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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Jungle Hostels

Fun excerpts from my 2008 Central America travel journal, which I'm currently transcribing:

Describing one of my favorite jungle hostels, Casa Perico, near Rio Dulce, Guatemala:
“WC: Far away, downstairs and across boardwalk. Pretty clean, with soap! Shower has kinda scary hole you have to reach your hand into to turn off the water. Other WC has bats.”


And Lydia's Guest House, in Placencia, Belize:
“WCs—clean, with plenty of TP (and baby frogs)”

I loved that trip!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Animal Stories by Bill Sherwonit

I really enjoyed this book. It's not exactly a page-turner, and some of the essays have a little too much detail for my personal taste, but the writing is good and the essay format makes it easy to read in short segments and really digest all the information.

I love the mix of science and observation and history and philosophy, all wrapped up in the author's personal experiences and reactions. A perfect combination.

Sometimes I (in my own weakness) don't enjoy nature writing because it's like, “This is how I wrestled a bear in the wilderness,” and “A whale jumped over our boat” and “I spent two weeks living with wild wolves, and if you've never done that, you're really missing out.” It can make my own more humble experiences with nature and wildlife feel shallow and inadequate. But the thing is, I think all encounters with wildlife are amazing, and so does Bill Sherwonit. He spends just as much time talking about the wonders of song birds and frogs and squirrels as he does about moose and bears and wolverines. And he makes those song birds interesting. It's very refreshing.

I believe the book will inspire people who may never have a chance to see a bear or a whale or spend two weeks with wild wolves, but who can learn to really observe the birds in their backyard or their city park and commune with nature through them.


Rating:  4 1/2 stars!  

Buy Animal Stories at Amazon (or other retailers)

Visit Bill Sherwonit and find out more about his other books online:  http://www.billsherwonit.alaskawriters.com/

Visit Alaska and its wildlife yourself with help from my book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide


Friday, August 11, 2017

Best movies I've seen this year--some common threads

I was pondering the best movies I've seen so far this year, and I realized that they all have a few things in common.  See if you can figure it out:

Bridge of Spies
Hidden Figures
The Zookeeper's Wife
A United Kingdom

Things I found in common:
-All take place in the recent past
-All are based on true stories
-All feature some aspect of politics
-All feature some sort of prejudice/segregation and the fighting of it
AND...
-All are based on books.

Yay for books!

Bridge of Spies is based partly on Strangers on a Bridge by James Donovan


Hidden Figures is based on Hidden Figures:  The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who Helped Win the Space Race by  Margot Lee Shetterly


The Zookeeper's Wife is based on The Zookeeper's Wife; A War Story by Diane Ackerman


A United Kingdom is based on Colour Bar;  The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation by Susan Williams



Monday, August 7, 2017

Literary Magazines with Themes, Fall 2017


Head on over to Writers on the Move to see my new roundup of literary magazines with themes like "community," "taste," "dancing in the wind" and "Rumpelstiltskin."

Due dates range from the end of August, 2017 to January 2018.