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August 14, 2005 - Who wants to leave "the land of silk and money?"

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Book Wrangler

August 15, 2005

By Bob Patterson


While sitting around the Just Above Sunset world headquarters employee lounge, brainstorming about possible assignments for the photographer and columnist to cover (such as a ride on the Goodyear blimp), we came up with some very audacious suggestions ranging from the outrageous (a trip to one of California's nude beaches?) to the mundane (famous LA book stores?). 


We tried to frame the challenge in a creative way: What would happen if (hypothetically) we sent Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Eisenstadt to cover the Oscars?


What sort of literature and art would we get if we gave Jack Kerouac and Richard Avedon the (imaginary) assignment to do an article about Malibu?  Could the two of us pull of such a masterful journalism forgery?


There are sites online for folks interested in travel writing. 


There's a site for travel writersone for British travel writers, one for Australian travel writers, and one for vagabondsThere's one for the Society of American Travel Writers and even one for Christian travel writers.


We could go to some interesting events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which will be held next weekend.


Speaking of unusual story assignments, a disk jockey runs one of the best sites we've seen for listing upcoming interesting events as well as almanac style "on this day" information. 


Should we go to the nude music festival in September to take pictures and write a story about "Nudestock 2005?" 


Should we go to the Sniper Competition in Pasadena Texas? 


Should we go to the World Rescue Challenge that will be held in Hamilton, New Zealand on October 9 to the 11 this year? 


We weren't making a decision so then we thought that some of the travel books might help us with the brainstorming process, so we checked to see what we could find at the local bookstores that might help us.  We came up with a few items to help prod us out of our lethargy.


1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz  ($18.95 paperback Workman Publishing Company)


100 Things to Do Before You Die: Travel Events You Just Can't Miss by Neil Teplica ($16.95 paperback Taylor Trade Publishing)


101 Things to Do Before You Die by Richard Horne  ($14.95 paperback Bloomsbury USA)


Swim Naked, Defy Gravity & 99 Other Essential Things To Accomplish Before Turning 30 by Colleen Rush ($10.95 paperback Blue Hen Books)


The Art of Travel Writing: Essential Advice for Writing Successfully About the World by Larry Habegger and James O'Reilly  ($16.95 paperback Travelers' Tales Guides)


A Woman's World: True Stories of Life on the Road edited by Marybeth Bond, with an introduction by Dervla Murphy  ($18.95 paperback Travelers' Tales Guides)


Woman Travel First Hand Accounts from More Than 60 Countries edited by Natania Jansz, Miranda Davies, Emma Drew, and Lori McDougall  ($19.95 paperback Rough Guides Limited)


Lonely Planet Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures by Richard I'Anson  ($17.99 paperback Lonely Planet Publications)


Travel Writer's Guide by Gordon Burgett  ($17.95 paperback Communications Unlimited)


The Best Travel Writing 2005: True Stories from Around the World by James O'Reilly, Sean O'Reilly, Larry Habegger  ($16.95 Travelers Tales)


Sand in My Bra and Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road edited by Jennifer Leo and Jennifer L. Leo  ($14.95 paperback Travelers' Tales Guides)


Alan picked up our office copy of The Traveling Curmdgeon, edited by Jon Winokur, and read this quote by Charles Kuralt: "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from cost to coast without seeing anything."


The photographer half of the writer/photographer team didn't seem too enthusiastic about getting in the car and going for a nice long (and productive) ride.  (Did you know there is a city named Mecca in California?)  He dropped a tape into the player and the Waylon Jennings song about living in the land of silk and money, titled How Much Would You Pay To Live In LA came blaring out.


When it finished, the Book Wrangler dropped in another tape and played the Waylon and Willie song (Clean Shirt) about two guys going down to Mexico for a good time.  Since, Alan had already taken some very good pictures of a fire in the Hollywood Hills for this week's issue, we might not have to worry about what to cover at this very moment, but the challenging thing about an online publication is that deadlines are relentless.  As soon as this week's issue is put to bed, it's time to start working on the next one. 


So while the Waylon and Willie song finishes up, we'll assess some possible assignments for future issues.  We'll invite you to come back and see what we come up with, until then, have a fun week searching for El Dorado or "the Fountain of Youth."



Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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