An update from YOU

July 28, 2010

I love communicating with readers of this blog, hearing about your projects over e-mail, getting updates on Twitter. It’s so great hearing from you that I’d like to take that private communication to another level — and introduce you all to each other.

We’ve had successful blog parties here before, but lots of readers have jumped onto The Traveling Writer train since then. So today, let’s share updates on our progress! What’s the latest on your project? For many of you, this means your writing. But we’ve also got some travelers, journalists and social media types in the mix. (Yeah, YOU. I know you’re lurking.) We want to hear what you’re working on, too!

Leave us a note below, and if this party gets going like I hope it does, you should have a bunch of other posts to scroll through so you can connect with some of the other fascinating people who read this blog.

Simone: Are you going to j-school? Marianne: where are you on your manuscript? Zoe: How are sales with the book?

Give us:

  • Your name
  • Update on your project — requires brief explanation of what you’re working on
  • URL to your blog or website if you have one — using the http:// format that you’re super good at by now
  • Twitter handle if you have one

[tweetmeme source=”alexisgrant”]


Update: Gah! I hate when I forget to add the RT button! Retweet this if you want to grow our community.

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    27 Replies to “An update from YOU”

    • Hi from Switzerland
      My travel book, Swiss Watching, has just been published πŸ™‚ So when I’m not working at the dayjob, I’m emailing, tweeting, blogging and being interviewed. Trying to answer all the questions and keep up with interest is fun but tiring. And worth it – the book is a number 1 bestseller here even though it’s only in English. Now I just have to find time to start the research on my next book. And keep up with the blog. And…
      Twitter: dicconb
      Diccon Bewes

    • Ms. Mack says:

      Howdy! Here’s the scoop:

      *Name: Nicole/Ms. Mary Mack
      * Project: I’m so close to the end of writing my second novel, I can feel the sun that’s coming in from the edge of the tunnel on my face. I’ve been working on this ms. for a couple of years. (It was back-burner-ed when I had my son a year and a bit ago.) My first novel, “Earth’s Waters,” was published three years ago.
      Also pushing my four-month-old blog out there, trying to get it some more shine, too.
      * Blog:
      * Twitter: @NicoleBlades

      This is a good idea. Thanks for giving us all a space to connect.

      Talk soon

    • Marianne says:

      Thanks Alexis! Great idea.

      I’m still in the thick of revisions on my memoir about life as a human rights officer with the UN in Afghanistan. My agent and I hope to get it out to publishers this fall.

      I’m still busy running my online yoga courses (for people who can’t get to or can’t stand the thought of yoga classes), working as a human rights advocate (today, a really fabulous assignment telling the positive story of the MASSIVE and largely unseen contribution made to society through unpaid work done by disabled people)

      More on all of that, and my experiment with overwhelm at my site:

      I’m a great lover of Twitter: @zenpeacekeeper

      Lovely to meet you and HUGE congratulations to Nicole and Diccon!

    • Karen Walker says:

      Hi Alexis,
      Love it when you do this. My memoir, Following the Whispers, is still selling, slowly by surely. I am working on a new book, my first foray into fiction. Too early to talk about it, though. My days are filled with writing, singing at retirement communities, folkdancing, and hanging with the hubs.

    • Jennifer says:

      This is such a great idea!

      My name is Jennifer. And I just recently started following this blog. I’ve found it so interested to read and I’ve learned a lot!

      Right now, I’m working on a few projects. Two I’ve just recently started, one I’ve been working on for about a year.
      First, I have my blog. It’s been touch and go but right now I’m really focusing a lot of my energy on creating quality posts more frequently and regularly. I’m also trying to get more followers.
      Second, I’m going to be working on a major academic paper regarding women and identity. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to share about this right now because I really only decided I was going to do it a few days ago.
      And last, is my novel. And on this front, I’m still at the drawing board – trying to get my ideas down and work them into something that makes sense. But I am writing everyday which is an improvement.

      Not too much actually accomplished, but a lot of promise.

      My blog:
      My twitter: @xseptembergrlx

    • brentwinter says:

      Thanks for the opportunity to set a spell and swap stories! I’m enjoying your blog.

