Heritage, Image and Branding…

Place attachment is an important concept in tourism…

Lost in Tourism

So the first week of the Spring semester has come and gone.  We have skimmed the upper ice berg of the definition of tourism, and now diving below the waterline to see all the complexity associated with that definition.  Today, my 8am class (I know, ugh 8am), was awake and raring to go.  I had taken the time to map out some of the concepts we had been talking about, and diagram out the pieces we needed to start to examine before they arrived.

Mapping out tourism Mapping out the definition of tourism, tourism umbrella, and diving into the tourism system

I posted the tourism umbrella, leading to the three environments in which resources, tangible, intangible are drawn from.  From those three environments we also derive our stakeholders, guests, host community, employees, governments, investors, and other.  These stakeholders have a vested interest in our industry, even if they are arm-chair travelers.  In today’s…

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Veterans Day

So I talked about how I would use Outlander to explain tourism, and I have started over at my other blog, The Hero’s Journey. Here is the first post from the beginning of the semester.

Lost in Tourism

WWI Vet by Lost in Scotland (bap) WWI Vet by Lost in Scotland (bap)

Today is Veterans Day (thank you to all that serve, or have served our Country), and another opportunity to dive into different market segments, and motivations for tourism.  Over the last few weeks we have been studying travel motivations, the tourist, and social & economic impacts of tourism.  After we finish social impacts, we are going to immerse into marketing, and promoting tourism and a destination.  On this day, I am reminded of my own family, my ancestors that have served their country in the armed forces.  Stories of their times as soldiers, stories of the campaigns, and other historical events shaped my life.  As I discussed earlier in the year, we are all products of three environment, social, economic, and natural/man-made.  Events that exert forces against those three environments shape the realities in which we form opinions, our understanding of a greater…

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STARZ Outlander ~ Jamie Fraser

Some times inspiration comes in unusual thoughts…

STARZ Outlander ~ Jamie Fraser

STARZ Outlander ~ Jamie Fraser

When the idea comes to you on how to write, don’t slam the door on his face. Allow the muse to walk in and take a seat. Let him sit there and be quiet, and on occasion ask you relevant questions.  No, I’m not inspired  {at the moment} by Jamie Fraser to write, though Sam Heughan, the actor that plays him on TV, is definitely handsome and perhaps inspiration for a future character.  I’m trying to devise a way to use Outlander, the TV show, to explain tourism concepts, and tourism promotional strategies.

Give me time…I need to map this out…

Research

NaNoWrMo2015 Word Count

NaNoWrMo2015 Word Count

General Grant display at Ford's theatre

Ford’s Theatre display about Lincoln, the Civil War, and his assassination.

I’ve reached past the word count for NaNoWriMo2015, and can now coast to the end, hoping to reach 90,000 by the end of the month.  I have a host of ‘irons’ in the fire, because my brain is running on varying paths.  I am having to stop, and use my journals to catalog ideas, and questions that randomly pop into my head.  I think this is why I have several computers, several journals going at once.  It’s a delicate balance.  Sometimes I wonder if that 1% Italian ancestry isn’t Leonardo da Vinci, and his complex multi-tasking abilities.

So, the distraction for the writing on several fronts today is mapping out an idea I had from a dream.  The time period is focused on the American Civil War, and has been running amok in my head since May.  I am so glad I got to visit Washington, DC this summer, and hike over to the Fords Theatre.  I knew from living in Alexandria, VA at one time that the theatre had a great display on the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.  Well, in the years that I have been absent from our Nation’s Capital, the display has certainly grown, and developed into something unique.

I think I spent close to two hours walking through the displays, reading, taking notes, taking pictures for later.  The only disappointment was the gift shop.  I wish it had been bigger, with more books.  But I kept reminding myself, that I had only so much room in my suitcase, and that I could always scan the title, and order a Kindle edition.  I should have found the nearest bookstore, like Barnes & Noble and sifted through their aisles.  Oh, well, lesson learned.

Lincoln's Desk

Lincoln’s Desk

So I devoted my time to research, and really studying the exhibits. Jotting down ideas in my Moleskine reporters notebook, and even adding ideas for the story as they came into my mind. I played the ‘what if’ game that writers do.

I have been intrigued by the idea of spies during the war, and hashed out several plot arcs to that effect.  The question that I kept returning to was ‘hasn’t this been done before, how can you make it your own?’

But never toss out any idea, write it down and revisit, after it incubates.  And usually it means more research.

