Tag Archives: Italy

Time Travel, by Carole Howard

Back in the day, we wrote letters. On paper. We knew that by the time our friend got the letter – even if we splurged on air mail postage – it would be outdated, but so what?

In the 1970’s, my husband and I were living in West Africa with our newborn, my parents’ first grandchild. I’d write to them faithfully, but by the time they responded to something I’d said in a letter to them (two weeks to get to them, two weeks for the reply to arrive), it took a bit of mental maneuvering to put together my statement (or question) and their reaction (or answer). For example:

I’d write: “Guess what! The baby got her first tooth.”

Then I’d get a reaction about a month later, during which time I’d written three or four more letters home: “That’s so exciting, did she cry? Did she drool a lot? Does she look different? Here’s what I used to do to soothe you when you got your teeth…..”

By the time I read the questions about crying and drooling, she’d gotten four more teeth and I honestly couldn’t remember.

I’m in something of the same position right now because I’m writing this on May 8, way ahead of time, because I leave for a trip tomorrow. You’ll read it on May 23, so all my present-tense statements will be better read in past tense. That kind of time-disconnect wasn’t particularly odd back then, it’s just the way things were. Now it’s a little odd. So let’s pretend we’re “back in the day.”

Dear Blog-Reader,

We’re leaving on a great trip tomorrow with friends of ours that you don’t know. First we’ll be staying in a house with them in Puglia, Italy – think OLIVE OIL – then we take an overnight ferry to Dubrovnik (Croatia’s a brand new country for me) and board a boat for some hiking and sailing along the coast. Back to Rome for one night, then home.

By the time we get home, it better be warm enough to plant our garden! You wouldn’t believe how weird this winter has been. Unnaturally warm, then plunging right down into freezing, and now gradually warming up again. Remember that magnolia in front of the house? The one that has bloomed for 32 years straight? This year, it produced buds, then blossoms…… and then came a killing frost. All the flowers died. Or so we thought. Now we have a regrowth, which delights me even more than the annual blossom-fireworks. I’m enclosing a photo.

I’ll write when I’m back and tell you about the trip. And I hope there will be a letter from you waiting for me!

Arrivederi and Dovidenja,

Carole

IMG_4058

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*     *     *

Carole Howard is the author of Deadly Adagio, a murder mystery with a musical undertone, set in West Africa.

4 Comments

Filed under Travel, writing

In Search of Inspiration… A European Adventure by Sherrie Hansen

In exactly 10 days, my husband and I will be leaving for Europe. We’re going for a much needed break, a vacation, to see the sights. But we’re also going in search of inspiration.

We’ll be flying into Stuttgart, Germany on April 6, where we’ll be connecting with an online friend – in person – for the first time.  While staying with her, we hope to enjoy seeing her neighboring areas – Rothenburg, Baden Baden, Strasbourg, France – and wherever she wants to take us. I haven’t been back to Germany since I lived there (1977-1980) and I can’t wait to see it again, especially through her eyes.

On April 11th, we will be picking up our rental car and leaving for Augsburg, where I lived for three years. I’m sure the town and surrounding countryside will have changed immensely, but I look forward to visiting my favorite haunts (those that still exist, and that I am lucky enough to find)! We’ll be staying at the Landgasthof Lindermayr.

On the evening of April 12, we will be at the Schloss Hotel Swiss Chalet on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. If you are interested, you can have a peek.

April 13, we will be spending the night along the Italian Riviera near Genoa, at Hotel Villa Bonera.

April 14, 15,and 16, we will be staying at the wonderful Le Mas Perreal B&B in Provence, France.


On April 17, we head north again, stopping for the night at Le jardin d’ Elisa.

April 18th, we’ll be back in Stuttgart to say good-bye to Cristina. Then, on April 19th, we fly to Copenhagen, Denmark to see our Danish relatives in Hillerod and Slangerup. We’ll be staying at Rose-House. We leave to fly home on the 23rd, so we should have a lot of time to see our cousins, explore the area around Copenhagen, and even take a day trip to Sweden.

I have just finished Water Lily, the second book of my Maple Valley trilogy, which follows Stormy Weather. In fact, I just sent it off to my publisher (a wonderful feeling). The last book, Merry-Go-Round, is written in rough draft form, and needs a lot of revisions. As soon as I’ve completed it, I plan to move to Europe, at least in my mind.


I’ve already written a book set in Tobermory, Scotland called Blue Belle of Scotland. It is almost ready to submit. A second in the series, Wild Rose of Scotland, is about 1/3 of the way done, and was inspired after we stumbled upon St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe, a wonderful church in the Scottish countryside. I really should finish itas soon as I’m done with Merry-Go-Round …

And then… who knows which of the countries or gasthofs we visit will become the setting for my next book…? I am so ready to be inspired… so open to new ideas… just waiting for the person, scene or occurence that will spark my imagination… and result in the birth of a new story.  I have no idea if it will occur in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Denmark, or Sweden – maybe all of the above. But I know it will be there – the kernel of insight, a gem of wisdom, a beautiful vista – something will call out to me and an idea will be born.

Have you had a similar experience when traveling? If so, I’d love to hear where your story idea was born!


4 Comments

Filed under Sherrie Hansen, writing