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Love Travel

Adult milestone today. I had my first experience in Love Travel. Um yes, I'm 34, but it's true, I haven't traveled out of the country with a boyfriend since college, and that was just to Ensenada. What took so long? I don't know. I haven't even been on a plane with anybody since the turn of the 90s—except Larry—and that was for business. I've been craving love-travel for a few years now. All travelers talk about it. How they're roaming around with this lover, had that affair over there, or even honeymooned for six months on a RTW. Not me. I've been love travel deficient. I've flown by myself several thousands of miles to get a little kissing, but never crossed any international datelines with a lover.

So, John took me to London with him. He's playing in the European Poker Tour and is just as excited to be able to bring me, as I am to go. This morning I met him at the Delta terminal of LAX (after flying in from OAK), and we headed for Gatwick via Cincinnati, OH. About 12 hours of plane travel. He's a bit of a softer traveler than I am and has difficulty sleeping, but we did all right on the flights. We're staying at the Thistle on Marble Arch, and it's nice. Traveling with John is always an upgrade. Our hotel is far nicer than a hostel, but also practical for where he needs to be this weekend.

Interesting things are already happening to us, and he's blogging about it since I don't have time. But here are a few of my quick takes on this brand new love travel….

What you wouldn't expect:
I carry my own bags
I let him tell us where we're going…most of the time
I haven't stopped working

The hardest thing for me to get used to:
Figuring out where I should walk. Sometimes I walk ahead of him, sometimes behind him. Neither feels comfortable, but in the Tube, there's really not enough room to walk side by side.

Making decisions a loud. It's amazing the kind of direction that goes on in one's head when traveling solo. For example, where to eat. If I were alone, I might wander around for an hour thinking about this while window shopping. But with a partner, now you have to think more quickly. Seems totally obvious, but for some reason it seemed new to me today.

The inner conflict of what to do when you have to kiss another guy in the presence of your boyfriend. Huh? Read John's account of what happened to me last night.

The easiest thing to get used to besides the mush:

Someone to share with. Obviously, all I've wanted is someone to share my excitement with. And it was pretty cool today when I took him to St Martin's on the Field, one of my favorite spots, and he dug it just as much as I did. Someone to laugh with is cool too, because he proceeded to make fun of me trying to buy my favorite pen in the St Martin's on the Field Gift Shop. Apparently, the one I was asking for was their worst selling pen, is long gone, and will never be sold there again.

Current Location: London
Next up: Cincinnati, OH (Oct 4)
My tour schedule...


Vegas Valley Book Fest

I was just asked to participate in the Vegas Valley Book Fest! I'm so excited.

Friday, October 21:
I'll be in included in a panel discussion on humorous travel books and pop culture (along with author Chris Epting)

Saturday, October 22:
I'll be moderating a panel discussion on the literature of poker with Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson and Dave Schwartz.

Please come!



I'd be willing to bet that John and most members of my family think I have Dromomania, but those in my travel and travel writing world would only laugh at the thought. I've hardly been anywhere.

"Dromomania, the obsessive urge to travel, is a recognized psychological affliction listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Sufferers of what's also called "the vagabond neurosis" will "spend beyond their means, sacrifice jobs, lovers and security in their lust for new experiences."
—John Flinn, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine
Read "I've Been Everywhere, Man," John Flinn's article about Charles Veley, a guy who has been to 518 countries in the past five years.

I blogged about it on Written Road, today—Charles Veley: The World's Most Traveled Man?

Poker and Vacation in Aruba

Some of my poker friends are headed over to Aruba this week for's annual Aruba Poker Classic. They were talking about this tournament even before the WSOP in June. Can you imagine? A week of poker and hanging out at the beach? Players never like to bust out, but Aruba must soften the blow quite a bit.

Touraament coverage:
Card Player
Gossip line: Poker Pages

I'll be watching Martin Feijo, Gavin Smith, Phil Gordon, and ?? Depends who is going. I hear Jennifer Tilly and Phil Laak will be there, as well as Barry Greenstein. Antonio is a big UB guy, so my guess is he'll be there. But who knows.

All I know is that right about now, BJ Nemeth and Amy Calistri are loving their jobs! Have fun you two, I can't wait to read about it! Good luck Marty, Gavin, and Phil!!!

Oh, and if you're visiting Aruba and like to play poker, I hear that the Raddison is the best place to play. The message board has all sorts of poker room reviews.

Current Location: Redwood City, CA
Almost to: Capitola, CA
Next up: London, England (Sept 28 -Oct 4)


Literary Poker Game

Jeff Greenwald invited me to his poker home game in Berkeley last night. All but one of them were writers and I was thrilled with the idea of going to a literary poker game. Sniff...I smell a good article...yes, of course I have the time. But the excitement ended when I realized they didn't know how to play. The fact that I needed to bring $20 in coins should of tipped me off, but I wasn't going to bash a potential agent or editor connection.