Research is the crux of any good writer.  I follow the author Dan Brown on Facebook and am amazed at the depth of his research for his Robert Langdon series.  The man gets down and dirty with his subject, and that is a good sign of a successful writer.  Some days, I am not as devoted, and sooner or later that lack of attention come around and bite me in the ass.  Well, this time, I am going to be devoted to the subject.  I can write, but I need that detail for depth.  So…on with the research…

NaNoWriMo 2015 ~ current word count 11/5/2015

It’s the annual NaNoWriMo Challenge…

Well, it’s another NaNoWriMo challenge…and I’m participating.  I have been at it since November 1st, and making good progress.  I could definitely use some sleep, but will chug on through.

The challenge target is 50,000 words, and I am hoping to accomplish 90,000.  I will definitely make it, currently at 29,824 word count on the fifth day.

NaNoWriMo 2015 ~ current word count 11/5/2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 ~ current word count 11/5/2015

If you have never done this challenge, and you want to polish your skills as a writer, or even accomplish a dream, go for it. It helped me finish several projects, and improved my confidence.

I know I can create a large project, having completed a doctoral dissertation. That was well over 85,000 words, and the one novel I have finished with a friend, that we are editing is currently at 170,000 words. I just wish I had a connection with an editor to help us. We will manage, and finish it soon.

Working it out..

Developing ideas…

Original ideas

Original ideas

Writing.  I love it.  I love to create original ideas, and map them out.  I love working with dreams, with daydreams to flesh out a story.  I have a good friend that has joined me in this endeavor.  I used to do fan-fiction, but realized, why am I working with someone’s work, when I can do this on my own.  It just takes practice, research, and perseverance.  In the end, dreams are what you make.  You are the captain, and you have to take the helm.  If you don’t know how to do something, you better research and find out how to make that dream come true.

In the end, anything possible.  And that is what I tell my students.  You are all on a journey, and you must be the navigator.

Caspar David Friedrich - The Wander above the mist

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

I have been knee-deep in the new job, and acclimatizing to the new town, new community, and new university setting.  The journey so far has been exhilarating and frustrating.  Life shouldn’t be complicated.  But sometimes, you stand at the plate, and you’ve got Elf on the mound, throwing baseballs at you in rapid succession.

I am trying to swing as fast as I can, or duck and protect my body, and still getting pounded.  Believe I was fast approaching the moment, where it just wasn’t worth it, and ready to walk away.  But I have persevered, and remained.  There are just too many variables I like that keep me getting out of bed in the morning.  And well, I needed to give it some time, maybe there were other issues going on behind the scenes, that needed an explanation before I dropped the bat.

And there were.

Every job has its nuances, and so you must take the good with the bad, and endeavor to try to make it better.

So I’m back on the rocky road, and still cruising at my speed.  I’m bound and determined to establish a posting routine.

Morning Sunrise

Just morning…

Morning Sunrise

Morning Sunrise

Waking up, I noticed a pinkish cast to the blinds. I quickly dressed in something appropriate, grabbed my iPhone from the nightstand, and peaked through the blades. A nice salmon sky greeted me, and I snapped off a picture, because a few seconds later it was gone. The leaves are already changing this far north in the mid-west. Too many have already told me I will need good goose down coat for the winters, something I’m not looking forward to. I have been in harsh weather before, both in Pennsylvania and Scotland. But I can just imagining cocooning my body in such a coat and wanting to find the nearest spot to fall asleep. Goose down is my friend, and have my duvet on nine months out of the year on my bed. My ideal temperature is roughly 55-65F. It will be interesting to see how deep the snow falls here, and see how I survive my first winter.

I need to get back to the writing….

Mabel Tainter Theatre

I’m back…finally gainfully employed

Mabel Tainter Theatre

Mabel Tainter Theatre

Well, I’m back.  I have finally found a job, and moved to the area.  I am still exploring and getting my used to the new compass points.  One item I will definitely need is a new winter coat.  Winters will be brutal. But I’m from the Laurel Highlands, I should manage.  So, the next evolution of this blog is going to be two fold.  At the moment it will be to help my students understand tourism and its sectors.  Other parts, well, more of my musings.  So sit back and enjoy the show.

Continual refinement…even thoughts

Meetings Mind Map

Mind map about meetings and technology for presentation

Working on another presentation for an upcoming interview.  Have to get thoughts down visually before I even attempt to construct the Power Point slides.  So this presentations will examine Meetings and Event management, and technology trends, handling the nuances of ‘big data’ and attaining positive service execution.  Thought I’d give you a sneak into the mind map.