Under the Tuscan sun

I’m back, back, BACK! (like they used to say on Smash Hits in the 80s. Yeah, we already had British and German mags in Rome back then). And no, this is not a book review, although I “stole” a book (and movie) title. I spent the past two weeks in northern Tuscany (Hotel My Parents in both locations).

So let me introduce you to my grandmother’s home village in Garfagnana, her house being my favorite sanctuary in spite of its lack of technology. This is also the place that inspired a couple of Happiness is… vignettes.

the nearby village of Ceserana and its XII century church

my version of Ceserana

Nardini house by the church - the upper floor is ours

see the balcony arch? My cousin recognized it at first glance!

The second week was in Massa, my father’s hometown (and the ugliest of Tuscany, famous only because it’s the “twin” of Carrara, where the marble comes from). One day I had a “sand massage” walking on the beach (a future Happiness is… vignette), so here’s the Ronchi beach.

It was already September, and "early" during week-day, so not many people around

I spent those two weeks rewriting Ether from scratch (will finish this week), then met one of my beta-readers in Genova to discuss Air, after which I’m probably going to change my query/submission plans – but I want to hear from the other beta-readers first.

Genova - the ship used for the movie Pirates

So, it’s September and for this month I must finish Ether, do the lettering on Chapter 4 of SKYBAND and possibly start drawing chapter 5, finish Jessamine for Serial Central, start something new (probably The Twins as it was next on the poll) for a writers forum I joined and catch up an all those great blogs out there (in no particular order). So I better go back to work!

Previous Post


  1. Great photos, absolutely beautiful. Love the beach . . . you know I’m a beach person. Wonderful weather. And I can see the inspiration on all counts, both in writing and ‘HAPPINESS IS . . ‘


    • I’m a deserted (read “out of season”) beach person! 😉 I hate the heat and the crowds of summer, but now was just perfect for that foot massage… 😀


  2. Amy

     /  07/09/2010

    Beautiful photos, Barb! I find getting away from home for a week or two can be one of the best things to renew your creativity, and get work done with fewer distractions. I’ve always craved a trip to Italy, particularly since I studied a lot of Roman history at uni. My only problem is deciding which part of the country to visit!


    • well, it depends on which part of history you prefer! If it’s ancient, Imperial Rome, that’s where you should go (and where I live. But I’m not too keen on ancient Romans, so I’m not very good at showing you the Coliseum et all, even I know where they are). If you’re more towards the middle ages, like me, there are plenty of smaller towns all around the “boot”… feel free to ask infos for your future trip! 😉


      • Amy

         /  08/09/2010

        Ancient Rome is the period I’ve studied in most detail, but I’m interested in all parts of history really. Unfortunately, any trip is just hypothetical at the moment, because money is tight. One day though! 😀


  3. How LOVELY (both the pictures and your vignettes inspired by them), Barb! I just love any place that takes me away from crowds; looks like that’s exactly what you got during your time away. Welcome back, and I look forward to hearing more stories on your progress with manuscripts and queries alike :).


    • aw, that’s a sad story! 😉 Just kidding, but I’ll have some re-planning to do… that’s what September is for! Kids go to school, adults set new goals and priority lists! 😉


  4. Absolutely beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.


  5. Glad your back, Barb! Tuscany looks wonderful! 🙂


  6. Lua

     /  08/09/2010

    The photos are amazing Barb- glad you had a good time and it was wonderful to see where you got your inspiration from for some of the “Happiness is…” pictures 🙂
    I love that Pirate’s Ship btw!


  1. Something’s Gotta Give « Wading Through Words
%d bloggers like this: