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The Moment You Become a Different Person Abroad

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By Kayla (Keyla? Keila? Teila? Kebar?) Washko

                Identity seems to become more fluid when you live abroad. The exact moment that you begin to change is hard to pinpoint—perhaps it’s when you learn to barter at the local market, or finally decide to face your fear and go bungee jumping or white water rafting for the first time. Or perhaps it isn’t so tough to pinpoint after all. Maybe it happens the first time (or many times) someone says or spells your name incorrectly. Continue reading The Moment You Become a Different Person Abroad

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Only “A Few Years”: A Goodbye Post

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guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Me and my beautiful granddaughter, Adeline

Hello everyone.  My name is Jeff, Marla’s older, and only, brother.  I wanted to help out with my sister’s dilemma of not having enough hours in her days to get all of the things ready for her move to R.S.A. and still fill some blog spots for those of us who “need to get a life” because we grow too impatient waiting on her next post!

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Kurt & Marla in Florida. This goodbye isn’t going to be like the others.

While I don’t presume to be able to fill the need for all, I will at least give her something to post so that all her readers have even more reason to desire her return to the podium!

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Kissing a crayfish at Adeline’s first birthday party (Don’t ask…she’s weird.)

I really could not think of anything interesting to write about, I’ve always been the type of guy quick with the “snappy comebacks” and the sarcastic remarks, quite a lot of fun in the short term, but irritating to be around for any length of time.  My sisters can both attest to this, as I was definitely not one of those “big brother” types. As I remember it, I spent most of my youth making life Hell for both of my younger sisters; probably more so for my sister Wendy than I did Marla, but I did have five more years with Wendy to figure out all of her “buttons”. Continue reading Only “A Few Years”: A Goodbye Post

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Drinking Like the Trophy Wife of an Oil Tycoon

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guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Turkish food. (Photo credit: Doggy’s Style)

The blog name is Traveling Marla right?

So I’ll stick to the theme, see, I promised Marla I wouldn’t get her blog closed by picking touchy subjects like public exposure. (I had a great post about public exposure.)
Anyhow, I’m gonna tell you about my last trip to Turkey, lovely country.
It was a little over a year ago, plans were going to Syria, but things in Syria were not ideal at the moment so we decided to go to Turkey instead.
We were there for a month.
The minute we arrived and took the subway to our hotel we knew it was not what we thought it’d be. Continue reading Drinking Like the Trophy Wife of an Oil Tycoon
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The Joys of the Unpublished Writer: Figuring it All Out

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Hello, Traveling Marla readers! Marla asked her guest posters to take over her blog and make it ours. But truthfully, if I had control over Marla’s blog, I wouldn’t change a thing. Let’s be honest here: really only Marla can write her blog, because it is such a lovely reflection of the unique person she is. Also, I am just not brave enough to go work out on Muscle Beach, though I love reading about it when Marla does.


So instead I picked the most Marla-ish post from my own blog to share, which is still really not very Marla-ish at all. Most notably, there are no pictures of me with very interesting expressions on my face. But it is a post about writing. And obsession. That might be as close as I can come. Hope you enjoy, poor substitute for Marla that it is!

 

The joys of the unpublished writer:  figuring it all out

In the last month or so, I’ve written at least two and a half short stories that center around the same, basic situation. I finish one story and then get that feeling. You know that feeling? The feeling that your story is like deeply uncomfortable clothes and it just doesn’t feel right? I imagine that with a little more time, I will have a book-length collection of short stories, all dealing with the same basic theme. Am I stuck? No. I’m figuring things out.

The characters you know

Writers are often asked, “So which character is really you?” Continue reading The Joys of the Unpublished Writer: Figuring it All Out

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If a man is attacked by his tent in the forest, should he make a sound?

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By Ned Hickson/Ned’s Blog/Siuslaw News

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa moveOur family loves to go camping. In fact, we make sure to get out and pitch our tent — without fail — once a year.

Traditionally, this takes place during the busy Memorial Day Weekend so that as many people as possible can witness a 46-year-old man being attacked by his own tent.

In my defense, I have to say our tent is very large; especially when it is laying flat on the ground.

If I hadn’t lost the step-by-step instructions that came with it, I’m sure the assembly process would be a lot easier because, as a man, I could use them to, step-by-step, blame everything on having lousy instructions.

What this means is that over the Memorial Day Weekend my handiwork will again be mistaken for a hot air balloon that has crash-landed into our family’s camp site. Continue reading If a man is attacked by his tent in the forest, should he make a sound?

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Turtle Fear and the Reluctant Animal Rescue

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The Fourth of July. 2010.

It was mid-afternoon, so the streets weren’t super jammed yet, but they would be soon.

I was doing a couple things around my apartment, just cleaning up, and I grabbed the full bag of garbage in my hands to take it out to the back alley. I slipped on my shoes and walked down the front steps to walk through the narrow walkway between my house and the house next to mine. As I’m heading back to the alley, I look down to realize that I was almost about to step on a turtle. A gross, ugly, foreign turtle. I screamed like a little girl, and I turned around and retreated back inside, garbage still in my hand.

