Desk Notes

Finishing touches, ebbs & flows

Called Cambodia today.

Breakfast in Cambodia, by DK’s Dipika Kohli (Kismuth Books 2016)

There is the virus. There is more of it than before. There are concerns and there are provisions, there are floutings, there are commiserations, and, like here where I am in Vietnam at the moment, there are the warm middays. These are the things I am hearing, in calls with friends and colleagues in Cambodia, in days of late. Was trying to find my way back to Phnom Penh for most of 2020. Then, it started to sink in that that just wasn’t gonna happen. So [deleted]… and now, here I am.

For those just joining me here, who may or may not have reconnected with DK in recent months thanks to the flurry of internet reconnectivity, well here’s the thing, if you’re asking, ‘Why Cambodia?’, the answer is: that is home base. Since 2014, it has been. It is kind of a long story. And I had published it, in my eBook, Breakfast in Cambodia, back in 2016.

Here’s a link:




Pre-S P A C E: Adventures in creative nonfiction

Breakfast was the combination of highlights from two columns which I had been sending in from ‘the road’ to a newspaper in Seattle and a magazine in Charlotte NC. So yeah, lots of words, whittled down to a 99-page e-book typeset by a talented fellow wanderer who told me, ‘Add some drawings of yours. I love your drawings. I wish I could draw like you.’

Breakfast was the last in my series of books from Kismuth’s stories about living in different places and the things I found out in each. Let me think back. Okay, yeah. First, there was The Elopement to Ireland, a book I published in 2012, and then, The Dive got finished and published later that same year, followed by a long year of travel in Asia that included a research trip to the Golden Temple in Amritsar for the first time despite many, many trips to India, but I needed to ready for the story I had to find out there. And I did. And I put it into Kanishka, which ran as a serial for a magazine in Punjab that I also had published it at Kismuth Books, in 2015). All of this to say, I’m happy writing about my learnings but only after I stay long enough in a place to understand something, then say it. Say it straight. A year plus in Vietnam and I think I’m ready to share this story. For a while, I’ve been working on it, quietly, to the side of S P A C E.

Another new book.


Reality & Trust (Kismuth Books / 2021)

Forthcoming, Reality & Trust (Kismuth Books 2021)

It’s called Reality & Trust. (See

I’m feeling like this new one is pretty strong and I am merely enjoying the momentum, now. Yeah. I do. Cause why.

Cause I’m in flow.

Nakamura, Csikszentmihályi outline the components of ‘flow’

Jeanne Nakamura and Csíkszentmihályi identify the following six factors as encompassing an experience of flow:[2]

Those aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination do they constitute a so-called flow experience. Additionally, psychology writer Kendra Cherry has mentioned three other components that Csíkszentmihályi lists as being a part of the flow experience:[3]

  • Immediate feedback[3]
  • Feeling the potential to succeed
  • Feeling so engrossed in the experience, that other needs become negligible

Just as with the conditions listed above, these conditions can be independent of one another.



‘DK, can’t you go back to Cambodia?’

Yesterday this site about where you can go and how hard it is, got updated. Today I read:

Cambodia has opened back up to visitors, including Americans, but not for tourism purposes. Per the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, there are still severe restrictions. All visitors allowed to enter the country need to provide a test result proving they are COVID-19 free taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to pay a deposit of $2,000 upon arrival for mandatory COVID-19 testing and potential treatment, purchase a local health insurance package for $90 (valid for 20 days) and quarantine in official facilities/hotels until getting a second test result on Day 13... The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Cambodia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.