Category: Journal

Summer Re-runs

Summer Re-runs

Remember when summer as a kid meant TV re-runs and the boredom forced us to go outside and play? Today, with so many TV viewing options, one could binge-watch all summer without missing the regular programming, if indeed anyone watches “regular programming” anymore, complete with commercials and the agonizing wait from week to week to pick up the story.

At the end of June, I was elected as President of the London Writers Society. It’s keeping me very busy! No time to be bored, but I have gotten outside to play—at Sunfest, at a Helix BBQ, to cut the grass, and to play a few card games (Monopoly is our new favourite) out on the deck. But with newsletters, announcements, and emails to write for the Society, it means I am going to—gasp!—point you to a re-run of a previous blog, “Remain Childlike.”

I was reminded of this blog recently when a friend sent me a picture of her grandchildren standing in the driveway excitedly watching the garbage truck. Good times at Gramma’s house.

I hope you enjoy the re-run, find some childlike curiosity in your day, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming soon.

My Parents’ Writerly Influences

My Parents’ Writerly Influences

This blog was inspired by Terry Fallis’ post back in April, an example of how “art begets art.” It got me thinking about how my parents influenced my writing.

When I was growing up, after supper Mom and Dad would pour a cup of black tea, pull back their chairs, and read The K-W Record. I seldom saw them read a book, though from time to time Dad would laugh over a collection of “Peanuts” cartoons which one of us likely gave him as a Father’s Day present. (You can only have so many ties; besides, Dad wasn’t a regular churchgoer.)

The only other book I remember my parents reading in my growing up years was a forgotten title written by Vera McNichol, a clairvoyant from the village of Millbank about 15 km from our farm. According to family lore, I loaned the book to someone—Ahem, you know who you are— and it was never returned.

In past posts, I’ve talked about the memoir I’ve written If I Could Remember, I Would about my years caregiving for my mother when she developed Alzheimer’s. In that book, I weave my stories with excerpts of Mom’s writing, including her newspaper columns published in the Listowel Independent.  (btw, my search for a publisher for that memoir continues.)

Now you might assume then that my mother’s writing was a great influence on my own. But it was after I left home that Mom received her high school diploma, took various college courses and a writing course. Her newspaper articles came even later, influenced by Erma Bombeck whose humourous American columns were sent to Mom from a penpal cousin in the U.S.

By the time Mom began writing, I lived 1500 km away and was barely aware of her new talent, in part because she rarely mentioned it. (‘Tooting your own horn’ was not a quality Mom admired.) Those were the days of brief long-distance telephone calls or handwritten letters with paper photographs. Now that I think about it, perhaps those handwritten letters relaying life events with small children were my earliest writing practices.

Mom didn’t read books for herself during my growing up years, though she did later. I don’t recall her reading to me either, but she did read bedtime stories to my younger siblings. And she always shared those Erma Bombeck columns that came in the mail.

Mom was known to remark on my childhood reading habits—“Oh, she’s got her nose buried in a book again.” Or “No wonder you need glasses, you read so much.” Or “Turn out the light and go to sleep.” Yet somehow I sensed she was proud of my reading.

My father’s influence was different than Mom’s. Though he had only Grade 8 education—he would eventually get his Millwright certification from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities—Dad was a storyteller of the oral tradition. He was renowned in the family circle for his tales of childhood hi-jinx—like the time he and his siblings churned butter in the washing machine when Grandma and Grandpa were out shopping—and other teenage pranks.

Dad wasn’t much for writing. He could do it, he just didn’t, much to the lament of my mother who, a time or two, received unsigned birthday and anniversary cards. “You could at least put your name on it,” she justifiably complained. He eventually became more consistent about scrawling his name. But just that—no “love” or “xox”. So rare was a sighting of Dad’s writing that one of my treasured possessions is his scribbled note for broccoli soup.

Though he didn’t write much, Dad had a fantastic memory. You wouldn’t want to play against him at cards. When he passed away at 79 years, he could still recite “The Tale of Sam McGee” which he’d learned in elementary school. I wonder sometimes whether his memory enabled him to be a great oral storyteller or whether storytelling enabled his great memory.