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This is a soft shell turtle. It’s like somebody slapped a pancake on a four-legged snake. {shivers}

Continue reading Turtle Fear and the Reluctant Animal Rescue

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Lacock is a Funny Word, And My Nova Scotian Vacation

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Deep Thoughts with The Spook Brothers

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Lacock is a Funny Word

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Spook and his pint at The George Inn.
(Photo credit: Kriscinda Everitt)

It was a dark and scary night. Actually, it was a dark and scary pint at The George Inn in the scenic and historic village of Lacock. It was home of William Henry Fox Talbot, “inventor and photography pioneer,” whose manor house you could see from the tour bus as you entered the village. Was he also perhaps a distant cousin of werewolf Larry Talbot, played by Lon Chaney Jr. in “The Wolf Man” and then later by Benicio Del Toro in its remake, which was filmed at Castle Combe (which I also toured) a mere ten miles away? Coincidence? I think not! It is a little known local custom of the county of Wiltshire that if you leave the pub after nightfall, you must drink your body weight in a dark, heavy brew. It’s said to protect you from the werewolf you will most assuredly see on the walk home. I did not see a werewolf when I left, but I did throw up some beans on the bus.

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My Nova Scotia Vacation

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Spook in Nova Scotia

The ragged Nova Scotian coastline cuts a foamy, rocky seam between the vast expanse of the Atlantic and the yawning, thunderous caves of The Ovens. The Ovens National Park in Riverport, NS is located just south of Lunenburg, a pricey, scenic fishing village. It is a coastal forest preserve and easily accessible from the Lighthouse Route. “The Ovens” actually refers to a series of sea caves, which emit a somewhat disconcerting roar as the massive waves rush in and pound against their stony backs. In the park, you can go kayaking, camping, and even do some gold panning. You can also probably pretty easily get rid of several unwanted meatbag bodies. I say “probably” because I wouldn’t know. Which is to say that I do not have experience in such a thing, there, at The Ovens. Not there, with the raging waves smashing against the jagged cliff faces. Not in those deep, black caves in which the wave action probably acts as a blender. Probably.

***

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The author in Edinburgh, 2012.

Kriscinda Lee Everitt is a fiction writer and editor. Her stories can be found in Flesh Feast, Postscripts to Darkness Vol. 3, and the upcoming Roms, Bombs, and Zoms. You can read about her homesteading exploits at Heavy Metal Homesteader, and you can read excerpts from the novel she is currently working on (Robert Louis Stevenson and werewolves) at her author/editor blog. She lives in Butler, Pa with her husband, Anthony, her fat cat, Moggy, and, of course, The Spook Brothers.

Flesh Feast: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Flesh-Feast-Zombie-Anthology/dp/0978970756

Postscripts to Darkness:  http://pstdarkness.wordpress.com/buying-our-books/

Roms, Bombs, and Zoms:  http://www.evilgirlfriendmedia.com/157/news/editor-monique-snyman-talks-about-zombies

Heavy Metal Homesteader: http://heavymetalhomesteading.wordpress.com/

“author/editor blog”: http://kriscindaleeeveritt.wordpress.com/

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\m/ Questions for Kriscinda or the Spook Brothers? Email this wonderful blogger at KLEveritt@hotmail.com, or do like Marla does and go obsess over her blogs for awhile: Heavy Metal Homesteading, and Kriscinda Lee Everitt
***

Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.

Please support these writers by reading each of their guest posts and checking out their own blogs!

Thanks, as always for taking time to read my blog and comment. Although I’m offline right now, I will return in a few short weeks when we’re settled in South Africa and I promise to read all of your comments!

Love, Marla

Robyn, of You Think Too Much
Baz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun)
Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew
Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town
CultFit
Caroline, of Currer and the Bells
Dakota Garilli
Trophos, of The Dancing Professor
Leo, of Doggy’s Style
Kayla, of Encounter Peru
Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art
Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading
Lynne, of Home Free Adventures
Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder
Jody, of Human Triumphant
Julie of J-Bo.net
Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV
Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog
Rose, of On the Go Fitness
Pierr Morgan
Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative
Colin of Uber Beast Mode
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My First Date

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I felt shaky and weak and deeply embarrassed just to exist as Rob walked up to meet me in the ticket line. His skin had turned darker, his hair blonder, and his freckles more abundant from the summer sun.

“Hi,” I said when he was in front of me, all my energy focused on keeping my voice from quivering. For as much as I longed to be there, I longed just as much to evaporate.

“Hi,” he said. There was enough space between us to fit a horse.

He stared up at the movie times for what seemed like forever, even though we had established five days ago that we were seeing the 7:25 showing of The Bourne Identity (his pick).

“How has your summer been?” I asked, digging my nails into my arm behind my back.

