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Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Alright, I know American Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away. And of course, my people already had our day of turkey and root vegetables a month back. Still, I’d like to express my gratitude for the time I’ve spent in New York this week – and on all my previous visits, too.

I think I tend to be a fairly practical person, grounded in the here-and-now and not prone to seeing any kind of larger meaning in the happenings around me. But for a long time now I’ve imagined a sort of mystical connection between my writing career and my time in NYC. Whenever I come to visit, it seems, good things happen: I got an email offering me my first ever magazine assignment while I was working at the NYPL during a short visit in May 2008; I flew in on my last airline points for a Restless Legs reading in October 2008, and during the post-event schmoozing an editor offered me a monster writing contract that cleared away my credit card debt and got me out of my mother’s spare room (thanks, Mom!); on every trip here I’ve met writers in person whose work I’ve admired online and in print, and found invaluable inspiration in talking to them at bars, coffee shops, restaurants and the occasional swanky PR event.

New York even manages to clear room in my schedule for those solitary basics I often neglect at home: a rainy afternoon in a coffee shop or a quiet night on the couch, getting caught up on my magazine reading.

Of course, a lot of that good fortune I just described can be attributed to the generosity of the travel writing community here in New York, rather than serendipity. Still, it’s hard to shake the idea that the city is my good luck charm.

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It’s been a busy seven weeks or so since my last update. I’m in New York this week and am, as always, thrilled to be here. There are a couple of travel-themed readings on the go in the next couple of days – I’ll post more about those soon.

What else? I attended a major Alaskan tourism event last month and came home full of trip/story ideas, so I’ll hope to pull some of those together in the coming months.

A few more of the stories I’ve worked on have been appearing on World Hum. Check ’em out:

    • A Cup of Coffee and a Soft Chair: After 14 months traveling overland from Beijing to Istanbul, Joel Carillet faced a gingerbread latte — and a series of unexpected fears
      Sea Change: With her marriage on the rocks, Catha Larkin headed to Baja’s Sea of Cortez seeking “a bit of the blue”
  • We also had some fun getting a Twitter game off the ground a few weeks back – here are the best of the results: 23 Great Fake Travel Quotes

    Lastly, the new edition of The Best American Travel Writing hit bookstores at the end of September. Four World Hum stories were included in the notable selections, and several World Hum writers were honored for work that appeared elsewhere, too. Always nice to see.

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    I’ve got a new interview with the anthology’s editor, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, up on World Hum — we talk, among other things, about travel writing’s traditional gender imbalance and whether there’s a distinction to be made between “women’s travel writing” and “travel writing by a woman.” Check it out.

    Also, if you’re in the New York area, World Hum’s hosting a launch party/reading for the book tonight at 7pm at Idlewild Books. It should be a great event — I’ll be there in spirit.

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    I attended the launch party for this year’s anthology at Idlewild Books this week in New York, and – as I noted in this brief recap of the night – the packed event was tangible proof that there’s still an audience out there for literary travel essays. Considering this week’s news about Gourmet getting the axe, it was a much-needed reminder.

    I’ve been focused on the World Hum blog lately, so nothing new in the full-length story department – but if you’re interested, here are some of the short items that have been keeping me busy and entertained:

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    Just a quick location update: I arrived yesterday in NYC, and will be here, house-sitting and posing as a West Village resident (I wish!), for three weeks. Then it’s back to Eastern Ontario for three weeks of packing and preparation before I finally make the trans-Canada road trip to Whitehorse. I plan on putting down a few roots in the Yukon and hopefully staying for a full year. I’m really looking forward to exploring the north, and to having a home base again for awhile. Stay tuned!

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    A couple of pretty important life/work changes to note:

    First, after three blissful months of pricey pints, long walks and embarrassingly frequent take-out dinners (hey, in my defense: I was there in part to experience the food) my time in NYC has come to an end. I packed up my room last weekend, and arrived back in happenin’ Verona, Ontario early this week — I’ll stay here long enough to prep for some serious summer travel before taking off again in early May. I was very sad to leave, and I definitely plan on getting back to the city for another extended stay when I can.

    Second, I have some exciting work news! I’ve been writing for World Hum for about a year and a half, and starting in May I’ll also be taking on some editorial responsibilities. It’s a temporary set-up — I’m helping to fill in for senior editor Valerie Conners for a few months while she works her magic at the Travel Channel — but I’m thrilled to be increasing my involvement with the site (my World Hum fangirldom goes back to my grad school days) and I think I’ll learn a lot, too.

    More news coming soon on my travel plans for the next few months — so far, all I know for sure is that I have a plane ticket to Barbados with my name on it. Beyond that trip, I’m hoping to finally make it up north, to the Yukon!

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