Friday, September 30, 2011

Overheard #164

"It’s outgrown its etymology."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The ancient town of Barga is a short drive from Il Ciocco, and the conference organizers arranged an afternoon trip to visit this ancient walled city. As we waited for the shuttle bus, my husband asked if I had my camera. I'd left it in the room! I ran up six flights of steps to retrieve it, forgetting about the altitude. (Gasp).

This cathedral is Barga's crowning glory.

Some of the windows are made of thin slices of marble, so the inside of the duomo was extremely dark. I learned later that you can pay a euro to turn on the lights and take pictures.

Having a wall around the town prevents urban sprawl. The cobblestone streets were delightfully shaded and cool on a hot September afternoon. We heard several music students practicing opera as we wandered around the town.

Click on the picture to see the detail in the carving.

Looking down a narrow street.
My next post will be about Lucca.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Il Ciocco

We went to Italy because my husband was asked to speak at a scientific conference held at the Il Ciocco resort in Tuscany.

I took a picture of the Maritime Alps through the airplane window although I didn't expect it to come out.

This is from our balcony. It was a bit hazy, but the views were breathtaking.

This is a nearby vinyard. If you click on the picture to enlarge, you'll be able to see solar panels behind the white building.

This old house picked up the glow from the setting sun.

The sun setting behind the mountains. The conference ran from Sunday evening through Friday morning. They held sessions in the mornings and evenings and let the scientists out in the afternoons to enjoy the resort, hike, or visit nearby towns. While the meettings were in session, I looked out over these views and worked on my newest novel.

The ancient town of Barga as seen from the terrace of Il Ciocco. My next post will show pictures from our excursion to Barga.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Overheard #163

"Napping is my superpower."

Monday, September 19, 2011

On My Way Home

The Paris airport allows 15 minutes of free Wi Fi, so here I am. It was a wonderful trip, and as soon as I dig my way out from under the laundry and get my photos organized, I'll be back to write about the details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Award!

Sue Bradford Edwards was kind enough to give my blog this award. I'm supposed to write about myself and nominate other bloggers. I'll do my homework when I return from Italy. In the meantime, I wanted to say how delighted I am.
(As a fun note, I logged on through Google Italia. When I spell-checked, it marked almost all of the words - because they're not Italian.  J)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The palate is changing to green and gold. Fall is coming.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Overheard #162

"Morning walks are good for realizing what you might already know."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Intermittent Blogging

On Friday, I’m going to Italy. I’ve never been to Europe, and I can’t wait.

I won’t be blogging much for the next couple weeks. I have some photos scheduled for Sunday and an Overheard coming up on Friday, but I suspect my posts will be haphazard for a while. I hope to have lots of pictures and stories when I get back.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Random Acts of Publicity and the Royal Family of Montmaray

 A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper (Alfred A. Knopf) describe the fictional royal family of the imaginary island kingdom of Montmaray. The first two books in the series take place in the turbulent period between the World Wars. If you’re a Dorothy L. Sayers fan, this series will bring back fond memories of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. The British upper classes happily ignored the political upheaval and the suffering of the poor in favor of tea parties and debutant balls.

Cooper has created a fascinating cast of characters. The setting is rich and the history fascinating. I’m looking forward to the third book in the series.

The first two books in the Montmaray Journal series were recommended to me by Amy Huntley. Check out her webpage and blog, and definitely read her book, The Everafter.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I love the color blue.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Overheard #161

"It takes no courage to do something you’re an expert at."