So Much Stuff! Events, new books and more…

My perfect weekend started on Thursday with live opera outside the new coffee stand at the CalTrain station in San Francisco. It was sunny and warm and I was far too overdressed in a thin long sleeved shirt. It was great to be back in the Travelers’ Tales office and Larry commented that seeing me there made it seem like I hadn’t even been gone. I feel the same whenever I come home.

Krista and I cranked out an outline for a five week national tour for Whose Panties Are These? starting in September, and Susan handed me the galley so I could get to work on it. (Please don’t email me and ask if your story made the cut, I’m still working on the final TOC).

I was in town for my old roommate’s wedding. But you know Oscar Villalon as the Book Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. It was the kind of wedding that made you feel like this is what it’s all about, and I had the most fun I’ve had at a wedding in about five years or more. He and Mary Ladd are extremely blessed to have found each other. The weekend was packed with great meals with old friends, and the summer weather reminded me that yes, I was indeed back in Cali.

On the other side of relaxation, I was also reminded that my SF life is bustling from one event to the next and bursting with news that is all things travel writing related. So, here’s the scoop…

Larry Habegger’s advanced writing class got a personal and private hour and a half meeting with Pico Iyer. How cool is that?! Larry started the class after the Book Passage Travel Writing and Photographer’s Conference last year. He will be teaching another Advanced Writing class later this year, but you can get a feel for his expertise in a one day class at Book Passage. “Crafting the Personal Travel Story” will be held June 19th, 2004 and can be booked online at




Saturday I ran into Don George near Ocean Beach. It was great to see his grinning mug. I told him about our “Don George for Travel Editor at the NYT campaign” that was started from an old post about their less than par travel section. He told me that he has a new book coming out….Lonely Planet Travel Writing due out in Spring of 2005. He’s working hard on it and it’s a big difference between editing and anthology and being a solo author, as you can imagine.

Another great book that is coming out soon is Michael Shapiro’s A Sense of Place. Michael has compiled a book of interviews with several of the greats in travel writing. But these aren’t just any interviews, Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Redmond O’Hanlon, Simon Winchester, Isabelle Allende, Sara Wheeler, and more will be discussing where they live, why they chose their place, and how it influences their writing. It comes out this September and is published by Travelers’ Tales.

The picnic was a lot of fun and a healthy dose of travel and travel writing advice was passed around. Jeff Greenwald’s performances at the Marsh were a hot topic. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make any of them. Rolf and I leave Wednesday morning and will be seeing Pico Iyer’s event in Santa Barbara before getting to San Diego.

The good news is I’ll be back in SF after BEA the second week of June until the end of July. We might even be throwing together a temporary writing group that would meet, dare I say, every week? I told Bill Fink I could do it every two weeks, but my time here is short and I have lots or work to get through so I could push him to once a week. If anyone is interested in something short term June to July, let me know.