The Book Tour Diaries, Ohio

By: on October 5, 2005 | # | Comments (0)

Dear So and So,
Thank you for Carlos at Bank of America for lifting the 7-day hold on my tour check so I can have enough money to get around on the Midwest leg of my tour. And extra big thanks for Sandy at Avis who uttered the magic words—"Yes, we take debit cards." I know there might've been some additional line she said to the gal next to her after we hung up...and it might've sounded something like..."Can you believe how many credit-fucked idiots there are out there? If only our bosses would advertise our debit card policy, we might get more customers than our competitors across the street."

Because of these wonderful people I didn't have to put a rideshare ad on Craigslist, and then lie to my boyfriend, "No, I promised you I wouldn't do any more rideshares with strangers and I won't, I'm taking a Greyhound from Ohio to Indiana."

Nope, now I have a dirty black Toyota Corolla, heretoforth called the Limo.

But I couldn't stop splurging there. I booked a room at the most expensive hotel I've ever stayed in on a tour...Best Western. $62/night plus tax. But they didn't tell me about the plus tax until I asked to stay a second night. Now we're up to $70. Still, it's better than the $45 (plus tax) budget hotel I first pulled into with the drugged out hooker approaching me in the parking lot.

As if the Limo, and Chez BW weren't enough of a splurge, I lost all control and took 15 pounds of dirty laundry to a woman who'd do it in three hours for 90cents/lb. That was just enough time to go get my nails done in an effort to spruce up for "Girls Night Out," at Joseph-Beth in Cincinnati. Three hours till game time and I'm still in sweats, waiting for my clean clothes, and not worried at all because I've discovered how to use a hair straightener.

Life is good. Bring the crowds.

# # # #

Current location: Cincinnati, OH for "Girls Night Out!" at Joseph-Beth -- Oct 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Up next: Indianapolis, IN -- Oct 6 at Big Hat Books. Nobody knows what time. Not even them when I called them today.....uh oh.
The book: The Thong Also Rises
The tour: As scheduled so far...

Are You Writing this Weekend?

By: on September 4, 2005 | # | Comments (6)

Labor Day weekend. Some of you have emailed me with notice of time allotted for writing this weekend. That makes me happy, and since we're at the half way point, or just after, I thought I'd check in with you.

So...are you writing?

Or are you beaching, partying, wining and dining? Hopefully you're not working like me. Don't worry, I've been taking some time off and even got over to have a look at the Pacific, see a movie (Four Brothers), have sushi with friends, get some Matzo Ball Soup at Jerry's Deli, and win a few SNGs (poker).

But right now I'm researching a few stories. This week was a banner week for me in the assignment dept. Mother Load: I had editors from one newspaper, one magazine, and one website all invite me to write for them. And that doesn't even include a secondary potential magazine lead. I didn't even pitch any of them. This has all been from the Jen Leo school of making friends.

As icing on the cake, a bookseller from a prominent indie bookstore told me she keeps looking for a book written solely by me.

So, I'm at it. I've made my list of all these leads and put them on my desk so I can see them. I'm Google-ing away and taking notes. Square one. every writer needs to fess up to their distractions...I just found out that A&E is running back to back episodes of 24 all day and all night long! Lucky me, they are currently running one of the last shows that I saw early on this season. That means there's a good chance I can catch up on the whole season by 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Speaking of fessing up...what are you doing? Getting anything done? What are your distractions.

Google Talk and Other Ways To Communicate

By: on August 25, 2005 | # | Comments (0)
So, this weekend at the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Michael Shapiro was cracking up at a long...

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Kelly is Writing for Gadling!

By: on August 25, 2005 | # | Comments (4)
Hey everybody, lets all give Kelly Amabile a big congrats for getting a paid blogging gig with Gadling. As you...

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Book Passage Review From a Student

By: on August 22, 2005 | # | Comments (0)
Here is a guest post from Dave Prine, a regular commenter on Written Road and one of five people that...

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Book Passage: Day 1

By: on August 19, 2005 | # | Comments (11)
Lets give a friendly hello to all the new writers coming to Written Road from the Book Passage Travel Writers...

