I am wrapping up seven years of my first and favorite blog, Time and Place, with a few California posts and a year’s end review and this announcement.
All seven years of the words and photos, excitement and complaining, pontificating and chatting about travel are being captured in four travel journal/coffee table BOOKS. The first book, Time and Place 2010, is published and here next to me as we speak. It is my treasure. First of all nothing is ever real to me until it is in book form—small, large, hardbound, paperback, with or without photos, non-fiction or fiction. So shall I say NOW my travels have truly begun?
You see I discovered a company called Blog2Print that will turn even my inexpert but personally treasured blog into real live books. Voila…I see Travel Books ahead even before my possibly brilliant professionally-written book of short travel/memoir stories is written. (Titled either 100 or Window Seat, it will arrive in a bookstore near you in early 2018). I think. Meanwhile Time and Place is becoming a series of four hardcover travel books of an informal nature. Of course I can only afford to have a personal and a family copy of each travel year published so my blogging public will have to continue online. Nevertheless I am filled with anticipation for the first volume, Time and Place 2010, to arrive on my doorstep in a few days.
Time and Place 2011 and 2012 is at the publishers and will arrive in my mailbox in early December. Two final books (for now) covering 2013 through 2016 are awaiting my post by post review and a small amount of tweaking and replenishing my bank account before printing. Only two of each will be published since they are very expensive; the two will eventually belong to my sons after I disappear on that last trip to Papua New Guinea but in the meantime I will fondle, peruse, and gaze upon them for inspiration.
The Time and Place books are pretty—hardbound with shiny covers in multiple colors and MY picture on the front, the pages are glossy and quite nicely printed and I’ve paid extra for some semblance of layout. And every word and photo originated with me. It’s true that the writing varies in quality from very literate to journaling chit chat and that the photos are of mixed standards as well. However Time and Place is a bona fide account of me out there in the world—the good, the bad and the ugly (not so much ugly really—more like tired and confused!)
This makes me very happy.
I am calling this seven year publishing venture a wrap-up because Time and Place, the blog, will take a somewhat new direction in 2017.
The plan goes something like this: Financially, I spend 2017 paying off the old AmEx from these last years of very expensive jaunts around the world and I buy my last-ever new car. Personally, I ‘put up or shut up’ about writing a book of short colorful, insightful, and personal glimpses from each of the 100 countries I’ve visited. I have begun this project but then I’m so much better at beginnings than follow-through… The intent is for “100” to be a brilliantly-written, professionally polished and edited book that real book publishers will be desperate to publish… and which you then will be able to purchase at your local bookstore.
Here is where Time and Place, the blog comes back in. As I review old pre-web notes and photos for the 500-750 word pieces that will comprise “100”, there will be all those ramblings and scratched photos that need a home. Time and Place will welcome them after a bit of tweaking and sorting. Ultimately, every one of my hundred countries will have its own smartly written short story and its own rambling back story; its book story and on-line story.
Every week in 2017 must produce one of each—the pieces that will finally get me real-published and the pieces for my best friend Time and Place.
It is even possible that, instead of the month-long road trip in the US I’ve planned for 2017 (in lieu of going abroad for the first time in many years) I may take the month to finish up this project. Imagine that…a month as an authentic seven-days-a-week, at my desk, in my apartment WRITER. That’s a very exciting idea.
So am I in Stage Seven of the Grieving Process after Dirty-Gray Tuesday? I think so. It’s called Acceptance and Hope in one Social Work model. I’ll paraphrase what it says: In the last stage, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. While I do not accept what happened in the election I have hope that it can ultimately result in something good for the country—like could it be one last big spasm of the ‘isms, at least for awhile? And could it get us Progressives off our butts and turn us into vigilant activists for good? … You will start to look forward and plan things for the future. You will be able to think about your [loss] in sadness, without wrenching pain. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living. I don’t pretend the Shyster being elected is comparable to losing a much-loved person but it did create enough sorrow among many of us to make looking ahead to 2017 and beyond impossible for a bit of time. Now we’re getting better and there is joy out there to be had…and plans and lists and books and travels to be made.
Now if I can just get my AmEx card paid off…
I am looking forward to the future and what you are doing. Publishing those two books for your sons is something very special indeed. I have always wanted to do a book about my Mother, since I think she was such a special woman. Anybody who met her remembered her, usually with a smile on their face. It is important to keep the family narrative going…what you have done for your family is really special.