Notes from Italy: 11.15.11

I’m at Spannocchia (a 900-year-old farmhouse near Siena), sitting outside on a cool, sunny day at a rickety round table, about the size of a large pizza, on the lawn overlooking the hills of Tuscany. They took the lemon trees inside yesterday. Winter is coming. The two cypress trees and bench that I woodblock printed with Sabra Field five years ago are to my left. I have such fondness for that time in my life. The last time I came to this magical place, I’d just finished STILL ALICE. And here I am again, this time in the middle of writing my third book. I can smell lunch cooking. Onions and garlic. And fennel? Not sure. It smells delicious. People are chatting behind me on the terrace where

Notes from my Love Anthony Journal: 11.30.11

Just realized I’m on chapter 20. Sounds substantial, doesn’t it? I’m at about 46,000 words and 200 pages, so it’s getting there, baby. I go back and forth lately between thinking it’s brilliant to thinking it’s an absolute mess. I’m worried that Beth’s story doesn’t tie in strongly enough to Olivia’s, that it’s like–SO WHAT? Why not just tell Olivia’s and Anthony’s story? I think because their story is too internal. Beth’s story provides the movement, the action and immediacy. But why not tell Olivia’s story in that way–tell the story of this mother who has a son with autism, how she first suspects it, then the diagnosis, living with it, etc–and make it linear? Because that’s too predictable

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