Sunday, October 30, 2016

Brunetti's Venice

I've be re-reading some of Donna Leon's murder mysteries set in Venice. (Thanks, Laury for letting me borrow them!) Since I've been to Venice now, I thought it would be fun to follow Commissario Guido Brunetti around that beautiful city as he investigates crime. When he takes the vaporetto down the Grand Canal passing all the lovely palazzos that line it, I know what he's seeing. By checking out my Venice maps, I know when he gets off the vaporetto at the San Silvestro stop to walk home that he lives somewhere in the neighborhood between the fish market and the Rialto Bridge. And I've been there!

In the first paragraph of the first chapter of  'Death in a Strange Country' a body is found floating right here in this canal by the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo...
and a witness describes a suspicious person standing in the campo by this statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni.

It's been very enjoyable visiting Brunetti's Venice. An added bonus: it's been a great distraction from politics and all the other dire news of the day!

Friday, October 28, 2016

A Dangling Conversation

Walking with my camera this foggy, fall morning, I spied an apple dangling from a neighbor's tree. Which, of course, reminded me of a 'dangling conversation' and Simon & Garfunkel. Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways! Here's what resulted:
Ode to Simon & Garfunkel

Our dangling conversation
seeking the bridge over troubled water.
From my rock to your island,
from harsh words to the loving sound of silence.
Old friends in danger of
slip, sliding away.
Slow down, you move too fast!
Let this morning last
Let love last
Let us be homeward bound,
Together once again.

I'm a little world-weary right now. Too much war, politics, refugees, earthquakes, global warming, scandal and violence. I can turn off CNN, but pretending it isn't there doesn't make the world go away. Maybe the best I can do today is sip a mug of hot tea and write poetry while humming along to the  '59th Street Bridge' song. And think warm thoughts of family and friends.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wandering Parisot

This is the weekend of the Parisot Literary Festival. I've had a great time meeting up with friends, listening to authors speak about their books and their writing process, discussing books and writing, buying new and used books, and just generally being steeped in all things literary. Parisot may look like a sleepy little village, but its literary heart beats strong! I spent some time wandering around the village in the lovely warm autumn sunshine. Here are a few things that caught my eye....

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall on My Fence

There's a lot of Virginia Creeper around here. Which is lovely this time of year as it provides a nice jolt of red amongst the beautiful orange and yellow leaves of fall. I love these vines on my fence.
The view out my upstairs window isn't too shabby either!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Road to the Vote

I just finished voting in this year's Presidential race It's a good feeling to vote for my candidate and have my voice heard on local issues. The marking of this ballot, though, began two years ago with meeting an aging British actor, pumpkin soup and a literary festival in a tiny village deep in the heart of rural France. Really! You can read about it here.

Fast forward to 2016...I requested an email ballot from Nevada, the state of my permanent US address. Nevada makes it SO easy to vote. I registered when I renewed my driver's license and a simple email request got me my ballot. I printed it, voted, scanned it and then emailed it back to the state. Done! I did the same thing to vote in the primary. I could have actually caucused by skype then with my fellow Nevada Democrats if I had wanted to. It's really too bad every state doesn't make voting this easy and seamless.

Democrats Abroad called me on Sunday to make sure I'd requested an absentee ballot. The woman I talked to was thrilled that I had and in our conversation we agreed that voting this year is crucial. Our country is facing issues and divisions that could influence it for the next generation.

So, it's been a long road to this vote...two years of travel and 5000+ miles to make it happen. Here's my message: if I can do it, so can you! Please get out there and vote. I don't even care who you vote for (well actually I do, but we won't discuss it here) It's important.
This photo has nothing to do with the blog post. I just like it. This is one of the waymarkers along the path in the photo above. The waymarkers direct pilgrims walking the Camino de Compostelle. Maybe this monkish-looking character is directing you to your nearest polling place! A special thanks to my brother, Jim, and a friend, Jane who helped me suss out the local candidates and issues on my Nevada ballot.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016


Did you think I was in Paris? Nope...this Eiffel Tower is sitting by a little park outside the Cajarc tourist office. The plaque on it says it was created for a September exposition in Villefranche. Nice to see it here.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shakespeare & Co.

Shakespeare & Co. bookstore
Paris 2016
I listened to a couple of podcasts yesterday from my favorite bookstore in the whole world...Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. Such a pleasant way to spend a rainy Saturday morning listening to authors talk about their writing process and their books and stories. The last few times I've been to Paris I've stayed in a hotel just 'round the corner from here. Makes it all the easier to hang out and browse. This place is always on my 'to-do' list when I come to the city.

Here's another book-related photo for you....
Bouquinisites along the Seine