Life is good, don’t you think? For me right now, life’s a travel adventure and an experiment in creating a mobile, productive, satisfying lifestyle. My modus operandi? I’m a house-sitter. And I’m also a writer, a retired high-school teacher, an amateur photographer, a global nomad, and a grandmother with a mailing address in Southern California.
Since 2012, my most loyal companion has been my 2009 Prius, White Lightning. She takes me on road trips and to house-sitting opportunities in places that appeal to me. For example, I’ve house-sat in Santa Fe, NM; Corvallis, OR; Los Angeles, CA; Boulder, CO; Vashon Island, WA; Crestone, CO; and Albuquerque, NM. I love the freedom, flexibility, and gas economy White Lightning provides, and if there’s wifi available, I can write, photograph, work on projects—and make new friends—almost anywhere.
In addition to house-sitting in those US locations, my lifestyle lets me travel abroad: in 2013, it was India; in 2016 and 2017, I spent time in France, England, Germany, Spain, and Bulgaria. And although I haven’t done it yet, I’m certainly open to considering house-sitting outside the US.
In my blog here, I post occasional pieces and photo essays about places, people, art that inspires me, books I (or kids I know) read, road trips, challenges and solutions I’ve found as a writer, and more. You’re welcome to follow me by entering your email address in the box on the right so you’ll be notified when I make a new post. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time, and FYI, I’m not informed about who subscribes. Because of spam, my settings don’t allow comments, so if you want to reach me, please use the Contact form.
I’ve recently finished my first novel, WALK! Jamie Frazer’s Secret Mission on the Ancient Camino in Spain. It’s a middle-grades (age 8-13) travel tale about the mishaps and mysteries encountered by 11-year-old Jamie as he hikes the famous 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. He’s walking with Lily, 13, and their home-school teacher, Mom. But things get especially complicated for him when he secretly promises two young men to deliver a lumpy envelope, unopened, in their destination city, Santiago de Compostela. Jamie has no clue what he’s carrying, yet he’s determined to keep his promise (and hide it from Mom) until ….
The purpose of literature is to teach and to delight. WALK!, I’m pretty sure, does both. Along with the typical trials of pilgrims like blisters and bedbugs, Jamie, Lily, and Mom survive accidents and charging bulls and getting lost. They meet the wise and the eccentric. They explore castles, cathedrals, and caves. There’s plenty of sweat and a few tears, but no blood. Plus, plodding along that long, long, long trail, there’s story after story about medieval history and life. And, you guessed it, in the end, Jamie’s a hero.
Writing WALK! took me three times, so far, to Spain and the Camino with my backpack and boots.
A pretty Spanish town that Jamie and Lily pass through in WALK!
Now that the manuscript of WALK! is completed, I’m on to the next stage of my book’s pilgrimage: the publishing process. Stay tuned.