Monday, September 15, 2014

What I Brought Home


You may have seen this before in my post about Emusoi.  I cannot help sharing
it again.  It's my favorite of the whole trip!


Regular readers of MIE are aware that I have been traveling—to Kenya, Tanzania, and London—a trip that did important things to my heart, things that I do not yet fully understand.  They feel profound and positive and I am grateful for them.

The physical items that came home in my suitcase (in addition to the mountain of laundry) are easier to present.  Here they are:

The souvenir catalogue of the Karen Blixen Museum, replete with photos that
will be boon as I work to describe home interiors, clothing, and characters.


James Wilson's book.  He was the brilliant leader of our tour of
the battlefields.  Three of my Tolliver books will take place during
the war.


A gift for my grandchildren from Shel Arensen, author of children's books about
Africa.  He is also the editor and publisher of Old Africa Magazine and the organizer
of the tour we took.  His invitation to join the expedition inspired this trip to Africa.



 
A Maasai necklace, a gift for my daughter, who dispelled my doubts about
going this trip alone.


Something to join all my little souvenirs on the bookshelves over my computer.
This little guy is made of slices of a flattened beer can.  And red--the Maasai color.

A detail of my highly-prized copy of a 1910 map.  From the collection of the
British Library, it is the earliest indication of the street layout of the burgeoning
town of Nairobi.  



I brought home about 750 photos, some of which you have already seen, and about twenty short films.  One of the latter is of ostriches mating that reads like a post-modern love story.  I am not at all sure what I will do with that.  But the images of my trip are all now safely downloaded and await further study.
  
What I also took home are ideas—embryonic plots for two World War I novels—numbers 6 and 7 of my series, and many images that I know will make it into my narratives.

I came home with fresh eyes to see what I thought was a finished manuscript for Tolliver #2.  I have already taken apart its first four chapters, resequenced the events, and added a new plot thread.  It’s going to be a far better book than it otherwise would have been.

Recreation is supposed to give us renewal.  My tanks—which life events had depleted of late—are recharged.




Annamaria - Monday

15 comments:

  1. You look like a new woman! Sparkles in your eyes!
    I love you!
    Nico

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    1. Thank you, Nico. Nothing does it for me like the African wilderness.

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip! And, hey, it's all deductible, right? Research, research, research. :-)

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    1. EvKa, I sincerely look forward to the day that have enough income from my books to cover the costs of a trip like the one I just had. Hope springs eternal... But as Caro would say "I hae me doots."

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  3. I love that elephant! Can't wait to read Tolliver #2.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. I am slaving away, trying to get Toliver2 somewhere close to my new vision for it. Have fun on your upcoming trip!!

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  4. You are indeed a rara avis... How many of us would bring home so many worthy trophies , to be used for great and honorable projects !!! Not many, I dare say, if even one.... tjstraw in manhattan

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    1. Thanks, Thelma. The memories are the most precious things I bring home.

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  5. You look great and obviously had a terrific time, but I have one question--no, not about the ostrich film: What did you bring back for me?

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    1. :-) There was a period of a few years when, every time my wife would come home from town, our son would ask her, "Did you get me anything?" That lasted until it turned into a joke, and then it ended when the joke became stale (or maybe he was just growing up?)

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    2. Calm down, gents. Your gifts will be delivered in the form of stories. Best I can do.

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  6. Replies
    1. Stan, you know full well that my infatuation with Africa was already present in every quark in my body. In fact, I have decided that if aliens who look human but aren't ever invade the planet, we will be able to differentiate them from real humans, by taking them into the African bush. If their bodies don't respond to it on a cellular level, we will know they are not true descendants of the creatures that evolved there.

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  7. Wow what an amazing trip!

    And I am looking forward to those ostrich films…

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    1. I am thinking of putting my little films on YouTube. At the very least, I will have it available for viewing at Bouchercon!!

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