Helen Maguire, Dave Cooney, and Laurie McAndish King (RT) Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Helen Maguire, Dave Cooney, and Laurie McAndish King (RT) Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Find out why flying from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland is easier than ever. I visit with Dave Cooney and Helen Maguire about Aer Lingus’ new daily nonstop service from SFO to DUB, comfy lie-flat seats in business class, vacation packages, and an expedited reentry arrangement with U.S. Customs.

While the daily nonstop service and lie-flat seats are impressive, I personally am not likely to take advantage of the added convenience they offer…

But I’m all over the expedited reentry,

March 18, 2015
6:00 pmto10:00 pm

This month’s Weekday Wanderlust is a doozy!  The Three Wise Men, The Godfathers of Travel, The Travel Trio, The Three Horsemen of the … call them whatever you want. This travel-writing trifecta needs no introduction: Don George, Larry Habegger, and Jeff Greenwald are on the roster.

DonGeorge

LarryHabegger  JeffGreenwald

 

 

 

Buckle up and join the fun, sure to be as illuminating as it is entertaining, on Wednesday March 18 at the Hotel Rex.  (562 Sutter Street in San Francisco). The readings start at 7 p.m., but a group of thirsty travelers can always be found at 6 p.m. in the Library Bar. Stop by and say hi!

SmartLuggageHere’s a link to Peter Greenberg’s article on the soon-to-come smart luggage: “Last year, Airbus introduced the prototype of Bag2Go, a suitcase enabled with an RFID chip. The technology works with airport and airline baggage systems to track your luggage.”

Greenberg also mentions the Bluesmart “suitcase that you can lock and unlock … using your smartphone. An integrated sensor weighs the bag, and an alert will go off if you wander too far from your bag. Oh, and it has a built-in battery charger.”

JauntedFind more travel news here on Jaunted.com, from an announcement about United’s new signature scent (Apparently they’re going to be spritzing the jet bridge, walkway, and the United Club with a scent they’re calling Landing) to Beacon’s new All-You-Can-Fly service between Boston, New York, Nantucket, and The Hamptons.

Writing Travel

March 16, 2015 | Leave a Comment

LanoraMuellerWritingtravel.com is similar to Travel Writers News, with tips for travel writers plus some beautiful photos by Lanora Mueller.

More puns …

February 20, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Because I know you all love them:

  • I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
  • I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
  • When chemists die, they barium.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognized me from the Vegetarian Club, but I’d never met herbivore.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
March 21, 2015toMarch 22, 2015

Storytellers ExpoMarch 17, 2015 update: The location for this conference has changed. Please check the conference website for the most up-to-date information.

Do you have a book or literary project that might work as a movie? If you’d like to meet with representatives from studios such as HBO, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, SyFy Channel, Lionsgate, and Universal, check out Storytellers Expo 2015. The expo will be held March 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency SFO. It includes presentations and classes taught by successful established writers, and a Pitch Fest where you can pitch your projects to New York publishers, agents, Hollywood studios, and producers.

Texting“The evidence is, for language, that every time a new technology arrives, it expands the expressive richness of the language in a way that wasn’t there before.” Here’s how the internet is making English better.

PicoIyerI still like this three-year-old New York Times New Year’s essay, The Joy of Quiet, by Pico Iyer. (Click the link for the entire essay.)

The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

GoldenPagodaHere’s the trip we’ve all been waiting for: Discover the wonders of Japan on a 12-day journey with Don George (Sept 23–Oct 4, 2015). Don George, editor and writerDon is an editor-at-large and columnist for National Geographic Traveler magazine, as well as host of the National Geographic Live series of conversations with notable authors. Don has edited eight literary travel anthologies, including Better Than Fiction, The Kindness of Strangers, and Travelers’ Tales: Japan, and received dozens of writing awards, including the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Gold Award for Best Travel Article and the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year Award. Don lived and taught in Japan for two years, and his recent National Geographic Traveler article “Japan’s Past Perfect” inspired this expedition.

WildernessTravelBerkeley-based Wilderness Travel is looking for an experienced (3+ years) full-time copywriter and editor. Office hours are 8:30 to 5:00, M-F.  Download more details and application info here.

PrairieDogElaine Miller Bond spent 3 months photographing prairie dogs at Bryce Canyon a few years back, and now she has a new book The Utah Prairie Dog: Life Among the Red Rocks (written by Theodore Manno and photographed by Elaine) to show for it.

Elaine has a lovely message to go along with her book launch announcement: “One thing that impressed me most about working with prairie dogs was their sense of community. They bark at danger to protect one another. They nurse babies from other moms. They kiss. Thank you for being a part of my community. May your own dreams come true this holiday season.”

SanFranciscoSeen any good books lately? A book trailer is a short video posted on the Internet designed to help authors sell their work; PictureYourBook helps authors by creating short, effective, economical trailers.

Here are a couple of samples: With original music, photos and illustrations from the book, the charming trailer for Chronicles of Old San Francisco tells what this book of historical tales and walking tours is all about. And the Cut by Cut book trailer takes you into the world of entertainment and examines the art of film editing.

Both of the above books—as well as the trailers—are by Gael Chandler, author and film editor.

