Tag Archives: travel

I’m Reading A Soul’s Calling By Scott Bishop

When I was the writer for Chicago Women’s Examiner at Examiner.com back in 2010, one of the editors for the region contacted me for assistance in locating local writers to contribute to other areas of their Examiner brand. He ended his request by alluding to the fact that I seemed to have an ability to recognize great talent. Although I did not ‘find’ Scott Bishop, the conversation with that editor hovers somewhere in the back of my mind while reading the story this author has woven with such keen attention to detail. I’ve reviewed a few books over the years and read a great many authors… so far, this book doesn’t disappoint

Scott Bishop recently debuted his breakout Novel, A Soul’s Calling at Amazon.com. A Soul’s Calling takes the reader through twists and turns of one man’s trex through the Himalayas, along with other great surprises. But don’t take my word for it. Book reviewers at Goodreads have been favorable in a short amount of time, giving A Soul’s Calling a 5 star rating.

The author on his work:

“A Soul’s Calling is a memoir about a man who listened to his heart instead of reason. The book, a work of speculative non-fiction, is part travelogue, part hiking adventure, with shamanism and magic woven throughout.”

The good news is that you can read excerpts of the book by visiting http://www.scott-bishop.com and take a sneak peak inside on Amazon.com here:


If you’d like a copy for review, that can be arranged through Scott as well for a limited time. Want to hear more great news? I have an interview coming up right here at clara54 next week with the author and you don’t want to miss it! I know you’ll enjoy hearing his thoughts.

Ok, now, I do want to remind those of you who are considering writing a piece for The Mirror Monologues that submissions are underway, from Feb 1st through March 31st. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Answer that question in your mirror observation and you could become the next playwright whose works grace theatres near and far. Visit http://www.themirrormonologues.com for more insights.

Have you realized your calling? Would you travel to faraway lands for answers?

5 Ways to use Travel to Super-Charge Your Writing Skills

I recently visited my hometown and saw my brother’s place for the first time. I was so impressed as the family gathered on the deck of his property to enjoy the southern breeze and setting sun that I returned home to pen a post for BlogHer called “Farmer Joe.” Lynne Klippel talks about how to use travel to charge up your writing- Enjoy! Clara54

When you notice that your writing is starting to slump, it’s time to hit the road and go on a trip. Whether you decide to travel far afield or enjoy your hometown, you can use travel to open up the floodgates of your creativity by following these simple steps:

1. Increase Your Powers of Observation- Great writers notice details.  As you travel, look closely at everything and everyone.  Practice describing the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Use rich language that evokes emotions and sensations, like a velvety rose petal or tart lemon.  By the way, that type of language makes compelling blog posts or website copy.

At an airport or park, watch people and describe them in your mind.  Look for one characteristic which makes them unique, whether it is a shy smile, a crooked gait, or a piercing stare.

2. Create Stories- As you sit in a coffee shop or visit a museum, create a back story for the people you see.  Give yourself creative license to make up a rich life for this person with challenges, triumphs, and desires. Make it juicy, mysterious, or ominous.  Even if you write non-fiction, creating these imaginary stories will sharpen your ability to create interest and curiosity with your words.

3. Keep a Journal- Use your trip to develop the habit of daily writing.  Make a commitment to spend some time each day chronicling your trip, what you observed, and any inspirations that come to you.  By taking a break from your regular writing and writing solely about your travel experiences, you’ll return home to work on your book refreshed but still in the practice of daily writing.

4. Unplug- When you travel, eliminate television, email, and web surfing as much as possible.  Fill  your mind with interactions with real people instead of electronic media.   This will serve as a virtual re-set button for your creativity.  You’ll be amazed at the energy and ideas you have when you return home.

5. Try New Things or Learn New Information- In my recent trip to Ecuador, I immersed myself in a different culture where I did not speak the language or know much about the history. I learned so much and reconnected with the joy of discovery.  When you help your readers discover new things in your writing, you will inspire them and help them discover new ways to live.

So if you find your writing in a rut, step away from your computer and take a trip.  Follow these 5 steps and you’ll return home refreshed, recharged, and ready to write your great book.