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Summer Camp for Travel Writers

By: on August 15, 2005 | # | Comments (4)
It's Book Passage time! Every third week in August, travel writers convene Thursday - Sunday at the Book Passage Travel...

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How Writers Get Paid

By: on August 12, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
OK, so this doesn't have anything to do with travel writing, but I think it's interesting from a freelancers perspective....

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Wil Wheaton the Writer

By: on August 7, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
Last night I heard Wil Wheaton give a banquet speech to a roomful of poker enthusiasts at the Las Vegas...

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Creative Writing Class in Paris with Rolf Potts

By: on July 31, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
This week I got to be a guest lecturer at Rolf's creative writing class at the Paris American Academy in...

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Not So Weekly Stats July 30

By: on July 30, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
Current Location: Detroit to LAX Current Weather: who knows, cooler than Vegas Current Reads:Vegas Trivia, and Avant Guide Las Vegas...

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Leaving for Rolf's Writing Class in Paris

By: on July 23, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
I head off to Paris today to be a guest speaker at Rolf's creative writing class at the Paris American...

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Vegas Stats July 10, 2005

By: on July 10, 2005 | # | Comments (3)
Current Location: Vegas, Baby! Current Weather: 95 -104F Current Reads:Tales from the Tiltboys: Edited by Kim Scheinberg, Foreword by Phil...

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What Do You Do to Live Up to Your Potential?

By: on July 4, 2005 | # | Comments (11)
I was presented with a rare gift last week. A new friend called me out. Not out to gamble, not...

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Blogging For Books Winners

By: on June 29, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
This month I participated in Blogging for Books on The Zero Boss blog by Jay Allen. Every month Jay puts...

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North Beach Festival

By: on June 21, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
It was good to be at the North Beach Festival this year. We've been doing it every year for oh...

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Vegas Stats

By: on June 17, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather:68F, In Vegas...94F Current Reads:, Tao of Poker, Jay Greenspan's WSOP reports, and...

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Blogebrity, Baby!

By: on May 26, 2005 | # | Comments (8)
I made the C-LIST! It doesn't sound as good as the A-LIST, but if you look and see who these...

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Thong Also Rises Update

By: on May 23, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we're just wrapping up the final table of contents for The...

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Vegas Mini Stats

By: on May 21, 2005 | # | Comments (3)
Current Location: Bed, Home, Las Vegas, NV Current Weather: 99F yesterday Current Reads: Thong stories Days in Vegas since the...

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2nd Vegas Stats

By: on May 6, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
Current Location: Kitchen Table, Home, Las Vegas, NV Current Weather: 79F, In the shaded patio Current Reads: Thong stories Movies...

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Globe-Blogging on Rick Steves

By: on May 5, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
So...two websites are traveling in opposite directions on train tracks. If one is using a blog and traveling at the...

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Interviewing Tips

By: on April 27, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
I've interviewed four people in the past week. One was casual, at a desk, where I actually got to type...

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100 Nights in Las Vegas

By: on April 23, 2005 | # | Comments (12)
The biggest challenge I'm facing right now as a writer is finding a balance between living the grist, and getting...

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First Vegas Stats

By: on April 20, 2005 | # | Comments (3)
Current Location: Las Vegas, NV Current Weather: 70F, In the shaded patio Current Reads: my email Movies this week: Kung...

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Editor Etiquette

By: on April 3, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
I was on the phone with an editor at a big famous glossy magazine this past week. It was my...

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Not So Monthly Stats

By: on March 29, 2005 | # | Comments (7)
Current Location: Palo Alto, CA Current Weather: 61F, 16C, Sunny Current Reads: Poker news on the web Movies this week:...

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Book Launch Party Brainstorm

By: on March 16, 2005 | # | Comments (9)
My brain is fried, but still....Emily just poo-poohed my idea of having a blogging book launch party for The Thong...

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Why Poker?

By: on March 11, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
My move to Las Vegas and blogging at pPlayer is starting to attract a question I hadn't given much thought...

