Black Ops Aviator Series News June 2022

Black Ops Aviator
Short story 1970 Clark AB

Could you (do you) live alone?

I’m getting used to not having a dog in the house after my daughter and her pitty, Indo, moved out a while ago.
And now my husband has gone to visit his family in CA for a few days so it’s just me roaming around our big, empty house.

My sleep is better alone, even in a king-sized bed.
The Oura ring has recorded two excellent days of sleep and I’ve even remembered a couple dreams.

A schedule helps. Though I’m free to do whatever I want almost whenever I want, I still wake-up to a 6:30am alarm.
Before other alarms remind me of things I want to do including Peloton yoga classes, breakfast smoothies, and my writing and publishing business.

So, I like both, having a few days to do-my-own-thing and then welcoming my (noisy) husband back home.

What about you? Are you ever or often alone?

So, I’m back to daily writing and working on launching the indie publishing business.
I attended an indie author/publishing conference in Madrid earlier this month before going to Portugal and northern Spain on a biking vacation. 
You can read a bit about that in another post on this site.
Now it’s time for me to review the info and contacts I made in Madrid and execute on the plan.

The writing business requires lots of reading 

I’ve been a reader, in many genres, my whole life so that’s the part I’m most comfortable with.
Yesterday I found a Vietnam Veteran’s site that had seven pages of books written by and/or about the guys’ 1960s and 1970s wartime experiences.
Most were published eight or ten years ago but a couple authors are still actively writing, online and in novels.
Plus I got a few of the books, mostly in print, that seem like they’ll help me recreate a believable story for my characters in 1970s SEA.

But, for ‘fun’ fiction reading, I started a Steven King novel that was recommended and I purchased (as a used hardcover) earlier this year.
It’s titled 11/22/63 (the day JFK was assassinated).
A time-travel tale set in 2010, it’s pretty easy to pick up and read a small snippet as the chapters are broken up into numbered scenes.
At 849 pages, it’s a big book so we shall see if I can finish it this summer.
My next trip is in the car. My husband will pilot and I can read while he drives. 
So it’s probable, if I’m invested enough in the characters.

Via my Libby app, I’m finishing an audio version of George Orwell’s historical fiction book, Burmese Days.
More research on SEA that was recommended by a travel writer who had been to Myanmar which we used to call Burma.
Turns out, it’s set in Calcutta, during the British Empire days, not really in SEA.
I’m not sure it’ll be much help with the Burma portion of the BOA series, but it’s free and I can listen while driving or walking. 

Next, I’m switching to a biography (another audio via Libby) by Walter Isaacson, Code Breaker.
This one’s about the scientists that developed the DNA editing tool CRISPR.
Biotech is obviously a game-changer for the 21st century and I’d like to know more about the people involved. 
And my husband might like to listen too, while he drives us around CO. 

I am off again, soon, meeting up with kids/grandsons and my sisters in the cooler climates of Colorado and California. 
I’ll take my mobile iPad/keyboard and see if I can get some scenes for the novels drafted.

That’s what I’m up to, what are you doing? 
Reading anything good? 

’til later, Leah

PS: I don’t get to my emails every day but if you have anything you want me to see, drop a line to my:
address and I’ll get back to you ASAP. 


Travel Log Spain & Portugal 2022

Porto to Santiago Coastal Route

Nice to go, nice to return home.

Visiting a new place, with a different culture, in a different time zone, is invigorating and exhausting. But, once back home, the opportunity to reflect on the experiences is as rewarding as the pre-trip planning.

Maybe more so for me this time. The Camino bike tour portion, shown on the map route, was my newly retired husband’s first experience of planning an adventure trip for us. He’d been saying he wanted to do multi-day bike tours, primarily in Europe, for a few years, but he had limited, time-restricted vacation days, so it remained a wish-list item.

Then, I booked a writer’s conference in Madrid and insisted that he join me. His suggestion was to add a bicycle trip up the northern Portuguese and southern Spanish coasts. We’d follow the pilgrim’s route to the cathedral where Saint James’ bones are kept. Though he was born and raised Catholic, neither of us is seeking anything more than an adventure. But, the well-trod path offers the infrastructure to allow even the novice traveler a safe and pleasant journey.

A well-marked trail.

Late spring offered nice weather, warm but not hot, mostly sunny, and oodles of spring flowers and foliage. A myriad of hotels, cafes, and bars line the route. Daily mileage could be long or short, on-road or off. Breaks any time, as long as the target hotel was within range.

He found a company specializing in booking the bikes, hotels, and luggage transfers for self-guided riders. We packed an extra duffle bag with the padded seat I need to ride multiple days in relative comfort, our rinse and wear bike outfits, including fluorescent yellow and fuchsia long-sleeved shirts I wore over t-shirts for sunscreen and visibility on the roadways.

And it worked. The tour company, Camino Ways, did a perfect job of delivering the rental bikes, booking the hotels he contracted for, and shuttling our luggage between them each day. Some stops were in city centers, some country manors. Some were better than others, but when you’re only there only overnight, anything clean and safe is good.

We chose the riding track – some days dodging walkers on unpaved paths, sometimes cars on the highway, occasionally through small villages and farmer’s fields. With our data-enabled phone maps, we never felt like we were lost. A quick map stop and off we went to navigate amongst unmarked trails and roadways. Sometimes on a pre-planned route, sometimes discovering the path. We took long lunches to avoid the mid-day sun, carried drinks and snacks, and chatted with other travelers at roadside cafes. 

And, should we poop out, trains run parallel to the Camino. We spoke with a buddy group on their sixth day out who was seriously considering making the final leg into Santiago via train. We didn’t find that necessary (I rode a battery pedal-assist bike, and my husband trained via a week’s worth of 25-30 mile daily rides) but it’s nice to know it’s an option. And yes, after arriving at the cathedral, we happily dismounted and turned in the bikes before booking our return to Madrid via train and then flying home. 

Nice to go and nice to be home, safe, healthy, and with another adventure in the books.