Tuesday, October 30, 2012


After four days with Hurricane Sandy in Miami--lots of wind and rain--I was worried that I wouldn't get home before it hit the northeast. The day before I left (Saturday) was perfect weather: sunny and cool and breezy in beautiful Miami. But the weather reports had me itching to get on a flight home. Took a 6:45 one to Newark, rumors swirling that EWR was closing at noon. My connecting flight to Providence left at 11:51 and I made it! Kept thinking about getting stuck without Annabelle in NYC, and for how long that might be. Grateful to be at home as the storm hit, playing Connect Four and doing jigsaw puzzles. Hosted a couple of hurricane dinners. One, chicken with grapes, couscous, green beans, apple crisp. The other, spaghetti carbonara, garlic bread, olive oil grape cake (which I just finished off for breakfast). Tonight we'll eat sandwiches with all the fixings I bought in case we lost electricity.

Now that I've sighed with relief, I have to say how upset I've been watching the destruction in my beautiful NYC. New Yorkers are the strongest, most resilient people around, and they will be fine. But it breaks my heart to see so much underwater or ruined.

Here in RI, one of my favorite spots, The Coast Guard House, is destroyed. Brings back memories of nights spent on its deck, drinking beers and watching the ocean. I hope they too can rebuild.

It is nice however to be at home non-stop, get work done, play with Annabelle, cook and read and enjoy family, friends, and home...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Haven't stopped moving yet

I know, I know, I know. I haven't caught up on emails yet. I'm behind on just about everything. When I said Yes! to everything this fall, I knew that some time, probably mid-October, I would short circuit and  the time is now. Add jet lag to the mix and you've got stressed out me!

But I am heading to beautiful Miami on Wednesday, and though it is work, I always de-stress there. Warm weather. Palm trees. Good food. Good friends. And I am hoping to steal some time to get my proposal for a new novel in shape, which would make me feel oh so happy.

In NYC now and had the great pleasure of coming down with Annabelle. She is such a good traveling companion, and is off to watch the debate and eat ravioli with Cousin Chip while I teach. She got to go to the Book Room at Penguin and scored a LOT of books. She's already read two and is lugging her bag o' books across Greenwich Village now.

Sam's visit home was a whirlwind, if whirlwinds can be too short. No sooner did he land then we were talking about his ride back. But we managed to squeeze in some good dinners (spaghetti and meatballs at Gogo's, big fat steaks at home, slow cooker pulled pork) and even a Name Game before I dropped him off in Hartford and cried my way back home.

I am looking forward to a more peaceful state of mind, more time at home and some overdue nesting.

Lots of traveling means lots of time to read, and I have to recommend STONER, THE YELLOW BIRDS, and THE VANISHING ACT. All novels so good I wish I had written them.

Still knitting Sam's blanket, and started a new thank you dishcloth. My new knitting room has proven to be the refuge I had hoped for, and even in this hectic time I have managed to find a few moments there to cast on and knit a few rows...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home from Italy

What a week! What a wonderful week. Highlights, in no particular order:

Porcini. Raw in salad. Cooked in risotto. On top of steak. On top of pizza. Roasted with potatoes.

The Last Supper. Breathtaking.

Drinking wine in the garden in Milan.

Having interviews with Italian media and an interpreter.

Drinking prosecco with myItalian team.

La Scala.

Florence. Everything about it.

Our suite in the palazzo.

Our rooftop dinner and the 360 view of Florence at night.

The pontes at sunset.

Gelato. Lemon for me. Strawberry for Gogo. Coconut for Annabelle.

My event at the bookstore next to the Duomo.

Talking with all the Italian knitters.

Drunken spaghetti.

Volpe wine bar.

The David.

Sipping cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe.

Florentine steak.

My new suede coat.

Watching Annabelle fall in love with Florence.


Wine tasting and lunch at the winery.

The fog over the hills in Piemonte.

Church bells.

Zucchini blossoms fried. And stuffed in ravioli.

Steak tartare.

Drinking wine with Cousin Gina every evening.

Room service.

Apricot tart and fresh figs.


A week with Gogo and Annabelle and Cousin Gina.

And then:

getting pink roses at Logan.

Sipping the single malt from London Duty Free in my own bed.

Waking up at home. Missing Italy. Loving being back...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Sore arms from lugging too many bags, sore throat from talking too much! Still on the road, waking up in my NYC apartment with my mind already listing everything that I have to get done before we leave for Italy on Sunday. My favorite and best sleep is my jet lag sleep, so I am already looking forward to falling into that bed in the hotel in Milan and sleeping hard! But that isn't until Monday, which makes it easy to invoke Robert Frost and say I have miles to go before I sleep...

I have almost finished another dish rag, this one all yellow and pink and purple. I'm knitting these for all the wonderful generous writers who are sending blurbs for THE OBITUARY WRITER. I'm knitting thank you into every stitch.

Making progress too on Sam's Wave blanket. Only two more skeins to go before it's finished and I start Annabelle's. Will I get all three done by Christmas????

On the reading front, I started THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY last night and fell immediately in love with it. The first sentence: "The letter that changed everything arrived on Tuesday." Yes! How hard it is for me to convince beginning writers that the event that puts the story into motion shouldn't be obscured. They worry about being too clear, an instinct I understand. But this simple opening completely captivated me, as did every sentence that followed. My only complaint is that I was too sleepy to read more than a dozen pages last night. The author is Rachel Joyce. Read this one!

Well, I am off now to get a haircut. My hair has gotten ridiculously long since my last haircut in Florence in November! So Nissan will have quite a job this morning! There's nothing like a haircut to lift a girl's spirits and start her day off with some excitement.

And then I am home tonight, giving Annabelle the silly little presents I bought her in Baltimore--a stencil of hieroglyphics and a pink bendy eraser--and a million hugs. Off to NC first thing in the morning, and then Friday home again.

Time to pack up my little pink suitcase and head off into the NYC morning. I hope you are getting more rest than I am!