FasbinderIn the process of preparing for my book launch in August, I met recently with Presentation Coach Betsy Graziani Fasbinder. She’s terrific! Betsy is an author herself, and especially likes to help authors (and other introverts) polish their public speaking skills. She helped me with three things:

  • Organizing my thoughts—and my presentation.
  • Mastering behaviors that will help me look composed and have an energetic presentation.
  • Anticipating audience responses.

Of course, I still have some practicing to do, but now I know what to focus on, and feel confident that I can do a good job. I am enthusiastically recommending Betsy to everyone I know!

TalesToGo4“Summer is here and so is Tales To Go, No. 4 —with four new travel stories to ignite your wanderlust and deliver you from the day-to-day. Journey from Alaska’s frozen North Shore to the steamy jungles of Guatemala, and from a Bible-themed amusement park in Orlando to Bangkok’s infamous red-light district—all for $1.99 when you subscribe. It’s quite a trip!

Fly Geyser

June 24, 2014 | 3 Comments

Fly GeyserHere’s an amazing sight that turned up in my email with no attribution:

“They could be pictures of another planet or the set of a science fiction movie. But it is in fact an amazing phenomenon created by accident in the middle of the Nevada Desert.

“The other-worldly images show Fly Geyser, a little-known attraction described as one of the most beautiful sights in the state. Located 20 miles north of Gerlach, in Washoe County, it was accidentally created in 1916 during well drilling.

July 1, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

AfghanistanFrom 2000 to 2010 respectively, Peggy Kelsey, Adrienne Amundsen and Diane LeBow traveled to Afghanistan with Global Exchange Reality Tours, meeting with a cross-section of local leaders, visiting girls’ schools and women’s centers, hospitals, and even a Taliban reconciliation center. Celebrating International Women’s Day with Afghanistan’s remarkable women, they discovered a new kind of strength.

Peggy Kelsey has authored a book of interviews with some of these women and others from previous journeys. Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women gives an intimate look into the lives of these Afghan women through their own words and portraits.

July 12, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Sicilian Mafia GuideSpaceholder San Francisco author Carl Russo will read from his new book, The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide, at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Saturday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Complimentary Sicilian wine will be served during a discussion about the making of this controversial work.

Written for tourists and arm-chair travelers alike, the book is a geographical history of the Cosa Nostra on the Italian island of Sicily, the picturesque birthplace of organized crime.

RitaGoldenGelmanTwenty-eight years ago, Rita Golden Gelman gave up her home and most of her possessions to travel the world, connect with people, and learn about other countries. Here’s her TEDx talk on The Joy of Connecting.

Gelman has spent years promoting a “gap year” for experiential education for American young people. She mentions the American Gap Association, that certifies Gap Year programs.

NarrativeTired of people hating you for your Google Glass? Here’s a solution: “Meet the Narrative, a tiny clip-on camera to document your every day life….

“You would love to remember every second of your spring picnics and friend filled adventures, but your old diary is full of unicorn stickers and your cursive handwriting has really gone downhill since 5th grade.

“The Narrative Clip camera is the photographic memory you’ve always wanted! It automatically snaps a pic every 30 seconds, then gathers them up so you can look back over the day’s adventures.

August 31, 2014

ExpeditionGrantedFrom National Geographic: “Have you ever wanted to explore uncharted territory, forge a new path, or show the world something completely original? This is your chance! We are excited to announce Expedition Granted, a nationwide competition to discover the next generation of explorers and award one person a $50,000 prize to fund the expedition of their dreams.

“Exploration isn’t just for mountain climbers and photographers. The explorers of the 21st century are musicians and makers, techies and tinkerers, the curious and the courageous—anyone with a big idea and the drive to make it a reality. And that means you. What will you explore?”

A recent issue of International Travel News listed these reader-submitted recommendations for places to buy men’s and women’s travel clothing:

  • Bluff Works — Men’s wrinkle-free pants
  • Campmor — For men, women, and children
  • Clothing Arts —Pick-Pocket Proof (P3) pants and more
  • ECCO — Men’s and women’s shoes
  • Eileen Fisher — Women’s clothing and shoes
  • ExOfficio — Men’s and women’s clothing, including BugsAway items treated with with Permethrin
  • Fox River — Sock technology
  • Helle Comfort — Footware
  • Land’s End — For men, women, and children
  • L.L. Bean — For men, women, and children
June 12, 2014
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

WildLifeDancing Words Press is hosting a sneak preview fete for Lisa Alpine’s latest book Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman tonight at The Depot Bookstore in Mill Valley. Please join Lisa for this merry literary event where the champagne will flow and tales will be told.

Thursday June 12
7 pm – 8:30 pm
The Depot Bookstore Cafe
on the Plaza in downtown Mill Valley, California

SonyAalphaNEX6Filling the gap between point-and-shoots and DSLRs, new mirrorless cameras provide the casual user with plenty of control, offer interchangeable lenses, take good photos, are easy to use, and are lighter and less bulky than DSLRs. Molly Wood gives us details in the New York Times:

Mirrorless Camera Reviews: Fujifilm X-T1 and Sony Alpha NEX 5T: Known as mirrorless cameras, they aim for a middle ground between D.S.L.R. models and the point-and-shoot variety.

Three Sweet Spots for Camera Shoppers: Assuming you’re not a really serious photographer, choices range from a $250 point-and-shoot to a $1,000 digital single-lens reflex.

