Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Traveling Adventures to the Edge of South America

Been writing, working hard, and doing a little travel, so this is going to be a pretty big post. LOL Well, what do you expect from an epic fantasy author, other than an epic-scale post, right?

So, the new year has hit the ground running, but I'm going to back up just a little bit.

I got a nice surprise from my mom, along with my sister, in the way of a trip that took us to Panama, Costa Rica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and across Carribean waters over the holidays. The weather was certainly a lot warmer than it has been at home in Kentucky.

I love traveling, and this was my third trip to this region in the last five years, added to a trip to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Alaska. I've always felt that travel is of great benefit to writers, and I find myself drawing off of my international experiences all the time.

Going through the Panama Canal was a real amazing experience, seeing how the locks work, getting a sense for how it operates, and getting a good feel for the size of it. They are in the midst of building some new locks/gates at the moment, so there's a great deal of construction going on, but the operation is really impressive.

Furthermore, I got to have a spider monkey on my shoulder. Friendly little fellow who stood still for some pics too!

Costa Rica was, as I imagined, beautiful. I got to go into a rain forest and kept imagining velociraptors (as one of the Jurassic Park Movies was shot in Costa Rica, LOL). Got to see a noble sloth, howler monkeys, and all kinds of fun stuff. Really beautiful country and the people there were super cool. One thing I found funny was the popularity of Axel Rose. We got told that many people in Costa Rica have named their boys Axel after the Guns and Roses lead singer! LOL Guns and Roses must be big all through Central America, as they were the only rock band being displayed in some t-shirt shops we saw in Panama, haha.

I absolutely love the Carribean Islands. Always have found the people living there to be super friendly. There's a really laid back air to things around there. I've been to a large number now, including St. Martin, St. Thomas, Tortola, Barbados, Dominica, Grand Turk Caicos, and others, but I have to say that my fav is still Dominica.

Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire all had a different feel to them than many of the other Carribean islands. Less rainy by fair, with a more arid type of environment (Cactus plants are everywhere), they sit below the hurricane belt. We encountered perfect weather on all three of them. They are all largely their own countries, having gained varying degrees of independence from Holland (these were once part of the Netherlands Antilles).

As you probably know from my posts and updates, I have the 4 new short stories out now in the Seventh Star Singles line, 99 cent eBooks that are affiliated with the various authors' novel series. I have three in the Chronicles of Ave, which go with the Fires in Eden Series, and I have one in the Annals of the Rising Dawn, which goes with the Rising Dawn Saga. I'll probably do a series of posts about the stories individually so I can put them each in the right context.

The latest Fires in Eden book is in the edit phase, and I really think those of you who are reading this series are in for a very special installment. I'll be talking a little bit more about this new one in the coming months, but wanted you all to know where things are at with it.

I'm doing only a couple of January appearances, and then in February doing 2 conventions, with ConNooga and MystiCon, before a very busy March as the convention circuit kicks in full gear.

Going to be a very busy time, but I will be keeping you all posted. Expect a few more eBook short stories too...including some in the horror genre! :) more on that very soon....

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