Thursday, February 21, 2013

I hear Umbria is nice in May.

I woke up to an email from my Aunt, my mother’s sister who lives in New York City. She’s a writer.  Not for a living, but she has been writing short stories and poetry for as long as I can remember. She sent me an email with a link to this website. And she just said, “Hey, I saw this in the classifieds of one of my writing magazines and thought of you.” 

So.  I got into work early today and clicked on the link and I saw some stuff that looked pretty cool, writer’s trips to Italy, Guatemala, Mexico and Slovenia of all places, I think it was.  But then I clicked on a trip to Umbria and  I immediately got the chills. You go to Umbria, stay in an old farmhouse with a small group of people. You write, you cook and you sightsee but the part that gave me the chills was when I saw they called the trip An Italian Writing Affair. I’d read a fabulous travel memoir back in the fall, one that in addition to making me want to read every travel memoir I could get my hands on, inspired me to make some changes in my life (namely, ditching a guy who was treating me like a mistress even though he wasn’t married) and it was called An Italian Affair.  And in a weird but wonderful coincidence, the author of that very memoir is the writing mentor on this retreat in Umbria.  And so quicker than my fingers could even type I was emailing the organizers to see if there was a spot for me.

I told them basically look, I am a traveler but not really a writer. I dream I am a writer, I imagine I am a writer but really, I am just a working stiff at a job that has nothing to do with writing. But if you’ll take me, I will come.  In fact, I am dying to come!

I refreshed my email just about every minute until only a few hours later I heard back: they have a couple spots and no worries Laura (oh my god, I am on a first name basis with the author now!), Laura’s teaching and writing techniques don’t require an advanced level of skill.  So, a little finagling of schedules and a quick check of the bank account, I am headed to Umbria in May! 

There will be trattorias and truffles and workshops and readings.  I am not sure I will come back a writer but boy, it will be one hell of a nice start.


  1. I would go for the trattorias and truffles alone. Hope the trip will be an enriching experience! (I'm very envious.)

  2. Well, I just downloaded An Italian Affair. And I'll soon be checking out some of the places you'll be checking out.

    You're going to have such fun! Our niece will still be in Florence at that time, I think, and a will be a Firenze pro. She's already got favorite places for Nutella crepes and gelato. Let me know if you want to try to connect with her.

    How many people participate in this program?

    1. I think maybe about 6 writers? Already 4 signed up and they gave me two different room options. The farmhouse looks amazing!

      I hope you enjoy An Italian Affair. It really struck a chord with me, just because of where I was with the particular guy in question. Let me know what you think about it!

      Not sure I will have time to meet up with your niece. The current tentative plan has me flying and training into the retreat and right back out. But I'm excited to hear about how you enjoy your Italian adventure!