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Top Five Things That Keep Writers Groups Together

By: on March 1, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
5. Guilt or hosting, the host feels more pressure to show. 4. Threat of other writers stealing your stories....yes, it...

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Life is Good

By: on February 28, 2005 | # | Comments (5)
So, I've been trying to think of what to share with you the past few days and have been drawing...

» Continue reading "Life is Good" Showing off the new blog

By: on February 21, 2005 | # | Comments (3)
I am thrilled to finally be able to tell you about the new blog I'm writing for. is all...

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2.12.05 Not So Weekly Stats

By: on February 12, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather: 64F, 17C, sunny Current Reads: Submissions for the Thong Also Rises Movies this...

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Travel Writers Blog and the subject of money

By: on February 12, 2005 | # | Comments (4)
OK, Carl Parkes called me out. I've been meaning to do a post about his blog for months now. (my...

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Flipflopping Both Sides of Publishing

By: on February 4, 2005 | # | Comments (0)
This week I was working in the new Travelers' Tales office in Palo Alto. I really love it there. High...

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1.31.05 Not So Weekly Stats

By: on January 31, 2005 | # | Comments (11)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather: 52F, 11C, sunny enough Current Reads: Submissions for the Thong Also Rises Number...

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Easy Going Travel Shop Online

By: on January 24, 2005 | # | Comments (1)
I got the sad news this weekend that Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore in Berkeley, CA will be closing...

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1.23.05 Not So Weekly Stats

By: on January 23, 2005 | # | Comments (11)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather: 59F, 15C, partly cloudy today Current Reads: Poker : The Real Deal by...

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Far Side Cartoon for Writers

By: on January 20, 2005 | # | Comments (0)
Oh yeah, we can relate to this one... Sheep Authors Thanks, James!...

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1.16.05 Not So Weekly Stats

By: on January 16, 2005 | # | Comments (9)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather: 61F, 16C Current Reads: Poker : The Real Deal by Phil Gordon and...

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No More Holiday Edits

By: on January 7, 2005 | # | Comments (0)
Sorry folks, I have to turn you away and I don't feel good about it. I received lots of replies...

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1.01.05 Weekly Stats

By: on January 2, 2005 | # | Comments (2)
Sorry I didn't get these out last Friday. Or two days ago, for that matter. Current Location: Truckee, California (Lake...

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Working on Your Stories

By: on December 27, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Yes, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I'm in San Diego and just started working on your stories this...

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12.17.04 Weekly Stats

By: on December 17, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
Current Location: Chico, CA en route to Portland, OR Current Weather: 34 Current Reads: The Tiltboys Movies this week: 0...

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12.11.04 Weekly Stats

By: on December 11, 2004 | # | Comments (8)
Current Location: Redwood City, CA Current Weather: 52 and hazy Current Reads: Devil in the Details : Scenes from an...

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12.03.04 Weekly Stats

By: on December 3, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
Current Reads: Rough Guide: First-Time Around the World by Doug Lansky Movie this week: 0 Song I get excited to...

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Working Out & Creativity

By: on December 1, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Before I go hit the precor and try to rack up my gym count for weekly stats, I wanted to...

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Thanksgiving.04 Weekly Stats

By: on November 29, 2004 | # | Comments (4)
I know, I know, I didn't do stats last week. Here you go: Current Reads: my email if I was...

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The School of Hum

By: on November 19, 2004 | # | Comments (4)
I'm seeing Jim Benning tonight for the second time this week, have talked to him several times on the phone,...

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11.19.04 Weekly Stats

By: on November 19, 2004 | # | Comments (7)
Current Reads: Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts, Positively Fifth Street by...

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Saturday Small World Book Notes

By: on November 13, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Yesterday I got a $20 Criagslist rideshare from SF to LA from a very cool woman who is doing crazy...

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Weekly Life/Travel Writing Stats

By: on November 11, 2004 | # | Comments (8)
We have spent the past ten years dvd gearing our business towards regular dvd prints that come from Kodak...

