Category Archives: Travel

Full Circle for The Daughter’s Almanac

IMG_1355 Manuscripts in progress are laid out on the desk. Moleskine journal is being filled. The first blog entry in over a year attempted. Today I brought my new book, The Daughter's Almanac, as a gift for the library at La Muse -- a singular event in my life-- because I wrote some of the poems while I was staying in this same room five years ago and they are about these trails and woods, the river and the mountains in this unique part of France. See what I mean?

Podcasts, Geospatial Poetry and Vienna Angels

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

My colleague here at the University of Pecs, Joseph Horvath, produces a podcast called "Take Off," which features interviews with students and recordings of classic literature. I guess I fall somewhere in between. Joe interviewed me on one of the nicest days of autumn here; we sat outside at a cafe by the cathedral near my apartment. I read a brand new poem, "Dream Map-Vienna" at the end of the podcast. And we are laughing because earlier we had watched two girls walk past us wearing angel's wings.

Kathy featured on Horvath Joseph's podcast, Take Off

Below is a video I made inside the Alte Bibliotek in Vienna (the Old Library), which is basically a museum. It's quite a place--if you have 5 minutes (warning) I show the ornate painted ceiling, old globes, statues, huge book stacks, and treasures.

Vienna, Part I: Schlagobers

Two trips to Vienna (one solo in Sept and one with Bob in Oct). The train ride is 6 hours each way via Budapest. When I visited Vienna alone I hit the last weekend of summer weather. I was able to sit outside with my plum cake and grosser brauner at Cafe Sperl.  I also tried the plum cake at the historic Cafe Hawelka. Better at Sperl.

When it rained on the next visit, Bob and I and everybody else in Vienna had the same idea: to go to Cafe Demel


The nut cake is almost gone but the cup in my hand contained hot chocolate with Bailey's and schlagobers, one of the best words in the German language. I'm trying really hard not to blink at the flash.

BUT the best dessert was at the Albertiner Keller:


Poppyseed-honey mousse with sour cherries. In a little glass preserves container. What??? You can see in the top left corner what was left of Bob's sachertorte.

More later on art and buildings!

I’m not going to make a joke about the word HUNGARY

...though believe me, I erased a few puns before I took the high road. It's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in my writing life, my academic life and my life-life. Bob and I both got faculty exchanges to teach at the University of Pécs, in Pécs, Hungary. It's still summer weather here, on the 4th of October. We arrived almost a month ago and since then I've taken the train to Vienna for the weekend,  hosted a party on our back patio for our colleagues, Bob has assisted in the grape harvest and we've settled in to watch the parade of feral cats cruise through the yard.

I'm teaching a Multi-Genre Writing Workshop to upper-division students at PTE and an online class for CWU.  I'm also working on a new book and training to run the Ljubljana Half Marathon this month.

Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The school on our street.

The school on our street.

Beautiful Morning, Beautiful Afternoon

I ran this morning up to high lookout at the top of the next valley over from Labastide Esparbairenque. The temperature was hot even at 9 and I hadn't done a longer run in a while, but I loved every minute of it. The runs here are so refreshing that I don't want to turn around—I come back feeling better and full of hope. Beauty erupts everywhere out on the trail—vistas open around each turn. I plan to have some new shots of the trail and the views to post later.

Then a long (3 1/2 hours) French lunch was devoured by our group at Sire de Cabaret  in Roqueferre—with glorious desserts and duck, lamb, entrecote, etc. I have no photos of lunch, but I think I was the only one not taking pictures. Today was a day to look ahead to our last big project of the Creative Castle class and to enjoy being in France.

Everything is Illuminated


We had a beautiful day to explore the Cite (the medieval town) of Carcassonne. I hadn't visited the cathedral inside the Cite in the fall, so I appreciated having a tour led by Maria with the class this time.


We have been so fortunate with the weather during our stay in France. The air is dry, warm and fragrant (in a good way). I might even say we've been blessed.

The Day with One Photograph


John Fanning, who owns La Muse with his wife Kerry, let us in the ancient chapel today. This is a beautiful, peaceful space—it calms a person right down. This is John meditating in the chapel.

Today was also the book swap in La Muse's library. All of the students brought wonderful gifts to leave.

Alex Emmons, Aaron, Alex and I had a little adventure in the course of finding a place to buy bread and some necessities—we hit the epicerie in Mas Cabardes at just the time when it was closed and tooled up to Mazamet instead.