      * Name: Brent Winter

      * Project: My main project right now is a screenplay that I’m co-writing with a friend who is a filmmaker. It’s a contemporary dark fantasy set in the Appalachian Mountains. Unlike Nicole, I can’t feel the sun from the end of that particuar tunnel yet, but at least I can no longer see the sun from the *beginning* of the tunnel. I’m also writing and submitting poetry, and I’ve got a blog about writing, creativity, and the unconscious.

      * Blog:

      I am not on the Twitter yet. Still debating that one.

      Good luck to us all!

    • Alexis Grant says:

      Already excited to hear from some newbies! Welcome!

    • Hey, Alexis! πŸ™‚ Good idea. It’s interesting to read about the projects other people are working on! Here’s my two cents to add to the mix…

      *Name: Kayla Olson

      *Project: Currently about halfway finished with the third draft of my first novel. It’s going well, and I’m learning SO much.


      *Twitter: @olsonkayla (

      Best of luck to everyone here! πŸ™‚

    • Hi, Alexis:

      I love this feature””getting updates from everyone. Great idea.

      My creative writing book, Polish and Publish, is about to be available from my website. Probably by mid-August, or before.

      Also working on an essay for a contest. Wish me luck, folks!

    • P.S. And I’m eager to follow folks on Twitter and read their blogs, if they’ve listed them.

    • Lisa McKay says:

      Hi Alexia and all,

      Name: Lisa McKay

      Project: Getting settled in Luang Prabang, where I just moved with my husband this month. Revising the 2nd draft (or 11th, depending on how you count the drafts) of a memoir of my years in California working as a stress and trauma trainer for humanitarian workers around the world. My first novel – My Hands Came Away Red – was published a couple of years ago in the States. It’s set in the Ambon riots in Indonesia in the late 1990’s.

      Blog: Come visit – I just launched this blog upon arrival in Laos and I’m having fun with it.

      Great to get a glimpse of so many cool projects people are working on.


    • Todd says:

      Hi Everyone,

      Name: Todd Wassel

      Projects: Yup, I have few going on at the moment. I am STILL halfway through my travel memior about hiking a 900 mile Japanese pilgriamge to 88 buddhist temples on the island of Shikoku. I am still working on it but my time is being taken up by other projects including:

      A photo ebook of 40 travel bloggers being produced in conjunction with Lonely Planet. We are in the design phase at the moment. We are super excited to be workign with LP and this just shows that there are alot of different routes to a book getting published (err, uploaded in this case). Updates and info to follow soon!

      I’m also working on a Hiking and Ecotourism guide to Dragash, Kosovo. A little visited and unspoiled mountain region in Kosovo that is just waiting to be discovered. I am posting some of the hikes (with video) on my website so come and visit and let me know what you think.

      My blog is:
      Facebook (in keeping with Alexis’ advice):

      Oh, and I just started a new job for the United Nations…not as creative but I am always writing project documents πŸ™‚

    • Todd says:

      Sigh, I messed up on my blog address πŸ™‚ Here it is again:

    • My Twitter handle is @lynettebenton. Hope my fellow writers here will follow me, as I will them.

    • jessiecarty says:

      Wow! Some terrific projects going on πŸ™‚

      I feel I’m a bit different but I’ll introduce myself anyway.

      Name: Jessie Carty

      Projects: Many but focus right now is on revising 2nd full length collection of poems that should be released in 2012, finding a publisher for my 3rd chapbook of poems, continuing to write essays for what I hope will be an essay collection about growing up in the rural south (trailer life and the like) and i’ve started a new series of Choose Your Own Adventure poems. Wonder where that will take me….


      Twitter: jessiepoet

    • Mokibobolink says:

      Wow, what great timing. Here I am a brand new subscriber (as of literally yesterday) and the first post I get in my email inbox this morning is this one.

      I have enjoyed reading about everyone else’s projects and all the various things people are working on these days.

      As for me, my (pen) name is Mokibobolink (aka Moki) and currently I’m working hard on getting a blog off the ground. My blog is all about fanfiction and my goal with it is to get fanfiction readers and writers out of the “closet”. So many of us hide our interest in it and I really feel that’s a mistake as fanfiction is not only a great form of escape but also a fantastic way for new writers to hone their skills.