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The Uglier Side of the Travel Writing Game

By: on November 10, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
William Georgiades, I think I love you. And I don't use that word liberally. But, ok, today I am. Maybe...

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Back to Back Book Deals: Get Your Stories & Tips In!

By: on November 5, 2004 | # | Comments (6)
I'm thrilled to announce that I'm getting back to back book deals with Travelers' Tales. Humor books are working and...

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Meet New People, Get a Story Lead

By: on November 2, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
Yesterday night on the train I moved seats to let a family be closer to the tv I wasn't watching....

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My Sunday

By: on October 31, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Even though I don't have a full time job, or a family, I'm having slight difficulty keeping up. Do not...

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Publishers Lunch Got Me This Time

By: on October 28, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
Publishers Lunch has been slowly guilt tripping me into getting their subscription service. I can't read one cheap version without...

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Global Travel Writing Ideas Bank

By: on October 24, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Today I found the [via Jay Gesin's Anthem Book Blog] It was a bit too activist oriented for me...

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How Long Have You Been Writing on the Road?

By: on October 19, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Q & A with travel columnist Dennis McCann from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel This quote about travel writing caught my...

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It Truly Begins

By: on October 19, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
Some of you may know that I've been talking about doing a book proposal, and a book, of my love...

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Where Poker Meets Writing

By: on October 18, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
I've read bits of The Tao of Poker before, but I liked what he revealed today about his writing life....

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Rolf Potts: The Man, The Myth, the Hottie

By: on October 15, 2004 | # | Comments (8)
So, here I am cruising around the country doing author events for my latest book. The way these events go,...

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I'm Home

By: on October 12, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
But where is home? The better way to ask is, Where do you live? To which the reply I'm comfortable...

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Author Signing at the GLBA 2004

By: on October 10, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
Ha ha! It looks like I am posting before Jay Gesin. We did not end up doing any head to...

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Which Came First, the Starlet or the Sales Rep?

By: on October 9, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
It is almost 1am over here in Dearborn, Michigan. I'm at the Hyatt where the Great Lakes Booksellers Association convention...

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By: on October 7, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
It is way too early for me to be thinking about Xmas. Let alone twice in a week. But I...

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Bookshelf: The Gem of Guelph, ON

By: on October 4, 2004 | # | Comments (7)
I woke up tired. Very tired. And I had an appointment to meet with Bookshelf's bookstore manager, Dan Evans, this...

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Talking With My Mouthful

By: on September 30, 2004 | # | Comments (7)
So I was on the phone with Susan this afternoon asking her to get some books shipped to Wordstock 2004...

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Influences on an Artist's Creative Process

By: on September 20, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
I'm in Portland, Oregon with Andrea and Dale. You might know Andrea from Andrea Johnson Photography. She won the 2003...

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Copyright Hassles

By: on September 8, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
Yesterday I was at Staples trying to make color copies of clips including those from TIME, Student Traveler, and STA's...

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Computer Luck

By: on September 4, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
I've been good about not whining these past two weeks. My computer had a freak water accident in which it...

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Behind the Scenes with Bill Fink

By: on August 26, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Bill Fink won the award for Best Essay at this year's Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference. "Reading Between...

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Balance...It Was Worth A Stab

By: on August 22, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
I just spent the last week camping in Oregon. The intention was to relax before the impending book tour for...

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Writing for Student Traveler Magazine Part II

By: on August 4, 2004 | # | Comments (9)
Earlier this year I posted an interview with Editor Jeff Booth, "Writing for Student Traveler Magazine". My story, "Eurailing 101",...

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New Resume

By: on July 30, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
Contrary to popular day-dreaming, not all work lands in your inbox pitch-free. Though, I wouldn't have known it the way...

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The Vanity of an Author...

By: on July 29, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
...this author. OK, so we're usually here talking about the creative and business end of being a writer. But what...

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Sopranos and Writing

By: on July 18, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
In Sopranos (Second Season), Christopher makes some headway with getting his screenplay into the hands of writer/director/actor John Favreau. One...

