Where in the world am I now? And what’s next?
At 73, I find myself planning trips, lots of them. It's not the usual bucket list: crossing off places I've never been. I concentrate on returning again — and again — to places that have meant something to me and to my writing. There are four such places, or combinations of places, that enable me to consider how landscapes change, or don't, how lives — including my own — are turning out: Palau and Saipan, which I first saw as a Peace Corps Volunteer over fifty years ago. Trip two takes me to bristling modern Asia, Singapore, and to the older enclave of Malacca, three miles up the Malay coast. There's Australia, the main island and a tiny dot called Norfolk Island, which I've seen four times. Last, there's a tiny village, Altaussee in the mountain-and-lake country south of Saslzburg. That's my dance card, rather full. And I'm still dancing.
Here now; where next?
Gambier, July 2015: I taught in both semesters of the 2014-2015 academic year: one "American Novel Since 1950" class (Jack Kerouac, John Updike, David Bradley, Evan S. Connell, Philip Roth, Katherine Dunn, Alice McDermott, Ben Fountain) and three "Introduction to Fiction Writing" seminars. So now, it's Gambier: Love It AND Leave It. We're back in Austria this summer, again, and in the fall — when I'll be off-duty — we're in Australia (again), Singapore (again), Malacca (again). Going while, and as long as, the going is good.