Don’t Hate me Because I’m American!

Austian who Hates the U.S.

Austrian who Hates the U.S.

I’m out in the middle of a remote area of the Coramandel Peninsula in New Zealand, and after having hiked literally one and a half hours to the beautiful Cathedral Cove, I see this on the beach:  An Austrian girl wearing a t-shirt that cleverly reads: “God Save US from U.S.”

My parents weren’t particularly educated – my father only finished 6th grade, and my mother went through to 7th.  They never traveled, and never got out of the U.S.  So it makes sense that they raised me to naively believe that everyone not only loves Americans, but they want to be just like us.

I was stunned the first time I realized that Americans are not only not loved, in many countries, they are strongly disliked!  I learned this first-hand 11 years ago when I went on a solo trip around the world.   I was so disappointed to learn Continue reading


How to Remain Girlish While Camping

camp-in-wildYou see them all the time, those backpacker – camper girls.  They wear their drab sensible shorts that come just to the knees and their button down, shapeless shirts.  The camera bag slung over their shoulders seems to complement the accessory of a backpack on their back, which most likely contains water, a Swiss Army Knife and energy bars.

Not a good look.  Not that they care.  It’s not about the Continue reading

Go Home and Write!

maria-headshot-with-glassesHave you heard the story about a well accomplished, famous author who held a writing workshop?   Thousands of edu-hungry students applied; only 300 were accepted.

The students arrived on day 1 with their pencils in hand, eager to learn the secrets of the great author.  Once they were all seated, the great author strutted to the front of the classroom, and said “You all signed up to learn how to be great writers.  What are you doing here?  Go home and write!”  And then he left.

I suppose the moral of that story is that if you want to be a writer, or anything else for that matter, then just do it!  But, I have some questions……

First, I understand the concept of “just go home and write.”  After all, thinking about writing isn’t going to get you any closer to creating that great novel.  You have to just WRITE, damn it!  But, I’d like to learn about beginning a story, structuring a novel, the best way to hook the reader, how to write delicious descriptions, ones that draw a picture in the readers mind.  I’d like to learn the ins and outs of a tightly written chapter, and all those other things you can only learn about in school, like prose, grammar, prepositions, etc.

I suppose I’ll keep writing, and eventually my talent will come through, and I’ll finish that great novel one day.  But maybe I should go back to school……

Spunk xxoo

Hello world!

spunk-brophy-22This is my first post on my own blog.  I will be ranting on about all the things I love, art related and otherwise!

Thanks for reading!  Spunk