Time flies

Two years ago, I considered quitting writing. It wasn’t one thing or another but a combination of many factors. The two biggest were time and money. Both writing full time and working a full time outside job is brutal.  It’s worse when you can’t see an end in sight. We all want that Harry Potter/Twilight moment where our book hits number one and we’re catapulted into the land of “I get to write full time for a living” land.

But the reality is that it rarely happens. Most authors build their career by consistently writing good books and gathering more and  more readers as they produce. It’s not unlike building a business because it is a business—the business of writing.

Trying to build my business and work a FT job was killing me. I had no time for myself and call me crazy, but I believe in a work/life balance. I am not one of those people who can write for 12 hours, seven days a week and feel fulfilled. I wish I was. I really really really do. I love writing. I do.

But there is also a whole world outside my window that I want to explore. And it’s that exploration that fills my creative well.

So, I stopped writing. And for a long time, I wasn’t sure if I would ever go back. I did some more traveling. Got married.

yosemiteA quick brag moment:  This is my first marriage and we met when I was 47. So, I am living proof that it can happen at ANY AGE. And it wasn’t like I did something foolish like “settle” because I was panicking  I was just waiting–and he took forever to arrive. LOL The B.H.E. (Best. Husband. Ever) is younger than me (almost 11 years. Super smart. Has my back. Is wonderfully kind. And love me just the way I am—pudgy thighs and all.

Brag done, but I reserve the right to continue in later posts.

As I said, I got married. More travel. Moved. Bought a house with the B.H.E.  Life took over. And I was the happiest I’ve ever been.

But, there was always a ticking in my brain. A nagging voice that asked me again and again, Are you really going to give up writing? Come on. Just one more book. You know you want too. Yes, the voice in my head sounds like an enabling crack dealer, but that’s just me.

But the “dealer” in my head was right.. The creative well was full. So  I spoke to the B.H.E. and he said,  “Do it if it makes you happy.”

And it does. So I did. And here I am. Brand new husband. Brand new publisher. Brand new world. 🙂

North to Alaska. Specificaly, Cordova.

I forget how much I love Alaska until I return. It’s not just one thing though—there is so much to love. The green. The clean air. The lack of billboards. And of course, see the BFF and her family. The downside is that it takes FOREVER to arrive and two plane changes.

Worth it.

My first day in Cordova

Cathy’s husband bagged a moose on his first “serious” day of hunting. Mmmmm. Tasty. And a lot of work. Luckily, the gutted her out in the field but still. There was the hanging of the carcass, the skinning, the quartering and finally, the wiping down with vinegar. Which doens’t sound like a bad job (considering what else had to be done) but is actually somewhat icky.

But it’ll be worth it cause hey, I like moose! Not exactly a vacation-like excursion, but definitely Alaskan-like.

Istanbul

The trip is over and done and finally—Istanbul! One of the oldest cities in the world it is the only city that is on two continents (Europe and Asia). Since my hotel was on the Europe side, that is where I spent most of my time.
The worst part about Istanbul was that this was where I said good-0bye to my tour group. What Can I say, I’ll miss them all,. I learned so much from them—the odd phrase, backgammon and that drinking every night is what Holiday is all about. 

Luckily, there is facebook to keep in touch.

Now, I have four days to tour the city by myself.

Blue Mosque
I ha e seen a lot of mosques and the Blue Mosque is truly one of the biggest and is impressive as hell. But but what sticks out is the vendor who would NOT go away. There I was, standing in line and he starts chatting me up. Whatever. Then he doesn’t’ leave and wants to escort me through the mosque. Um…no. And ‘No’ for so many reasons, but the biggest being that I like being by myself. So, I brushed him off and took in the blue-tiled interior by myself thank-you-very-much. And extravaganza is not an exaggeration. The oddest part about the Blue Mosque is that women don’t have to cover their heads. I covered mine. To do anything less seems disrespectful.

But when I walked out, guess who was waiting? Yes. Him. I had to ditch him again. What a pain.

Hagia Sophia
It used to be a mosque but is now a museum and is huge and wonderful and the mosaics are gilded as hell. And God knows, I do love the gilding (shiny….).

Topkapi Palace

Where the sultans lived and is now a museum. The grounds are impressive and the various building hold some fairly sparkly relics. There are no pictures of the sparkly relics though—they won’t let you take them. But the most interesting building was the Harem. I always pictured a harem like a Disney move—one giant room with pillows and perhaps a pool. Instead, it’s multiple room with rooms for the eunuchs, the girls, the kids, etc. Impressive. And also tiled up one wall and down the other.

Basilica Cistern
Too cool! An underground cistern as that the Roman’s built. And this is no small feat. The room is as big as a mosque and held up with arches and columns. I can’t imagine how they managed to dig out the ground and then construct a building (and it really is a building in many ways) of such impressive beauty. It was forgotten for a long time until someone saw a villager pull a fish from a hole in his floorboards (the cistern was beneath the house). Now, we all get to enjoy it!

One Word…

RAKI
A licorice liquer, we drank vast quantities of it at a belydance show in Cappodocia. Then we headed to Fat Boys (best local bar ever!) and danced the night away

Goreme, Turkey

What an amazing town. Small. Friendly. Good food. Great bars (yay Fat boys!) But what doominates the lasndscape are Fairy Chimneys.

Fairy Chimney’s are geological oddities–towers of stone left over from the wear and tear of time. And in this regions, peopel use them to as houses.

Yep, they tunnel those suckers out to make a home and as understand it, have done so for centuries.

Underground Cities

Imagine an entire city built underground and in the stone and you have the Cappadocia region of Turkey. And when I say city, I mean an area big enough for thousands of people plus livestock.

Built during times of war and persecution, these cities could house the people of the region until the invaders left.

Amazing.

The underground area we visited went down seven levels and had its own well. There were even churches. Another fun fact, they used round doors that rolled into place and could only be opened from the inside.

Busted!

I was hoping it wouldn’t happen, but it did. Earlier, I posted that I used Spanish to get away” from people I didn’t want to speak to. Frankly, a lot of people in the Middle East speak French and English (as well as their native tongue) but few speak Spanish.

This has worked for four weeks!

Anyway, I was trying to ignore a vendor and used my sad sad Spanish. Turns out, he speaks about six languages and his Spanish is quite excellent.

Geez—talk about embarrassed.