Me in the Rio Secreto

“Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.”

—N. K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season. American science fiction and fantasy writer and the only author to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years.


I’m back beaches!! (No, it’s not misspelled, I’m just trying to keep this blog clean).

I know I said I would write this blog regularly, well regularly is more like sporadically. What can I say, life happened. Vacation, website broke down, deep writing slump, followed by a breathtaking spark of creativity, author talks at a local school, speaker series at a local book club (great having a captive audience), depression from what our government is doing at the border, and then solace in vegetable gardening. Just life. I also had a vague suspicion that very few people actually read my blog. But I was wrong.

Thank you to my cousin who told me yesterday she enjoyed my blog and misses it.

Happy Father’s Day to the two men who read my blog… love you, and of course to all the rest of the guys out there. I feel fathers are not given the full credit they deserve. They’re the foundations of a families, our lights in the dark and our warm blankies on a cold night. And they smell so good… usually.

Have a wonderful day.

And today is also Youth Day in South Africa. On June 16, 1976 the apartheid police open fire with live ammunition on a crowd of school kids who were protesting the rubbish low-class education they were getting. By the end of that night 50 kids were killed, some as young as 13, and hundreds were injured. The cops followed the kids into Baragwanath Hospital wanting to arrest them, but doctors and nurses prevented their arrest by admitting the kids not as gunshot wounds but as abscesses and other minor surgical conditions. This was the beginning of the Soweto Uprising. Led by the youth, the Soweto Uprising was a huge turning point in the struggle against apartheid.

I was a senior in high school that year (okay, okay I know you can do math). As soon as we heard of the shootings our school went on a boycott in solidarity with the Soweto students.

For the rest of the story you will have to read my book people: 

My book is published

When Lions Roared: How Brave Young People Defied Apartheid

I am in awe of young people and their bravery. Even today it’s young people who are leading the fight for gun reform and to save the climate, and our world. Let’s not leave them out there alone. Let’s join them to save our planet and make this a better world.

What else to tell you?

I visited Mexico for the very first time recently. A lovely coastal town called Playa del Carmen. To be honest I was on the lookout for ‘Bad Hombres’ but I didn’t find any. I think they all relocated to the White House.

Sadly I didn’t have my beach resort act together—forgot my sexy coverup. But it didn’t matter because I’ve given up on looking good at the beach, I get too sweaty and the dollops of sunblock make me look like an oily seal with a bad skin condition.

But we had a fun trip. The town was an odd but delightful fusion of great Mexican and Brazilian restaurants, cute European coffee shops and delicious pizza places, all due to the large number of expats and tourists.

The highlight of our trip was a visit to some stunning caves with stalactites and stalagmites, and an underground river running through them. I would highly recommend a visit to the Rio Secreto.

Rio Secreto

I also visited Seattle and my visit got off to a great start when I got to meet Boots the airport comfort dog. His job is to come around and be petted and pampered by travelers. He does this a couple of times a month. What a sweetie.

Boots the airport comfort dog

In Seattle I overdosed on flowers when I visited the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, complete with a miniature windmill. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Allergy-sufferers beware!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Thanks for your time, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.