“Good,” he said. “Yours?”

This has been the craziest week of my life, I wanted to tell him. I’ve felt like an amateur tight-rope walker seventy feet up in the air. Equal parts exhilarated and terrified, as I lay awake in bed each night, knowing that I am yours and you are finally mine.

“It’s okay,” I said with a shrug. “Cleaned my room.”

He bought both our tickets and I knew, when he handed me mine, that I would be saving the stub for years to come. This stub was now the most important thing in my life.

I waited for some sort of banter to start up between us after we took our seats in the theater, but it never did. At one point Rob sighed, looked at his watch, and said “Good ol’ waiting.”

I couldn’t concentrate on the movie once it started. Partly because I’d never been able to follow the plot in any movie that wasn’t a chick flick, because I always got too distracted wondering about the actors’ personal lives or daydreaming about someday becoming famous for no reason. And partly because I was too busy keeping track of Rob’s breathing, the proximity of his body to mine, the angle of his limbs and how they paralleled my own.

I started wondering what would happen at that moment if a natural disaster struck and Rob and I thought the world was ending. I remembered that scene from Independence Day, where the teenage boy reaches for his beautiful girlfriend among the wreckage and says, “This could be our last night on earth. You don’t want to die a virgin, do you?”

I always wanted to wait until I was married to have sex, because the Bible said that was the right thing. But I also thought it might be forgivable (also wildly romantic) to have sex with Rob in a movie theater if it was a dire situation in which death was imminent. Because God wouldn’t want me to die a virgin either.

But then I started wondering what would happen if we woke up the next morning to find that the tornado/earthquake/alien invasion hadn’t ended the world afterall. Would I be able to find my way to a clinic to get the morning-after pill? Would Rob want to keep the baby and raise it together? What would I tell Mom, Dad, and Jenny? Would I go to hell?

“How did you like it?” Rob asked when the movie ended.

“Good.”

We walked silently to the parking lot.

“See ya,” he said when his mom pulled up.

I watched as he climbed into her van. He shut the door and I saw his mom say something to him. Then he opened the door, got back out, and walked towards me.

“My mom says I should wait with you until your mom gets here,” he said.

“Oh,” I said. “Thanks.”

And we waited, still as statues.

***

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Julia Boriss of J-Bo.net

About J-Bo:

Struggling writer. Underpaid therapist. Iowa transplant.

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Want more Julia? Join Marla in obsessing over her blog for awhile: J-Bo.net  And be sure to check out her anxiety posts, like Catxiety, Buyxiety and Weightxiety!

***

Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.

Please support these writers by reading each of their guest posts and checking out their own blogs!

Thanks, as always for taking time to read my blog and comment. Although I’m offline right now, I will return in a few short weeks when we’re settled in South Africa and I promise to read all of your comments!

Love, Marla

Colin of Uber Beast Mode
Robyn, of You Think Too Much
Baz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun)
Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew
Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town
CultFit
Caroline, of Currer and the Bells
Dakota Garilli
Trophos, of The Dancing Professor
Leo, of Doggy’s Style
Kayla, of Encounter Peru
Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art
Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading
Lynne, of Home Free Adventures
Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder
Jody, of Human Triumphant
Julie of J-Bo.net
Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV
Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog
Rose, of On the Go Fitness
Pierr Morgan
Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative
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If Marla’s Blog were MINE!

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move

Well since Marla is moving and super busy I have been recruited to do a bit of a guest blog and make Marla’s blog mine for a day. Cue maniacal laughter… muahahahaha.

No but really.

I’ve been following Marla for a while now and we comment back and forth, she is such a source of motivation and frequent laughter, so I’ll try not to do her blog any injustice and simply write about what I know… which is fitness!

Being as we seem to motivate each other I thought I would talk about that very thing… motivation. Continue reading If Marla’s Blog were MINE!

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Stuck up a Turkish Mountain

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I don’t normally do an intro, so today I’m writing one instead of an “About” since the author’s wonderful “About” page is better than I could summarize it.

This blog is a repost with permission from my friend Dallas, of CrazyTraintoTinkyTown. When I asked her if she could write a guest blog, it took her a little while to reply, and when she did, it was with apologies, telling me she is “stuck up a Turkish mountain…wearing all her clothes to keep warm.” No, seriously. She really is on a mountain in Turkey with spotty internet in a little cafe, where she amuses patrons by trying to explain in Turkish that she needs the internet to write a guest post for my blog.

Since she doesn’t have a good enough signal to do her own blog right now let along a guest post, I asked her if I could pick one of my favorites of her blogs to share with my readers, and she happily agreed. Since the first post I ever read of hers was Part Four of this “Honeymoon” series, I’m giving you Part One.

Dallas is an extraordinary woman, taking a lot of knocks in life, and standing taller after each one. Readers, please enjoy this post from my friend at Crazy Train to Tinky TownContinue reading Stuck up a Turkish Mountain