Monday, June 20, 2011

Places to visit, with Leah Cypess!

Please welcome the lovely Leah Cypess! She's here to promote her newest book, Nightspell, which I completely loved. The best part? We get to see more into Leah's thought process with a special list. I asked her to share with us the top 5 places that she'd like to visit before she ends her time on this earth. Truth be told? She picked some amazing options!

The top sites on my list of “places to visit before you die” are all trips I’ve planned but never got to go on:

[1] Istanbul
I’m working on a book that takes place partly in sixteenth-century Constantinople, so I’ve always wanted to go. Unfortunately, I have a cousin who went and regaled my mother with stories about the unwanted attentions she got as an unaccompanied woman, thus placing Istanbul on my mother’s list of Places I Will Freak Out If You Go To.
When I was in college, I spent a midwinter break in Israel and arranged for a four-day tour of Istanbul with an Israeli tour agent. It sounded fantastic: a short flight, and then Topkaki Palace! The Golden Horn! The Bosphorus! Being on a tour, I wouldn’t exactly be unaccompanied, but I decided not to tell my mother anyhow.
Then the travel agent, not being informed of this complication, called my home one day and left a message with my mother about “the Istanbul trip.”
… very long story short: I didn’t go to Istanbul. (I went to Rhodes, which was also kind of cool, but not the same thing.)

[2] Japan
            After taking the bar exam and beginning a 16-hour workday at a law firm, many law students go on an extended trip somewhere. I really wanted to go to Japan; I had a tour guide of Japan all marked up, and even read a textbook called Japanese Culture. Then the SARS outbreak happened, and I decided I should probably go elsewhere.
            On the plus side… my reading of Japanese Culture led me to read The Pillow Book of Sei Shonago, and then The World of the Shining Prince, and then to collect a long list of other Japan-related books I wanted to read. My reading ambitions were cut off by that 16-hour workday, but I’m fairly sure I’m going to write a fantasy book inspired by Japanese history someday. Hopefully I’ll get to write some of it in Japan.

[3] Scandinavia
            This was next on my list of possible post-bar trips. It was a close call, but we ended up going to Alaska instead. Alaska was incredible, and I have no regrets… but still, someday…

[4] Southeastern Alaska
            You’ll be shocked to hear that my mother still had an opinion about where I should go. Instead of doing the interior of Alaska on our own, she said, what about a cruise? There was a kosher cruise to southeast Alaska just when I was planning to go! So safe, so scenic, so full of eligible Jewish guys. I resisted successfully, but I did look at some of the brochures, and I have to admit they were tempting. So again, someday…

[5] Nova Scotia
            I planned a week-long to Nova Scotia once, mostly to see the Bay of Fundy and watch a tidal bore, but the more I looked into it, the more interesting sights I found. This was when I was married and living in Boston, so it seemed we could take our car on a ferry and do the whole trip pretty cheap. We were waiting for an opportunity for my husband to take off a week… and while we were waiting, I got pregnant, at which point my ambitions switched to getting from my bed to the bathroom and back. We still haven’t managed to take that trip, but I have the itinerary written out and ready to go.

Thank you so much Leah for sharing!
Leave her a comment and let her know what trip you've just been dying to take!


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