Monday, October 26, 2015

Travel on Any Budget by Morgan Fraser

Hi Invisible Audience,

I made a video about how to travel on any budget to help promote my book. Check it out, like and pass it on!

Love and travel kisses

Sunday, September 13, 2015

{Guest Post}: Get This Dolphin to Woody Harrelson!

"This is the story of a meticulous metal dolphin and a movie star. Join us, as we optimistically set out to unite Woody Harrelson with our art, and our cause—fire victim recovery in Chelan, Washington. Use silly for good!"

Theo Ramey is one of the most potent characters of my Lake Chelan childhood. I grew up perusing the shadows of his metal shop, creatures and vehicles and other beauty coming to life through his welding hands. His voice was gruff, his horseshoe mustache unparalleled, and his heart so incredibly kind. One of the greatest gifts I ever received as a child was made by his hands: a bunk bed of metered metal scrap and tin rosettes, all painted lovingly in the shades of girlhood.  

When the fires raged through my hometown of Chelan, WA two weeks ago, I reached out to my artist communities for support. I was gathering donation “perks” (or prizes) for an Indiegogo campaign designed to raise money for those experiencing the most profound of the devastation: homes lost, forest charred, livestock, wildlife and pets displaced and injured. Almost immediately, Theo reached out. “ I have a sculpture for your cause. It’s a dolphin.” When I saw the photos, I was awed. Theo has been collecting her parts for 14 years—combing junkyards and antique store back rooms for perfectly comprised hunks of copper, brass, aluminum, and cast-iron. But when I asked for an approximate value, his answer raised my eyebrow. “Well, I was going to ask Woody Harrelson for $10,000…but I suppose that was the 'movie star' price.” 
Turns out, Theo and Woody were neighbors once upon a time, working and playing in their own ways on Maui. While the two never met in person, Theo was friends with Woody’s cook and housekeeper. One day she brought Theo’s portfolio in to show her boss. When Woody marveled at the polished glory of reinvented junk, she told him, “I wish you could see the piece he is working on right now, a dolphin. It’s beautiful.” And Woody replied, “I’d love to look at it. Have him let me know when it is done.” 
Fast forward 10 years, a thousand scrap metal searches, and a relocation to Western WA state: Hey Woody, the dolphin is ready!  And her name is Hoover.
Now, I don’t know Woody Harrelson, but as far as celebrities go, I feel like we could be friends. A questioning, boundary-heaving, environmentally-minded activist with a penchant for spontaneous and silly? I’d like to have tea. And maybe it’s crazy, but I feel like he just might be the kind of person who would respond to the quirky plea of a desperate stranger. 

Dear Woody Harrelson,
Rumor has it, this dolphin belongs with you. You were in the mind of the artist as he slowly collected its components. Its baby-steps toward existence occurred on a plot of land abutting yours. And when the artist donated its gleaming form to our fundraiser, he did so with your name, laughingly, upon his lips. You already have one foot in our story, and I’d love to invite you the rest of the way in. At ‘regular people price,’ obviously.
Washington state seems perpetually on fire, Woody. You and I both know that the Earth is losing patience with our mismanagement of her resources, of *her* art. The way the West burns seems a clear indicator for change. At the moment, however, my grief is too great to look beyond the immediacy of this wildfire’s aftermath—the people, wildlife, and loved animals that are displaced and experiencing loss in my hometown. I don’t have much in the way of money to contribute to the rebuilding, but I’ve got my words to use, artist friends with generous hearts, and an incurable case of 'the optimistic’.
If Hoover is your dolphin, Woody, let me know? 
Chelan (and me, Murial)
If you would like to participate in the effort to unite “Hoover” and Woody, it’s as easy as sharing this message with your social networks in whatever way you do—help us to create a trending story so that we are able to get on the radar! If you are reading this and have a more direct connection to Woody, and are able to share my message with him, my heart would be so grateful, and our town would love to thank you personally in kind.

"Grow the Love: Supporting Chelan Fire Victims is a collaborative fundraising effort of the grown children of Lake Chelan, WA. Through art, storytelling, and heart-centered reciprocity, we are doing what we can to help rebuild the magic that made us! All donations above $25 are responded to with an artful “perk”—handwritten thank you letters, jewelry, visual and audio art, healing work and services! Check us out:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Someday, Chelan

To donate to those in need in Chelan, click here.

