Getting critiqued

At some stage, every aspiring writer has to take the plunge and find readers to critique his or her work. While your mom or best friend may be willing participants, they may not come back with the honest criticism that you really need. Sooner or later, it’s time to find a critique group. The idea…

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Where time stands still in Perast, Montenegro

I think that tiny Montenegro is a wonderful holiday destination. Once part of Yugoslavia, then Serbia-Montenegro, this Balkan country gained independence with a referendum in 2006.  Although the entire country is less than 14,000 square kilometers, with a  population of just over 600,000 people, its borders contain incredibly diverse landscapes:  stunning coastline and an unspoiled,…

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Where do you write?

When I read articles or interviews about famous authors, I’m always interested to read about their writing routines. It seems that many have special places where they write for a set amount of hours. Most seem to crave quiet and an absence of distraction. I envy this. When I look at my own writing habits,…

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Postcard-perfect views in Santa Margherita and Portofino

I’ve already written about the interesting port city of  Genova  and the places of interest to visit there. The nice thing about Genova is that it’s also a great base for exploring the picturesque Ligurian seaside towns, such as Santa Margherita and Portofino. On a recent trip to Genova, we took the train from Genova’s…

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Visiting Christopher Columbus’ hometown – Genova

I’ve lived in Italy for years and have travelled widely in this beautiful country, but I’d never been to Genova, in northern Italy’s Liguria region. I used to live not too far away, in Milan. I’ve driven by it on the highways, but never stopped by to visit the city. Looking back, maybe driving by…

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The joy of women behaving badly…in literature

Because I get so much great feedback from my writing critique groups, I’ve started looking at character development in a different way. It feels as if there’s a  lot of pressure on authors to make our characters ‘likeable’ and to ensure that readers can relate to the protagonists we create. While I agree a reader…

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Following in Jane Austen’s footsteps in Bath

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that all Jane Austen fans  will eventually find their way to Bath   Yes, embarrassingly enough, I am one of the “Janeites”: a lover of all things Jane Austen who has read and re-read her six novels and watched countless adaptations of her works by the BBC and others.…

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A room with a view

Okay, I know it. I’m an unabashed Wanderlust-afflicted-dreamer. I can’t help it. When I travel, I always find myself wondering what it would be like to live in the place I’m visiting. I enthuse about charming little cottages, ivy-covered buildings, white-washed homes along the sea. Mostly, I seek out – in the tradition of E.M.…

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Skiing in Ovindoli, Abruzzo

I love living in cities. Maybe it’s just part of growing older – ahem – more mature, but now I find that to continue to enjoy living in cities, I need to escape them occasionally. And I’m not sure if there’s a better escape than a skiing get-away. Italy has lots of great skiing destinations…

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