Both my parents are gone now. I think of them often, like when I stumble across Mom’s handwritten comment on a typed recipe or Dad’s scribbled remark on a “Pickles” cartoon hastily mailed me.

Love and miss them both!

P.S. If you love old black and white photos, check out the Photo Supplement to Mom’s autobiography.

My Top Shelf

My Top Shelf

In my last blog, I said I would talk more about the books on my top shelf. To recap, the shelf is a collection of author-signed books, as well as books that have particularly moved or inspired me. As these books are all special, it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few. But here goes…

I was introduced to Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander by my friend, Deborah. At first I found it hard to get into the story, but about three chapters in, I was hooked. At some point, Deborah and I attended a reading by Gabaldon at the Toronto Public Library. The room was packed, with probably 150 attendees. From time to time, we would hoist our Jamie cutouts (seen by my top shelf) and JAMMF (as he is affectionately called by fans) could be seen dancing in his fine kilt above the sea of heads raptly listening to Gabaldon. That was my first time attending an author reading, getting an author-signed book, and my first time letting loose as a fan! What marvellous fun. (Highly recommended.)

I don’t recall how I was introduced to Keeper ‘n Me by Richard Wagamese, but the story takes place in northern Ontario and I’d previously lived in Thunder Bay for ten years. It struck a deep chord. I loved the book and have often given it as a gifts. I even bought both editions so I would have one of each book cover.

If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be?

For me, it would be Richard Wagamese. It’s as if by sitting in a room with him, one could soak up his years of lived wisdom and tap into his connection to the earth and the ancients. His books led me to other Indigenous authors like Tanya Talaga, Cherie Dimaline, and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky, is a humourous story “about being a material girl in a spiritual world.” Sarah also founded the Sarah Selecky Writing School where I studied in The Story Course Intensive, a fantastic program that really helped me grow as a writer and where I felt nurtured and supported in my writing pod.

My last mentions are the books by Terry Fallis, winner of the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. In Poles Apart, the characters have a name similar to someone famous, eg Earnest Hemingway. I could relate because my name is quite common. (There are three of us, all who married into the family!)

Last year the London Writers Society invited Terry to speak at the Wolf Performance Hall. As Vice President, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Terry. He’s as funny in real life as in his books! He’s also warm, down-to-earth, and incredibly generous of his time in supporting other authors.

It was such a fun night that London Writers Society invited Terry Fallis back again this year…this time to interview Douglas Gibson, one of Canada’s icons in publishing, and an author and entertainer. Terry is also personal friends with Gibson. I’m sure the jokes will be bouncing off the walls of Wolf Performance Hall when these two take the stage!

Be sure to get your tickets to An Evening With Douglas Gibson on May 6.

See you there!

What Does Your Bookshelf Reveal?

What Does Your Bookshelf Reveal?

The five shelves of my (main) bookcase are filled with books that represent various stages of my life. One bookcase, over a hundred books.

Starting at the bottom, the two lower shelves contain books about holistic nutrition—Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book, The Vegetarian Myth, Staying Healthy With Nutrition—as well as anatomy books, such as Anatomy Trains, Ageless Spine Lasting Health, Trail Guide to the Body. These books represent my years as a Nutritional Consultant and a Bowen therapist.

On these two shelves, there is also a sprinkling of books exploring energy and spirituality—The Energy Healing Experiments, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Intention Experiment, The Diamond in Your Pocket.

It is only in writing this blog that I realize spirituality is a common thread connecting one shelf to another. It is the consistent part of my Self that I carry from one stage of my life to the next.

After nutrition and anatomy, the next shelf is devoted to books about homeopathy. Various repertories, different versions of The Organon, Homeopathic Self Care, and The Banerji Protocols. Even Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs from when my mother’s pet was part of our lives.

One doesn’t read homeopathic books cover to cover like a novel. Yet I’ve consulted each book so many times, perhaps piece by piece, I have actually read it through entirely.

This shelf too has evidence of my exploration of the energetic with Shaman Wisdom, Shaman Healing. But overall, there are fewer spirituality books here. Perhaps because homeopathic medicine is wholistic and already encompasses the mental, emotional and spiritual. (Or maybe there just wasn’t room on the shelf?)