Chelan, my heart cries out. Chelan, I’m sorry.
Like a loved one suddenly diagnosed with a terrible illness, I flip back through the memories in my mind and I find that I am afraid. I am afraid that what has turned to ash along the lake where I grew up are my memories – my life, my childhood, who I used to be.

Photo by Terri Emery

I do not take easily to change, despite the ever-changing scenery of my life. I do not like that your hills are burned, your trees reduced to coals, your people bravely carrying on instead of gently rolling their eyes at the tourists and praying for the end of summer.

Now, we are all praying for the end of summer – for the rains to dump unseasonably, for the snow that refused to come last year to miraculously fall from the sky. Instead, it is ash. It turned the moon red last night, makes my room taste of burnt marshmallows if I leave the door open, and imprints itself like a heavy thumb in my temple, a reminder as I try to pretend to the outside world that my heart home is not on fire; that the heart of my state is not in flames, that all that I have known is changing, not just in this fire, but in the way that one day I will say to a child, “In my day, the seasons were different. There were four of them, and they were not as they are now.”

I hurt, Chelan. I am sure I do not hurt as much as those staring at the rubble of their homes. I am sure I do not hurt as much as those praying that the firefighters, working beyond exhaustion and around the clock, will be standing between their front doors and the flames. I am sure I do not hurt as much as those whose animals have been lost, whose businesses are empty, who are coughing because the very air – the one thing that we need to take deep, calming breaths of – is gray yellow with ash.

And yet I hurt for all of them – the trees, the homes, the people, the lake even, a placid-looking reflection of it all, a large-yet-small help in the midst of all this pain, its glacial waters offering up some relief to the fury of Mother Nature. It seems the rain dances are not enough, but the lake looks on and offers what she can to the helicopters and the people: a natural fire line, a natural fire suppressant, a constant in the daily changing arena of burning embers.

It is the lake I look to with hope. It’s still there. Someday soon, it will reflect the blue sky again. Someday soon, the water will be used once again for recreation instead of protection, and we will rebuild what has been lost: both what is in our hearts and the foundations that we sleep upon. Until then, all I can do, in my own small day, is to hope that someday arrives someday soon.

Love and Fire-Raw Kisses

Friday, July 17, 2015

Confessions of a Travel Addict, the book!

Hello, Invisible Audience.

Yes, I know. I fell off the map, like WAY off the map. And you know what? I'm not ready to come back yet. My life and my priorities have changed significantly since the last time I wrote, and keeping a weekly personal blog is just not on the list at the moment.

However, I have good news! I originally started this blog way back when as a potential marketing arm for a book I was writing called -- you guessed it -- Confessions of a Travel Addict. The blog became much more introspective than the book ever was -- the book is about all the funny travel adventures I've had while abroad, from back when I used to be funny.

At that time, I took all my funny travel stories from my adventures all over the world and made a book of short travel stories that can either be read as a chronological telling, or hopefully each chapter on its own. Then I spent a year researching how the publishing industry worked, and started sending this book out to publishers and collecting rejection letters, like a legit writer.

Then I got the idea for my cookbooks, and I shoved this book with the others I was working on into the electronic version of the closet.

Until now. Now, I have realized that I can't make it to the rest of the writing I want to do and am currently working on -- including the book I started in Panama -- if I don't clear out the backlog and clear out that electronic closet. And since my publishing company is named Travel Addict Publishing, clearly it makes sense that I would self-publish Confessions of a Travel Addict.

So here it is, without further ado, and in multiple formats, no less.

If you have Amazon Prime, you can check out the Kindle version for free.
If you want to buy it on Amazon directly in either the Kindle or Paperback version, click here.

Or if you'd like to buy it from me and get a signed version, click on the "Buy Now" button below. Cost is $12.95 per book. Shipping and handling is $5, regardless of how many books you buy; tax will be added automatically.

If you know someone else you think might enjoy it, please consider passing it on. 

Love and published kisses