A timeless tradition – Vienna’s Lipizzaner horses

Many, many years ago, I had the good luck to live just under one year in one of my favorite cities – Vienna. Before that time and since, I’ve been on numerous visits to Austria’s capital city. Walking around Vienna’s charming pedestrian streets and admiring its Jugenstil architecture never fails to put a smile on…

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Reason #5,354 to love Rome – Pope Joan

I live close to this little shrine and I love that people always leave flowers here. In summer, winter, rain or shine… and a couple of times, even in snow! … people come to this little portico to leave their floral offerings. My children like to pass by and count how many flowers have been…

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Where do you develop your ideas for stories?

I love to read author interviews or talk about writing habits with other writers. What I find most fascinating is that there’s no one blueprint for writing a novel or short story. Everyone seems to have a different method for developing a story: hearing an idea in something said by an acquaintance, the kernel of…

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Eating potatoes in Vilnius, Lithuania

Every year in December my birthday rolls around. Some of my friends and colleagues grumble about adding another candle on the cake, but some years back, I discovered a foolproof way to enjoy myself as the years pile on. I absolutely love to travel. I plan it. I look forward to it. I have fun…

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Context reading

You know the term context drinking, don’t you? Ever noticed how that bottle of wine you share on a sun-drenched table perched on the cobblestone square of a charming little town in Tuscany or Provence tastes ever so much better than the same bottle you bring back home to drink in Peoria? True, isn’t it?…

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Snow Day in Rome!

Today – Monday, 6 February 2012 – is actually only the second official Snow Day in history for Roman schoolchildren. The first was way back on Friday, 3 February 2012. Yes, Roman children had the unusual pleasure of listening to the Mayor of Rome declare a long weekend due to snow. Snow rarely falls on…

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It takes a village to write a book

Yes, yes, we all know the old mantra that writing is a lonely profession. But is reviewing and editing lonely, too? Does it have to be? I’m pretty new to this, and I was slogging along on my own, but I recently joined a writing group in my city. I had seen an announcement for…

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