bread and butter

with the el paso guide done and sent, i thought i would have plenty of time to sit around, watch alias reruns and drink margaritas. turns out, having two guidebooks under your belt means there is no shortage of freelance work available. currently, i’m writing another article for unearthing asia‘s second issue. i’m also penning a series of 3k word city guides for a danish travel agency’s website and i’m handling the blog for uk hotel map. i’m also working on a new study abroad ebook for a client that hired me via elance, which is due at the beginning of may, and i’m trying to keep up with my examiner gig, as well as exploring the worlds of demand studios, seed.com and textbroker and, of course, Continue reading “bread and butter”

the new wave of travel writing: 9 essential skills

travel writing used to be very different. even 10 years ago, it was a travel writer’s job to take people where they couldn’t otherwise go. to describe scene and place. to be flowery and good with adjectives and to write long, exponential pieces about the world the way others didn’t, and perhaps couldn’t, see it. that’s all changed now. i am about 15 years too late in saying “this internet has changed everything”, but it’s especially true of travel writing. and it has changed fast. Continue reading “the new wave of travel writing: 9 essential skills”

5 great albums for travel writing

as a traveler, music is an integral part of the experience of a journey. having the right song playing on your ipod can completely enhance your surroundings, make a terrible train ride just a little bit better, drown out those awful chinese lorry horns and get you through long, long airplane hours. but as a travel writer, i am picky about my musical selections.

i believe that a good travel writing album must be a complex coupling of driven music that is also not terribly distracting. you need to be inspired by the melodies while still able to ignore the words as you write. so, i’ve compiled what i think are five great albums to listen to while writing about my travels. Continue reading “5 great albums for travel writing”

books for the third

as i said in the previous post, i do not make new year’s resolutions. however, recently catching up on my old internet-friend kari’s blog, through a glass darkly, has inspired me to start reading again. kari, who is a librarian and the consummate bookworm, read 128 books in 2009, which baffles my brain but also makes me want to read more. of course, kari tends to read fiction, a genre i’ve never been particularly good with. so, in an effort to put down the computer, which has become an increasingly difficult task of late, and pick up a book, i’ve decided to begin with some titles that inspire me in my passions. [tweetmeme] Continue reading “books for the third”

it takes a year to make a travel writer

being the guide in shanghai, april 2009

2009 has been a busy year of traveling, traveling and more traveling. some of it was travel for pleasure, other trips were induced more from need to get away. in fact, in many ways, 2009 was a banister year for me.

‘this is china, a guidebook for teachers, backpackers and other lunatics’ was finally released in july, after a long, unfortunately drawn out contract finally came to a painful demise when my publisher, duffie books, went bust. i got my first real foray into the world of travel writing at sites like the circumference, your 24 and unearthing asia.Β  this time last year, bill and i were surviving a cold, wet irish winter in our tiny basement flat in rathmines. now we are spending our days writing and computing from a cozy albuquerque apartment. i guess it takes a year to make a travel writer. [tweetmeme] Continue reading “it takes a year to make a travel writer”