Showing posts from 2014

Thoughts for December

Jesus was born in a humble place, a stall, with a manger as his first bed. The lowly circumstances of his birth tell us that he came for everyone: the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the hopeless. No one is beneath him. But he also came for the rich and affluent, the famous, the diligent workers and the people who can get by. No one is well off enough to do without him.

His mother, Mary, was found to be pregnant before she was formally married. Therefore, we should remember that God uses all kinds of situations for His divine purpose, and so guard against judgement of "imperfect" circumstances.

His father, Joseph, looked after his family - including the son that technically wasn't his. He didn't make decisions based on outward appearances - but maybe we wouldn't either if we were in on God's plan. We must listen if we are to hear God's direction for our lives, which means always leaving time for silence during our prayers.

Angels announced his birth. A…

Coming soon.... the Giallo Milanese 2014 anthology!

For the record, I came in second. I had a great time.
The anthology containing the 16 stories selected by the contest commission will be out around mid-December. The book is in Italian, of course, but I'm finishing the translation soon so that I can post the story right here on my blog.

The finals!

I have worked my way through the selection process in the Giallo Milanese literary contest. On Saturday, November 15th, I'll be reading for the last time so that the audience can vote for the story they like best.

There are only two to choose from, so I've got a fifty-fifty chance actually winning!

Obviously I'm excited, and really happy that the story was appreciated - especially since it isn't written in my native language. I'm still translating it, and I plan to post it somewhere (probably here) for my English speaking readers (all 5 of you be patient now). I'm sorry it's taking me so long.

Now I'm on Twitter and Facebook inviting people to come and vote.

My first reading

Strangely enough, I wasn't nervous.

I got my turn reading my story at the Giallo Milanese literary contest on October 16th. (The link goes to a short video with Italian audio in which I read a few lines.)

The last person reading in the video is an actor, not the author of the story, and it shows. We writers tend to be a little shy in front of a microphone. In the past, I've attended readings where the authors obviously were used to speaking in front of a group, but they're exceptions.

The ExCogita publisher, who sponsors the Giallo Milanese contest, says that publishers choose what to publish, but the public decides what is worth reading. Therefore, the people who come to listen get to vote for the stories they like best.

I passed this selection so I'm scheduled to read again on November 6th.
I'm so excited!

Giallo Milanese - An Italian Literary Contest

I'm in! I'm having a story published!

Giallo Milanese is a contest run by Ex Cogita publisher. They pick sixteen stories to publish in a small book, and then organise a tournament to pick the favorite story as the "absolute winner".

Winners invite friends, family, acquaintences, and everyone else that they happen to run into to the reading so that they will all vote. I read on October 16th, and YOU are invited.

As a footnote, I wrote this story in Italian. I'll be doing the translation soon (as soon as I get time because I'm up to my ears in work). But in the meantime - if you happen to read Italian - check out the contest website and read all of the stories.

Blog news

I changed the URL for my Italian language blog A Spasso sul Mare so that it would be easier to find. I'll be giving up the old URL at the end of the month.

There's also a new post up on Walking on Water - finally!
Let me know what you think.

Book reviews: The Temple of Light

I finished the book Il Tempio della Luce by Daniela Piazza, written in Italian and published in 2012. It's a historical novel set in 15th century Milan about a group of priests overseeing a period of the cathedral's construction and raising a young boy who was the secret heir of the late Duke of Milan. The author weaves fictional characters and real people into a semi-fictional account of an assassination that actually took place.

I really enjoyed the historical descriptions because I know a lot about Milan. I found the plot to contain a lot of cruelty and violence, which unfortunately is not wrong for the time period. In the 15th century, women and children were not seen as people. Orphans were left in the middle of the streets to become beggars, and young girls were married off or sent to convents or brothels. Rulers really were ruthless (if you don't believe me, click here) and the Inquisition is a blight on the history of the church.

In this book, the priests are devou…

Italian language blog

I haven't been able to find a lot of Italian blogs about faith, so I started my own. I plan to translate the articles for the English language blog I started two years ago. Up to now, I've kept my blogging to myself and a few close friends, probably just to get comfortable with the idea of people actually reading what I write.

That shouldn't sound weird, but it does. A writer should want people to read her stuff, but I find it painful at times. The idea that someone could find fault with my writing just makes my stomach churn, but the flip side of that is even stronger. What if someone actually likes it?

In the end, deciding to go public is giving into the idea that my ideas are not just for me. We live in a community, and no one is supposed to go it alone. Ideas are to be shared. That's why we read.

Drop by if you can read Italian: A Spasso sul Mare
If you prefer English, the same article was posted here: Walking on Water


It's time to go to camp. Now, what will I work on?

I have a distraction (called a "day job") that has prevented me from reaching my word count in previous editions. Maybe this year, I'll have it licked. I just have to find the right notebook.

Years ago, I had an idea for a novel that I would like to read. All writers want to write the sort of books we love to read, of course. In fact, I have already scribbled several pages on it. I just need to find the notebook.

It's blue with a plastic cover and spiral binding. I even remember that it was college-ruled paper. (Oh so annoying because I love to scrawl all over the place!) It's in a box someplace with other stuff that didn't need to be urgently unpacked after my move last year.

If I can find it, I will just type it in and start with a decent word count. Heck, I might even be able to finish the darn thing!

So now you know I'm planning to work on a novel. Maybe you'll get curious enough to find out w…

The Living Room Library

We've just finished putting up new bookshelves at home. We unpacked all sorts of stuff: encyclopedias, medical journals, novels, and non-fiction books on everything - business, religion, politics, animals, the Italian aristocracy, cooking, history, astronomy, ... well, you get the picture. I'm seriously thinking about organising them somehow (think Dewey Decimal System) and keeping an updated file on the hard drive. We already have an incomplete list (started by my daughters a few years ago on a boring, rainy afternoon) but it really needs to be updated and searchable.

Most of our books are in English or Italian, but I did find a few in French and one or two in Chinese (I think). Those are for decoration, I'm sure. They really are pretty, but I have no idea what they're about.

I picked up a historical novel to read called Il Tempio della Luce by Daniela Piazza. It's in Italian, and I don't know if it has been translated because it came out in 2012. It's set…

Resurrection time.

It's time to get back on line. Things are shifting ever so slowly, and the new season is going to bring new content. It's been almost a year since my last post onWalking on Water.
It's all about trying to sort out life, and still write.

Hope you are a patient as I am.