Lynne Klippel is a best-selling author, publisher, and book coach who specializes in helping non-fiction authors write books that build their business and transform the world. For a f.r.e.e. assessment that will help you see your author strengths and opportunities, visit http://www.BusinessBuildingBooks.com

“Vacation Diary” by Clara54

Welcome to Chicago Midway International Airport
Image by wallyg via Flickr

Hello all! It’s nice to see clara54’s friends & fans have been faithfully visiting & offering up comments since I’ve been away these last several days_it does warm a girl’s heart:) Anyhow, you’ll be getting to read three installments of a behind-the scenes look into clara54’s vacation/family reunion, inclusive of beautiful photos at the finale …YAY! 

Clara54 ( via voice recorder) at the airport/preparing for takeoff :

Just lost a button on my blouse & my stomach is exposed. Well, at least my stomach is flat ,but it’s playing peek-a-boo through my cute little yellow top that I’ve never worn. Well, my daughter is going to find a tee shirt for me to wear on the plane as this is kind of uncomfortable… We are here at Midway Airport waiting to board the flight that will take us to  our connecting flight.

 (Minutes later)

Ok, I’ve changed into the $14.00 bulls shirt in the bathroom of the airport. I’m feeling some ‘purchase pains’ right about now, because $14.00 is waaay too much to pay for a darn Tee shirt!

After reaching our connecting flight in Atlanta, Georgia, we’re finally arrived at our vacation destination to rent a car, Upgrade advised due to the amount of luggage we’re attempting to pack in the trunk of the rental (hmmm) Ok, agreed, upgrade it is and  we’re on the road again to our reserved lodgings…The use of GPS by this younger travel generation becomes a bit exhausting, but, eventually, we arrive & clara54 falls head over heels with the hotel!
We finally gather to review & plan the week’s itinerary…the first evening spent as a family of 30+ was  a generational gathering at a convenient asian eatery where the shrimp was spicy and the drinks ‘NON-ALCOHOLIC’, cool & refreshing… I’m beat so this is clara54 signing off.

Five Points Cabins Review…

Lake Hamilton, Hot Springs, AR
Image via Wikipedia

Five Points Cabins is a lovely resort area that is situated back in the woods of a modern day Hot Springs, Arkansas….If there are items folks need to get…planned tourist attractions mapped out for the day, or just to browse the city itself while on vacation, one need only to drive down an incline from peace & serenity to the main highway leading into the mecca town that is Hot Springs. The city is not very big…population wise but, there were sites my family & I got a bit of a kick out of seeing… like finding & sampling hot water from a fountain where the water comes from below the city’s surface (hence hot springs) folks were actually driving up to collect water from this well. I personally would have liked to spend more time in the art galleries or take in the blues festival that was performing the day of arrival but, after 600 miles of travel in an RV, this sistah was tired!

The cabins were odd shaped rich cedar wood vibrant in their dark & honey coloring…A country girl by birth, I took to the cabins right off. There were about 12 finished & three in the process of being constructed on hillsides overlooking the beautiful calm waters of Lake Hamilton below. Two beds occupied some of the cabins & three bedroom occupied others, along with a jacuzzi and pull out couches…My sister & I would wake early to embrace the day…go down to the docks overlooking the water to talk & reminisce before the sun came to interrupt us, making us scurry back up the hill to our cabin & prepare for breakfast.

There were huge dinners prepared by the men & women in the family as this was our annual family reunion leading into Labor Day weekend where anyone who wanted could prepare their “speciality” …My brother’s ribs & bro-in-law’s marinated chicken were delicious…there were pies, macroni/cheese dishes.golden fried fish, potato salads, melons and such. It was a wonderful, enjoyable family labor day weekend. Five Points main attraction is Lake Hamilton, which offers up jet skiing,speedboats, rowboat, fishing, and quiet, calm waters for those who just want to spend quality time sitting around the gazebo, reconnecting and talking about life…

The Cons were few but, I think need to be addressed ( my brother warned me not to be too harsh as he liked the place he recommended & booked for us, sooo) in his favor,the proprietor at Five Points was an amicable & accomodating enough fellow ,but having the forethought to provide more necessities in the cabins like extra towels & garbage bags would have been nice AND not having to worry about little creature visits during the night like spiders & goodness mercy mice! (granddaughter said she saw one & there were mouse traps about ) would have been sooo grand…Thanks goodness tourists have the adacity to bring their very own cleaning supplies & sanitizers as well… makes for a much fresher ambiance that matches the beauty of Lake Hamilton!