Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Top Job

How about traveling the world and writing about it—for pay!

Pam Grout has this gig. She is a professional travel writer and author of Kansas Curiosities, the Read Across Lawrence 2008 book.

Always on the lookout for writing information, I am excited for the opportunity to hear Ms. Grout speak Tuesday evening at the Lawrence Public Library. In addition, to her award winning column, “Now, Where Was I?” Grout’s articles have appeared in Lawrence Journal World’s Boomer Girl and many popular magazines including Travel & Leisure, Cooking Light, Midwest Living and Modern Bride. In addition, she has written fourteen books.

In her short introduction, she mentions an early love of reading and a journalism degree as her incentive to write. However, her father, who loves to travel and takes time to visit places off the beaten path, is the motivation for her fascinating career as a travel writer. Still she portrays herself as “lucky” when success comes her way. When asked how she broke into the professional writing field, her answer suggests the luck is more the result of hard work.

Smartly she lets us demonstrate our interviewing skills by asking the questions. Whether a personal journal, blog or for pay, she offers the following travel writing suggestions.

Try to find local residents who are willing to talk about the area and share insider views. The server at the locally owned cafe knows all.

When observing and writing, engage senses. The writer is the eyes, nose and hearing of the person reading the article. If the destination smells good, write about it.

Find at least three interesting bits of information or descriptions about the place you are visiting. Perhaps not the obvious rather the unusual

Finally, take a vocation vacation. Always be on the lookout for a good story when traveling.

All too soon, our time is over. Pam Grout has a wonderful career story. She demonstrates a keen ability to listen and a honest open approach. Perhaps in the end, these two traits are her best advice on being a good travel writer.

Lawrence Public Library is hosting additional authors and workshops at the library with their Read Across Lawrence 2008 and at their River City Reading Festival 2008 on Saturday 27th, 2008, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm. Pick up a brochure at the library check the schedule online or contact Maria Butler, Public Relations Coordinator

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crisp and Cool

We are located between Topeka and Lawrence Kansas. Here is our weather forecast for tonight. They are saying it could drop into the upper 30s in the Lawrence area. The moon is beautiful. The sky is clear.

Just for fun, I keep track of weather in other parts of the country. This was posted around 9:00 tonight.

I checked and the Fairbanks forecast is an overnight low of 37 degrees.

September 15th and our weather is comparable to Fairbanks, Alaska. Hope this isn't an indication of our winter.

We're taking a chance and not covering our tomatoes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weeping Fig

I have two Weeping Fig or Ficus trees in my living room. Today I decided one had to go. The main reason is probably why they are called "weeping." Each year about this time, some kind of sticky sap is on the floor around the tree.

Both trees are actually three trees and the trunks have been braided in a bonsai fashion. Pictured is the larger. I think they look nice because I have always kept them pruned so they are bushy.

I look at it out there on my front porch and I feel sad for it. My plants are special to me. But, I guess at some point one has to let go of things like this.

We are loading it in the pickup to take to the garage sale next weekend. I think I'll give it away if someone promises to give it a good home.