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I personally like the following books:

"The Writer's Idea Book" by Jack Heffron (for writing prompts -- be careful, though. They force you to dig deep into yourself, which can be painful at first but makes for writing that is truly YOU).

"Forest for the Trees" by Betsy Lerner (for understanding writers and the publishing industry)

"Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott (the classic writer's inspiration book)

For specific information on travel writing, there's a guide on on how to be a travel writer. I used the food writer's guide and found it helpful in getting started. Also, if you have cash to burn, there's a Symposium for Travel Writers at the Greenbrier. It's organized by the same people that do the Symposium for Food Writers, which was THE kick start for me in getting into food writing.

Can't help you with the fiction writing, since I'm just starting out in that area myself! But as a way to jump in right away, you might want to consider participating in NaNoWriMo ( The goal is to write a 50K word novel in the month of November. I did it in 2001 and had a blast!

Good luck!

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