The next shelf up contains books about the writing process—The Artist’s Way, Thinking About Memoir, Braving The Fire. Other books on process, many barely skimmed.

There’s also a portion of “required reading” on this shelf. When one seeks a traditional publisher, a comparative analysis is part of the book proposal where you compare your manuscript to books of a similar nature. So these required reading books relate to Alzheimer’s, caregiving, to death and dying.

Solomon Speaks on Reconnecting Your Life and My Grandfather’s Blessing are two spirituality books that accompanied me on my caregiving journey. The process of writing was there with me because, as Marie Williams says in Green Vanilla Tea, “Writing provided refuge from the chaos.”

And finally we arrive at the top shelf of my bookcase. It houses my collection of author-signed books, as well as books that have particularly moved or inspired me. This shelf, I think, is the most revealing. These books have a story to tell and I don’t just mean the story contained in the pages.

I’ll talk more about the story of these books in my next blog. In the meantime, peruse the titles. What assumptions do you draw about the book collector? (Are assumptions truth?)

Now take a look at your own book shelf. Does it reflect who you are? What does your collection say about you? 

Pay Attention In Class

Pay Attention In Class

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my high school years. To paraphrase Dickens, “It was neither the best of times, nor the worst of times.” Which, I suppose, is writer-speak for ordinary or, as my son would say, Meh!

But one thing that stood out for me was English class. It was my favourite subject as far back as elementary school. Even in grade one, I enjoyed putting pencil to paper in printing class and for years kept my printing practise book. You know the kind—blue and red lines to measure full or half height of letters, with a shiny gold star in the corner.

Anyway, I’ve been racking my brain for the textbook used to study CanLit back then. If I recall correctly—and at my age the accuracy of any memory is questionable—and believe it was Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature by Margaret Atwood, the 1972 edition.

In it, Atwood examines themes in Canadian literature such as survival, nature the monster, and ice women vs earth mothers. It was my introduction to the poetry of Al Purdy, Irving Layton, Northrop Frye, and Earle Birney, as well as the concept of the mythological feminine categories of maiden-mother-crone, and Atwood’s theory on the overabundance of victims in Canadian literature.

That class and Atwood’s book led me to read Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel, Earle Birney’s poem “David”, Atwood’s novel, The Edible Woman, and her poem “Siren’s Song.” And those are just the works I can easily recall. (See previous comment on age and memory accuracy.)

What prompted this trip down memory lane is the upcoming London Writers Society event, An Evening With Douglas Gibson in May. (I am on the organizing committee.)

As an editor and publisher, Gibson was a primary influencer of Canadian literature, including many of the authors I studied back in CanLit class—Margaret Atwood, Morley Callaghan, Alice Munro, Roberson Davies and many others.  

Having recently read Gibson’s Stories About Storytellers, I wish I could go back to class. I want to read all the great Canadian authors I missed the first time. But instead of returning to school, I have settled for compiling a reading list, formulated from Gibson’s entertaining tales, that I will place with my stacks of books-to-be-read. So many books, so little time. Sigh.

And, of course, I will be attending An Evening With Douglas Gibson to hear The Canadian Cartographer, as he is called, being interviewed by Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. It’s sure to be a fantastic evening.

Hope to see you there!

(Tickets are only $15 in advance. Sponsorship opportunities available.)

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash   

A Writer’s Life For Me

A Writer’s Life For Me

January blogs, as an unwritten rule, tend to be buoyant and optimistic, filled with encouragement and guidance for a bright, new year. But as I searched my mind for something meaningful to relay, I realized…

Yeah, I got nothing!

No words of inspiration, no pithy words of wisdom.

Perhaps you, like many at this time of year, wait impatiently for new episodes of your favourite TV series after the holiday hiatus.

And while you wait, maybe you watch a replay of the last episode just so you can remember the plot, the characters, the details. But mostly you fill time waiting for something new to appear in the channel guide.

This blog is like that.

It begins with a review of my last year and the link to my January 2023 post where I made a rare (for me) resolution—to read The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante, a tome of almost 700 words.

How did I do?

Well, I have NOT progressed very far at all—a mere 100 pages. Last year, I did suggest that perhaps it would be a 2‑year effort.

Whew! Let myself off the hook with that!

