The second most exciting thing in life for me has always been learning something new. The first? Getting to share what I’ve learned with others. My life has given me so many opportunities to do both—as a professor (retired), as a historical novelist, and as a cruise lecturer.
My goal as a historical novelist is to provide you, the reader, with high-quality fiction about women and the forgotten and undervalued roles they played in their societies. Whether it’s the real-life physicist Emilie du Chatelet, the literary heroine Penelope, or women who have sprung entirely from my imagination, I offer you stories true to the facts of a time and place, to bring history alive for you and make you feel as much a part of other cultures as you do your own.
As a world-wide lecturer for several cruise lines, I use my career as a college professor of humanities to find the stories that make travel more exciting and memorable.
If you have either met me recently or been in my life since I was a teenager (or younger), you may know me by my birth name, Laurel Weeks. I have been using this name in my private life for several years.
Please check back from time to time for updates on my new projects and schedule, and drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you’re out there reading and traveling!
From my diary
- Sea ChangesNothing of him that doth fade,But doth suffer a sea-changeInto something rich and strange. These words, spoken by Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest are a beautiful way of describing the profound opportunities for transformation that time offers. A broken bottle to sea glass, a tiny polyp to a forest of coral, a cave carved by the force of the waves, a human changed by new insight and experiences. It seems particularly apt for me that Ariel describes change this way, because much of what has changed me in the last decade has come from having spent so much time traveling by sea….
- Why I TravelI sometimes joke that the main reason I love having more than one speaker onboard is that I don’t learn a thing from my own talks. I am fortunate that now I have a colleague and friend, Geoff DeVito, onboard Seabourn Odyssey, and even more fortunate that his talks are so thought provoking. Yesterday his subject was the future of travel. At one point he asked those of us in the audience to think about why we travel. My first thought was that I travel to experience for myself things that I had only seen or read about in books. Often…
- Cruise ColleaguesI meet a lot of people on cruises. A subset of those are other speakers, but there are surprisingly few. There is a formula I don’t entirely understand by which the number of sea days or short stops in ports are calculated so that they have the right number of speakers to fill the time available. Because most itineraries are port-intensive, I am probably three quarters of the time the only speaker on board. There are exceptions. I have sat in the audience to listen to retired astronauts, astronomers, FBI agents, movie executives, admirals, baseball players and even the florist to…