(introduction by Christina Ammon, Deep Travel Prez)

Lately I’ve been trying to break the habit of urging people to write books.

“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cowboy or an Indian and I didn’t care which one,” my friend Jeff mentioned one day.

“OMG! That’s the first line of your memoir!” I gushed.

Jeff is a guitar player, not a writer, and not once has expressed a shred of interest in writing a book. Perhaps my compulsion to tell everyone what they should be writing about is to compensate for my own failure to pull off a book; it’s much easier to tell everyone else to do it.

People tell me to write books, too, and lately I’ve begun to notice that my response is not one of feeling flattered, but rather feeling pressured. Their well-meaning goading is a reminder that time is ticking, that I  have some good stories, and I haven’t done a thing about it.

Just when I resolved to break this habit, my friend Lisa Boice Hannington sent me her latest blog post which recounts her experience at a Deep Travel workshop we were at together Yelapa Mexico (her second Deep Travel workshop with us in Yelapa!). In her blog, I’m doing that annoying thing: telling her she should write  a book. Thankfully, she was gracious about it. Reading her blog–her clear writing style, her unique perspective, the clever title (The Accidental Birder!) it’s difficult not to feel like it could be a book. Both in workshops and on the page, Lisa discloses easily and elegantly and in doing so, and gives others permission to do so as well–just what you want at a writers workshop! Her writing is both scientific and emotional–the very same kind of writing that made me love Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. Here she ponders birds, her husband’s cancer, and whether every story must have tragedy.

Lisa, thanks for letting us republish your essay. I won’t tell you I think you should turn it into a book!

                                  Between Yelapas

by Lisa Boice Hannington


“I came back to Yelapa to face my words I uttered last year and found myself no closer to what I should do. I wrote much that week and not about what had been going on in our lives the past six months. I wrote and listened. I watched and wrote. I kept going at it like the birds that keep going at their lives all around us.”-Lisa Boice Hannington


It was on the beautiful beach of Yelapa where I caused bad luck to crash down on me the moment I uttered the words to Christina. It was my first time in the Mexican town of Yelapa and we had just wrapped up a morning session of a writing workshop where we all—a group of eight women—had taken our turn to read what we had written during a session called “wild writing.” I was making my way back to our open-air rental to meet up with Steve where he had spent his morning, and I was walking carefully on the wet sand near the surf, as it was flatter, harder wet sand and easier to walk on than the loose, dry sand where my feet kept sinking and sliding. While it was certainly better to be on the wet sand, I was also trying to avoid the approaching waves as they stretched up to the shore when I heard Christina’s voice.


“I meant what I said back there,” she said. “You really should write a book about you and Steve and all your birding adventures. You have such a great story!”

Read the rest here.


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Want to know more about upcoming Deep Travel Workshops? Check out these 2019 adventures to Mexico, Spain, and Morocco.



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