Saturday, September 29, 2012

Home From Russia and Austria--Back to Writing

Home again after a fantastic trip: Rivercruise in Russia from Saint Petersburg to Moscow and every town and village between the two. Following that, a great week in Vienna with my son David and daughter-in-law Lori, both experienced and excellent tour guides for a beautiful city. The Viking Rivercruise was so thrilling, we've signed up for another one next fall: Footsteps of the Cossacks, sailing from Odessa on the Black Sea to Kiev in central Ukraine. Viking earned our five-star rating for the Russia experience. All in all, the trip provided a likely setting for some future novel.

Okay, I'm back at work now on my opus magnus, HUSH BOY. So far the novel has recounted the trials and tribulations of a curious boy growing up in the deep South of the U.S. It's a prequel to my previous medical thrillers, following the early life of Dr. Jonathan Harding. The boy, Jonathan, is full of questions--questions about race, questions about sex, questions about life. The adults around him are unable or unwilling to answer his questions. All he gets is hush, boy--we don't talk about that!

Stay tuned. I'm looking toward late summer 2013 for release of HUSH, BOY. Meanwhile, you can read about Jonathan's adult adventures in UNANNOUNCED and CONDITIONAL. Check the sidebar on the right side of this page for their availability.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Touring Vienna and IAEA

Fantastic to see the performance at Vienna Opera. Busy days continue with much touring of the fine sights of a wonderful city. Overview audio-bus tour of the whole city yesterday following a half day in the Albertina Museum. Biggest collection of the works of Albrecht Durer I've ever seen in one place. Today, a half day at the Kunsthistoriche Museum with its amazing collections of paintings by Bruegel, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velasquez and many, many more.

Today's highlight was an in-depth tour by my son, David, of his workplace, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations. An amazing collection of exciting modern architecture plus the excitement of IAEA's General Conference of all member nations, which is happening this week.

Roxie, David, and Lori are off right now to another art museum at The Belvedere to view the paintings of Gustav Klimt. I'm sitting this one out to rest up for dinner at a highly recommended Austrian restaurant. Last night's feast at a wonderful Russian restaurant, complete with way too much vodka, will be hard to beat, but I'm willing to try....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Moscow to Vienna!

River cruise in Russia ended with a few days in Moscow. A day's tour of that thoroughly modern city included exploration of Red Square and Moscow University followed by a nighttime boat tour of Moscow River and some adjoining canals. Enjoyed an evening performance of Don Quixote at the Bolshoi. When you see the Bolshoi at home you know you've seen ballet. Finished with a half-day walking tour of the Kremlin.

Flight from Moscow to Vienna was tedious because of an unplanned three-hour flight delay and a maddening afternoon in Moscow's overcrowded airport, all aggravated by three gate changes before we were finally airborne for Vienna.

Today begins a wonderful visit with my son and his wife. Lori gave us a fine introduction to the city with walking visits to the Opera and the Spanish Riding School and all the sights of Vienna's central district. We were lucky enough to get the last four available seats for Tuesday night's performance of Verdi's I Vespri Siciliana at the Opera. Looking forward to a grand week in this great city.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cruising in Russia

On board Viking Truvor today, sailing between Saint Petersburg and Moscow--at the moment (Saturday noon in Russia) the ship has just passed through a lock and entered Lake Onega. Saint Petersburg was a great experience: a full day's tour of The Hermitage, half day visits outside the city to the Palace of Catherine the Great and to Peterhof, home of Catherine's grandfather, Peter the Great, then touring the city itself by motor coach and by canal boat. Plenty of canals here and lots of great sights. Fantastic food and good accommodations on board Truvor--and I have Internet access, thus this post is coming to you from  Russia. Later today we've scheduled a small town visit to a banya, Russian style sauna complete with birch twigs for pounding the skin!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Heading to Russia and Austria

I expect to be out of touch with this site until September 24, then I'll fill everybody in on a what promises to be a wonderful trip to Russia and Austria: a river cruise in Russia on board Viking Truvor between Saint Petersburg and Moscow with time in the cities on each end and visits to towns and sights along the way. Among other things I've booked a full-day extended tour of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.

From Moscow I'm flying to Vienna for a visit with my son and daughter-in-law. It's been a long time since I was in Vienna, so it'll be not only a family visit, but also re-visiting some of the places I've admired in the past.

I plan to collect lots of photos and notes that may become a Russia-based novel sometime in the future. Stay tuned. Paka!