Now that I've put my summer down in print I see life did get in the way of my writing, although I did sign contracts with Desert Breeze Publishing for three romance novels to be released in 2012.
I'm home now and hope to stay here a while preparing for the October 15th release of my dark romance Decisive Moments by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
For California residents who seldom leave the state, our overseas trip was a really big deal, but with borrowed luggage and shiny new and at that time unsigned passports, we boarded an El Italia Airlines at the San Francisco Airport, apprehensive, but delighted to be on our way.
We changed planes for Rome in Amsterdam, where we were politely informed we wouldn't be allowed into their country until we signed our passports. In Rome our daughter discovered she'd failed to bring her newest driver's license and asked her father to sign for the rental car although he had no intention of driving in a foreign country.
We loved sharing our daughter's trip to Italy with her. We could never have negotiated the numerous Roundabouts the way she did, dodging Smart Cars and Vespas determined to outrun her. As she shepherded us around lovely walled cities and impressive churches built in the 700's I realized the majority of Americans have no appreciation for anything more than ten years old. Buildings are not torn down in Italy. Past generations pass the old stone residences down to current generations for future generations to live out their lives in.
On the drive from Rome to our Inn near Florence I admired rolling farmland edged by wildflowers, but mistakenly thought the farm houses were all boarded up. I soon realized the boards were shutters covering every window of the two and three story stone structures. Shutters in all shapes and sizes, hung inside and outside windows, allowing filtered light and cooling breezes to enter, but assuring privacy without the expense of drapes, curtains, blinds, or the rods needed to hang them.
I was fascinated by the dense forests of trees growing in neat rows, then realized I was seeing evidence of the deforestation that occurred in the bombing of World War II and the reforestation that followed the war.
I fell in love with the Italians, their cheerfulness, their willingness to help lost tourists, the rhythmic flow of their rapid-fire conversations, the sexy eyes of the teenage boys.
The rolling green hills of Tuscany were just as I'd imagined, but I'd never dreamed the fields of sunflowers would be so startling, their yellow heads facing in one direction like smiling faces bobbing in the gentle breeze.
We were one of the last trains leaving Venice when the train workers walked on a twenty-four hour strike to make their complaints heard, a common occurrence we learned, and all part of a memorable trip.
What I'd like to forget is the way CNN announcers on London TV laughed at this country because our government allowed a few outspoken individuals to threaten to bring all services to a halt instead of increasing the debt limit.
Our country truly lost face abroad over that fiasco.