Blog Articles

Advice for beginning authors

Va, petit livre

August 8, 2017 6:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“Go, little book” This exhortation from an author to his newly published book has been rattling around in my brain for some decades. I had thought it originated with one of the 19th-century French symbolist poets like Rimbaud or Mallarmé. I had also thought it meant that once the book... read more

5 Amazing Airports

August 4, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Believe it or not, I hate to fly. Really hate it. But I do it. The good news is, I actually like airports. I like the energy. I like seeing all the places listed on Arrivals and Departures. Jakarta? Vladivostok? Hey, maybe! There are plenty of amazing airports in the... read more

Kazakh Food

July 28, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Out first night in Astana. We had good weather so enjoyed eating outdoors. Confession: we’re at a Georgian restaurant here, the Daredzhani, not a Kazakh restaurant. In the middle of the table is a cauliflower dish with walnuts, to the back right a plate of pickled items and on the... read more

The Fascinating Story of Gulnara Karimova

July 25, 2017 12:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: The Beauty herself Linguistic note: the name Gulnara comes from the Persian golnar = gol ‘flower, rose’ + anâr ‘pomegranate’ While walking around the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan here’s a story I was told. It’s about Uzbekistan, not Kazakhstan – but, after all, Uzbekistan is next door, and... read more

Almaty, Kazakhstan

July 21, 2017 6:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: Almaty (Алматы) against the backdrop of the Tien Shan Mountains Linguistic note: Alma means ‘apple’ in Kazakh. Almaty once flourished with apple orchards. They still exist, of course, but now they’re farther out of town. Confession: Before going to Kazakhstan I had never heard of Almaty. Further confession:... read more

Kazakh Language/ қазақ тілі

July 18, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image is Signs with both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet abound – very helpful! In Astana I met friend and co-author Phillip Carter. Our first job was to find a Kazak language teacher. It’s what we do, and our linguistic adventures certainly played a part in writing:

Kazakhstan II/Қазақстан II

July 14, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: A painting of traditional Kazakh life. National Museum of History, Astana Not every country with -stan in its name is a scary place. Kazakhstan definitely is not. Kazakhstan Nomadic life Traditional Kazakhs, like their Mongolians neighbors to the east, are nomads. Half of the Mongolian population today is... read more

Kazakhstan I/Қазақстан I

July 11, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world, the 9th largest in terms of area (1,000,000 square miles) and 65th in population (18 million) In 2014 after spending 6 weeks in Mongolia – which peeks into the map, below, at the northeastern tip of Kazakhstan – I developed a... read more


July 7, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

TItle Photo: The Ritz Hotel – Koshien/Nishinomiya This blog could easily be titled “Weird Stuff in Japan.” I’ll kick the weirdness off with a brief discussion of: Love Hotels The Ritz was the second hotel I stayed in during my two weeks in Japan. My son had the first inkling... read more