Category Archives: Writing

Waltzing Australia Now on Kindle

For those of you who may have been holding off on buying my book until there was a Kindle version — the time is here. Waltzing Australia went live on Kindle a couple of days ago. You can find it listed on Amazon — a search turns it up right after the print version of the book.

For anyone who has a different ebook device, I hope to have the book available on Smashwords soon, which means it would be available for most other ebook readers (including iPhones).

So if you’ve got a Kindle, I’m ready for you now: here. (And be aware — even if you don’t own a Kindle device, you can download the Kindle software for free on your computer, and then just read Kindle books there.) For other devices — stay tuned.

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Filed under Australia, Book, Geography, History, Literature, Nature, Travel, Writing

Online Interview: Soooz Says

The Australian writer and book blogger known as Soooz has just posted an interview with me on her book review and authors site. I think Soooz asked some interesting questions.

If you’re interested in some of the background on how I got to Australia and why, plus how I rebuilt my career, Soooz has covered it all.

Sooos Says: Interview with Cynthia Clampitt

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Filed under Australia, Book, Writing

New Book Trailer

They say that books need video trailers these days. I don’t know how much good they do, but I found a place that does a good job for a reasonable price, so I gave it a shot.

I had my first video book trailer done a couple of years ago, when my book was new. I thought that this year, with the book having won an award, it might be time for a second trailer. So I asked the team that created the first video to do a new one. This time, I supplied several photos from my travels, to get away from using images everyone else might be using (all but the shot of Ayers Rock/Uluru and the Sydney Opera House, both of which they used in my original video, are mine). I think they did a good job of creating something that was very different from the original.

For any writers out there who might be considering a video book trailer, I’d definitely recommend these guys (their info is at the end of the trailer). Not only do they create the video, they post in on the Internet for you.

So here’s the new video:

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Filed under Australia, Book, Travel, Writing

Anthony Bourdain Challenge

I love writing about food just as much as I love writing about travel and Australia. So when I read that there was a contest being run by Tony Bourdain to write about why we should cook well, I couldn’t resist. Of course, the real purpose of the contest is to get people to flock to the publisher’s website, but my reason to join is that it would be nice to have Tony put in a good word for me somewhere, if he did like my writing.

So how do you win? How do you win any contest these days? You get people to vote. This is kind of American Idol for food writers—except without the recording contract or any real degree of fame. That said, I’d still love to have you vote for me. Here’s the link to my essay: The Thread of Life.

Thanks for any and all votes.

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Filed under Food, Writing

The Writing Life

With Tasmania behind me, I was headed next for Canberra. But I thought I’d interrupt the flow of the tale to insert links to a few guest posts I was invited to submit to other blogs.

The first one is about why writing longhand is not merely a virtue, but a useful tool in the writer’s arsenal.

The second is about why one needs to look things up. Of course, the real reason is so people don’t simply dismiss your writing because of the errors. But here are some examples.

And finally, here’s one on delighting in writing.

Hope those of you who are writers find something useful and/or encouraging in these.

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Talking About Pursuing Dreams

I was interviewed this last weekend on the Passions and Possibilities radio show. As is so often the case these days, the live show was recorded and is now available online as a podcast.

In this interview, while there is some discussion of my motivation for going to Australia, much of the conversation centers around practical steps for pursuing dreams, as well as tricks for staying motivated.

Passions and Possibilities Interview

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Filed under Australia, Book, Podcasts, Travel, Writing

Edit Ruthlessly

If you listened to the podcast of The Writing Show where I talked about nonfiction writing, you’ll know that one of my Five Rules is to edit ruthlessly. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may also remember that in the May 2, 2007 post I mentioned that the hardest editing for me to do is getting rid of really “nice little stories” that have nothing to do with what I’m writing. I fall in love with moments or vignettes or images that derail the tale, but as much as I hate to get rid of them, I know they must go.

HOWEVER, one of the happy things about this blog is getting to resurrect some of those axed passages—because I really did love the moments they reflect, even though they didn’t belong in the book. One day in Melbourne, while riding back to Sue’s place on the tram (streetcar), one such little vignette unfolded, and while I still have no doubt it had to come out, I’m pleased that I can share the excised passage with you now.

On the tram there was the most adorable little boy—adorable not so much because of his appearance, but more because of his behavior. He was dressed in blue corduroy pants and a light blue shirt that was too big, but had the cuffs rolled up enough so the sleeves were the right length. In one hand he had his schoolbooks, in the other he clenched a $2 note to pay his tram fare. He could barely see over the conductor’s ticket table, so all you saw was tousled blond hair and blue eyes fringed with long, blond lashes.

He said, “Excuse me,” twice to the conductor, who was busy trying to close up his books and change maker because his shift ended at the next stop. Because he was ignoring the little boy, I finally said, “Why don’t you just sit down—it doesn’t look like the man wants your money.” At this, the conductor looked up at me and blinked, looked down at the little boy (about 7 or 8 years old, I’d guess), then grinned and said, “Yeah, go ahead. You can sit down.” The little boy looked at me as if I’d performed magic, and came and sat next to me.

He had a great quality of gentleness about him, and a smile that spread across his face like sunlight. At the next stop, a woman got on the tram with a baby in a stroller. The little boy watched the baby with the most beautiful and loving curiosity, looking up at me now and again to make certain I was sharing in this unspeakable delight. I was sorry when my stop was reached and I had to leave him behind. I wish I could let his mother know how wonderful I thought her son was.


Filed under Australia, Book, Podcasts, Writing