Anthologies

“No Penis Gourds Here” Published in Wandering In Bali Anthology

Diane’s story “No Penis Gourds Here,” was just published in the anthology, Wandering in Bali, (Wanderland Writers). Available at Book Passages.

Excerpt:

Actually I’d come to Indonesia in search of the penis gourd people on Papua New Guinea and the matrilineal Minangkabau on Western Sumatra. But through various quirks–the Balinese would call karma— I found myself on Bali.

My own connections to Indonesia go back more than forty years when I was living in Holland, married to a Dutch medical student who had spent his early years on the then-Dutch colony of Indonesia with his parents and older brother. I heard tales of their beautiful lives there. Beautiful, that is, until WW II broke out and they were interned in Japanese concentration camps–his mother with the two boys, his father in a separate camp. His older brother died in the camp and when the war was over, they all returned to the Netherlands. During my own years living in Holland, my connections to Indonesia included friendships with some Indonesians who left Indonesia after the war, my former mother-in-law’s memories, and dinners of nasi goreng and rijsttafel at local restaurants. One day, I thought, Indonesia would be a place I wanted to explore for myself.

Today, the war is mainly a distant memory. Indonesia and its 17,000 island archipelago gained its independence from The Netherlands in 1949. Bali, although one of the smallest islands, is the best known to foreigners and hosts a booming tourist trade. The Balinese have a love-hate view of the bestselling memoir, Eat Pray Love, that has even further inflated this boom.  Australians chug-a-lugging their way through their holidays, Americans seeking bargains to rival Cost Plus and gurus to predict their futures, Bali “cowboys” serving single women on the beaches of Kuta’s resorts are stereotyped images I held of Bali. Since normally in my travels, I seek out the lesser trod paths, Bali was never high on my to-do travel list. So when I ended up here between visits to two other lesser-known islands, I approached my visit with skepticism….

Available at Book Passages.

“The Infelicities of Travel: Gems Among the Ruins” included in BATW Anthology

Diane’s story “The Infelicities of Travel: Gems Among the Ruins” was recently published in the Bay Area Travel Writer’s 2012 Anthology entitled, “Travel Stories from Around the Globe.”

The anthology was juried by Julia Cosgrove, Editor-in-Chief of AFAR magazine; John Flinn, former Travel Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle; and Janet Fullwood, former Travel Editor of the Sacramento Bee. The 23 stories included were selected from some 60 submissions, taking readers through Europe and Great Britain, the Americas, Pacific Rim, Africa, Tibet, and India, capturing the timeless spirit of travel.

Watch her read the story at the book launch event.

At Home in Kabul

Winner of Travelers’ Tales Solas Gold Award for Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010

–Diane LeBow

Word count: 3844

“That’s the Hindu Kush Mountains, the killer of Hindus.” An Afghan man sitting next to me on the Ariana Afghan Airlines flight from Dubai to Kabul leaned over and explained. Outside the window, the flat desert lands of Iran and southern Afghanistan suddenly gave way to barren blue and gray ridgebacks, like waves of a stormy sea. I thought about the land I was visiting and wondered how stormy the political situation would be during my upcoming visit to this war weary land. As I was leaving for the San Francisco airport twenty-four plus hours ago, a friend called: “Have you been listening to the news? There’s just been another bombing in central Kabul, many people killed and injured, and an assassination attempt on President Karzai. Do you think you should delay your departure?”

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Dancing on the Wine Dark Sea

dlb_036_440x600.jpgBATW Best Bronze, Essay in an anthology

My darling Aphrodite, I love you. Will you marry me? The handsome Greek restaurant owner on Santorini pleaded with my eighty-year-old mother as they line-danced to bouzouki music in a late-night bacchanal on a terrace overlooking the Aegean. My mother loved dancing, charming men, and living in general. After being widowed for the second time in her late seventies, she kicked up her heels and, in many ways, relished life to its fullest. During those years we traveled together frequently and had our own high-spirited odyssey around Greece.Dancing on the Wine Dark Sea

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Foreign Affairs

Edited by Mitzi Szereto
Sexual delight awaits you in every port of call

Escape the mundane. Fill your senses with the sights, sounds, and aromas of faraway places, the perfume counters of Dubai and the hidden waterfalls of St. Lucia, a café overlooking the beach on Tenerife and a men’s bathhouse on a back street in Brussels. These are stories of lush, ripe sex.

In Linda Jaivin’s “Peking Duck,” a photographer eludes her watchful interpreter to tumble with a circus acrobat at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. In Donna George Storey’s “Ukiyo,” an overworked professor tours the red light district of Kyoto, attracting unexpected pleasures. And Holly Farris’s magical “Continental Breakfast” puts a twist on the second honeymoon, when a woman staying at an auberge in Brittany finds that the cook and gardener can read her desire better than her neglectful husband.

Foreign Affairs presents luminous erotica with the subtle, sexy undercurrent of unfamiliar waters.

Praise for Mitzi Szereto’s Erotic Travel Tales:

“Buckle up. Erotic Travel Tales is a first-class journey through sexual encounters around the world. You’ll save the cost of a plane ticket and won’t have splinters after sex in a gondola.”
”Playboy $14.95 Trade Paper ISBN 1-57344-192-9 6 x 9, 200 pages Erotica

Dancing on the Seine: My Mother’s Requiem

dlb-011-121x190.gifA Mother’s World: A Mother’s WorldJourneys of the Heart
Edited by Marybeth Bond & Pamela Michael
April 1998
ISBN 1-885211-26-0
233 pages, $14.95When I turned my mother’s ashes loose into the Seine’s currents that dusk on Ile de la Cite, they crackled and sizzled as if with pleasure. It was a quiet evening and I knew my mother would be pleased to be there. After all, this peaceful park of Place Dauphine is a popular spot for lovers, young and old. My mother had been both. The Seine has been flowing past this spot for thousands of years, past the original Parisians, the Parisii, who were already living here in the 3rd Century B.C. The timelessness of this spot was comforting. My mother had first come here in 1929, as a young flapper on her first trip to Europe with several women friends from college¦

¦Making my way back up to Pont Neuf, past Square du Vert Galant, I paused as I passed the equestrian statue of Henri IV, that gay old spark as he is known to the French. A kindred spirit to my mother, did I only imagine that he winked at me as I passed.

365 Travel

365 Travel365 Travel
A Daily Book of Journeys, Meditations, and Adventures
Edited by Lisa Bach
June 2001
ISBN 1-885211-67-8
392 pages, $14.95

The Trout Baron

*originally published as “The Fisher Baron’s Secret,” in France: A Love Story, (ed. Camille Cusumano, Seal Press)

I found Paris especially difficult to leave that morning. Familiar buildings and monuments glistened with fresh snow that had fallen during the night. Teary-eyed, I almost fell as I skidded over the medieval cobblestones of my Marais apartment courtyard for the last time. The cabby studied me in his rearview mirror.
“Why are you leaving Paris?”
“Because I must return to my job and home in San Francisco.”
“Tsk tsk”–the ultimate French negation–and a slow-motion shake of his head registered the cab driver’s displeasure.
“What matters in life is that you make love with someone you care about on Sunday morning and walk out with them on Sunday afternoon,” he counseled me. “It’s not good to live your life alone.”
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