The Keys of the Riad – Done! I’m a Nanowrimo Winner

 Just in case you were wondering where I got the inspiration for the novel I just finished…here you go.   Great feeling to be done. Lots of work still to be done on it, but the first writing is the hardest part. Just getting it down on the page. This book has been quite a … Continue reading “The Keys of the Riad – Done! I’m a Nanowrimo Winner”

The Keys to the Riad Just in case you were wondering where I got the inspiration for the novel I just finished…here you go.


Great feeling to be done. Lots of work still to be done on it, but the first writing is the hardest part. Just getting it down on the page.

Winner of Nano

This book has been quite a journey. Writing a novel in a month is no easy task to begin with but when you add that I was traveling the first 12 days, working from hotel rooms and then back at home, we have a 15 month old daughter and I’m running my business, editing Vagobond, and keeping more than 50 websites going while getting the visa paperwork together for my wife’s immigration visa – I feel very proud to have accomplished this again in 2012.

I felt like completing this book was a major step towards reconnecting with the part of myself that is and always has been a writer. It was an important personal journey. The fact that I managed to finish a few days early. It’s just icing on the cake. Man, this feels good and best of all – I think the book has some real potential too.

I’m a winner! Hooray!


An Invitation from the Madman

I’d like to invite readers to join me  for a thousand and one Sundays of reading and writing.  I’ll write if you’ll read. If you’d like to join me, you can sign up at but don’t worry, if you decide one Sunday is enough, you can unsubscribe with the click of a button. By the way, there’s no charge for this.

One of the most important things I’ve ever heard about writing is that there needs to be an agreement between the writer and the reader. My agreement with you is this: Read my work and I’ll keep writing the best that I can for you. If you don’t like it for some reason, please let me know and if you can, please tell me why. My email is and there is nobody I would rather here from than you, the reader. If you come across grammar or spelling errors, I would love to know about those too. Thanks in advance for entering this agreement with me.

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Announcing My Forthcoming Novel…. The Keys of the Riad

This is a funny thing to do, but it’s nice to have a blog that’s all about me so I can do this kind of balderdash. I’m still in Marseilles very much loving it, though to be honest, mostly just enjoying the fact that I’ve got this lovely apartment and the time to work and think while I’m here.

15th Arondissement Marseille

Today I took a bus up to the 15th Arondisment , or the quartiers du Nord and wandered around a bit. It’s the rough part of Marseille but I found it was mostly immigrants from North Africa and Senegal. Three of the ten or so people I spoke with had booze breath and I saw one middle aged skinhead chugging Heineken on the bus and tossing the cans out the window. A rough looking Senegalese kid got up and gently gave his seat to an old Moroccan lady and I learned what Algerian Berber sounds like – not that I’d recognize it if I hear it again, but who knows. I might.

I also got some much needed prep for the WTM London done and managed to convince myself to write another novel for NANOWRIMO in November despite the busy month I have planned.

This is the novel I’m going to write in November for #nanowrimo  #nanowrimo2012  What do you think?

Title: The Keys of the Riad

Short Synopsis: The discovery of a ring of ancient keys leads a  career focused woman on a journey through the exotic world of mystics and fortune tellers.

Thats as much as I know now…aside from the fact that I can’t think of a good synonym for career focused woman….

My Latest Book – Douchebags, Fags, and Hags – now available

I’ve finally published my latest novel. Douchebags, Fags, and Hags.

You can find it for kindle here or in epub format here.

Here’s the cover:

a novel of Baboob

This novel was a labor of love. The hard part, as with just about everything in my life, is doing anything when I’m trapped in Morocco waiting for my wife’s visa to get approved.  While I’m here, I have no professional contacts, no chance to meet with agents, no chance to attend book fairs, no chance to give my pitch to agents, editors, or anyone else. In fact, I don’t have any chance to even look for a decent job so I can afford to pay an editor, hire a promotion team, or anything else.

So, despite all the work that has gone into this novel, I am afraid that the launch today, may fall flat.  One big fear comes from the silence of those who agreed to read the advance copies…my suspicion is that life is busy and it’s easiest to put off doing something for me because I’m hidden away in Morocco and relegated to online contact – at least that’s what I hope.

I worked with a video editor to create an online trailer for the book

I feel like that came out pretty good, as did the cover. I worked with a designer in Belgium to make the cover and I think she did a great job capturing the essence.

In terms of promotion, my major strategy is to utilize my travel website and write about the Sultanate of Baboob as if it is a real country. So far, despite about 1000 visits to the first post I wrote about Baboob and quite a bit of social sharing,  no one has said anything – which means that people are either completely convinced it is real, or they just don’t care that it’s not.  Either way, the results so far miss the mark of what I was shooting for. Time will tell though.

To promote the book (hopefully) I’m also giving away copies of all my other books on Amazon Kindle. Giveaways tend to be a pretty good promotion, and with any luck, it will hit.

I suppose my pie in the sky dream is that some hotshot agent, a publishing house, or a producer/director type will see my little tale of a less than remarkable guy who get herpes and stumbles onto a blood debt which leads him across continents in search of the woman of his dreams (who, like all the women of Baboob, dresses like a sexy nun).

I worked with another designer to create this ad, but we both agreed that the work was crap and so parted ways (okay, I said the work was crap and then we parted ways)

Sultanate of Baboob

Time will tell. If no one notices it while I’m alive, maybe someone will read it after I’m dead and actually get what I was trying to say – but I’d prefer it to be while I’m still living.



Wisdom for Sophia – A poem for my daughter

Adventures to inspire

my child, your child,

Jules Verne, National Geographic, Sir Richard

Burton’s stories – my stories.

Tans-Siberian railroad – Russian steppes

Race nomads – throat singers of Tuva.

Meditation zen – top Fuji

pedaling rickshaw with driver

Passenger – secret pho.

Cambodia Myanmar – Burma – Syu Kyi free,

Ancient Wats -Chan villages Nepal Tibet?

Kashmir Gorge, life worth living

Taj Mahal yoga

(no Eat Pray Love floor scrubbing)

spicy cooking – beautiful sari red my wife

or dead man when home.

Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Andamans

parties beaches diving

Zanzibar Madagascar. Lemurs play drums?

African/French fusion food – Namibia – African/German

Safari shots taken – Nikon

South Africa – apartheid -good riddance.

Australia massive crocodiles

tourists for dinner -yum- someone else wrestle

Cross desert to Reef.

Hobbits New Zealand

Aotearoa -Maori Rapa Nui

Peru Inca trail

Tango lessons Argentina Antarctica

penguins, belugas dolphins play.

Uruguay music divine.

Brazil, Amazon, Yanomami Disney version ?

Caribbean zydeco voodoo Dominican

Republic no fuku (curses)

Onwards Senegal and Mali

roots blues guitar Master Idrissi Samouo

Mauritania Morocco past Timbuktu to Atlas Mountains – my wife

She wiill ask me “Did you bring me a something?”

Birth to our daughter, Sophia. Wisdom of The World.