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Hello and Welcome,
Well, I’m in Seattle after three-and-a-half hard-working
months in Patzcuaro, Mexico. Maria Altobelli and I (She lives
in Patzcuaro and we are working on that collaborative story/cookbook
together.) are nearly finished with the selection process (see
the last journal entry if you don’t know what I’m
talking about). Most of our choices have been discussed and
edited by us, and the whole batch is now in the hands of a
professional editor, Jane Albritton, in Colorado. As soon Jane
gives us her opinion and suggestions, we will be getting in
touch with everyone who sent us a story and/or recipe.
It’s going to be a very exciting and unique book. The
stories are hugely varied; there are stories that will make
you laugh out loud and others that will bring tears to your
eyes. The topics range from rape to rapture, from being lost
to falling in love, from searching for identity to meeting
victims of war. The settings are all over the world. And so
are the recipes….including Ho Mok, that Thai steamed
coconut-fish-mousse wrapped in banana leaves that I wrote about
in the book.
Maria and I had two recipe-testing parties in Patzcuaro. Each
guest brought a cooked contribution chosen from our list….and
we all sat around and analyzed every dish, one at a time. The
cooks were allowed to change the recipe but they had to keep
meticulous notes. We’ve got a long way to go before all
the recipes are tested. I will be doing more group-testing
(hopefully with friends helping) in Seattle, and Maria will
be doing more in Mexico. By the end of April, the book will
be out there looking for a publisher.
Just to remind everyone, all profits from this book are going
to a fund that will provide vocational training to kids from
the slums of Delhi, India, who have managed to graduate from
high school (proof of incredible motivation). Ideally,
I want to set up a partnership with an organization that is
already established in Delhi. There has to be a committee there
to work with the high schools and to interview and accept applications,
and to keep the project going for many many years. If I can’t
find a partner, I will set up an independent foundation. I
welcome any advice from experienced foundation people.
Maria and Jean Allen (the talented artist who is doing illustrations)
and I are all contributing our time. So are all of our contributors,
whose only "pay" will be a copy of the book.. When
we have a publisher, I hope to be able to set up a book contract
in the name of a foundation.
So what else is new?
I’m renting a house in Seattle for nine months. There
are a lot of things I want to do, and I don't think any of
them will happen if I don't sit still in the U.S. for a while.
I’m hoping to promote TALES
OF A FEMALE NOMAD to keep it alive.
you are part of an organization that has a budget for speakers,
I’d be happy to come and talk.
you are part of a book club…..I hope you will suggest
NOMAD as a choice…….and tell other book clubs
discussion went. It’s usually a pretty lively evening.
If I can, I'll "visit" your meeting on speaker-
here for some suggestions for topics to discuss.
At this point,
book clubs are the answer to keeping the book in print, so
any help is appreciated.
I’m also hoping to find other long-term nomads so I
can pitch talk-show hosts for a program on an “alternative” way
to live. Nomad candidates should have already spent a few years "nomadding." They
can’t have a home somewhere….or lots of stuff
in storage. If this show is to have an impact, we all have
to be committed to the nomad way of life. I suspect we’d
all probably have to do a short home video so the producers
know what they're getting.
I have thousands of letters from people who say they read
the nomad book and took off….and they've "never
been so happy." Most of them are not nomads, but
they have discovered that there is more to life than living
it in a box. I’d like to reach millions . There is such
joy in connecting!!!
I also need to set up that foundation or partnership for the
kids in Delhi. Once again, any help from people with experience
setting up a foundation is welcome. Or, if you kn0w of an NGO
in Delhi that might want to partner by administering the "vocational
education fund," I'd like to hear from you.
I (and Maria) have to cook all those recipes and integrate
them into the collaborative story/cookbook. And we both have
to write our introduction to the book. And we still have to
get approval from all the contributors to use their stories
as edited. And then get the book out there in search of a major
I’m also thinking of writing some articles for airline
And I’m long overdue for dentist and doctor visits.
On my calendar for the next months:
I will be in St. Paul, MN, for a talk on March 31st
(Global Citizens Network) and visits to a couple of schools.
Please click here
to download the PDF with Rita's GCN information.
Or go to the GCN website, www.globalcitizens.org
I’ll be in CT for my Uncle Irv’s 90th birthday
And while I’m on the east coast, I’ll be visiting
friends in CT, NY, and the DC area. And maybe RI and MA and
ME. And I might get up to Nova Scotia to say hi to friends
in Meteghan and to eat lobsters and scallops.
I will also be visiting and talking to publishers and to my
agent in NY City in May or June.
In July I’m giving myself a 70th birthday party (brother,
his kids and their kids, and my kids and grandchild) in a gorgeous
rented house in Colorado Springs.
Then I will head for the Vancouver Folk Festival (Google
it) where I've been invited to be a volunteer for the weekend.
And the next weekend, I'm going to an event at Hollyhock, also
And that’s everything I have on the calendar at the
moment. There’s plenty of room for talks around
the country. Know any Women’s Study programs at universities
or Rotary Clubs or travel organizations or AAUW meetings or
Wild Women groups? Whatever. I’m up for the trip and
the talk…and when I’m in town, I’ll throw
in some visits to classrooms to talk about and read some of
my kids’ books. Second grade is my favorite age group.
Speaking of AAUW. The national organization suggests books
to read to their book clubs across the country….one
book each month. I’d love NOMAD to be one of them. If
every AAUW member who enjoyed the book wrote to the appropriate
committee suggesting it, maybe Nomad would be chosen for 2008.
It could happen.
I could, of course, write another
book………but that sounds like work and I’d
much rather play!!
My big challenge for this week is to
learn how to do my own entries on this website and to buy a
car. Both of those tasks are almost overwhelming. Actually
I find it much easier to live in a Maasai boma in
Tanzania or to try to communicate in Thailand where I do not
speak the language. There are some things that I do easily
and other things that intimidate me.
That’s it until I have something else to say. Once I
can do my own entries, maybe I’ll write more often. Thanks
for coming by.
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