Spring: recent traveling, writing, reading

I’m starting a new quarterly series here on my blog where I’ll recap what I’ve been up to in terms of…you guessed it!…traveling, writing, and reading. Welcome to the first installment.


In March, we went to Cubs spring training in Phoenix, AZ. The Cubs have a new spring training stadium, and it is gorgeous. Designed to look like Wrigley, it feels like a newer, more intimate version of the original. Before the game, we stopped by batting practice, where my daughter and husband caught two baseballs, and we met Cubs second-baseman Darwin Barney, who just happens to be my daughter’s favorite player.

We also spent an evening in Tempe, walking around the downtown area that almost feels like a small college town. We ate dinner, grabbed some ice cream, and called it a night so that we could get up early the next morning and explore McCormick-Stillman Park before we had to leave for home.

Spring also took us to Death Valley National Park in California. This is one of my favorite national parks that I’ve visited. This was our second visit to the park, and we spent our time at Furnace Creek (including the Borax Museum), the Mesquite sand dunes, and Dante’s View.


As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on some fiction and creative non-fiction lately. But I haven’t forgotten travel writing or my other freelance projects. I’ve written a few items for Desert Companion (in the family-focused special issue and the May issue), and I covered Victoria, British Columbia for the April issue of Luxury Las Vegas.


I just finished the novel The Vanishing by Wendy Webb, which I enjoyed. I wouldn’t rank it up there among my favorites, but it was an entertaining read. Last night, I opened The Best American Noir of the Century, edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler. Call me crazy, but I don’t read short story collections in order. Of course I had to jump right ahead to Joyce Carol Oates’ “Faithless.”

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