Category Archives: Podcasts

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

Lynn Serafinn’s Radio Show

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15, I’ll be the guest on Lynn Serafinn’s “Create-A-Life” radio show. Lynn is a personal transformation coach based in England, though her on-line radio show is heard everywhere.

The interview will be at noon Central Daylight Time in the US, and at 6pm in England, where Lynn lives. Of course, as is the case with most Blog Talk Radio interviews, it will also be available for listening after the interview ends, but call-in Q&A will only occur during the actual broadcast.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Lynn-Serafinn/2009/07/15/Ep26-Waltzing-Australia

As an FYI for those of you who are in the UK, I’ve just learned from my publisher that the UK distributor, BookSurgeUK, will stop operating after July 30. So if you want the book, you might want to get it now. It will still be available in the UK after July 30, but will ship from the US, which nearly doubles the price. So if you’re considering buying, and you normally order books through AmazonUK, you have two weeks to save money.

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Filed under Australia, Book, Podcasts, Travel

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.

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Filed under Australia, Book, Podcasts, Writing

Australian Food

Last month, I joined Australian Pastry Chef Naomi Levine for a presentation given to the Culinary Historians of Chicago. Naomi talked about (and had samples of) several classic Australian sweets, then I rolled into a discussion of Australia in general and Australian food in particular. WBEZ, the local Public Radio Station, recorded our presentation. They just posted the podcast, and you can hear it here, if you fancy learning a bit more about Australian food.

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=32348

Many of the images from the presentation (crimson rosellas, bougainvillea in Queensland, the koala, penguins, and so on) can be found elsewhere on this blog, should you wish to match images to words. In addition, if you search here for pavolova, you can find my version of this classic Australian dessert. (Unlike Naomi, I sweeten the whipped cream.)

One image I mention that hasn’t appeared here yet is that of the view across the Chandon Vineyard, outside Melbourne—so here’s that picture. It’s quite a view. Goes well with a nice glass of champagne.

Chandon Vineyard

Chandon Vineyard

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Filed under Australia, Food, History, Podcasts, Travel

Talking About Writing

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Paula B. on “The Writing Show.” We talked about nonfiction writing, as I’ve not only done a great deal of it, but I’ve also taught it to a few people. If you’re interested in hearing a little about the world of publishing, my “Five Rules of Nonfiction Writing,” or horror stories from the front lines, you can visit “The Writing Show” and listen to the interview.

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Good Press

It’s exciting to see one’s book begin to get noticed. I’ve gotten a couple of very good reviews lately, and next week, I’m going to be interviewed on blog talk radio! (Yeah, I know — it’s not exactly Oprah, but it’s a start.)

The blog talk radio interview will take place next Tuesday, October 14, at 5 pm Central Daylight Time (United States). But the great thing about blog radio is that the interview just stays there as a podcast, so you don’t have to catch it when the interview takes place. Here’s the link to the site where the interview will take place and where the podcast will be “stored” afterwards.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/PASTICCIOTalkRadioShow/2008/10/14/Claim-Your-Sense-of-Adventure

I hope some of you will listen to me chat with Becky Cortino about my book, my life, and my adventures. (And wish me luck—I’m new to this.)

On top of that, I received a most excellent review of my book today at Good Reads:

5 stars to: Waltzing Australia by Cynthia Clampitt
bookshelves: outdoor-adventure
recommended for: Anyone who has a dream
status: Read in October, 2008

Cynthia’s book wasn’t at all what I expected when I first picked it up. I thought it would be a nice, light travelogue of some time she spent in Australia. Boy, was I surprised.

First, this was no travelogue – it’s an intense love story between an American city-dweller and the vast continent of Australia. It starts with an infatuation from afar, and develops over the course of five months into a deep life-long love and respect.

Along the way, we are close witnesses to Cynthia’s discovery of large cities, small towns, and hundreds of miles of outback. Each new experience is described in gorgeous detail from the joy of feeding flocks of wild parrots to the agony of sleeping on a bus. Each page is overflowing with adventures, and we get to meet each city, animal, plant, and person along with Cynthia as if we’re right there with her.

“Waltzing Australia” is deeply emotional and personal. It’s an inspirational read about a strong woman living out the dream of a lifetime, and we are very fortunate that she decided to take us all along.

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Filed under Australia, Book, Podcasts, Travel, Writing

Now For Something Completely Different

While the main focus of this site is pretty clearly Australia, including my adventures in and writing about the sunburnt country, I also want to share other destinations and interests. I travel a fair bit, and have seen some things I hope to share. I also write about food: primarily food history, but also food and travel, chef profiles, and so on. If you visit Hungry Magazine (link at right), you can check the archives for both Food History and Travel to see some of my work.

However, due to the miracle of modern technology, you can also hear me talk a bit about travel and food, as I was recently interviewed on the Restaurant Guys Radio show. (Phone interview—they’re in New Jersey, I’m near Chicago.)

I was rather surprised to find myself talking with them about travel and the magazine, as I had thought we’d be talking about food history. I was prepared to share all sorts of fun facts about how we came to eat what we eat today. So they caught me a bit off guard. I will share with you now the answer to the final question they asked me about where to find extreme food—an answer that came to me only moments after hanging up the phone. And the answer is, of course, that you can find extreme food anywhere, because everything is extreme if it’s not what you normally eat. I’ve had jellied eels in London, barbecued grasshoppers in Mexico, and cod tongues and seal-flipper pie in Newfoundland, Canada. Of course, the farther one gets from one’s own culture, the more things seem extreme. Obviously, for someone who grew up in the Midwest, Asia and Africa offer the greatest opportunities for eating outside one’s comfort zone. However, that said, we have so many Asian and African restaurants in Chicago, I don’t have to go far to eat strange stuff—duck tongues and chicken feet are fairly accessible here.

However, while I’m happy to try something new, especially when it is an important part of a region’s culture, I don’t go out of my way to eat the wacky stuff. I passed on a local event featuring worms and scorpions last year, and I recently turned down an invitation to attend a dinner featuring cicadas (inch-long bugs that emerge from the ground during the summer every 17 years). The point of eating strange food for me is connecting to a culture, not just being able to gross people (or myself) out.

So HERE is the link to the interview.

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Filed under Food, Podcasts, Travel