dictionary to understand a southern drawl. But that was all right. I persevered. And had a great time traipsing around Salem, doing witchy research for the series with a good friend. I also went by train to Washington DC, for last year’s RWA conference. Now, that is the way to travel. Lots of room to stretch out your legs

Decisions, decisions, decisions. . . .

Since I've already written one blog on travel this month, I'd like to take this opportunity to explore a few places I have never been, but would very much like to visit. But the question is, where should I start? If I had only one choice of destinations, where would it be? What about Brazil? Trust me, if this is how they grow them there, I need to park my butt on the beach at Rio de Janeiro and soak up the sun and the scenery. Next, I'd like to visit Israel, for reasons which I believe are obvious even to the casual observer. Can't forget Greece. You know, the place where they have all those Greek gods and exotic statues? While I'm at it, I guess I might as well go to Italy, too. . . . Okay, so Leo is an American of Italian descent, but you still get the idea. And I must back to Brazil to see Klaus. And mustn't miss a tour of the Scandinavian countries. Or a trip through the American West for a Native American experience. And back to Brazil to see Rafael. I thin

Day Tripping...

By Robin Kaye Being a writer is hard for me because I find myself housebound, more often than not. I can’t wait to go out, explore the world, and fill my creative well. I love to travel to foreign lands, soak up different cultures, and take in the architecture, art, music, and most especially, the food. However, exploring with a family of five is a little cost prohibitive. Since my children have definitely inherited my travel gene, my husband and I have taken to doing low-cost day trips. We pack a lunch and sometimes a dinner too, throw a game in the back of the Sequoia, grab the kids, and head out on adventures. When we lived in Boise, Idaho, it was as simple as packing a picnic basket and hiking just outside of town to find evidence of the nearby Oregon Trail, taking a tour of the haunted Old Idaho Penitentiary, or driving to the nearby ghost town of Silver City to pretend we were miners. We always kept a few mining pans in the car, so if we caught valley fever, or needed to escape t

Travel if you're a chicken

All month we've been talking about traveling and how it enriches us as writers. Well...I'm not afraid of much, but I do have a fear of flying. So how do I get to all these hot spots I've written about? Hypnosis. Yup. That's my secret. Several years ago I took classes to be a hypnotherapist and was certified in hypnotherapy with extra certifications in smoking cessation, weight loss, and metaphysical applications (past life regressions, etc.) It wasn't until learning more about how hypnosis works that I realized I could hypnotise myself. In fact, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Ever driven way past your exit on the highway? You were hypnotised. Why didn't you crash? Hypnosis isn't sleep. You're awake but your subconscious takes over for a little while. You didn't have a hypnotherapist in the car with you, did you? Probably not... So here's what you do if you need a little help getting on the plane or taking off or landing. Before you go on your tr

Visiting the Last Frontier

In February of 2001, friend and author Shawna Delacorte and I attended the Left Coast Crime Conference held in Anchorage Alaska. It was the absolute best time of my life. Not only did I have the chance to hang out with some awesome mystery writers – which we always did when we attended this conference – but I got to do things there that I hadn’t done before. My introduction to Alaska was arriving at midnight and the city looked like a fairyland with houses decorated with twinkle lights. It might have been closer to Valentine’s Day than Christmas, but you’d never know it. Good friend and fellow author, Shawna Delacorte and I were there to network, sign our books and I even got to do a ‘a talk with’ section. Along with incredible workshops and roaming the city, we participated in some fun activities. The FBI held a get together at their building. We got to talk to the SWAT officers there, play in their Hogan’s Alley, tour the building – I saw a huge polar bear pelt on the conference room

France and Romance and Me

by Libby Malin Many moons ago--well, really, about one--I wrote a post about Bal'mer (that's Baltimore, Maryland), my hometown, and how I often set stories there. There's one other spot that ends up skittering through my tales from time to time -- France. The heroine in my very first humorous women's fiction, Loves Me, Loves Me Not , took off for France at the end of the book, fleeing some weighty problems. Once there, she had to decide on a dime whether or not to return early to take a chance on love. In Fire Me , the protagonist doesn't go to France, but she does daydream about speaking in French. Whenever she's stressed, she hears herself prattling like a character in a French movie, her passionate problems rendered dispassionate at the flick of a " mais oui, Mademoiselle ." One of the lines she thinks to herself in this episode is " Je vais cherchez du bon vin a la cave " (or something like it). That's a line from

CasaBabes' Recipes for Romantic Nights!

Time to have a howling good party!!! So pass out the word--it's the big day! We've been running around the world participating in Barbara Vey's 3rd Anniversary Publishers Weekly's Birthday Bash , and today is the romance blow out! And we're contributing recipes for those special dates, but also Sourcebooks is contributing books as gifts! Thanks so much to everyone for helping to put this together. It did have pictures of our giveaway books, but, the post wouldn't save! So it's time to party! Mary Margret Daughtridge --Sealed with a Ring Linda Wisdom --Hex in High Heels Judi Fennell --Catch of a Lifetime Cheryl Brooks —Fugitive Sharon Lathan --Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy Joanne Kennedy --Cowboy Trouble Amanda Forester --The Highlander's Sword Ashlyn Chase -- An ARC of Strange Neighbors Shana Galen --An ARC of The Making of a Duchess Robin Kaye --Breakfast in Bed Marie Force --Love at First Flight Terry Spear --Legend of the White Wolf Kathryne Kenned