Yes, here I am in Bari, Italy in the Puglia region. Why I’m here is a long story. The shortish version is that I needed a break, from work and from winter. Living in Chicago, means I need a break from winter every year. This year we are having one of our mildest winters ever but I didn’t know that when I planned this trip. Even so, a Chicago winter is long, dark and cold and the lure of a warmer climate and an exotic adventure called.
One could also call this trip a midlife crisis, a sabbatical or a retreat. This is the longest vacation I have taken in a very long time and also the longest time I have spent living alone, perhaps ever. No roommate, kids, husband–just me. This trip is also a project. I have a book written, a children’s book, but it has needed editing and has been stalled for longer than I care to admit. This summer I took a workshop and my instructor said it was time I looked into getting published. And then I got stuck again.
It seems I cannot live my normal life and finish this project, so I rented an apartment here in Bari, where I can be warm and walk outside by the Mediterranean and escape my responsibilities and just write. So far, so good. I am currently editing page 67 of 88 of my manuscript. A few more days to go and then I will begin the next step, that of trying to find an agent. I am anxious but committed. After all, I’ve traveled across the Atlantic and hidden out in southern Italy to do this. I can’t return without having given it my best shot.