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By: on June 29, 2004 | # | Comments (4)
I'm finally done with my story. Just turned it in. I think it took 6-7 rewrites, but the last 2-3...

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The New Yorker: Vacations from Hell

By: on June 10, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
I bought The New Yorker Summer Fiction Issue yesterday. It had a section called "Vacations From Hell," and the main...

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BEA 2004:I'm Going In

By: on June 3, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
The next few days I'll be posting on Book Expo America. If there are any publishers that you'd like me...

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Where Is All the Good Travel Literature?

By: on June 2, 2004 | # | Comments (7)
You tell me. Lately I've been spending time with Jim Benning and Rolf Potts. Even though we are knee deep...

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Getting Ready for BEA

By: on May 28, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
Well, Susan, we'll have to add Bill baby to our itinerary. Yeah, here I am at Kinkos in La Jolla...

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a new take on the old adage

By: on May 26, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
Great minds think....

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Jen Leo 6.0

By: on May 18, 2004 | # | Comments (10)
I can no longer complain about my family not reading my writing because 1) I just wrote another piece that...

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Going Wireless: A Valiant Attempt to Leave the Stone Age

By: on May 10, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
The most difficult part about being a home-hopper is transitioning to new computer set ups. In Belgium I didn't have...

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So Much Stuff! Events, new books and more...

By: on May 3, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
My perfect weekend started on Thursday with live opera outside the new coffee stand at the CalTrain station in San...

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By: on April 24, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
Today I was approached by a travel website that saw my travelogue stories on BootsnAll. They wanted to reprint my...

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TIME byline

By: on April 12, 2004 | # | Comments (6)
My first true parent pleasing byline came out today. TIME. When I told my grandfather this weekend he said he...

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TIME byline

By: on April 12, 2004 | # | Comments (6)
My first true parent pleasing byline came out today. TIME. When I told my grandfather this weekend he said he...

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A Humorous Bit on Fact checkers

By: on April 3, 2004 | # | Comments (6)
If you hate having your articles fact checked, you'll enjoy this piece by Florence King: "First, we kill all the...

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My New Ideas Book

By: on March 27, 2004 | # | Comments (2)
I must be operating on a handful of notebooks right now. Varying sizes. A few that fit in my front...

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Writing About Our Lives

By: on February 27, 2004 | # | Comments (9)
This post is not about writing your memoir. So, if you find this personal vent while looking for advice, there's...

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Positive Quote About Dreams

By: on February 25, 2004 | # | Comments (7)
I'm going to miss seeing this magnet on the fridge when I leave Waterloo next week: If somone believes in...

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Writing Inspiration

By: on February 17, 2004 | # | Comments (5)
I'm finally reading The Life of Pi. As I cram in my last few weeks in Belgium, my own personal...

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From Writer's Block to Around The Bloc

By: on February 2, 2004 | # | Comments (5)
Stephanie Elizondo Griest has done it. She has believed in herself, traveled, put in the elbow grease at the old...

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Balancing Writing and Acquiring New Ideas

By: on January 23, 2004 | # | Comments (0)
I got a great piece of fan mail this week. It happens from time to time, but this one was...

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Getting My Writing Samples Ready

By: on January 15, 2004 | # | Comments (4)
I've been getting ready for the Adventure Travel Expo, and man it would be a lot easier if Waterloo had...

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Editing Whose Panties Are These

By: on January 11, 2004 | # | Comments (3)
I'm in full gear editing the sequel to Sand in My Bra. I checked in with Travelers' Tales this week,...

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Punctuation Fairy Tale

By: on January 7, 2004 | # | Comments (1)
This post is not about my life. But I put it in this new category because it is a success...

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Taking on Rejection

By: on January 4, 2004 | # | Comments (4)
I pitched a few things towards the end of the year and got rejected. That's fine by me. In both...

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Intestinal Fortitude, It Applies to Writers too

By: on December 23, 2003 | # | Comments (6)
I love my book. It is essential for a writer to read. And that is something that I’ve struggled with...

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