But why didn’t I make progress?

There are several reasons, actually. All of which, when added together, made me realize what a busy and fruitful year I had in 2023.

This will also give you a window into the life of a writer.

In January, my short story “Mercy, Mercy Me” was shortlisted in gritLIT’s non-fiction contest. In April, I attended the gritLIT festival in Hamilton, partaking in workshops, such as “Magic in the Everyday” hosted by Emily Urqhart which included a great Lynda Barry writing exercise. And also a workshop with Blair Hurley on the “Power of Revisions” about making edits with successive passes through the manuscript.

How many passes do you think an author does for each piece of work?

Answer: At least six!

In early May, my local writing group, the London Writers Society, hosted An Evening With Terry Fallis. It was our first such venture and I was an active member of the team that worked to make it the success it was. Later in the month, I attended the Creative Non-Fiction Collective’s Conference in Halifax. More workshops and, of course, some sightseeing.

Two—or was it three?—online workshops, including “How to Write Sex Scenes.”

Why? Well you never know when you might need to know that!

In 2023, I also released my mother’s book, Transformation: Autobiography of Beverly J. Vollmer. It was self published and involved editing, uploading files, interior design, cover design, marketing. And time. Lots of time.

In and around and after all the above activities, I sent queries to publishers for my own memoir, If I Could Remember, I Would: Teddy Bears & Brains & Caring For My Mother. A query involves writing a book proposal of about fifteen pages which must be tailored to the individual requirements of each publisher. I’ve received several rejections already, no acceptance letters. Yet.

Oh, I also wrote several authors requesting a blurb for the book. I’ve received two, with two more yet to come.

In 2023, I also did research for the historical fiction novel I am currently writing. Three months set aside for research only, no writing, became six months, with topics ranging from WWI, conscription, conscientious objectors, and various topics of the period—women’s rights, fashions, local London streets, businesses, by-laws, treatment of Spanish flu, homeopathy regulations, and so much more!

My historical research, in addition to online investigations, involved reading twelve books relating to the time period. When I decided to incorporate some family history, that of my grandparents, into the story, this segued into ancestry searches. Anyone who has ventured into their genealogy knows it is an endless, albeit fascinating, rabbit hole!

And, in September, the writing began!

It was exciting to finally dig into the story that had been percolating for months. Normally, I create a working title for a project, but this one I simply refer to as Book Three.

New to writing historical fiction, I enrolled in some workshops with The History Quill, a British company that specializes in the genre. “Get Started” and “Outline Your Novel” kept me busy from August to December.

We interrupt this program to bring you…

Just as I was digging into my writing, I had an opportunity to make a presentation at the Listowel Library on my mother’s book. I took the detour, reading From Page To Stage by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder with public speaking tips for writers. A 20-minute presentation took three weeks of preparation. But it was a success!

We return to the program currently in progress…

The final History Quill workshop, “Write Your First Chapter,” will be a form of edit and revise, as I’ve already written the first chapter. In fact, I’m now at Chapter 29, with nine more chapters to go, according to my outline. But outlines are sneaky and mine has a habit of expanding the further I get into the story.

Do you recall how many passes through each piece of writing?

That’s right—six!

So I’ve nine more chapters to write, plus six passes (at least) through the entire novel…lots to keep a writer busy in 2024!

Reviewing a year in the life of a writer has been a fulfilling exercise and I can perhaps offer some words of wisdom after all…

Look back at the year you’ve just completed, you marvelous, wonderful creature!

Look back on all you’ve coped with and survived through, you marvelous, strong creature!

And always, expect benevolence in the coming year.

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash

Pink & Green Wishes

Pink & Green Wishes

This will be my last blog of the year and, given that December is a month filled with traditions – Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas – it may seem at variance that this post concerns a pagan tradition.

Sheela Na Gig is a pagan goddess depicted by a feminine figure squatting in the birthing position as she grasps the flesh at the opening to her birth canal.

Sheela = female, Gig = vagina. Got the picture?

Symbols of Sheela Na Gig, with her marquis-shaped opening, often marked doorways of sanctuaries and ancient stone kirks. She welcomed those who wished to cross over her threshold into the darkness, as if going into a womb – warm and nurturing – for a period of contemplation.

