Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2014?

It’s that time of year again. Writers around the world are gearing up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and taking on the challenge to write 50,000-word the manuscript during the month of November. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? But if you break it down over the 30 days, it actually means committing yourself to writing under…

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2019 European Culture capitals – Matera and Plovdiv

Two European cities or towns are selected by the European Commission each year to serve as European culture capitals. Two cities I’ve visited and enjoyed have just been named as 2019’s culture capitals. The first is the beautiful Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, the first ever European culture capital in Bulgaria. I already posted about this…

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My short story, Abandoned Towers, is now online

I’m pleased to announce that my short story, Abandoned Towers, is now available at Digital Papercut Literary Journal. If you’d like to read the story online, click here. My story tells the story of a difficult homecoming. Serena fled her small town in Abruzzo years ago, and has carved out a life for herself as a…

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Hiking and relaxation at Taiwan’s Silk Place Taroko Hotel

I  already wrote about the great vacation I had last year in Taiwan. My earlier posts talked about highlights in Taipei, Taipei’s Palace Museum,  and visiting Taiwan’s highest skyscraper, Taipei 101. But we also loved our time on Taiwan’s eastern coast, hiking in the beautful Taroko Gorge. And part of the fun of our time…

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Happily ever after – writing the perfect book endings

The wonderful writing blog Writers in the storm tackled a topic very close to writers’ hearts in ‘Six ways to know you’ve written the perfect ending”. It seems many authors are concentrated on the exciting beginning.  Apparently our attention spans are so short today that a book has to reach out, grab you by the…

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Wrap-up of the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival 2014

I’m back from my yearly pilgrimage to the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival. For the past couple of years, the end of September finds me in Matera, the ridiculously picturesque cave town of southern Italy’s Basilicata region. Each year, the festival brings together women (and a few men) who write in many genres – women’s fiction,…

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Skopje’s old town – Čaršija

Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, is an interesting  city to explore. One of the first things you’re bound to notice in this Balkan city is the building spree going on in the New Town. I could be forgiven for having thought I’d been transported to Ancient Rome, pummeled by towering monuments, statues and fountains at…

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Books are good for your soul…

I first saw this great image on Twitter, where @mdonnellywriter tweeted it alongside the wise observation: Books help us in so many ways. Watch the readers after lunch, and then the no-lunchers, and the phoners. Who’s calm? It’s so refreshing to see people with a book on their lunch breaks, or on a subway car…

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