I was in Cuba before Obama. And I want to tell you all about it.

(skip to the table of contents)

Don’t expect a travelogue, though, or minute descriptions of places you may or may not visit. Nor particularly penetrating insight into Cuba at its time of transition so intense and painful, it reduces the Revolution to a prologue. Anyone who tells you they get Cuba, or know what’s going on there right now—lying, lying, lying.

So, 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.

And you get to experience it—as text, as pictures, and as sound. All the “postcards” will be hosted on the Nothing By The Book blog. There are 45 long-form postcards—essays, or almost traditional blog posts—each of which will also be released as a podcast, hosted on SoundCloud. Interspersed among them are 120+ mostly visual postcards (photographs), as well as an assortment of outtakes from the notebooks and sketchbooks I abused during my Cuba experience.

You look as if you want to stop reading and listen to something. Yeah? Here, this is the project’s first “listening postcard”:

What do  you think? This is the first time I’ve ever released a work-in-progress. I am, frankly, terrified. But it’s good to work though fear, no?



Trio on benches at laundry park3

If you enjoy the Postcards project, please consider expressing your delight and support in a concrete way, by making a financial contribution through PayPal:

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

You: “But how much should I give?”

Jane: “I get $1 each time a sell a traditionally published book, so my bar’s set really low, love. Want to buy me a cup of coffee? That’s $4.75 if you’ll spring for a mocha or latte. Bottle of wine? My palate’s unsophisticated: $20 is outrageously generous.”

Series 1 of the Postcards is now fully live, and I’m spending the summer chasing the funds I need to release Series 2 and 3 in the fall. I’d love it if you were part of that process!

The above link takes you to PayPal. If you’d like to make a contribution but have PayPal issues, email me at nothingbythebook@ and we’ll work something out.

Or, ya know. Just hang out with us and enjoy. That be cool too.


“Jane” / Tweet tweet @NothingBTBook / Instagram NothingByTheBook


catch up:

Series 1 and 2 of Postcards from Cuba are now fully live. Check out the chronological table of contents, and read, listen, and enjoy.

And… did you? Would you?

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!




PfC: introduction

Series 1

PfC: I haven’t found a post office yet… (image)
PfC: what are you looking at? (image)
PfC: Acuario Nacional de Cuba (image)

PfC: zombie Fiat (image)
PfC: sharp edges & powerlines (image)
♪ PfC: blame it on Hemingway (post + photographs + podcast)


PfC: the ugliest building in Havana (image)
♪ PfC: Cuban math (post + photographs + podcast)
PfC: this is also Havana (image)

PfC: Necropolis (images + riffs)
♪ PfC: egg hunt (post + photographs + podcast)
PfC: the view from here (image)

♪ PfC: we will survive (post + photographs + podcast)
PfC: but you’re not going to make us swim there, are you? (image)
♪ PfC: and she asks, is being childless good for a poet (post + photographs + podcast)

PfC: haunted house (image)
♪ PfC: but is it safe? (post + photographs + podcast)
PfC: through bent bars (image)

♪ PfC: matches (post + totally unrelated photographs + podcast)
PfC: get out of my dreams get into my car & pay me 2.5X the going rate pls (images + riff)
♪ PfC: Lazaro’s farm (post + photographs + podcast)


PfC: a splash of orange, three versions (images)
♪ PfC: flora, fauna + waiting (post+ images + podcast)
PfC: behind closed eyelids (images)

♪ PfC: on the bus (short podcast + post + images)
PfC: castillo means castle (slideshow + postcard images)
PfC: a boat is not a boat (image)

♪ PfC: and again with Hemingway (podcast + images + slideshow)
PfC: the best stocked supermarket in Havana (images + riff)
PfC: skating on the Malecon (video)

Nikita Banner

♪ PfC: if Nikita Khruschev had to wash a bra in Cuba… — the Cuban missile crisis in the context of missing sink plugs and the need to buy yoghurt in order to make jello
PfC: my favourite Havana #graffiti artist (images)

PfC: altered doorways, one (image)
PfC: altered doorways, two (image)
PfC: altered doorways, three (image)

♪ PfC: homesick — what is home when you’re in motion? (podcast + images)
PfC: the playgrounds kill me (image + riff)
PfC: in bed with Jane Austen, thinking of you — wrap up of series 1

Series 2

Art evolves, and Series 2 combines images, podcasts and texts in each postcard.

PfC: But we won’t get scurvy
PfC: heavy

PfC: are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

PfC: rip off

PfC: outtakes from the journal
PfC: ghost

PfC: fragment of a love letter

PfC: a riff on race
PfC: facts of life (and death)
PfC: sketchy