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

Pages_at_DCGDue 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. Documenting the details of each vignette can be almost impossible when it’s all happening in a foreign tongue. Sometimes I feel like that hard-of-hearing guy at the grocery store who has a question but needs the answer repeated nine times before it gets through, only to have another question! This morning, as I attempted to clean up and organize a desktop that greatly resembles a six-year-old’s bedroom floor, I opened a folder to find a dozen more one-paragraph beginnings. Each one takes me right back there to the place and moment I was when I realized this was a story I wanted to write. As I closed that folder I came to realize: there is another book right around the corner.

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