Thursday, November 5, 2015

See Naples and Write


The port of Santa Lucia
Last summer, while I was teaching Travel Writing in Rome, the universe kept telling me to take a side trip to Naples.  I kept bumping into displaced Neapolitans who told me how wonderful their native city was, how I absolutely needed to see it.

I'd been meaning to someday get to Naples--I'd even changed trains in its station once--but somehow I hadn't managed to really visit.  This time I went, and promptly fell in love--with the electric blue Bay of Naples and the view from Castel Sant'Elmo:


With its colorful streets:


With the quirky sights to be seen around every corner:

A Violin Maker's Cat
The picturesque Spanish Quarter:


Not to  mention the food:



Most of all, I fell in love with the people I encountered there, people who seemed instantly familiar--like extended family members.  Maybe that's not too surprising, considering my great grandmother set sail from the port of Santa Lucia  in 1909, my two-year-old grandmother in her arms.




To think how much I'd have missed if I'd stayed away!

And as it turns out, it was a good thing I listened to the universe.  Soon after I came home to the States, I was invited to write a spinoff of Love, Lucy--a digital-exclusive novella in Poppy's new NOVL imprint.  

I said yes, happy for a chance to re-enter Lucy's world.  The novella, Far From Over, tells what happens to Lucy's summer love, Jesse, after she flies home from Italy. And since Jesse's next stop is Naples, it was handy that I'd taken a trip there myself.


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My takeaway?  When the universe sends an engraved invitation, RSVP yes.