Happy New Year! Sun Nien Fai Lok! Xin Nian Juai Le!
It’s the Year of the Rooster, and it looks like 2017, the New Year, promises to be a year of intense energy and productivity as well as no small amount of drama. As my neighbors prepare for it in various ways, I like to meditate, send notes out to good pals, and reread past LCW member and AWW graduate Rosemary Gong’s excellent book, Good Luck Life: The Essential Guide to Chinese American Celebrations and Culture.
Last Year’s Travel and Writing
For me 2017 will mean twelve more months of extraordinary adventure. In 2016, I spent the beginning of January exploring Gullah traditions on one of South Carolina’s barrier islands.
March took me, along with a large group of very talented writers and photographers, to Andalusia. There, one of the many workshops and travel adventures I lead through Wanderland Writers culminated in one more anthology in the award-winning Wandering series. In 2016 we produced Wandering in Andalusia: The Soul of Southern Spain, edited with my much loved travel and editing colleague, Joanna Biggar.
I spent much of April in South Carolina again, this time on James Island. I enjoyed hanging out with talented artists and musicians and leading workshops almost daily for the Southern Sampler Artists Colony. The trip included a benefit for R2 Kids in Charleston and readings from the latest SSAC anthology.
DC was on the agenda in May, and of course no year would be the same without the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographer’s Conference, for which I’ve served as Faculty for a couple of decades.
I ended the year in Thailand, enjoying the spiritual side of Bangkok and the beaches of Phuket.
Coming up in 2017
In 2017 more travel and writing trips are in the works. The New Year begins in Cuba. I’ll be following that with literary workshops and excursions to Spain (yes, going back again!), New York, Hawaii, Japan, Scotland, and France (see the workshops section of this site if you want to join me on some of these literary adventures). I don’t know where the year will end yet, though I’m currently planning to bookend the twelve months with a second trip—this time with our Wanderland Writers—to Cuba.
My hope is that this year the ups outweigh the downs and that my loved ones and I are not weighed down with the kind of sorrows that haunted us in 2015 and 2016.
I wish that for everyone.