Smoky San Francisco

October 10th, 2017

Seabourn Sojourn is a great experience. The lectures, six so far, have gone without a hitch. I have learned from five years of experience that a good turnout for the lectures is about 10% of the passengers, and I have been exceeding that, and the audience is growing, so those are both good signs. Today is sad, however, because the smoke from the Napa and Sonoma fires is thick all over San Francisco, where we are just docking now. I will need to stay on the ship, due to respiratory problems. Can’t risk losing my voice for the remaining three lectures. Feeling bad for those on the ship who have never been to San Francisco, especially those on cancelled wine country tours, but of course our problems are nothing compared to our fellow human beings in Santa Rosa and elsewhere, who woke up this morning not just to some smoke and inconvenience, but to the loss of homes and neighborhoods and,  in some cases, loved ones. Blessings on you, and all those still in the path of the fires. Will be thinking of you all day.

First Morning

October 4th, 2017

I woke up this morning to sounds of engine growls, and having forgotten where I was, couldn’t figure out what was happening. Very often when cruising, my first reaction to movement or sound is “Uh oh!  Is this the Big One?”  Fortunately, it was just the sound of people and ship doing their work of getting us into port. Seattle, here I come!


September 21st, 2017

It’s a wonderful coincidence that the website revamp I have been working on with my talented web designers at BlueJay Tech should reach the launch pad during the Jewish High Holy Days.  Evaluation, renewal and rededication can take many forms, both personal and professional.

So here I am, two years beyond the launch of The Mapmaker’s Daughter, my latest historical novel (and perhaps last–who knows?)  I’m writing a lot, actually, though it would be hard to tell from the paucity of diary entries here in the last two years.  But I am renewed and ready to go!

My writing these days is of two sorts.  First, I am trying my hand at screenplays, getting some advice and assistance from my son Ivan Corona, who works with a Hollywood producer.  The challenge of a new format that requires quite different skills has been fulfilling.  I have lots of questions about my capabilities as a writer that I don’t have answers to yet: can I write without being able to say what a character is thinking? without being able to describe a scene in detail?  to limit myself to very little more than dialogue and minimal other directions? So far so good, but far more important, so far so fun!

The other writing I do is for cruise lectures.  In the last five years I have been traveling all over the world as a lecturer for several cruise lines.  I have a catalog of about 75 lectures at this point (a list is elsewhere on this site), and I honestly can’t even remember the exact number of cruises I have been on except to say it is a lot and I have loved every minute of it.  What’s up for me in 2018 you can see in the calendar section of the site.

And of course the great thing about writing books is that they are always there.  Even if I don’t write another, I have four novels and one non-fiction book many people other than my friends and family think are pretty darn good, and they will just keep on being new whenever someone finds them.

Among my hopes for myself at this time of reflection on who I am and what matters to me, is a return to active involvement with this website as a way of keeping in touch with people I meet, and remembering the great joy I have had and can look forward to on my adventures in this world, which has blessed me with such abundance.  Thanks for being part of it!