February 23 . Issue 165

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

My featured photo, courtesy of Nina was taken in Cahuita. One of the beauties of this Caribbean paradise.

Hello. and welcome to my monthly journal. A place for me to share with you five points of interest. Things that have kept me occupied or provided happiness. Things that I can share about my writing and my writer’s life.

1.  Time seems to fly when you are having fun. February is a month when I notice that time element slipping away. I once worked with a man who looked to be in his late 60s or early 70s. Everyone in the know joked that he was only in his 20s. What!?! His birthday is February 29th, a leap day, baby. Actually,  he was born in 1940, so he would be 20. This year is a leap year. Happy birthday, Arturo.

2. My book project is coming along. I have completed the first draft, and now I am working on editing and proofreading. The book has nineteen chapters. My plan is to have master illustrator Joshua Miller prepare a drawing for the beginning of each chapter. If inspired, perhaps add the odd illustration within some of the chapters.

My sanctuary up north near the Blue Mountains backs onto the Beaver River. My new book, an early reader chapter book was inspired by the activities of the animals that make the Beaver River home. The tentative title of the book is Life on the Beaver River, or do you prefer Life on the River? Personally, I am quite fond of the title that includes “beaver” in it. Also, the beaver is the national symbol of Canada.

3. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, my new home is in San Jose, Costa Rica. Well, a suburb or canton of San Jose called Escazu. Escazu is made up of three districts and I am in the San Rafael part of Escazu. Every Saturday, my partner, Nina, and I venture off to the farmers market in central Escazu. We’ve been taking the bus, you require two buses to get there.

I have plans to visit the third district San Antonio de Escazu. Apparently, it’s worth visiting because of its high perch on the hills above the San Jose Valley and the nearby Escazú Mountains. I have been told the views are breathtaking.

4. When I am not writing, I have been listening to music and reading. My current read is The Fourth Hand by John Irving. Fascinating! I have become a fan of Irving’s writing as of late, and in so doing, I became interested in who this writer is. Did you know he is a Canadian citizen and living in Toronto. I found this out listening to a fantastic interview by Kim Honey for Everything Zoomer.

Since I’ve been in Costa Rica I have also read a few other books. A couple of thrillers, one by Michael Connelly, A Lincoln Lawyer novel The Law of Innocence. Another by Clive Cussler with Jack DuBrul, Skeleton Coast and a wellness guide by Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness. I appreciate Brown’s four practices of true belonging which she expands on in the book. The four practices are:

People are hard to hate close up. Move in.

Speak truth to BS. Be Civil.

Hold Hands. With Strangers.

Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart

There’s something about the four practices that resonates with me and I believe that it is something I have been working on for many years.

5. Other things keeping me busy in San Jose, planning my next adventure. I think you should always make plans for travel. National Geographic agrees.

Planning travel leads to enhanced empathy, attention, energy, and focus not to mention the act of adapting to foreign cultures that may also facilitate creativity. But what about the act of planning a trip? Can we get a mental health boost from travel before we even leave home?

Planning and anticipating a trip can be almost as enjoyable as going on the trip itself, and there’s research to back it up. A 2014 Cornell University study delved into how the anticipation of an experience (like a trip) can increase a person’s happiness substantially.

My immediate plans are localized. I am planning to visit La Fortuna, a small town about three hours from Escazu, by Shuttle Bus. My long-range plans include planning an adventure in Europe, Italy and perhaps a cruise of the Mediterranean islands.


I have a fantastic karate club that has welcomed me into their group. So far, my schedule includes going to the club twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The chief instructor is Roberto sensei, and this is my second year of training with his JKA group of karate-ka.

Yoga with instructor Tatiana is at the same place, Escazu Fitness Centre. I have been participating in the yoga once a week. Yoga is wonderful and helps the body, the mind, and the spirit. I highly recommend this form of practice.

Thank you for reading; if you know of someone who may be interested in this Monthly Journal, please share.

Also make sure you check out my newest books, a children’s picture book, Samba in Switzerland, and a middle-grade reader, Dojo in the Woods. All my books are readily available online through your favorite bookstores.

Be well, stay safe, and keep reading.

Copyright © 2024 Paul Yanuziello, PNJ Services, All rights reserved.