On the Road with the Refugees

Portrait of Syrian girls sleeping on the refugee train

I snapped this shot as I traveled from Budapest to Munich last week. I look at the photo now with some shame. After days worrying about getting caught up in migrant mayhem—of perhaps getting trapped in Budapest and meeting with violence and missing our flight home—what finally did I discover at the dark heart of […]

How (un)Smart Should a Writer Be?

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If you’ve been reading my deep travel tales, you’ll know how un-smart I am. Count the times I’ve been run down on the road less traveled! I was barely home from my travels in Africa and Asia when the gods pulled a U-turn and made roadkill of me yet again. I was filming in the […]

How to Write from the Heart and Win Readers

Write from Heart

A good story is often inspired by a powerful experience. One that changed the author’s mind, their very way of looking at the world. A great story may change the reader’s life as well. I’m stealing that opening—and the title—from Dr. John Yeoman over at Writers’ Village. John is re-running one of my recent blog […]

Deep Travel: Have you ever gone too far?

Deep Travel

From Africa I flew to India. I would return home through Asia, circumnavigate the globe, prove the world was round, see it with my own two eyes. Bombay. Wow! The smells. The crush of humanity! A beggar with no arms or legs. My god, he had no face, either. His begging bowl—if you can picture […]

The Best Way to Meet Angels

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It’s a mega-watt moon shining down on western Tanzania. That ragged ribbon of moonlight you see is a rough-and-tumble highway known in south-central Africa as the Hell Run. From Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean, this 1500-mile lifeline serves the heart of the continent. A 5-ton truck speeds westward with its load of car […]

When the Travel Bug Bites

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I was tearing up a Zambian highway on my white Honda “Dream” when it hit me. I thought it was mud. A convoy of trucks thundering past in the opposite direction was kicking up debris. Even after the last tanker had passed, the flak was stinging my hands and face. What the hell—that mud?—bees! I […]

How Does Your Fiction Smell?

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We were driving to our favourite deserted beach to decompress in the transcendental silence of seals intercepting salmon returning to their spawning grounds, when I asked my wife if she had ever read a novel in which the protagonist was following a scent, but unconsciously, not unlike those salmon.  In detective novels, of course, the […]

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