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. I’m a writer, a former high-school teacher, an amateur photographer, a global nomad, and a grandmother with a mailing address in Southern California.
For the last several years, 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 like art-filled Santa Fe, NM; charming Corvallis, OR; huge Los Angeles, CA; intellectual Boulder, CO; and delightful Vashon Island, WA. I love the freedom, flexibility, and gas economy White Lightning provides, and if there’s wifi available, I find I can write and work on projects almost anywhere.
In addition to housesitting in those US locations, I’ve recently traveled abroad to Mexico, England & Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, India, Bhutan, and Israel (though I haven’t house-sat abroad yet). Coming up soon, England, France, Holland, and Germany.
In my blog here, I post occasional pieces and photo essays about places and people; art that inspires me; books I (or kids I know) read; road trips and house-sitting; challenges and solutions I’ve found as a writer—generally, I write about things that make my heart soar (or sore). You’re welcome to follow me by putting your email 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.
My most exciting project right now is my book-in-process—a middle-grades/’tween novel about the flukey adventures of two kids on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in northern Spain. That 500-mile hike, taken with their home-schooling mom, teaches them far more than they ever imagined. It gets especially complicated for eleven-year-old Jamie when he secretly promises two Goth-looking European guys to deliver a lumpy envelope, unopened, to a jewelry store on a street near the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. That’s the final destination of Camino pilgrims. Jamie has no clue what he’s carrying, yet he’s determined to keep his promise, until ….
The purpose of literature, I learned about a hundred years ago in college, is to teach and to delight. I try to keep that in mind as I write and revise Walk, Sweat, Wonder: Jamie Bacon’s Secret Mission on the Ancient Camino of Spain. So along with physical exhaustion and foreign food problems, Jamie and Lily, 13, meet plenty of quirky pilgrims. They experience a bike-car accident and charging bulls, rescue a puppy, learn tricks from a magician, explore real castles, prevent the destruction of priceless stained-glass windows, and much more. And all the while as they plod along the long, long trail, they’re visiting old-world places that ignite their interest in art, architecture, map-making, knights and Orders, and medieval history and literature.
Writing Walk, Sweat, Wonder is a fabulous adventure-project, one of the best of my life. Three times, so far, it’s taken me to Spain and the Camino with my backpack and boots. There, of course, I’ve experienced blisters, ecstasy, fear, friendships, falls, sickness, miracles, treasures, beauty, and much laughter—you know, the ordinary stuff of pilgrimages.
A town that Jamie and Lily walk through in Walk, Sweat, Wonder
Now, the book is completed and I’m in the process of finding an agent or publisher for Walk, Sweat, Wonder. I can hardly wait until it’s available for kids (of all ages) who love adventure and surprises and travel.