Editors: I'm accepting assignments because I'm tired of unpacking boxes from my recent move. Writing? Sure. Photography? Of course. Tight deadline? A specialty.
I'm particularly interested in cruising/sailing the Seven Seas for a year or two. I'm researching articles about the business of operating a cruise ship and how it relates to special interests and land-based facilities. How do ship designers make the most of a finite amount of space (even aboard megaships)? Where can a cheese lover find great fromage on a cruise? Is it possible to combine a love of horses and a cruise? I can find a peg for almost any topic. My most recent article is about cruising for cheese lovers that will appear in the winter issue of Culture magazine.
Chesapeake Bay Crabs cookbook
Released Fall, 2011, Pelican Publishing
I had fun with this one. I know, I have fun with all my books or I wouldn't write them. This, however, is a collection of recipes featuring the every tasty and ever versatile Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. You'll find appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and even dessert. Yes, a crab creme brulee, thank you. I talked to a couple of people who had made crab ice cream and besides the fact that it was expensive (using lump meat), people were sort of turned off by the name. Someone from England said that frozen crab bisque probably would sell better, but it's still expensive.
I've also included stories about crabs, an interview with Bernie Fowler, and instructions on how to buy, cook, and eat these delectable goodies.
Peaceful Places Washington, DC
Released, Winter, 2011, Menasha Ridge Publishing
With co-author Denis Collins, this book lists 114 peaceful places for a few minutes respite or hours or days in and around our Nation's Capital. They're in such categories as reading spaces, museums, gardens, urban surprises, etc. My favorite probably is the labyrinth on a rooftop near Union Station. Another favorite is the sixth-floor terrace at the Newseum. Yes, you have to pay to enter and the museum is almost always filled and nearly rowdy, but it's magically serene out on the terrace, overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue.
While this guide (and the other cities in the series) is good for visitors, about 80% of the audience has proven to be locals looking for that special place for lunch, a book, or just a thought or two.
It Happened in Maryland
Pub date: September 4, 2012, Globe Pequot Press
It Happened in Maryland covers twenty-five events that shaped history. Sometimes it's local history, sometimes it's more wide-ranging. Among the subjects covered are the first bookmobile in Hagerstown, the Great Baltimore Fire that caused fire companies to start working toward universal sizes for hydrants and hoses, and finding a way around the Dutch Elm disease that killed so many gorgeous elm trees.
As I was constantly saying when I researched this, "I didn't know that," I'm hoping you will, too.
It Happened in Delaware should be released in 2013.
Virginia Off the Beaten Path
Released October, 2011
The 11th edition of my Virginia Off the Beaten Path guidebook has been updated with information about a lot of my favorite places and some wonderful new things to see and do, off the Interstate. Note to foodies, the Route 11 Potato Chip factory moved a few miles south to Mount Jackson. The viewing room should be open later this year, so you'll once again (or for Also, Maj. (ret.) Rich Spooner and his wife, Gloria, moved their famed Globe and Laurel restaurant from the Triangle location (road widening) to a Stafford location. As expected, it's been a huge success--equal to its huge new home.