Pena Palace

Sintra is steeping in castles. The royalty would vacation here. Lord Byron stayed here. The whole town and surrounding hilly countryside is dotted with spires, steeples, and statues. Most folks flock to Pena Palace, the sprawling, multi-colored king-of-the-hill that...

Moorish Castle

Ahhhh… While the rest of the Sintra sight-seeing crowd tromped and bussed over to Pena Palace (more on that later), I found a home of sorts at the Moorish Castle (800-900). Stories hide in the stones there and I could have spent all three of my Sintra days...

Portugal Bound

I’m literally closing down this computer when I finish this, and hopping on our Whidbey airport shuttle to head to Portugal. Why? A novel I’ve been working on has called me there for months, just a wee bit of time compared to how long this story has been...

Diane Hamm

Almost fourteen years ago, I contacted a handful of children’s writers on or near Whidbey to form a critique group. Diane Johnston Hamm was one of them. I couldn’t believe my good fortune, as a newcomer to this career, to have a published author of both...

Misawa

Cherry blossoms! Not everywhere as we would’ve seen just a week or two earlier, but we witnessed them popping out around the lodge where we stayed. Misawa is in northern Japan, a long day of traveling, with train changes becoming much easier for us now. We wheel...

Tokyo

Kaj and I found a hole-in-the-wall “diner” packed with locals enjoying all our favorite Japanese foods just a couple blocks from the New Sanno hotel, our home for a few days. We ordered a bunch of small dishes, getting one more plate of gyozas (pot...