A yearning for change puts Laura on the road to Rome but her marital problems, muted in cool Seattle, become magnified in the glare of the Roman sun. Will she find happiness in the Eternal City or are her dreams only an illusion?
Derrick took hold of Laura’s elbow and steered her into a room with fourteen-foot ceilings, plump upholstered chairs, and a sofa facing a grand fireplace. The honey-colored, waxed terracotta floors were covered with antique carpets. Heavy draperies framed tall windows.
French doors led to a terrace and a swimming pool covered for the winter. Beyond, a vineyard slept.
Jake followed behind filled with suspicion because Laura accompanied him so readily.
“Here’s home. Not much, but I think you’ll be comfortable.” He smiled at Laura and ignored Jake.
Jake was incensed at the slight and at the overblown luxury of the decor. Damned effete Europeans.
“Let’s have a sherry before I show you your room, where you can change. Better half should be here shortly.” At the sound of his voice a maid came into the room carrying a tray laden with sherry, glasses, and an assortment of snacks.
“Oh, Derrick, what a super…”
Jake cut her off. “I’d rather have bourbon. With ice. Sherry’s not my drink.”
Derrick obligingly went to a drinks cabinet but apologized for the lack of ice when he returned with a full tumbler. Jake continued to ignore Laura, who he knew was silently willing him to be more civil. His attention gravitated to a row of shelves above the fireplace. They held several undecorated black pots, a few more with red figures of gods and goddesses around the bowl, two small bronze statues covered in verdigris, and several marble pieces, including a sandaled foot missing its little toe.
EDGAR’S BOOKS ESSAY
EDGAR’S BOOKS ESSAY
I have been asked to blog about my writing process.
Every author has a different process: some lock themselves away in their studio, some go to a coffee shop. Some write in the morning, others do their work late at night.
My words often become reality in the dark of night with a pad of paper and a pen beside the bed to capture the random thoughts that spring into being when I have insomnia. I scribble notes in the dark hoping that I can read them in the morning. Sometimes I can’t as I have written one line over the other! Other thoughts are generated over coffee. My pot is on an automatic timer and produces a brew strong and hot at 6:00 A.M. every morning. I sit in bed sipping and thinking – what about that paragraph I wrote the day before? Did my character say something that she should not have, or should she say more?
My office awaits. Since I often write about Italy and Rome I am always happy to get to my desk with a poster from an exhibition of Italian paintings above the computer and a wall of books about Italy behind me. I’m old fashioned and use a hard copy Thesaurus. It is new because the old one finally fell apart. I do need a new dictionary – so many new words. Do I need to work “selfie” into a story? Well that would depend on the time and place of the story’s setting.
The actual writing process depends on what I am writing. If it is a travel story for my blog or elsewhere I check my photos or get out a guide book to be sure I’m accurate and then write freestyle. I set the piece aside to rest for a day or so before editing. I often have additions and corrections and second and third thoughts before it takes final form.
When I wrote my memoir about living in Rome, Coins in the Fountain, I followed a different process: I wrote each chapter and then gave it to my husband and my daughter for comment. I needed to be sure that my memory of the events being described was accurate. Of course my feelings related to the incident were personal and they didn’t get to edit that part. But it was interesting to learn how differently memories work. We had many discussions about timing and setting – did it really happen that way, or was it this way? After I settled on the story I worked with a writing group. They read it chapter by chapter and critiqued the writing for clarity.
The novel, City of Illusions, came into being through yet another process: I had a beginning and end in mind, and the setting (Rome). The characters wrote their own story as they struggled with trying to manage their lives in a world that was not what they expected. For this book I utilized the services of a professional editor. Twice in fact. The first time it was clear from her remarks that I needed to do a complete rewrite. The second editor helped me polish and fill in gaps in the story.
Every writer will have his or her own style. When you find your own you will have made a big step towards success.
Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome. The ten years of happy and sometimes fraught experiences are the subject of her memoir, Coins in the Fountain. She continues to travel, having visited over 100 countries in between many journeys to Italy where she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return to Rome. Judith and her husband now live near Seattle where she is working on her second novel.
Judith will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.