Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Yes, I have been. You see, we're in the process of getting our house fixed up to put it on the market, because we've found a house we love in a river town we adore.
Yes, I do have a thing for river towns.
So wish us luck, because this business of trying to simultaneously sell one house and buy another is fraught. I promise to be posting soon, when my life isn't in quite such a state of disarray.
Monday, February 16, 2015
|Audrey Hepburn on Sunset Boulevard|
I've never been to Los Angeles before, so of course I had to squeeze in a little sightseeing. First stop: TCL (formerly known as Grauman's) Chinese Theater!
After that, I set off for a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard. In New York City you can tell the tourists because they're looking up. But on Hollywood Boulevard, the tourists are bumping into each other because they're all looking down--at the Walk of Fame.
Here's what I noticed about L.A. They do things with a special flair. Take, for instance, the lowly shopping mall...
|Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center|
Record stores hardly even exist anymore, but Hollywood's Amoeba Music is a super-funky work of art.
By the way, our panel was loads of fun. Here's photographic evidence--a collage by author Jennifer Niven:
And a post-panel get together proved that L.A. has a lively, vibrant community of Young Adult authors to match everything else that's stellar about the place.
Oh, and here's a link to a little interview I did with the LAPL Central Library Blog.
|Hollywood Still Life: A Star, Crushed Roses, and a Weave|
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Not long ago, I was in Florida, taking care of my mother who was recovering from pneumonia. My Mom is doing better (knock wood!) but the illness took its toll on her body and her psyche, and made her a sadder version of herself.
Even being home in Florida felt sad. Something about the contrast between the piercing blue skies and balmy weather and my mother's newly circumscribed days. The visits from nurses and physical therapists. The meals--carefully prepared but barely eaten. The soft boiled eggs and canned peaches and Ensure.
This visit was like a new, gray layer in a pentimento. The early layers are bright: Christmas with my parents, my sister, my husband, my uncles and aunts. Disney World with my sons. Lobster dinners on the water. Pilgrimages to the power plant where the manatees gather in cold weather. Boat tours on the Indian River. And then, six years ago, my father's illness and death.
Now the things that used to signify homecoming and vacation mean something a bit sadder. The Melbourne airport with its relentlessy cheery carpet and festive manatee statue.
The wall clock that chimes a different song on every hour. Even the weather--the tossing palm fronds, the sunshine, the blue, blue sky.
How can I not think of this magnificent poem by Philip Larkin?
Home is so Sad
Home is so sad. It stays as it was left, Shaped to the comfort of the last to go As if to win them back. Instead, bereft Of anyone to please, it withers so, Having no heart to put aside the theft And turn again to what it started as, A joyous shot at how things ought to be, Long fallen wide. You can see how it was: Look at the pictures and the cutlery. The music in the piano stool. That vase.
Monday, February 9, 2015
|photo by Eric Blackmore. https://blackmorephoto2013.files.wordpress.com|
So of course there has to be a Love, Lucy playlist--the songs that might catch Lucy's ear in a Munich internet cafe or a boutique on the Via degli Strozzi. Songs she listens to on her iPod on the overnight train from Munich to Florence. Songs she revisits after returning home to Philadelphia, trying to recapture the thrill of her travels:
Thanks to Ashley and Alexis of With Her Nose Stuck In a Book for inviting me to contribute Lucy's playlist, and this little riff on my song choices:
When I graduated from college, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: two months backpacking solo through Europe. I climbed an Alp in Switzerland, took the Sound of Music Tour in Austria, rode a Bateau Mouche in Paris, and ate fish and chips in the general vicinity of John Cleese in London—but nothing thrilled me as much as my time in Italy.
Maybe my abiding love of all things Italian can be explained by the fact that I’m half Italian. Maybe it’s because I studied the language in college and can bluff my way through conversations with cabdrivers and waiters. Or maybe it’s the art, the architecture, the amazing food, the warmhearted Italians, or the rolling hills of Tuscany.
|Photo found at http://hqworld.net/gallery/details.php?image_id=2692&sessionid=7ae409375ffdf1775656b4550a4b7965|
Whatever the reason, I go back to Italy whenever I can (not often enough!) and, the rest of the time, I rely on music to transport me back to the land of my dreams. I can shut my eyes and listen, and suddenly I’m riding an overnight train into Florence, wandering through a sun-drenched piazza, hearing a street musician’s guitar, and falling in love all over again.
In putting together a playlist for my new novel, Love, Lucy, I chose songs with the power to jolt me back into Lucy’s world.
For Lucy’s playlist, I’ve chosen a mix of American rock and European pop. Here are some highlights:
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Alexis and Ashley at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book are two of my very favorite book bloggers. Thanks to Alexis for this very festive post celebrating the release of Love, Lucy.
Tomorrow, Alexis and Ashley will play host to yours truly. I'll be writing about the songs that transport me straight back into Lucy's European backpacking adventures--and her vacation flirtation with footloose Jesse. So stay tuned!
|The tattoo of my dreams, lifted from http://www.boredpanda.com/minimalistic-feminine-tattoo-art-seoeon/|