23 Dec 2021

Looking for light . . .


There's light beyond the mountain!

Since the advent of COVID-19, much has been in flux regarding so many aspects of life, particularly travel. And now, here we are in the Advent season, according to Christian tradition, looking for light and expecting something good to come. But, when?

"When will we be there?" is a question that echoed off the windows of our family car more than once while I was growing up. It has also silently bounced between my ears on many occasions, especially when I've been aboard a plane and arriving at my destination seems to take longer than my clock says.

When will this pandemic end? I'd be happy with a little benign pandemonium instead, that's for sure! I've just had my Jan. 26 trip to Cuba cancelled. If you've heard the phrase, "third time's the charm," I can tell you it's not always so. Not counting the original April 2020 cancellation due to the onset of COVID, this was my third attempt to return to my "second home." I've been trying to go in order to take a suitcase full of much-needed medical/health supplies, as well as to do some reconnaissance, prior to offering a group trip.

At some point in 2022, I WILL make it to Cuba! The duty-free exemption for a suitcase of supplies (including food) is currently in place until the end of June, and I very much want to take advantage of that offer. The Cuban government has extended the exemption deadline once but there's no guarantee they will do so again.

There's no guarantee about anything, of course. That's been driven home like a hard-hammered nail in the past two years. I haven't been able to travel to Cuba, where my heart is drawn, or to the U.S., where much of my family resides. Nor have I been able to host physical launches for my two novels, Cuban Kisses and the sequel, Cuban Wishes. The third book in the trilogy will be out in the early part of the new year, hopefully, so we plan to officially launch all three at once. (I'll be sure to announce everything, don't worry!)

I do feel hopeful about my writing projects, just as I do about making it to Cuba before my friends forget what I look like! As well as much-needed medicine and such, I have books to deliver to those who were particularly supportive of my writing as I was doing it. I guess you could say that I AM expecting good things to come, and I DO see light beyond the mountain. The dark clouds will pass and the sun will blaze brilliantly once again, both here and there – in Cuba, where support is very much needed due to issues beyond COVID.

I will let you know how my ventures go, regarding both my forthcoming novel and my upcoming trip to Cuba. Meanwhile, let me know if you want copies of either Cuban Kisses or Cuban Wishes – $20 and $25, respectively, or $40 for both, when ordered at the same time (CAD for all prices). I can mail them to you in either Canada or the U.S.; payments can be made by e-transfer or PayPal.

This letter, however, should not end with a sales pitch! So, let me just reiterate that I AM feeling cautiously optimistic about the coming year! (Okay, those of you who know me would probably say it's my normal state but, dagnabit, that's been a challenge of late.) But, really and truly, I do see a warm glow on the horizon, amid the majestic Sierra Maestra mountains, and I intend to go toward it as soon as I possibly can. After all, I have a new manuscript in the works, along with ideas for special travel experiences, and I need to do some on-the-sand research!

Take care, stay safe and enjoy the holidays!
Hasta luego & shalom,


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