Thoughts after one journey and before another “Tell me,” she said, “why gringo women wear such ugly shoes.” She said it in Spanish, her tongue forming the precise syllables that I envied and still failed to produce after years of practice. Her name was Viviana, and she was my Spanish teacher. We were practicing my conversation… Continue reading A Steamy Day and a Missed Connection In Honduras
Wanderlust is invading my dreams. The pandemic shelved six weeks on the Camino de Santiago, but the other night my mind decided to depart without me… The inn is far enough off the Camino de Santiago to be lightly visited, even at the height of the pilgrimage season, but that is to my advantage, for… Continue reading Why Is There a Denny’s on the Camino de Santiago?
Two double espressos on top of sleep deprivation have lodged my mind in a sweet spot where what I generally consider reality is heightened and blurred and unusually imbued with meaning. At this moment it seems to me the fog outside the grimy bus windows is the result of an atmosphere saturated with metaphor instead… Continue reading Coffee, Baseball, and Fear of Flying
Steven Pressfield would call it the dumbest idea he’d ever heard — but I’ll wager that was probably before Robert Redford got involved. Pressfield’s idea blossomed into the novel that became his first commercial success, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Unsatisfied, the idea morphed into a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon — and directed by Robert Redford.… Continue reading How Steven Pressfield Sold America the Bhagavad Gita
He was a racing camel “Tom Marley is a racing camel,” Ahmed said. “The fastest in all of the Sinai.” “Tom Marley?” I asked. “Not Bob?” Ahmed appeared somewhat surprised by my ignorance, but the stupidity of tourists is known the world over. Ahmed patiently explained that Tom Marley, the racing camel, was named after Tom… Continue reading A Camel Named Tom Marley Made Me Choose: Be Right or Be Happy?
In traveling, as in life, there are some things you simply don’t tell your parents. Going beyond what happens at the hostel stays at the hostel, some things you just keep to yourself. Including things that would keep your mom up at night and lead to a blizzard of reminders about safety and links to… Continue reading Who Reads Warning Signs Crossing the Nile?
Short Story Ellie pulled her hip waders up over her jeans and ran the straps through her belt. “There you go, Baby,” she said to Nathan, “You wanted to see me in thigh highs.” She mock-posed and laughed, the sun reflecting off her aviator sunglasses and her thick, black braids lying on her shoulder. Behind… Continue reading Thigh Highs
Fiction No doubt about it. The bear was stalking her. K.P. had been trying to ignore the bear for three days so she could finish her home-school class in Alaska History. The bear kept sneaking through the willow and alder forest to the edge of the yard from different directions at different times of the… Continue reading No Doubt About It: The Bear Was Stalking Her
Fiction My thoughts are as thin-walled and hollow as bird bones this wintry morning. The cold keeps me from my morning walk, so I permit myself another chance to doze. Root-rumpled pavement unwinds beneath my sleeping feet as I wander the silence of an urban forest. In waking life my daughter is named Raven, and I… Continue reading My Raven Daughter Whispers Me a Dream
Stories inspired by my daughter If you arrived here after reading the Raven and the Mango Roadtrip, I hope you enjoyed the series. I started it trying to write a detective-type story set in Mexico with characters based on my daughter and me. I wrote it by the seat of my pants, and it veered… Continue reading Raven-related stories