So Toronto is emptying out today as a motley bunch of travel writers head over to Ottawa for the annual Travel Media Association of Canada conference. Not me, though, as this motley writer has to stay put and work, dammit, work! I’ve taken far too much time out (the entire month of February, actually, and part of March) to work on my book, possibly titled Married to my Suitcase: a single woman’s quest for balance on the road, and now, with two months of travel ahead of me, I need to deal with all the things I’ve let slide.
However, in honour of all those writers going off to have fun, see Ottawa, stay at the lovely Fairmont and you know, discuss important travel writing things, I thought I’d do an update on Travel Writing Friends Writing Books:
First up, the prolific Amy Rosen, who, after a feeding frenzy over her comic/cuisinary (is that a word?)/ kind of romantic novel, Indigestion, finally chose Key Porter Books to publish it. And then Key Porter went broke. Wouldn’t that piss you off? Nonetheless, we expect someone to jump on it soon so stay tune for updates. You’ll want to read it because Amy is really funny. But, although she’s a stellar writer she does seem to have a problem with misleading the police as I learned in London where we went after the last TMAC conference in Wales. Read about our misguided adventure here.
Mariellen Ward, a Toronto freelance writer with an incredibly creamy complexion (I’m sorry, is that irrelevant?) and a specialty in all things India, decided to take a different route. Instead of waiting for a publisher, or for that matter, to write a full-length book, she self-published the 53-page bookette, Song of India, a collection of transformative India articles. Of course being the shallow beast that I am, I like it best when she brings herself into the stories, and want to hear more (much more!) gossip about the mysterious Indian man she falls in love with, and what happens … does the love last (actually I do know, because I’ve met him and it did last, but I’m speaking from a reader’s perspective.) Her rich luscious imagery of Benares in the chapter “The Crossing” brought me right back to my first trip in India, only instead of finding meaning and transforming myself, I was hitting the Delhi discos, lying by the pool and eating pastries. Hey, I was 20! I also hiked in the Himalayas, too, so I needed those pastries. But I went back, and found more meaning later, only I never described it as beautifully as Mariellen.
Last but not least, Michele Peterson, another Toronto writer, ran off to Mexico for 6 weeks to drink tequila, splash around in the sunshine and finish the first draft of her travel memoir which may or may not end up being called Last Night I slept with Don Pancho. (I suggested Eating Guatemala but for some reason everyone thinks that’s lame.) Her book is set in Guatemala and let me assure you, with guns, bugs and a pig with fake antlers, it’s a side of Guatemala the average tourist won’t see.
Okay, that’s it. Now let’s all get back to work.
Read more: Writing and travel – why they go together.