“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me
an interesting companion.”
– Anne Rice
Panettone For All
We returned to the scene of the crime. Twenty years ago we eloped to Venice, Italy and got hitched. It was just like a wedding (we had the cake, the clothes, the witnesses, the flowers) but minus everyone. Not gonna lie, it was cold this year. Not many Americans or other tourists. Everyone is happy, wearing masks, checking for vaccination cards. Yes, there was a slight flood in the main piazza. It was glorious and we ate too much, but what are you gonna do? That’s amore.
Twenty Years Later
Next stop for me was back home to Tuscany where I spent the time writing my bottom off. If only! But I needed the time alone in front of the computer to figure my book.
Also, I made sure the house is decorated for Xmas. We have so many lights outside the house – which isn’t such a thing here – you can literally see us from town! Crazy Americani.
Church lit so bright even Jesus should be able to spot it!
Some differences I have noticed in Italy and America. Their rolls of Christmas wrapping paper are smaller. I haven’t seen one jumbo roll. I can’t find long robes for men or women. There are about a million kinds of panettone. So far, I have bought, pistachio, lemon, margherita (it just looks plain) chocolate and I’m gonna look for chestnut, my favorite. I do not get that fruit cake kind with all the dried fruit or whatever. Yuck. Oh, when you get an Xmas tree (or five like we did) in Tuscany, you don’t get a chopped one. They are all live and then you plant them. Stores are all playing Christmas songs (American). Everyone is cheery, and its cold and there are Christmas markets and villages. The store windows aren’t crazy holiday decorated but the streets are, lights strung between buildings and lots of giant trees in the middle of piazzas and roads. Also candy canes are not a thing here. I found a few little, tiny packs at a Danish store.
I started my third session of Stories Matter. We will end in February and will go slow during the holiday season, not meeting much, but writing and for this session interviewing. Once again, these girls are smart, passionate, eager and I loved our first session.
In honor of one of my favorite authors, who I am sure you know recently died, Anne Rice, she said; “I picture heaven as a vast library, with unlimited volumes to read. And paintings and statutes to examine galore. I picture it as a great doorway to learning…rather that one great dull answer to all our questions.” I hope she is up there sitting in a velvet chair, with a blood-red glass of wine in hand, reading her big gothic heart out.
Burlesque and Pinup Emojis
If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype, I’m available AFTER SUMMER. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktail recipes before for you all to try, email me at [email protected] if you want me to join in. A questionnaire is on the website to download for your Book Club.
Here are some recommends to add to your list: I did the audible of actor, Sutton Foster’s “Hooked,” and I’m so glad I did because she reads it herself. It’s a memoir about how crafting saved her life, and I was not expecting much out of it. But, oh boy, grab your hankies!!! That’s all I’m gonna say.
DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT read this book if you are alone in a house in the woods. I did. And I couldn’t sleep for two nights. I extra locked my hall doors. It scared the bejesus out of me (I don’t even know what bejesus is!). “Beneath the Stairs” is about a house that calls to young teen girls and it’s also about childhood friendships that get lost with time. It is so excellent.
I have a lot more recommends, been reading some excellent books, they are in my book column for The Montecito Journal, and I post a ton on Instagram.
And what I’m reading or recently read
for complete list, I have everything on Good Reads
as I can’t remember them all!
See ya between the pages next month happy whatever you celebrate and a Happy New Year . . . 2022 . . may it be healthy and bright.