I was first introduced to Sheela Na Gig by Janelle Hardy through a 10-day series of introspection and reflection beginning on the winter solstice. I instinctively return to it each December as the season of darkness begins.

But in autumn, I had a different experience of Sheela Na Gig.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I went on a Vision Quest in September. At one point, I found myself in my sacred circle lying on the earth and gazing into the treetops. I noticed where the outermost branches of one tree met those of another, forming a slit, with sunlight visible beyond. It felt like an opening of Sheela Na Gig but, rather than looking at her opening from the outside, I was viewing it from the inside out.

Since I was already in the dark womb of reflection (my Vision Quest sacred circle), I was shown a different perspective — the Light of Life and its rich, colourful dance of joy just outside the door. It was an offer – Here, this could be yours ! All I needed to do was choose it. To step over the threshold to live the potentiality waiting there.

So here I am. Choosing that. Choosing joy and light.

And as this blog travels the ethers of cyber space, I shine Light in your direction too and extend the healing mists – green and pink – of heart energy to all who need it, to anyone in fear, so you too may choose light and joy.

Till next year…

Turning Back Time

Turning Back Time

Spring forward, fall back.

The expression helps us remember to turn our clocks ahead in spring and back in autumn. Port Arthur, Ontario, was the first Canadian city to turn clocks ahead an hour. I did not find mention whether twin city, Fort William, also turned their clocks ahead. (By the way, Port Arthur and Fort William amalgamated in 1970 to become Thunder Bay, my home for 10+ years.)

Generally, though, clock-turning wasn’t implemented in Canada until 1916. Even now in 2023, not all cities or counties change their clocks. In Canada, we used to fall back on the last Sunday in October. Then in 2008, we aligned with the US for the first Sunday in November.

All this, simply to say…I’ve been thinking a lot about time!

I am acutely aware of changing colours highlighting the change in time as we prepare the garden and pond for winter, store the deck furniture, and just generally begin to slow down.

In qi gong philosophy, this is a time for grieving. And for letting go. Releasing what no longer serves you — habits, emotional baggage, relationships, even old books. Also known as refinement, this period allows us to figuratively thin the weeds to provide more space and energy to grow what we truly want in our lives. It’s a time to refine our focus.

Where in your life might you let go? What no longer serves you? What’s holding you back? If you had more time/space, where might you place or increase your focus?

Take your time to ponder these questions over autumn and winter. Soon enough, it will be spring and time for new beginnings.

Alone in the Woods

Alone in the Woods

The writing life is often described as lonely and isolating. It can be, and yet last month, I chose to spend even more time alone – at Rosseau Sanctuary – doing some internal exploration of self. The tarp you see in the picture was my home for four days. While I often walk in the woods here in London, there’s something special about sleeping and eating and…yes, that too…in the woods. Something about connecting with Gaia and all the nature spirits!

Refreshing and healing. Alone, but not lonely.

Back in civilization, I’ve been invited to speak at the Listowel Library on October 19, 6:30 p.m. I’ll be talking about my Mom’s book, Transformation: Autobiography of Beverly J. Vollmer (1937-2022). I will be presenting at the library for twenty minutes, as will Ron Finch, former LDSS principal (about his mystery novels.)

The Listowel Banner also did a fabulous write-up. Mom had once worked as typesetter at the Banner, and it was lovely to see her honoured with that piece.

I continue to search for a publisher for my memoir, If I Could Remember, I Would: Teddy Bears & Brains & Caring for my Mother. Meanwhile, I’ve been requesting blurbs – you know, those quotes you read on the back cover or sometimes there’s a whole page at the front of the book. Here’s the first blurb I received. It’s from Nicole Breit, award-winning poet, essayist and Best American Essays 2017 Notable author:

In her beautifully crafted memoir If I Could Remember, I Would: Teddy Bears & Brains & Caring for my Mother, Donna Costa has accomplished something so rare and noteworthy: an imaginative work of literary distinction that is both a tribute to her mother and a precious gift to her readers. This book belongs on the shelves of doctors, caregivers and family members who have walked alongside a loved one living with Alzheimers.

