Showing posts from 2016

Under Construction

This summer, it seems my whole life is under construction. We've been living in limbo while the house we're hoping to buy in our beloved Lambertville has been taking shape.  

I've been doing a lot of driving back and forth to the house to watch it grow into the next phase of its already quite long life. The process has been exciting and sometimes fraught.  

Then there's my usual summer preoccupation: writing.  With several novels underway at once, I've been trying to figure out where to take my writing next.  I've been researching and drafting what I suspect will turn out to be a Middle Grade novel and rethinking a YA novel that didn't quite cohere. I've also been turning back to my first love, poetry, putting together the first manuscript of poems in a really long time.

Most of all, I've been grappling with what kind of writer I want to become.  How should I spend the next part of my writing life?  It's been a restless and uncertain couple of mont…

No Place Like Rome

Love, Lucycomes out in paperback today, and I thought I'd commemorate Lucy's paperback birthday with a celebration of the Eternal City, where she travels with her summer love Jesse.  
Here are some of my favorite spots in Rome, including the "greatest hits" I've set out to find, street map in hand.  Here's Piazza Spagna in the evening:
And the Spanish Steps themselves, gorgeous even when under construction:

Of course there's the stunning Pantheon:  

And all the wonders of Vatican City:

And then there are the beauties I've stumbled upon by sheer accident, like St. John Lateran:

Not to mention the city's smaller but no less noteworthy wonders:

Wishing you were in Italy?  (You're not alone!)  Please check out Love, Lucy and Far From Over, Jesse's side of the story.

Half Past April: A Far From Over/Love, Lucy Extravaganza

Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, we've fast forwarded through April Showers and made it to May Flowers in what seems like record time.  This year April brings with it the publication of Far From Over, the new digital-exclusive companion novella to Love, Lucy.  It also brings some celebratory blog posts including this one, from NOVL, on the travel destinations that inspire me most.

And this musical Far From Over playlist from With Her Nose Stuck in a BookWhat songs does street musician Jesse Palladino play on the streets of Naples?  Here's a little taste:

Finally, April brings a really nifty sale--Love, Lucy in e-book form for only $2.99--which means for a little while longer you can download both Love, Lucy and Far From Over for under five dollars.  So if you're yearning for a little vacation flirtation in sunny Italy, please give them a look!

Book Birthday Happy Dance: Far From Over

Today marks the launch of my newest baby, Far From Over, a digital-only novella companion to Love, Lucy.  And to mark the occasion, the e-book of Love, Lucy is on sale (only $2.99) for the rest of the month.  If if you've got a yen for some southern Italian sunshine and romance, please take a look!

Following the Music: Cattolica, Italy

Though I like to consider myself adventurous, my travels in Europe have generally been limited to the Rick Steves-approved tourist spots, the ones teeming with other American sightseers.  

But last summer while I was teaching a study abroad course in Rome, I let myself be lured off the beaten track, to an Italian seaside town called Cattolica.  Just south of Rimini on the Adriatic sea, Cattolica has beach resorts, charming pedestrian walkways, and restaurants like this one:

What it doesn't have a lot of is English speaking visitors. At the hotel where I stayed, my warm and welcoming hosts were thrilled to be able to practice their English on me.

To be honest, I'd never even heard of Cattolica before last summer.  I travelled there only because I wanted to see a concert by MIKA, a multilingual British pop star with a five-octave range and a captivating stage presence.  

I'd caught MIKA's act once before in Philadelphia, where he has a modest but devoted following.  His show…

Seneca Village and Sacred Sisters: A Visit From Poet Marilyn Nelson

I've long been a fan of poet Marilyn Nelson--of her adept use of traditional forms, her extended explorations of history and personal spirituality, her desire to reach a wide readership that includes middle- and high-schoolers and not just the usual, insular adult audience sought by most poets.  
Marilyn is also impressively prolific, with two new collections published in quick succession--American Ace:

...and My Seneca Village

Earlier this week, Marilyn paid a visit to Saint Joseph's University, to read in our Writing Series.  

Where I've Been Part 2

Where have I been lately and why haven't I been blogging?  Well, for one thing, I was writing (and rewriting) Far From Over, a digital-exclusive companion novella to  Love, Lucy.  It comes out on April 12, and I'm thrilled with the cover.

Here's what it's about:

Jesse Palladino is used to moving on. As a street musician backpacking through Europe, he's never in one place for long. Which is why it's so surprising he can't seem to move on from Lucy, the girl he fell for in Florence. They parted ways when Lucy returned home to start college, but every crowded piazza and winding cobblestone street reminds Jesse of the time they spent together. Now staying with a friend in Naples, he can't help wondering if it's time to pack up and move on again. But just when his mind is made up, something--or someone--might give him a reason to stay. 

Far From Over is available for pre-order now.  And please, stay tuned, as I really do hope to get back to blogging…

Where I've Been

It's been a long, long time since I posted here.  I've got a big backlog of posts to write about this summer's adventures in Italy, about music fandom, and about the joys and frustrations of writing. 

Instead of posting here, though, I spent the second half of the summer living those joys and frustrations, immersed in writing the first draft of a novel that has basically tanked.  For one thing, its premise was a bit similar to some other recently published successful novels I'd never heard of.  For another, the breezy tone of it just didn't match up with its subject matter.  For now, those pages are sleeping in a be revisited someday and radically reworked, perchance.

But after I had to face that my summer novel had gone belly up, I spent my fall sabbatical on a whole new project--a very different novel.  Two days ago I made it to the end of the rough draft. There's much revising to do, and I don't know if it's the kind of book a publisher wou…