      My blog is

      My twitter handle is @mokibobolink

      Thanks so much for the opportunity to let us all get to know each other. I may be new to this blog but I can already tell I’m going to like it. πŸ™‚


    • simonemarie says:

      Such an awesome idea, Alexis!

      Ok, here goes. I’m Simone Gorrindo, a writer (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism. Yes, I know, it’s too much). After waffling for a few months, I’ve decided to go to Columbia’s J-school. And I am psyched!

      In the meantime, I’m working with a friend of mine on a photojournalism project about married women in NY, a few short stories, and updating my blog. I am also spending far too much time reading other people’s blogs, so prepare to be stalked soon.


      Twitter handle: SimoneGorrindo

      Favorite color: plum

      Excited to get to know all of you guys!

    • I’m one of the lurkers, Alexis! Thanks for giving us another chance to meet each other. Hello from wintery but beautiful Lima – I am spending the year traveling through Latin America, meeting some of the protagonists of the environmental movements going on throughout the Americas for The Esperanza Project, which is really a prelude to my book project. I just took a big jump from El Salvador to Peru to attend a friend’s wedding, and now I’ll be headed by bus down the coast to Chile, then over the Andes to Argentina, and finally to Asuncion, Paraguay, where I’ll be attending the Social Forum of the Americas. You can read about my travels on my travel blog at, and about my eco-heroes at (or in Spanish).

    • Hello All.

      Name: Michelle Cusolito

      Projects: I am a traveler at heart who mostly writes for children. The manuscript I am currently submitting, a picture book set in Niger, West Africa, is based on my expereinces when I was there. I also write poetry and have aspirations of one day writing a memoir/poetry combination based on my expereinces living and traveling abroad.


      “Polliwog on Safari: Muck about. Meet the Locals, Expand your world.”
      My blog combines my passions: traveling, nature, teaching, and writing. (I’m a National Board Certified Teacher). It provides activities for parents, homeschoolers, and teachers to do with children that will help connect them to nature and to people from other cultures (or people in their own town for that matter). Since I live in Massachusetts and the weather has been so amazing, most of my recent posts are nature related.

    • Gayle says:

      Hi Everyone,

      Name: Gayle

      I’m so very impressed after reading each bio and visiting the various blogs (including yours, Alexis “β€œ my first time here).

      I’ve been in the travel business over 30 years and currently work independently as a Travel Director in the Meetings & Incentives world. I recently started a blog on things to do and see in California, my home state. I have zero experience writing, so I’ve lots to learn. I’ve always enjoyed assisting people with their travel arrangements (I worked several years as a Travel Agent), so that’s how the blog started “β€œ a way for me to share my experience and excitement of travel with others. Not sure where it will lead, but I’m enjoying the process.

      Twitter: @PostmarkCa (

    • Alexis Grant says:

      What an awesome group! With interesting projects. I’ll have to find time this week to check out all of your blogs…

    • SoVeryVienna says:

      I’m late to this party – blame my four-month-old baby! But don’t be too hard on her, because she’s the reason for my project: a blog about being a mom in the town we live in, which is a suburb of America’s capital.

      I’ve found your tips on blogging really helpful, Lexi. I just finishing switching from Blogger to, at your suggestion, and it’s great. The analytics feature in WordPress is awesome.

      I had my first big milestone today: I launched the blog to the various moms groups I’m in, and had over 200 hits! Way more than the previous daily record of 30. I need to figure out my next steps: can you say, “Monetize”? Or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself … I have visions of going to local businesses and asking them to post a flyer with my blog address, and soliciting them for ad space online. Any thoughts folks have about monetizing are appreciated.


      • Alexis Grant says:

        Yay, Mel! Congrats. Whether to monetize is one discussion (lots of people, including me, say blogs bring the author value in other ways) and how to go about it is another. You can see I’ve decided against having ads on my site, so I’m not the person to ask about how to monetize! I’d check the popular blogging blogs like ProBlogger, CopyBlogger, etc. for monetizing tips. Keep us posted!

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