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March 13, 2007

Seattle, Washington

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.

     If you are part of an organization that has a budget for speakers, I’d be happy to come and talk.

     If you are part of a book club…..I hope you will suggest NOMAD as a choice…….and tell other book clubs 

     how  the discussion went. It’s usually a pretty lively evening. If I can, I'll "visit" your meeting on speaker-


  Click 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 publisher.

I’m also thinking of writing some articles for airline magazines.

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,

I’ll be in CT for my Uncle Irv’s 90th birthday in May.

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 in BC.

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.

Love, Rita

For Past Postings, please view All Journal Entries




Introduction - Home Page - A Brief Bio



The Book - Why I Wrote the Book? - The Proposal - In Search of an Agent

The Writing - The Editing - Cuts - Reviews



More Than One Way - Servas - Trust & Serendipity - Connecting - Family

Practicalities - Physical Challenges



Ongoing Journey (Dated Entries from Rita) - National Nomad Tour Itinerary - Discussion Group



List, Photos, Descriptions & Links to Order - Bio for Kids




 © Copyright 2001 Rita Golden Gelman, All rights reserved.