I was in Cuba before Obama.

And now…

I’m back.

And …. I know, I know, I’m so sorry. I didn’t send you a single postcard. Don’t be angry—I’ll explain later—it’s such a good story. And I’m going to make it up to you in a big way. Wanna know how?

You: “Not really. I’ve moved on, started reading other people, didn’t really miss you at all…”

Jane: “Shut up. Stay with the script.”

You: “Yes. Please. Tell me.”

Jane: “That’s better.”

I’m going to shower you with e-postcards and … let you read my rough drafts from the last three months. Almost all of them. Even my love letters. Is your inner voyeur titillated? (My inner exhibitionist is terrified, but she gets off on moving through the fear, so I think it will work out.)

Bonus: if you like, you also get to hear it all. I’m recording the longer pieces and releasing them as podcasts: if you want to be all set to listen to the Cuba postcards* on your daily commute, download the SoundCloud app today and subscribe to Nothing By The Book.**

Shall I tell you what to expect? I shouldn’t; I won’t. But I should, perhaps, tell you this: Don’t expect a travelogue. Or minute descriptions of places. Or particularly penetrating insight into Cuba at its time of transition so intense and painful, it reduces the Revolution to a prologue… a greasy appetizer. Anyone who tells you they get Cuba, or know what’s going on there right now—lying, lying, lying.

I’ll be lying a little too. It’s so tempting. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone, but with a cynical thirteen year old, an overly empathetic eleven year old and a guile-free six year old. So they’ll be calling me on most of it. Which is as it should be.

The Postcards from Cuba begin to come this weekend with a few images (postcards, yo) to tantalize you, and the first longer post/podcast will be released on Wednesday, April 6.

I’m so excited. And terrified. I already said that, didn’t I? Yeah.

Oh. One more thing.

Trio on benches at laundry park2

because “content CREATORS” haven’t mastered photosynthesis yet:

If you enjoy the postcards project—or the rest of Nothing By The Book— there are several ways you can express your delight and support:

Number 1: Give me money.

Declasse, I know, but it’s the thing that everyone else wants to be paid in. I tried paying for my groceries with exposure the other day, but the store clerk was uncooperative. All you gotta do is click the link below and send me some moolah via PayPal:

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

If you want to make a contribution but have PayPal issues, email me at nothingbythebook@ and we’ll work something out.

You: “How much should I give?”

Jane: “Let me put it this way. I get a whopping $1 in royalties every time I sell a traditionally published book. My bar’s set way low. Although—ooh, ooh, here’s a good way to think about it: if you ever read a post and think, ‘Man, I’d love to buy that chick a cup of coffee,’—if you took me out for a café mocha, it’d be $4.25 and a caramel macchiato would set you back $4.75.”

You: “I can totally afford that.”

Jane: “You totally can.”***

Number 2: Get your business to sponsor a “postcard.”

Have you not always dreamt of being a 21st century Lorenzo de Medici, but without the means to exploit a Michelangelo? Be my micro-patron instead. Click here for sponsorship details.

Number 3: Read, read, read. Share, share, share.

…maybe one of the people you introduce to the Postcards will give me money.

Flora: “What are you… Are you begging for money?”

Jane: “You betcha. I need a patron.”

Flora: “So. Gauche.”

Jane: “How else am I going to keep you in the luxuries to which you plan to become re-accustomed?”

Flora: “Like toilet paper? And bread?”

Jane: “Shh, shhh, spoiler alert! They don’t know any of the stories yet!”

already GRATEFUL

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Sean Lindsay at for helping me to figure out how to do the donation/sponsorship thing, as well to Sean Lambert of Aspect Tarot and Janine Morigeau of Tarot by Janine for immediately jumping on the sponsorship wagon.

Life is what you make it, no?



*I love the idea of listening to postcards. Don’t you?

**While you’re on the SoundCloud app, also subscribe to Longform and Brainpicker. Trust me. I’ve just changed your life.

***While my bar is set low, please let me assure you there is no upper limit to my avarice, and my children go through a lot of toilet paper.


LANDED here for the first time? Let me catch you up:

Series 1 of Postcards from Cuba is now fully live. Check out the annotated table of contents for a tour, or, if you prefer, hop over to the chronological table of contents.

And if you like what you read/hear/see:

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!


“Jane” / Tweet tweet @NothingBTBook / Instagram NothingByTheBook

12 thoughts on “POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: introduction

  1. Although I’m still struggling with the emotional wounds inflicted by repeated trips to an empty mailbox, excitement to hear your story is taking over. My neighbors will be equally excited to access their mail without having to step over my curled up weeping body. Welcome back from my entire neighborhood!

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  8. Pingback: POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: blame it on Hemingway | Marzena Czarnecka

  9. Pingback: POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: Cuban Math (2nd audio post!) | Nothing By The Book

  10. Pingback: POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: on the bus | Nothing By The Book

  11. Pingback: POSTCARDS FROM CUBA: and again with Hemingway | Nothing By The Book

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