“Maybe we should collaborate! After Scott’s wonderful 10-day visit with us in Tuscany, that simple phrase about a collaboration appeared in an e-mail. Hmmm . . . our curiosity was piqued, so we tacked on a p.s. at the end of our response saying, “By the way, what is it you were thinking when you mentioned a ‘collaboration’?” A week later a message appeared in our mailbox, punctuated with an attachment, entitled Proposal. (more…)

Admiration.

That’s what comes to mind when I think of someone living alone. I’m in awe of the courage it must take to say “I’m going to do this on my own, no matter what.” The underlying self-confidence is inspiring. My brief experiences are nothing in comparison, but they at least give me glimpses and insights into what it must take to be solo, as we say in Italy. (more…)

Em here,

Excitement and sadness mix to form a rather strange emotional concoction—perhaps an unusual elixer that hopefully, magically brings out the best in life. Cheryl leaves today for a month—4 whole weeks! Duty calls sometimes, and since family is one of our priorities, she must go alone. That may not sound like a big deal or seem like a terribly long time, but it is for us. (more…)

We realize that our approach to writing is unorthodox, but that is exactly what we want. It provides a way for us to literally write as partners on “one story.” We enjoy a “volley” process of writing, whereby we edit each other’s work until there is nothing left to change. Both computers are set up so that each of us has an inspiring place to work. (more…)

I awoke this morning to a hauntingly beautiful dawn with yellow and salmon colored clouds hanging like lace over the blue-green ridge line of the mountains—nothing unusual as that is often the case in this valley. But today, there was something else stirring besides the sun. (more…)

Yesterday morning Cheryl received a sketchy  message about a developing family situation. A more detailed email arrived a few hours later, followed by an explicit phone call that afternoon. Today we must go to the airport to explore options and make arrangements—one foot out the door, while the other foot remains grounded in this writing project, resisting as it is slowly dragged along. Previous commitments must wait. The jumble of possibilities are rationalized and thought-through. The initial gut reaction wins out and the decision is made—she must go! (more…)

Em here~

Today, Cheryl restarted her blog after several months of coasting along with a few broken parts. Now it is back up and running and I think we are all in for some interesting conversation. It is especially important for us now that we have started this joint blog related to the writing of our book, and documenting “Italian Moments” along the way. Her individual observations and musings on life will provide us with a counterpoint to all of our more focused work together. (more…)

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful and sunny so we decided to work in the yard. The stone area around the fire pit was almost totally covered over by grass, so we began the difficult process of prying the overgrown grass up so we could see where the edges of the stone were, and then using pruning clippers to cut it back to the original shape. That sounds easy enough, but it depends on how many stones there are to trim. The answer to that one is: waaay too many. But we stayed with it until late afternoon when we were both sore and exhausted. (more…)