Nicole’s Spark Your Story writing program was a fun and powerful course I took to learn modern forms for personal essays…different ways to write memoir. Learning these forms – for example, collage essays, diptych essays, hermit crab essays – helped me formulate several stories in my manuscript. It’s also how I was able to get my stories published in literary magazines and how I got shortlisted for two writing contests.

Does it sound like I’m tooting my own horn? (They tell me writers are supposed to get comfortable doing that.) Actually, I want to toot the horn for Nicole’s awesome writing program. It not only gets the creative juices flowing, it teaches you how to channel that into creative form.

I extend much gratitude to Nicole for all she taught me that has helped me grow as a writer.

Remember, if you’re out Listowel way, drop by the library on October 19. I’ll be donating a copy of Transformation to the library and will also have copies for sale if you’d like a personal, signed copy. And if you knew my Mom, I’d love to hear your reminiscences.

Mixing Metaphors

Mixing Metaphors

This weekend, my husband and I made pasta from scratch. Simple ingredients of egg, water, salt and flour – Red Fife being our current favourite. Rather than a rolling pin like his mother used, we had a stainless steel, hand-crank pasta machine that I borrowed from my sister years ago.

After mixing the ingredients, I had a small clump of dough that seemed barely enough to feed the two of us and I wondered how my mother-in-law managed to make homemade pasta for eight children, seven of whom were boys with hearty appetites. I kneaded briefly, then let the dough rest for thirty minutes.

This resting is an important step. It allows the flour to fully absorb the water and egg, which fuses the flavours. Resting also allows the gluten to do its thing – either relaxing the gluten so it doesn’t spring back like bread or strengthening so the dough stretches easily – depending on which explanation one finds online. Either way, the rest is necessary.

While the dough rested, hubby and I got creative and improvised some drying racks – a curtain rod between upper kitchen cabinets, with several plastic hangars strung across the pole.

After the rest period, I separated the dough ball into four smaller pieces and fed them, one at a time, through the pasta machine’s rollers. Using the dial, one is able to manually adjust the thickness of the pasta, the first setting being for the thickest noodles. With each successive pressing, the dial is turned to another setting, reducing the thickness between the rollers and, thus, the thickness of the pasta.

After the first press, I had lasagna-like noodles, which I carefully laid onto parchment paper. Adjusting the dial, each noodle was fed through a second time. The noodles were getting thinner, wider and longer, but also stronger. I needed another sheet of parchment paper, then another, as the pasta quadrupled and I began to understand how mia suocera could feed a large family from such humble beginnings.

Another turn of the crank. Roll the dough. Turn, roll and press. The repetitiveness was calming, almost meditative.

Handmade pasta cannot be hurried!

The first time I tried to make pasta, I thought I could skip all the settings and proceed directly to the thinnest level. Instead of dough that rolled out flat and smooth, it broke apart. Without the passage of time, without being subjected to the kneading and pressure from successive pressings, the dough lacked strength and integrity. It was weak and, literally, full of holes.

Writing a book, like handmade pasta, is a process that can’t be hurried. A story starts with simple ingredients – an idea, a character or two, maybe a theme or some hint of conflict. 

Then, let it rest.

This is where I am – at the resting stage – with my next novel. While the ideas are resting – some might say percolating, but that would be mixing metaphors – I research. For this story, that means World War I, conscription, home children, and all things circa 1918 – medicine, the city of London, Ontario, women’s issues, Spanish flu, clothing, politics.

As I research, the characters start to develop. I hear their voices. They visit my dreams. I feel their emotions fusing into a plot.

Next, I will press pen to paper, fingertips to laptop keys, to roll out the beginnings of a story outline. Perhaps some character development sheets with aims, motivations, backgrounds.

Press again, and the setting unfolds. Street names, a timeline of historical events.

With each pressing, words multiply into scenes, into dialogue, into chapters. Edit. Re‑write. Repeat. Each step is necessary to the final result. Without revision after revision, the story, like hurried pasta, would be weak, lack integrity, and be full of plot holes.

Some time in the future, I will enjoy the repast of a finished manuscript. For now, my plate is filled with homemade tagliatelli, covered with pine nuts, parmesan, and garden-fresh pesto – slow, healthy food brimming with quality and flavour.

Buon appetito!

Photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash

Follow Donna