The Treasures of Travel

The Treasures of Travel

My husband and I were hiking along a colorful waterfront street in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, spotting the differences and similarities to Punta Arenas, Chile. That last small city in South America, overlooking the Strait of Magellan, is one of our remaining bucket list trips, but we imagined it couldn’t be more unlike this tropical town…

Life, Love, and Where I Wrote

Life, Love, and Where I Wrote

Sometime in the past decade, the Sahne Nuss tin pictured above came home with me in a green-and-white shopping bag from our Jumbo supermarket in Santiago. Everybody, myself included, loves classic Sahne Nuss milk-chocolate-and-almond bars, but mostly I fell in love with the image on the lid. It perfectly pictures our life in the Chiloé…

Uncovering the Cover

Uncovering the Cover

As you scroll down a few paragraphs, you’ll see the cover for Destiny at Dolphin Bay revealed. This first book of mine, written during our last year in Chile’s Chiloé Islands, has had almost as many trial tapas as opening chapters. But today we’re unveiling the final cover. The design you find here combines many…

Desperate for… Love

Desperate for… Love

During a recent exercise in finding writing topics, I was challenged to type “Desperate for…” into my Google browser. You want to know what I discovered? People are desperate for attention, approval, and affluence (usually they call that last one “money” or “a loan.”) Women are desperate for a miracle, a man, a baby, or…

The Fear of Change

The Fear of Change

Reading through Dr. Bernardo Quintana’s mythology treatise, Chiloé Mitológico, I’m struck once again by the background motivation of fear in so many of the rites and rituals, tall tales and strictly-timed tasks. Fear of the spirits and the sickness they cause. Terror of darkness and death and the dead, as manifested in the story of…

The Great Shapeshifter

The Great Shapeshifter

The name of the Chiloé Islands’ legendary ghost ship, the Caleuche, literally means “shapeshifter.” It derives from the Huilliche words, caleutún, meaning “to change condition,” and che, “people.” Possibly chosen because of the ship’s many transformations, the name could also refer to the changes in its crew from dead to alive, from torment to bliss,…

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

In my daughter’s recent graduation photos, I see her pose with friends and classmates from around the world—a vast and fascinating variety of colors and cultures, ethnicities and languages. As a holder of triple citizenship, she barely notices but instead integrates the differences into her multiverse. Amazingly, she’s never seemed to suffer from an identity…

A Legend of the Flood

A Legend of the Flood

The image I chose to accompany this post shows opposing dragons on a vibrant Chinese-style silkscreen. Today’s tale actually depicts an epic battle between two great serpents, BUT: #1, I couldn’t bear to look at snakes on my website :). And #2, in this Chilote legend of the flood, both snakes and dragons symbolize our…

Open Door to the World

Open Door to the World

Many years ago as we were seeing a missionary friend off on a bus trip, another friend turned to me on the terminal platform. “Is there anything more typical of missionary life than traveling?” she remarked. How on-the-nose she was, because Jesus’ “go ye” gives us an open door, a travel ticket to the world….

For the Love of Color

For the Love of Color

Is anything more exciting to a writer than a new notebook and pen? Or to a child-artist than a fresh box of crayons? The other day while packing, I came across the green-and-yellow tin of 64 Crayola colors. One of my first acquisitions (as a collector not a kid Picasso), today it holds my hot-glue…