Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WHERE IN THE WORLD...? by guest blogger Karen Robbins

I'm so happy to welcome Karen Robbins to be my guest blogger today.
Writer, speaker, author, travel addict, wife, mom, and grandma describes the multi-faceted life of Karen Robbins. In addition to her many published articles and essays, Karen is also coauthor of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts (Leafwood).
The slosh of the washer and hum of the dryer provide my background music today as I write. We are home for three weeks. Long enough to empty suitcases, do laundry, catch up on mail, touch base with friends and family and pack suitcases again for the next trip. For the last twenty years, our travel addiction has grown and as we are easing into retirement we have been able to take more time to satisfy it. Over the years we have managed to visit all seven continents and have almost circumnavigated the globe. And God has shown Himself in every corner of the world we have visited.

I learned of His majesty in the Alaskan mountains, His grace in the middle of a river in China, His sacrificing love in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and His sheltering protection deep in the waters of Papua New Guinea. Ever wonder why the Bible says He washes us “white as snow?” The pure unblemished snows of Antarctica told the story.

The people and cultures of our world are amazing. We have been enriched by their history, enlightened by their traditions, and gained understanding by their struggles. And through it all we can see the common thread of our spiritual need.

Being on the road for almost six months out of the year, I often get the question, “When do you find the time to write?” The answer is not in finding the time but in making the time. With my handy little HP notebook, I can plug in almost anywhere in the world—as long as I remember to take along the adaptors for that country. When I can’t, I can do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. The real challenge comes in being able to find internet access when I need it. But as long as there is a MacDonald’s nearby, there is usually free WiFi.

SOCW Tuscan Countryside
The internet played a big part in the writing of my coauthored book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts (Leafwood, 2008). Since the six of us live in three different areas of the country and I am often out of the country, we wrote the whole book through emails. The challenge for me came in marketing when the book was first released. It was our fortieth wedding anniversary and my husband had planned a Mediterranean cruise. Undaunted, I took my copy of Scrapbook and had him take pictures of me reading the book in Rome at the Coliseum and in front of the Trevi fountain; then in Santorini, Greece, at a seaside café; in Cadiz, Spain, with a statue of a sailor looking over my shoulder; and in Tuscany, with rolling hills of grape vineyards in the background. They were all posted on my blog and subsequently Facebook and Twitter.

My blog, Writer’s Wanderings, keeps me writing on a daily basis. It is a journal of not only where our travels take me but where life leads as well. The blog has also been a door to writing some travel articles for online magazines and a way to connect with other world travelers. I have regular readers from as far away as Australia and England.

As a fiction writer, I probably look at things a little differently than many other travelers. When everyone is entranced with the beauty of a stained glass church window, I may be looking at the lady on the sidewalk wrapped in an old shawl, stringing beads to sell to the tourists. Or at a couple embracing in the shadow of an archway. Or perhaps at a weathered door and wondering what story lies beyond it.

Whether you travel around the world or just around the corner, enjoy the journey God has set before you.
To learn more about Karen, please visit her blog at:


Diane Craver said...

Hi Karen,

Great and interesting post about your blessings as you travel around the world. Glad the sights add another dimension to your writing.

Good luck with sales on your new book!

Karen said...

Thanks Diane!