Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Mishmash: A Story Break

While I know it's not true, it often seems as though I'm never not working. Whether writing or promoting travel guides, working on articles and blog posts, or helping my husband, Dan, with one of his film fests, it feels as though I never make much time for fun – whether that might be reading a book, going to the movies, listening to live music with Dan, or writing some purposeless fiction. I often have to remind myself – due, in large part, to my husband's prodding – that fun is a necessary part of every day, which is why I appreciate creative outlets such as Come In Character, where authors are free to write through their characters' voices, no matter if they're from published stories or works-in-progress. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time for CIC as of late – in fact, I'd been on hiatus since before the holidays – but last week, I decided that the hiatus had lasted long enough. On Friday, I posted the start of a group story – a winter's tale, to be exact – and while my fellow writers have already begun contributing, the story's not over yet. So, if you find yourself overworked at the moment, and in need of a story break, feel free to stop by, too!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Travels: My Kingdom for Key Lime Pie

While I'm extremely proud that my latest guidebook, Moon Florida Keys (Avalon Travel, 2011), is now available in bookstores across the country, I'm especially proud of the fact that most of the photographs included within its pages were taken by either me or my husband, Dan. Not only do these images make this first edition feel even more like a labor of love, but they also allow us to relive our incredibly memorable research trips to the Florida Keys. Of course, seeing our photos in print also means that it's easier to miss that famous island chain, especially the food down there. This photo, for instance, was taken by Dan on the night we first tasted the delicious key lime pie (incidentally, my favorite dessert) at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen in Key Largo – and all I can say is... I sure wish I had more than a picture right now.

P.S. If you're curious about the Florida Keys, consider “liking” my Facebook page. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Travels: More Than a Decade of Memories

My husband, Dan, and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary this past weekend at a romantic little restaurant in the French Quarter – and while I'm still happy to be with my sweetie after all these years, I find it rather hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since we exchanged our vows in that little chapel on the Las Vegas Strip. As with most people, I just can't believe how fast the time has flown. Of course, when I reflect on all the places we've traveled together since meeting in early 1999 – from Chicago to London to Yosemite National Park to many towns in between – it does seem a bit easier to fathom, and all I can say is that I look forward to many more years with my favorite traveling companion. Happy anniversary, Danny!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Travels: Another Giveaway!

In my last post, I told you about a trivia contest that I was running on my American Nomad travel blog at Well, I'm happy to report that there were two winners – Sean Landon and Shannon Edris – each of whom won three of my guidebooks. So, congratulations, you two!

To ring in the new year, is hosting yet another travel giveaway. One lucky reader will win a $250 Southwest Airlines gift card in exchange for answering a simple question: “What U.S. city, town, or national park do you most want to visit in 2011?” For a few ideas, check out my list of the best places to travel in the U.S., which features everything from Santa Barbara to Chicago to Washington, D.C. Good luck, fellow travelers!