Prague’s Old Town Square clock

Every hour on the hour in Prague’s historical center, Town Hall’s historic, astronomical clock chimes the hour as the crowds below watch. The astronomical clock, on Prague’s Old Town Square (Staromětske naměsti) stands at the base of the 14th century Town Hall. The clock itself was constructed in 1410, making it the third oldest astronomical…

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Losing the childhood writer in us

“All children ‘write.’ I suppose the real question is why do so many people give it up.” Margaret Atwood How true is this observation? And even better coming from the multi-talented author Margaret Atwood. For what child doesn’t enjoy writing and storytelling? Yet how many give up that passion as they grow older and develop…

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Goats grazing in the trees? Morocco

Strangely for a city girl, I spend a fair amount of time surrounded by goats. I’m often out in Italy’s Abruzzo region, which once was widely known as a region with more goats than people. And way back in the days of yore, becoming a shepherd was among the most popular career choices for local…

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What’s your writing inspiration?

I love reading author interviews and speaking to other writers about what inspires them. I think there are as many different thoughts on writing inspiration as there are writing styles. For me, I find my writing inspiration tends to cluster around a few areas:   Travel – always. I’m an unrecovered traveloholic, and will remain…

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Vienna’s plague column

I’ve already written about Plague art in Vienna in an earlier post, concentrating on the impressive Plague column and the monumental Karlskirche. Both of these monuments were erected to commemorate Vienna’s emergence from tragic outbreaks of the Plague, and both are well-known landmarks of modern-day Vienna. The Plague, otherwise known as Bubonic Plague or ‘Black Death’…

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Mourning the loss of your characters?

“After I write a novel or a story, I miss the characters—I feel sort of bereaved.” Marilynne Robinson I love this quote from the author Marilynne Robinson, perhaps best known for her novel Gilead. And for those of us who love writing – or reading – isn’t it too true? Think about reading a book…

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The doors of Essaouira, Morocco

I’ll definitely focus a future post on the picture-perfect coastal city of Essaouira, in central Morocco, with its impressive walls, its position as an outpost on the Atlantic, its windy coastline, and its past as a Portuguese colony. But today, I want to concentrate primarily on the colorful doors of Essaouira. This is one of…

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Writing advice from Umberto Eco

Finchè un’idea che hai in testa non viene messa sulla pagina non puoi capire se hai un filo logico. Until the idea you’ve had in your head gets placed down on the page, it’s impossible to determine if it has a logical thread to it. -Umberto Eco (1932-2016) The great Italian novelist, Umbert Eco, died last month. Eco…

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Early morning jogs on the beach of Agadir, Morocco

Last week, work found me in the coastal Moroccan city of Agadir, to the country’s south. It was my first time to this city, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960 and rebuilt in a new and modern style. The beach is lined with hotels and the straight,white lines of the modern town have…

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