It of course turned out fine as I enjoy being around new people. But it wasn't really poker. I tried to upgrade them to using small and big blinds, but failed. However, they did like the crazy pineapple I learned at John's home game in LA. And they tought me some Indian Feathers game, where you just play one card on your forehead without seeing it. I transformed it into Dirty Feathers where you also get one hole card. The only reason they were able to play these games, even too frivolous for them, was because their ringleader wasn't there.

Jeff's poker crew is led by Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber. Sadly for me, he wasn't there. Not only is he the one who really knows how to play, but I would've been happy to hear even just one story about the bank robbing. HEAT is one of my favorite movies, and I've always fantasized....Not that I ever would. We don't want to worry John.

Anyway, we'll see. I might go back. But I'll bring some mashed potatoes to go with their fried chicken and brussel sprouts. Oh yeah, I lost $10 plus $15 for the case of bear no one drank. At least they drink beer!

Current Location: Redwood City, CA
Almost to: Capitola, CA
Next up: London, England (Sept 28 -Oct 4)


I'm in SF, Book Tour for Thong is Starting

Hey folks. Tour started last night. I'm busy, but in familiar surroundings. Was fun to have the audience cracking up last night.

It's kinda too late to change the name of the book, but I might have another funny undies title based on an exchance from last night.

Bill Fink, "that strapping young man in the A's hat", as somone noted, came up to me and said, "Jen, you wearing a thong for tonight?"

Jen: "Baby, I'm not wearing any underwear..."
Bill: "Sounds like the title of your next book."

And now I just realized this is too risque for my family to read. Oh well. Have to brace them for the big leagues.

Check out more about the book release party with the Left Coast Writers on Written Road.

Tonight I'm working on the VLVB. Tomorrow I'm working on VLVB, Thong, and having a meeting about the fourth humor book, What Color is Your Jockstrap? I'll be in Redwood City for the weekend, then down to Capitola for an event on Monday.

Current Location: San Francisco, CA
Almost to: Palo Alto, Redwood City, & Capitola, CA
Next up: London, England (Sept 28 - Oct 4)

Brilliant Idea of the Day: Gift Book

I'm not sure what I want to do with this section of the blog, but I have ideas ALL the time. Some of them have the potential to make more money than others. Some are complicated to orchestrate. While others, like this one...have little investment. I won't be giving you the exact idea, but I will try to estimate how much it would take to do it, and where it would be sold. And any info I can in case anyone wants to get in touch with me about backing these ideas.

What: Gift Book
Ideal publisher: Chronicle Books
Ideal alternate publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Start time: I could have this orchestrated in 2 weeks - 1 month
Start up cost: $200-$1500 depending on designer
Friends who would want one: Dan Buczaczer, Heather Grennan, Me, my Leo cousins
Guesstimated retail price: $5.95 - $7.95
Ideal stores to sell it in: Gift stores like Urban Outfitters, Headlines, indie gift shops, countertops at all general bookstores.
WHY IT'S HOT: Asian is in, applies to general public, lots would like or just buy because it's kind of funny, and they'd think they need it.

Current Location: San Francisco, CA (Sept 21 - 27)
Next up: London, England (Sept 28 - Oct 4)


WR: The Thong Also Rises is HERE!

From Written Road:
The Thong Also Rises is HERE!

Check out my latest book in this popular women's humor series.

Cities that I'll be touring include:
San Francisco, CA
Capitola, CA
Cincinatti, OH
Indianapolis, IN
Madison, WI
Chicago, IL
Milwaukee, WI
Memphis, TN
Seattle, WA
Vancouver, BC
Pasadena, CA
Eugene, OR
Portland, OR

The new Jen Leo portal

Hey Everybody, I know it's tough to keep track of me and all the things I'm doing. So, I thought I'd create a portal where you can find all my blog items as well as on the road commentary. What? Well, you see, it's tough to put personal stuff on Written Road because those readers just want to read about travel writing resources and not poker. And VivaLasVegasBlog is more of a travel guide and doesn't contain a lot of personal info.

At the same time, I'm all over the map with book tours and personal travel. It gets tiring to call someone and hear, "Where are you?" So, JenLeoLIVE! is a home where I can talk about everything. I can tell you where I am as well as what I've been postsing on the other sites. Each personal post will have this info so my friends and family can always have a tab on me. Just what they've always wanted. Hey, who says Christmas can't come early!

Coming from: Burbank, CA
Going to: San Francisco, CA (Sept 21 - 27)
Next up: London, England (Sept 28 - Oct 4)

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