Question Marks and Full Stops with Kim Dinan
Greetings! A couple of weeks ago, I've shared some inky feelings on the Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. This was one of those I-wish-I-had-genie books. "I wish, I wish I could travel to far-off places, to the great, big out-there". Imagine if you also have a yellow envelope in your pocket with just 3 rules:
Rule # 2: Share your experiences
Rule # 3: Don’t feel pressured to give it all away
Now wouldn't that make for a great travel memoir? Throw in some great writing, a few humorous situations and some food-for-thought (quotes from the Yellow Envelope) and it's a done deal. Needless to say, when Sourcebooks gave me the opportunity to do a Q&A with Kim Dinan, I immediately had a few things I wanted to ask Kim. But I had to think about it. What do I really want to know? Not that much interested in the weather or the food, but the experiences she will carry with her forever and a day:
1. Your travels as told in The Yellow Envelope turned you into a wonderful storyteller. Is that fact or speculation? In other words, do you think you would have been such a master at storytelling if not for the experiences during your travels?
Thoreau said that you must stand up to live before you sit down to write. I think that traveling gave me the kind of experiences that I could write about—so many stories that I could choose to tell. If I’d never left home and started on my journey I wouldn’t have had so many life experiences. I’m not sure anyone would have wanted to read a book about my commute to work and my evenings spent in sweatpants! *And there are still authors out there who think somebody would be interested in their bathroom routine.*
2. “The Yellow Envelope taught me how to give, not just money, but to give of myself.” This is just one of a number of thought-provoking quotes from The Yellow Envelope. Do you think your reflections on your travels would have been different if the yellow envelope and its instructions weren’t part of it?
That’s a good question and I’ve wondered about it many times. I do think that we would have still given some money in certain situations, but it definitely wouldn’t have made us as aware about the opportunities to give. The thing about having a yellow envelope is that it’s a constant reminder to keep your eyes open and pay attention to ways that you can be of service. Plus, the yellow envelope gave our travels a deeper sense of purpose. *Have a look at The Yellow Envelope Project on Kim's blog.*
3. If you must pick only one person or only one experience you’ve encountered during your travels and write a whole story about them/it, who/what would it be and why?
I think I would probably write a whole story about the Rickshaw Run, when I drove a three-wheeled motorized rickshaw 2000 miles down the length of India. There were so many wild experiences during that adventure and I met so many incredible people. I really had to pick and choose what to include in the book. I left so many good parts out. *That will make such a great read! Write it please.*
4. Being pregnant while finishing off the last of your travels- best and worst moment?
There were a lot of bad moments while being pregnant overseas! We were living in Mexico right on the beach and I was very, very sick during my first trimester. The smell of the salt water would make me throw up! We also couldn’t flush our toilet paper and every time I walked into the bathroom and looked at the trash can that would make me throw up too. I can laugh at it now but those were some trying months. *Green*
The best part was that there was no question about what our next focus would be when our travels ended, since we came home from our overseas travels with a baby. It’s hard to readjust to being back home, but we had this huge thing to look forward to and that grounded us a bit. *Pink!*
5. Traffic- after your rickshaw race experience, how do you feel about traffic in general? Any tears lately or are all roads simply a breeze after India? *One should always inquire about traffic.*
After driving in India all other roads seem pretty tame! I still don’t love traffic but I try to deal with it the best I can.
A big thank you to Kim and Sourcebooks for your time and the opportunity. If you want to know more about Kim Dinan and her travels, please follow her blog on So many places and here's her Goodreads Author Profile: