A blog for people who don't want to spend all their free time in the real world. After all, we live and work there. Escape the mundane with books, travel, and writing.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Great Things about Arizona Summers

Phoenix offers many advantages, especially in summer:

-If you want tea, you don't have to bother with heating water.  Just turn your tap to its hottest and pour right into your cup.

-If you're in a rush, you can cook dinner on your dashboard on the way home from the store.

-There's no irksome noise from neighbor kids playing outside.  They're all inside with the air conditioning.

-You don't have to worry about what to do with your extra money.  You're spending it all on the above mentioned air conditioning.    

-Clothes—even jeans—dry faster when hung outside than they do in the dryer.

-You can have a hot shower in the sprinklers.

-Long after midnight—maybe 4 AM—it could possibly cool down all the way to 84° F (29° C).

-One hundred days in a row without rain! 

The Arizona desert:  good weather all year round.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Los Chorros de Calera, El Salvador

Los Chorros del Calera, El Salvador
Just outside Juayúa, El Salvador, the Chorros de Calera are a series of waterfalls and pools, connected by man-made tunnels you can swim though in the dark.  Quite a little adventure.  If you're even braver, you can do some cliff jumping into the narrow pools, a feat made to look easy by the local guides. 

Ready for adventure?  Swim through that!
I did an inexpensive tour from the hostel, Hotel Anáhuac.  Our guide was awesome, giving us bits of history and biology as we hiked, then guiding us through the tunnels with shouted commands like, "Hands arriba!"  Hands up.  "This way, this way!  Aventura!" 

Hungry?  Jungle Picnic.
Afterwards, he made us lunch, cutting open a pineapple with a machete and serving it on banana leaves.

I'd never heard of Juayúa before I started researching my Central America trip.  Between the falls, the social hostel, and the local gastronomy festival where I shared a frog with new friends, Juayúa become one of my favorite stops on my Central American odyssey. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Requiem for a Lost Towel

Published again!

Budget travelers, backpackers, and fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will enjoy this travel article about the importance of knowing where your towel is.

Click to read Requiem For a Lost Towel, by Melinda Brasher, published on Connecting Solo Travel Network

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Two-Fisted Tweets" by James Hutchings

Flash fiction takes many forms, but James' Hutchings' Two-Fisted Tweets are micro-micro fiction in the extreme.  Each story takes no more than 140 characters, the length of a standard tweet.  I'm not a fan of tweets, but I'm a fan of this collection of bite-sized stories. 

Most of Hutchings' stories are funny or thought-provoking, and the whole collection amazes me with what you can communicate in so few words. 

As a writer, I always say I'm not very good at short.  I won a little internet contest on 400-word flash fiction, and I had to take my scalpel to every last one of those stories, until they were exactly short enough.  James Hutchings has inspired me to try my hand at something even shorter.  Thanks!

Click to download Two-Fisted Tweets to your e-reader free (as of now)
Or see some of my flash fiction online.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mazatlan Sunset

Mazatlán, México
Mazatlan, Mexico
Sunset on the cove after a great day relaxing, swimming, and eating fish on the beach at Stone Island.