Photos from Fiji, Romania, and the Backyard…

(Part of the Suva market.)

I posted some photo sets on facebook this past week, which you can access through the following links, I believe:

Fiji photo set—Our parents were in the Peace Corps and my sister and I spent a substantial portion of our childhood in Fiji. My dad taught chemistry at the University of the South Pacific and my mom did biological illustrations of endangered sea turtles and other flora and fauna. My dad also studied the rhinoceros beetle, which was a danger to coconut trees. Although I lived in Fiji, I’ve never really been able to write about it in fiction to any great extent. I think it’s mostly likely a subject for nonfiction for me, for whatever reason. (I recently bought a slide converter, so will have other photo sets from our other travels as a kid soonish. The photos are all from the 1970s)

Romania photo set—We were lucky enough to go to Romania for a book tour, along with six other countries, back in 2006. Our hosts, including Bogdan Hrib and Horia Ursu took us all over the place, including to the north and then down the Danube. It was a real bonding experience and by the time we left we knew we’d made lifelong friends.

“Backyard” photo set—Images from the hill trail I walk regularly at San Luis Park, which is about five minutes from where we live, here in Tallahassee.

Some sample photos beneath the cut.


Every year, there were festivals at which all the schoolkids dressed traditionally and participated in dances. I don’t know this coincided with the festivals and symposiums at the University of the South Pacific, which was an important clearinghouse/repository of information for that entire area, across many different cultures.

Waiting to dance…

…and the dancing!

Spread for a meal…dalo, coconut, and more. Still makes my mouth water.

Elizabeth and me with a friend from the neighborhood.

Elizabeth contemplates a cracker.

Something is cracking up Elizabeth.

A view of Suva harbor.

Interior of the main island.

Fiji is a volcanic island so there are mountains and it can get a little chilly up there.


defence tower
Monastery in central Romania, if I remember correctly. (Romanian photos by Michael Haulica and Bogdan Hrib.)

Exploring inside.

First meal2
A great meal with great friends.

Many great meals, this one at a farmhouse.

waiting for the launching2
I like this shot of me and Bogdan, my publisher, quite a bit.

On the boat trip down the Danube…quite an experience.


It’s wonderfully overgrown, foetid, humid, decaying forest…

…and full of fruiting bodies!

And rotting logs! And more fungi! And snails!

After having lived in Florida over 25 years now, I feel most at home in this landscape, and I think that’s why it felt so natural and easy to write my new novel Annihilation, which is basically set in the wilderness of North Florida.


  1. says

    Wow, what a place to grow up in. Fiji looks like paradise, which I’m sure it was at the time. We thought Florida was the same in the 1960s. Romania looks like so much of the Europe I explored while in the Army. Well, the monastery at least, the interior shots could be from just about anywhere. Never been to San Luis, which is a shame as I live in Tallahassee. And I grew up in Florida canoeing down all kinds wild rivers that are now probably covered in housing developments. That’s what I like about North Florida, there is still some semi-wilderness left. Like the Apalachicola National Forest outside of town. I had thought of a book idea set in Montana, but know nothing of the area, and thought Florida would be a much more believable setting to write about. Great pictures and thanks for sharing.