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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Travel Inspires Writing

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

Travel Inspires Writers Claire Datnow

Writers have felt the creative benefits of travel. Ernest Hemingway, for example, drew inspiration from his time in Spain and France. Aldous Huxley, the author of
Brave New World, moved from the U.K. to the U.S. in his 40s. Mark Twain, after sailing around the Mediterranean in 1869, wrote in his travelogue Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
On the brink of a five weeks trip to Australia and China, which entails a long break from writing, I find myself asking: “Why do I keep writing?”
I write to pay back for the books that have entertained and informed me, and, most of all, opened pathways to empathy with people of all creeds and ethnicities. I write because something deep inside begs to be heard, thirsts to find answers to perplexing questions, and hopes to shape peoples’ lives in some small way for the betterment of themselves and the world.
With these lofty goals in mind, I have coaxed myself into taking stock of what I have accomplished as a writer in the past twelve months, and what I hope to accomplish in the coming months.

Travel Inspires Writers The Passionate Traveler

The publication of the eight Eco mystery,
“The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: The Case of the Missing Piping Plovers,” has been the highlight of the year thus far. Since the setting of this Eco mystery takes place in the Bahamas, I sent the manuscript to Rochelle, a Bahamian, to review the authenticity of my depiction of her culture and customs. To my delight and relief she wrote, “It was a pleasure to read your Eco mystery. There were only a few spots where I would suggest, as a Bahamian, you should make a change. Guava duff is not something Bahamians would eat or serve at breakfast. It is a dessert for after lunch but mostly served after dinner.”
I am thrilled that my book will be distributed to schools and libraries across the Bahamas, with the promotion of the outreach education coordinator of the National Audubon Society.Hopefully, the story will inspire Bahamians to conserve and protect the vital habitat of their special shorebirds.
In addition, I presented a workshop at the
Alabama Writers Conclave, June 2017, “Writing Nature into Fiction and Nonfiction,” and enjoyed attending useful workshops while there. Earlier in the year, I teamed with Earth Day at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to do a hands-on exhibit about Migratory Birds that encouraged visitors to help birds along the way.
Looking to the future—a stay on Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Island, unexpectedly inspired an idea for a new Eco mystery for adults, “Passion and Pride,” which I have begun to outline and research.

Trapical Flowers of the Bahamas Claire Datnow

On November 9, 2017, I am looking forward to presenting a seminar, “How to Become a Citizen Scientist,” at Aldridge Gardens. I am honored to have accepted the position as STEM Chair for the American Association of University Woman, 2017-2018. I am especially excited about hosting a special STEM event in March 2018, in collaboration with Kristin Greenwood, director of Birmingham Grilspring.
To record the special places and experiences that may magically weave their way into my stories, I intend to keep a brief journal and to take a myriad of photos. Boris and I especially look forward to sharing our photos with the Shades Valley Camera Club, Cosmos Club, AAUW and other friends and interested groups.

If given the opportunity I may blog while traveling!