After a one-night stopover in Delhi, we moved on to Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, where we spent a couple of days. Among the highlight sights is Mother Theresa’s home, with a significant museum exhibit on her life (including her Nobel Prize certificate, but only interior photos allowed were of her tomb). Her sector of the city is, of course, vastly different from the clean and majestic park where the Victoria Memorial sits.

There’s a relatively new bridge over the River Ganges. Our guide was eager to take us over, but it was close to the end of the day’s touring, so a quick ride. To save time the driver made a U-turn around the toll booth we’d just gone through, stopping traffic two ways. To say the least, it was a red flag to the police (we could just imagine doing this on the Bay Bridge or Golden Gate), and the bus was detained for a while, with a policeman escorting us back to our hotel to stay close to the driver. The same driver turned up the next morning for our trip to the airport, so our tips must have come in handy for him!

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No, not “Alfie.”          

Monday morning (December 3, 2012) at Hong Kong airport. We lost Sunday to the International Dateline.

My website has an “About” page that’s about me from the standpoint of my writing, how I got to be where I am today as an author of a novel. But that’s not all there is about me, and even what I am about is not all about me. Got that? Let me try to explain.

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The title of this post should generate some attention! First, PURPLE. As my friends and family well know, I love purple, have many purple clothes. The amethyst stone is my (February) birthstone, and I’m lucky enough to have a few of those, too. I hope you will all note my redesigned PURPLE website.

Now to the PASSION part. Recently, I was honored by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation with an Immigrant Heritage Award. The event was a dinner with nearly 400 attendees at the Hilton Financial District Hotel here in San Francisco. Fellow honorees were Yuan Yuan Tan, the China-born principal ballerina of the San Francisco Ballet; Vish Mishra, an Indian native and Silicon Valley entrepreneur; and, as an institution, the historic Chinese Hospital of San Francisco. Angel Island could be called the “West Coast Ellis Island,” and the foundation strives to keep the memories of immigrant stories alive through exhibits and oral history recordings.

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Israel-China Cultural FestivalFor the last couple of months it’s seemed to me it’s been all China all the time. Without venturing out of  San Francisco.

Part of this was due to the Israeli Consulate’s Israel-China Cultural Festival throughout June. I was involved in  some of the planning and execution of this community-wide series of events that ranged from lectures to films to children’s story to a final banquet. The opening “ceremony” featured an exhibit on Dr. Ho Feng Shan, a Chinese consul in Vienna in the 1930s who drafted transit documents for Jews trying to escape the Nazis with few places to go. Sometimes called the “Chinese Schindler,” he’s been honored posthumously among Righteous Gentiles at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. His daughter, Manli Ho, a journalist and the curator of the exhibit, presented an excellent lecture about her father. Manli and her husband, John Wood, have become friends of the family both here and in Beijing.

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guest-interview by Linda FrankGuest Author Interview with Linda Frank

Please join me in welcoming Linda Frank, a resident of San Francisco, avid reader and author of After the Auction.

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First, let me express my condolences on the Oscars. I know you put your heart and soul into all your projects, and “The Descendants” and “The Ides of March” certainly reflected your talent and hard work.

That said, I want to tell you how excited I am about your forthcoming movie project involving the Monuments Men, the art historians and curators whose work in the wake of Nazi art looting tried to bring a just resolution to that segment of Hitler’s war crimes. Despite their efforts and the documentation furnished through German efficiency, this endeavor didn’t totally fix the problems or end the claims and injustice. It’s remarkable to me that today, nearly 67 years after the end of World War II, heirs and other descendants of victims are still fighting battles to reclaim stolen property. There are a few actual survivors who remember the actual occurrences, but fewer and fewer. There’s even a regular online newsletter called looted art.com

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Readers may wonder why I blog on travel and not just my writing. From the beginning I titled the blog “Travels and Travail,” relating to the authorship experience. While travel is hardly travail, it certainly augments and complements the writing and broadens the writer’s outlook (and body look). Blogging is writing, too, which is a good thing, since this is the most writing I’ve done in the past couple of weeks.

After our non-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving in Glasgow Ei and I flew to southern Spain. The 2+ hour flight that departed at 8 am from Glasgow was packed with Scottish vacationers, many sporting flip flops and shorts and drinking beer for breakfast. We flew Easy-Jet, a European no-frills carrier. Nice folks, no rowdiness, just a little noisy. With Glasgow’s climate, who could blame them for starting their holiday from the moment of take-off?

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Your support is very important to me. However, through tech world mysteries and (my website guru tells me) some mergers and acquisitions, I cannot retrieve the list of who you are. I am working on a new list service to remedy this problem and keep you informed about speaking appearances and other book news, as well as blog posts. Soon there will be a new sign-up mechanism on my site, but you can assure your spot right away by contacting me directly.

THEREFORE, I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF, WHEN YOU GET THE EMAIL MESSAGE ABOUT THIS POST, YOU WOULD EMAIL ME THAT YOU ARE A SUBSCRIBER. MY PREFERRED EMAIL ADDRESS: linda@lindafrankbooks.com

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Lamp Shade Tower at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art

 

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Yes, traveling (a Midwest swing bookended by a Little Rock meeting and book talk and a St. Louis wedding and book talk, with stops in Louisville and beautiful Lexington, KY; Indianapolis; alma mater town Ann Arbor; Milwaukee homeland; Lincoln’s Springfield). Hardly the dizzying foreign destinations of the Today Show host’s annual odyssey this week.

But, more significantly, I’ve been AWOL from writing.

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