New Inspiration Leads to New Writing

My writing practice has taken a long hiatus due to travels in Prague, Krakow, Berlin and Sweden in 2014 and Italy in 2015. In the fall of 2016 I put aside my WW II novel, which takes place in Sweden and Poland, and decided to first start the sequel for Under the Salvadoran Sun. Why a sequel?  Two reasons: several of my readers asked for one and two, I realized it might help create more interest and sales of Under the Salvadoran Sun

The inspiration to write more on the issue of immigration comes out of my despair over the current political environment and the negative language from last year’s US election cycle. US immigration policies need reform and that will only happen with enough people demanding more fair treatment and recognition of what the Latino population brings, like immigrants of the past, to the rich texture of our society. 

Equally inspiring me is a project I’ve started in my adopted home of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Last year the growing number of deportations from the US plus the increasing number of “refugees” fleeing violence in Central America, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, concerned me. I gave a talk for a large group of people and many approached me to be on my mailing list. I started occasionally sending out articles about these refugees and deportees. People shared their desire “to do something,” to help those who are seeking new and better lives. What came from that has become a grassroots organization we call the RR Group. We are working directly with a safe house in a neighboring community. 

These actions would make my fictional character, Angela, proud. I hope you will stay tuned for more about how Angela resolves her grief and gets involved in immigration reform plus uncovers a story of corruption and mayhem. I will try occasionally to post excerpts from the new novel. Stay tuned. 


Post Election Thoughts and Feelings

I’ve always been a hope-and-positivity person. In my family, my brother was the cynic and I was called the optimist. Post the recent Presidential election, I’ve changed. My reactions have run the gamut from shock, despair, overwhelming sadness and depression. Now I am struggling to find a way back to the hopeful person I usually am. My despair has been for the people I fear will suffer from racist remarks, hate crimes and the most heinous acts that people can perpetrate on the “other.” The President-Elect has given many “permission,”through his own language,  to act out their hate, anger and resentment of those they blame for their own despair over income disparities, jobs no longer there for them in this global economy dominated by technology.  These are all real and understandable fears, but it is too easy to blame the underdogs, minorities. I fear for my Latino friends, many undocumented workers contributing to our economy with children born here; I fear attacks that might be perpetrated against my African-American, Muslim and gay and lesbian friends, and yes, my granddaughter’s African American boyfriend, father of my beautiful new great grandchild.  I have almost become sick with fear and then rage: how could this happen in the America I used to pledge allegiance to?

 Recently, I listened to someone talk about the fact that we are all energy, we create our own energy field and it radiates out from us, that we must decide what kind of energy we want to spread, the negative, dark and spiteful energy we’ve heard far too much of this past way-too-long campaign cycle, or positive, loving, tolerant, inclusive energy? Of course you can guess that I choose the latter. Let me add: that does not mean I will lay down and be a passive observer of events as they unfold. Oh no. We each have a role to play as a counterbalance for the negative statements made during the campaign. I am committed to remaining vigilant, for the very core of our democracy is at risk. But I will try to create a positive energy field, a kind of protective shield, a place where others, including myself, can laugh again, love again and feel safe. 

 I will try to rally others to share that optimism and hope, while forming a strong resistance to the potential dangers that face us. There are many ways to do that, the same means I’ve used in the past: through my writing and my artwork.

 I hope my readers will feel free to express their opinions and ideas. Freedom of Speech is still an ideal which we must protect.


New Writing Projects, 2016

This summer has been productive in many ways. I’ve been re-writing my travel memoir, which was published by 101 Productions in San Francisco in 1973, Europe with Two Kids and a Van. It sold over 12, 000 copies. Many friends have urged me to republish it as an ebook. I was finally convinced when I recently met a woman carrying a small child at MOMA in San Francisco. We started talking about our love of travel. She sighed and said her husband and she were resigned to the fact their traveling days were over now that they have a child. I piped up. “Why not travel with your child? It can be a great experience and if you do it like we did, camping in a van, you can make it an economical adventure, too.” She replied with wide open eyes: “Really, did you do that? Sure would like to know how.”  Me: “Read my book!”  “Oh, I will look forward to it.” So that did it. I’ve had fun reviewing the old book and the photos of our trip which I never included. I plan to include some in the new format, which will be small books: one for each of the seven countries we visited. I’ll keep them affordable, like $1.99 each. Then if someone wants the whole book, they can buy it for the attractive price of $9.99, a good deal!  Watch for it in the Spring of 2017. I’d love to hear your travel stories with children if you have any. Write me at  

I also took many webinars this summers, some very good, offering tips for writers on marketing. I’m in the process of setting up my marketing strategy for the travel memoir as well as the new novel, for which the working title is Scream.  It’s a WWII story of family secrets which takes place in Sweden. Watch for it, too, in the Spring or Summer of 2017! 

I wish all my writer friends good luck on their projects and hope you take advantage of Mark Dawson’s new contest partnering with Reedsy to offer Pro Book Production services. We can all use those!  Good luck.