May 6, 2015toMay 16, 2015

Karnow-workshopAn invitation from National Geographic Traveler photographer Catherine Karnow:

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to announce my 2015 Catherine Karnow Photo Workshop in Umbria, Italy. This workshop is open for enrollment, with early registration discounts available through December 20, 2014.

This workshop will be what it is like to be me, Catherine Karnow, on assignment for my favorite travel magazine clients, such as National Geographic Traveler. I have handpicked the

December 6, 2014
10:00 amto4:00 pm

All the world is a stage, and so is the narrative that frames your characters. Whether it’s poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction, a well-conveyed sense of place is key. Jump on a magic carpet to other places and times with Linda Watanabe McFerrin in this one-day workshop.

When: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera, CA
How:  Register here  ($120)

Women-on-the-RoadWomen on the Road’s Voluntourism page points out some of the potential pitfalls of volunteering (you may be making people less self-sufficient, or exacerbating disharmony in a community, or taking jobs away from locals).

It also provides ten questions to help you sort through the many voluntourism options so you can choose one that’s a good fit for you—and a real help for the people you’re working with.

BBC AcademyThe Freelancer from Contently offers this list of six places journalists can get free online training. My favorite? The BBC Academy provides detailed information meant to help develop skills in areas like investigative journalism and interviewing.

RefreshHere’s CNN’s list of 9 apps every business traveler needs. It includes such entries as the handy Mynd Calendar, a free iPhone app that syncs with real-time traffic data to calculate drive times. Also on the list: the very scary Refresh, also free, which pulls info from various social media sites to provide tidbits about colleagues, such as whether they recently took a big trip or bought a new car.

XOO-beltLooking for the perfect gift for the traveler who already has almost everything? Here you go. It’s multipurpose, for packing efficiency. Its clean design works with most sartorial preferences. It charges your phone with a hidden micro-USB cable. (A 1,300mAh lithium ceramic polymer flexible battery is sandwiched between the two layers of leather, with an 800mAH battery residing comfortably in the buckle.) And it holds up your pants. It’s the The Xoo Belt, made by the British company that successfully crowdfunded the MiniDrive (goal: $11K; actual pledges: $384K).

LiteraryRejectionsIf you’re submitting work, you’re getting rejections, and the website Literary Rejections contains just the inspiration you need to keep going. Here are some examples:

  • After 5 years of continual rejection, the writer finally lands a publishing deal: Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
  • “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” A rejection letter sent to Dr Seuss. 300 million sales and the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.
  • 140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.

This is only marginally related to travel (it contains the phrase driver’s license), but most of my readers love the kind of word play that drives this joke.

A mother is driving her little girl to her friend’s house for a playdate. “Mummy,” the little girl asks, “how old are you?”

“Honey, you are not supposed to ask a lady her age,” the mother replied. “It’s not polite.”

“OK,” the little girl says, “What colour was your hair 2 years ago?”

“Now really,” the mother says, “those are personal questions and are really none of your business.”

September 21, 2014

SolasAwardsThe Solas Awards are an annual competition to find the best writing being done about the world today. Travelers’ Tales editors choose winners in 21 categories ranging from adventure to humor, from destination to memoir, and everything in between. The grand prize category has cash awards of $1,000, $750, and $500; all other category winners receive an awards certificate. Plus, winners may be published in Travelers’ Tales books. Check out BestTravelWriting.com for previous winners, submission guidelines, details of the awards and more.

From Jeff Greenwald, Executive Director of Ethical Traveler:

Friends and fellow travelers! As you may already know, the non-profit I co-created in 2003 — Ethical Traveler — has been offering some great trips to Cuba. This year, we’re expanding to include fascinating, enlightening journeys to Costa Rica and Panama as well. Cuba will be in the Spring of 2015, and I’ll send a longer message about that one later in the year (but it’s not too early to sign up!). I’ll be leading the Panama trip, too. So climb on board! Our trips are small, inexpensive, eye-opening and really, really

September 24, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Sex-Mishaps-Sept24

The first of three Titans of Travel events, Sex, Mishaps, and Adventure debuts on September 24th at the Mill Valley Library. Free; advance registration is recommended.

ZoziWriters Guidelines are here.

Someone once said we’re in the “memory making business”—we like that. We’re not about “escapes” and “getaways.” We’re about inspiring our readers to embrace life—preferably in a giant bear hug. From Everest Base Camp adventures to local cooking classes to tips on how to put on a wetsuit without looking like an idiot, we help people get away from their computers and out exploring the world.


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  • My Book is Now Available …

    Lost Kidnapped Eaten Alive!And it's getting rave reviews! Order your copy of Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive at Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it. You can also sign up for my mailing list for occasional updates about readings and events.
  • Google Apps for Your Email (you @ yourdomain.com

    Looking for the best email solution? Look no further, there's really only one player out there worth considering: Google Apps for Your Email.

    Looking to create a new email in Google Apps? Here's how.

  • The San Francisco Waterfront App

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    Full of fascinating info and insights— and with a 5-star rating on iTunes— the San Francisco Waterfront mobile app is still just $2.99. It's perfect for visitors, and SF natives love it, too.