Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Takes A Binder

I've started another book. I know this because I've taken a binder (one of those old old clothes covered faded blue ones) and put in separators with color tags which represent chapters.

(OK so this isn't actually my binder but a foto of someone else's binder. You can tell because it would never occur to me to put  a plant on my binder. Chocolate, yes, but leaves?)


This binder thing is both ritual and practical. Ritual because this is always how I've started a book. Practical because even in the age of writing and taking notes on a computer, there are always odd bits of stuff that have to go somewhere.
That step can't be done until the whole book makes sense to me, somewhere deep in my brain. Oh, it will change before it's done, but the basic format is there.

And then I have to organize it in that binder before I go further.



So "Venetians Invented Everything" has its binder now, and there are pages in there with notes, and some articles, and some jotted ideas. Even a few pages of real live writing.

I am off and running. It feels good, but the organization also brings me to the knowledge of how much work there is when you write a nonfictions book, especially by jumping into the history of another place, another culture, and another language. But that's what makes it captivating.

Next post: the joy of  index cards. Or for some of you younger folks, an explanation of what an index card might be.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Am I Not Living In Melbourne, Australia?

First to all, it's the rock and roll. No American believes me, but the good rock now comes from Down Under. Give me three of Diesel's albums (and one more song here) on a desert island and I'll live forever, dance forever, and sing along badly forever.



Then there are the people—everyone seems to be really funny. Self-deprecating humor at it's best. I should live there just because they "get" my jokes. And the accent. Can I get that accent too?

Of course there are the cool and weird animals, the Great Barrier Reef, The Daintree Forest and all that.



And today I am happy because an article I wrote for Child Magazine Australia just came out and there' a video of the editor, Karen Miles, introducing the issue and saying our how Our Babies, Ourselves changed her life.


It's doesn't get any better than this, unless I were in Melbourne, eating a sausage roll, living in one of those great Melbourne terrace houses, with friends making fun of me or themselves...


with tickets to a Diesel concert in my hand.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Rhythm of Life

The leaves are not yet turning here in Central New York, but the temperature has fallen and the the humidity is gone (thank goodness).


And school is in session.

Although I am in the middle of retiring from Cornell University (one more class to go), I still feel the rhythm of the academic year. I also have a teenager in High School which underlines the schedule of our days. I no longer have to wake her up, make a lunch, or hand her a backpack and take her to school, but the house still vibrates each morning with her shower and hairdryer and the slam of the door as she rushes out to AP Biology.



Many who write a blog take a break, or have nothing to say, for a while and that's the case here too. What's my excuse?

Oh, the rhythm of life, I guess.

I was in Venice, Italy, for a month this summer and then home working on this and that. Then I got Lyme's Disease and that sort of took over my energy.

In the next few posts I am going to write about the book I've started: Venetians Invented Everything or I Veneziani Inventarono Tutto.

And they did.




Baby Food

  My daughter’s first solid food, at three months of age, was ossobuco, the Italian dish of meat, wine and vegetables. If we had b...