StopDriftingRoz Savage, world-record-setting Ocean Rower and environmental campaigner, will talk about her adventures rowing solo across the world’s oceans-particularly her bid to become the first woman to row solo 8,000 miles across the Pacific. After a failed attempt in 2007, when her boat capsized 3 times in 24 hours during a storm, she set out again the following year from the Golden Gate Bridge. To a backdrop of photographs, maps and videos, she will tell the story of her epic crossing, and share her insights on happiness, meaning, and the environmental challenges that face our oceans in the 21st century.

SanMiguelWritersConfThanks to travel, golf, and culture writer Karen Misuraca for the link to this list from the San Miguel Writers Conference website: 12 Indie Presses Looking for Submissions “who will either accept query letters directly from writers or who will accept submissions of writing directly from writers.”

GoogleGlassHere’s how one explorer uses the still-way-controversial Google Glass.
“Travel to Antarctica #throughglass: Ever wonder what it’d be like to travel in Antarctica? Thanks to Explorer John Fitch, now we don’t have to. Check out how he’s been using Glass at home as a media professional and in the Arctic. “I am so thankful for having Glass when I travel. I am able to enjoy more confidence when I am ‘exploring’ around new infrastructures and culture. Moreover, I am able to relive my perspective long after the experience. Moments are gold to me, and Glass has allowed me to realize that all of my moments are worth something eventually.” Read the interview here (you have to “register” with Google first).

SleepHabits“Over the years,” Marla Popova writes, “in my endless fascination with daily routines, I found myself especially intrigued by successful writers’ sleep habits — after all, it’s been argued that “sleep is the best (and easiest) creative aphrodisiac” and science tells us that it impacts everything from our moods to our brain development to our every waking moment. I found myself wondering whether there might be a correlation between sleep habits and literary productivity.”

morataHere are some helpful travel photography tips from Noel Morata, travel writer and photographer.

June 11, 2014

PracticalNomadFrom Ed Hasbrouk, The Practical Nomad: “Today I filed formal objections to U.S. Department of of Transportation’s tentative decision to approve a proposal from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to replace publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares with “personalized” airline ticket prices…. For example, DOT proposes to require airline to “offer” tickets to anonymous customers. But airlines would be allowed to make that offer, and the price of anonymity, as high as they like.”

Read the rest of Ed’s post here.  And respond here: “Go to Regulations.gov to tell DOT that you oppose “IATA Resolution 787″ and endorse my objections. You can submit comments to DOT through Wednesday, 11 June 2014.”

August 14, 2014toAugust 17, 2014

Book-passage-confIt’s just around the proverbial corner! The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. Now in its 22nd year, this four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and participants during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.

June 25, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Weekday “Don”derlust, where we dance, sing, drink copious amounts of champagne, and celebrate the birthday of Don George, editor, writer, and friend extraordinaire.

Oh yeah, and we listen to some great tales of travel too!

don-georgeOn Wednesday June 25, in honor of “Don”derlust, we have invited three fantastic readers to the podium at the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter Street in San Francisco). Read their bios below, and on our Facebook page.

E-book Tips

June 8, 2014 | Leave a Comment

ebookThinking of publishing an ebook? Here are 9 solid pointers, ranging from how to think about content to what to do with it once you’ve put the ebook together.

luggageI’m always looking for the perfect travel bag, thinking that if/when I find it, my trips (or at least the clothing I bring along) will be transformed from confusing jumble to organized pleasure. This might be the bag. It lets you hang the contents without unpacking (and therefore without the need to repack).

Question: Will I ever be able to get a frequent-flier ticket again?

Answer: Probably. But it takes work, so we have secrets to share.

Read the rest of Catharine Hamm’s Los Angeles Times article with a few pointers for points-accumulating frequent fliers.

November 20, 2014toNovember 23, 2014

LK-SkyTowerI had a wonderful time at the recent Travel Classics travel writers conference in New Zealand. While I’ll be writing about nocturnal, flightless birds (which I hunted, optimistically) and the Marlborough Valley’s award-winning Sauvignon Blancs (which I tasted, diligently), this may be your only opportunity to see me (in the photo above) enjoying the thrill New Zealand is best known for: adventure sports.

June 12, 2014
5:30 pmto7:30 pm

Roz-SavageRoz Savage, world-record-setting ocean rower and environmental campaigner, is back in the Bay Area to promote her new book, Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman’s Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone On the Pacific. The event will be at Pier 39′s Bay Theater on Thursday, June 12. More info here.

May 27, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

May’s Weekday Wanderlust will be on Tuesday, May 27, at the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter Street in San Francisco). Readings start promptly at 7 p.m., but a group of thirsty travelers can always be found in the Hotel Rex’s Library Bar at 6. Readers are Janis Cooke Newman, Bob Bone, and Diana Kapp. As usual, the dashing Don George is emcee for the evening. Come early, snag a seat, and say hello.

Reader Bios:


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    LKEA-cover-thumbWhat happens when a practical midwestern gal sets off to explore the world? Laurie McAndish King’s travels seem innocent in the planning stage, but surprising adventure follows as she finds herself tracking lions on foot and without a gun in Botswana … attempting to eat a horse in southern Italy … searching for an ancient Celtic goddess in Ireland … marrying a Maasai warrior in Kenya … and sampling the world’s most expensive coffee—brewed from the excrement of a small Balinese mammal. Sign up for my mailing list for updates about Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive, due in August, 2014.
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