Friday, April 17, 2009

On my Way to Santa Fe

I'm so glad that writing opportunities come in bursts at unexpected moments.
I'm on my way to Santa Fe for an 8 day catch-up with my four-year old grandson Weston -- the one who knows the meaning of onomatopoeia. (Okay, look it up, it's a fun word all writers should know!) Weston is my soul mate--loves words and reading, and I expect will soon be writing his own stories. (His mom told me he did his first crossword puzzle last week!

So all that is to say--here I am, barely re-entering from my amazing pilgrimage to Egypt, Israel, Greece and Turkey, and I'm off again--with all my Writer Antennae fully extended, smiling as I watch for the story ideas that will be popping all around me.

When I get back, I promise to continue with those joyful and intriguing bursts of insight from my Holy Land trip--and I know I'll have some zaps of insight and writing delight from my Weston, and the Santa Fe trip too.

Until then, may you all have joyful and provoking experiences of life.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Felucca Ride--and discovering Treasure

Okay, I promised tidbits about my recent four country trip. First stop: Egypt.

We (my sis and I, and our tour group of 84 others) started out in Cairo. On day one, eleven of us took a rollicking ride on the Nile River in a felucca, which is an Egyptian sail boat. We rocked and skimmed, and I clambered up to the front mast to get a better look at life along the Nile. Our guide Islam was nervous about this, and stayed close by my side until he could convince me to go back and sit down. But hey! I think we writers have the urge to do this often, to stand up and stretch, to look for the unexpected, even if we do rock the boat sometimes!

Our felucca made it safely back to shore, and we headed for lunch at a floating restaurant at the edge of the Nile. Delicious Egyptian food. I'm not sure what I ate, but it included a mix of meat (lamb?) and vegetables and spices mixed together in a delightful way.

Next stop: Khan al-Kalili, one of the biggest bazaars in the Middle East, and the oldest, dating back to 1382. As we wound our way through the maze of canvas-covered alleyways, we were plunged back into the time of Aladdin. Mysterious robed figures reache out to thrust scarves into our arms, and gold and brass and copper vases and statues glittered in the cave-like shops. At first I was intimidated with the shouting and the haggling, but our guide Islam stuck protectively beside us, and my sense of adventure kicked in quickly. By the time I emerged an hour later, my arms were filled with treasure. I smile, thinking yet again how much Khan al-Kalili is like the writing life--some days I have to coax myself to go into the winding, unpredictable alley-ways of my story--but if I venture in, I always discover treasure of one kind or another!