What I Need to Succeed, I Already Have

Last night I sat with a filmmaker to my left, an accomplished painter with a panache for everything French to my right, and straight ahead, a mom/wife who has gained hero status keeping a family together through her husband’s catastrophic illness. If these were people I’d just met, this would have been an interesting conversation. It turns out, I’ve known this trio for nearly two thirds of my life. Pre-dinner found …

Coffee Here, Coffee There

Nearly everything good in my life over the past 10 years has included Starbucks. Most of you reading this have been brought to me somehow via a small coffee shop on the corner of 108th Ave NE and NE 2nd in Bellevue. My vast coffee community is another ironic tie to the old country where coffee shops become the center of social community even in the tiniest of villages, like …

Excitement at the Post Office

The first orders at the post office. Thank you to all! Like many, going to the post office doesn’t fit in my Top Ten list of thrilling life experiences. That is, until yesterday. With Iron Twine Press founder and publisher-extraordinaire Ethan Yarbrough riding shotgun, I pulled into an awaiting spot at the United States Post Office in Bellevue, WA with the first dozen orders of Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in …

Making History in Larriano

Photo by Young Reflections Photography Having Ame, Rosy, and Laura on our side of the Atlantic is an exercise in bewilderment, for all. They get the opportunity to experience our America with eyes wide open in the same way we appreciate everything about their special country. If I had $5 for every inquiry Ame has made over the past six days, I wouldn’t need an AMEX for MY upcoming flight …

Anatomy of a Book-The Launch

Waking up yesterday morning, I grabbed my phone to kill the alarm. There was only one appointment on my calendar. In a way, this date has been there since well before mobile phones made their way into our world. It had all come down to this two hour pivot. A coming out of sorts, a chance for me to make good on a promise to myself I typed on a …

Anatomy of a Book-The Last Mile

Backing Jill’s Toyota Highlander up the loading ramp at DCG One (one of Seattle’s largest commercial printers) yesterday, I was about to take possession of 980 copies of Miracles In Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany. The nice young man brought out a shrink-wrapped pallet of boxes on a pallet jack. A little re-organizing was in order to make his “shipment” fit in my pedestrian SUV. Once I found our common …

Anatomy of a Book-Anticipation

Holding the first book in my hands! The culmination of 10 years of envisioning, planning and work. Two days ago, Publisher Ethan Yarbrough of Iron Twine Press walked through my front door with a medium-sized box under his arm. I knew what was coming. This moment was a decade in the making. As I pulled the first flap back and then the second, a moment of emotion gave me pause. It felt …

Anatomy of a Book-Choosing stories for Ten Years in Tuscany

Due to good fortune and a set of special friendships that lighten the credit card hit, Jill, Daniela, and I are able to spend nearly a month each summer in Tuscany. With every trip to the old country, I keep a list of experiences that occur during our stay, subjects and events I will want to write about. With few exceptions, that list is never less than 20 new stories. …

Anatomy of a Book-Ten Years in Tuscany

1000 covers, printed at DCG One in Seattle, await their journey to the bindery. What began on January 25th, 2004 as a blog to stay in touch with our friends on native soil is about to become a complete volume of literary work. Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany, or the idea of writing a book in general, has been a core life goal of mine since 1987. As we near …