Friday, September 16, 2011

It's our anniversary

Dear Readers,

Today marks three years of blogging for me here at Letters from Florence. And while I'm definitely a bit older, I'm not sure I'm any the wiser--though writing about Italy helps me wrap my head around the place and indulge in some admittedly wicked fun at times. Blogging is a strange occupation in that there's no immediate pay-off other than perhaps the satisfaction of giving voice to one's thoughts and opinions--and then sending them off into the vast, virtual ocean like tiny messages in bottles, never really knowing if they will reach far-flung shores and tickle someone's fancy, whet their appetite, incite their rage or indignation, or whatever. Writing is by its very nature an exercise of the ego, and though it seems I expend an awful lot of energy in my personal life trying to eradicate--or at least subdue--my balky, mulish ego (the domineering diva to my seething id), my belabored psyche remains stubbornly vulnerable to the suspicion that I have absolutely nothing to say about life in Italy that is worthwhile.

While I was off for two months' vacation in the U.S., I admit I considered discontinuing my endeavors, buffeted back and forth by the self-critical urgings of the aforementioned Ego ("Why bother anymore, you fatuous, gnat-brained interloper--what can your insignificant musings possibly matter in the larger scheme of things? Shouldn't you be working out instead?"), and the giddy insistence of my Id ("But it is fun debunking the myths of la dolce vita and stringing strange necklaces of words, isn't it? You have loads more to say about living in Italy so keep at it--there's a good girl!").

In the end what decided things for me was you, my dear, intrepid Readers.

Over these three years, a number of you have contacted me or left comments on posts, and this has meant more to this peripatetic blogger than you probably imagine. To put it succintly--it's what has kept me going. Sure, I have friends that compliment and laugh at my sallies (they would, wouldn't they? god bless 'em), but it's you strangers, you who don't know me from Adam, whose input is of immeasurable value because you help me feel engaged, connected. I've also been fortunate enough to have met, via this blog, some wonderful lady bloggers and have struck up friendships that are very enriching--and for this I am pleased and grateful.

I can see by my handy spy tool that there are readers out there who prefer, for whatever reason, to remain silent and anonymous--and that's okay--I'm glad you're out there and knowing that is a kind of inspiration as well.


Perhaps this is also the occasion on which to make an announcement of sorts--bear in mind one made with not a little trepidation: I've decided to write a book about the ups and downs--or sturm und drang, better yet--of my experiences in Italy. It is with Pantagruelian difficulty that I confess this to anyone, for I possess such a warped sense of superstition and doom that to admit to stumbling forth upon such a path is to court the Wrath of the Fates--who will surely crush my efforts faster than you can say gli agenti delle Poste Italiane sono i bastardi scervellati di Satana. You see, I had hoped that blogging would miraculously bring the publishers to my doorstep and result in a free-for-all of six-figure advances and first-class plane tickets. This has most resoundingly not happened. So I've decided to take the buffalo by the horns and make my own mozzarella.

Reader's Choice

Since we have reached a milestone of sorts together and I intend to forge ahead in this curious landscape that is the blogosphere, I thought I'd ask you, dear Readers, what Italy-related topics you'd like me to tackle in the coming months (I'd be willing to hold forth on sundry other topics as well, but I warn you that my personal knowledge of the mating habits of the baboon or, say, the workings of fuel injectors or covalent bonding and molecular structure is limited)--and I'll try to expound on them to the best of my ability. Because here at Letters from Florence, we aim to please. Or something.

My heartfelt thanks, again, to all of you who read the virtual scribblings herein,



  1. Happy 3 years!! good for you...lord knows I know it takes energy to keep it up even just once and while let along weekly or good grief daily like some bloggers..

    you have a really wonderful gift...I have to admit the stories about your inlaws are my favourite and an entire book about even just your mother in law and her footwear choices would be hilarious..(well maybe more than just the footwear but that cracks me up)...I'd stick with them for sure..would love to hear about living in such a tourist town and trying to be that even possible? do they drive you nuts or are they really the bread and butter...I'm curious about the book store...wish I'd known about it before I went ..I'd have dropped in to say hi...

    anyway keep it up...I've been telling others in the Paris blog world to expand their horizons and go Italian....take care bella

  2. Wecome back, Campobello. I hope your re-entry was on a Sunday, when FIL not so puzzolente. For this dedicated reader, I trust your Ego&Company in your scribblings. And many thanks for not having to make good on my threat. Denise

  3. Debbie, thank you... and get those Parisians to come on over to the Dark Side! ;) You bring up an interesting topic indeed--that of living in such an overwhelmingly tourist town. I will write on this subject, most assuredly! (Either that or expand on the MIL's clodhoppers).

    Papaya dear--again I must say that death by ribollita sounds lovely. Thanks for your well-wishes!

  4. Didn't realize you were back, but am so so glad that you are.

    Congratulations on three years.

    Death by ribollita sounds like something only Papaya could dream up. Perhaps she'd ply me with her recipe?

    Campobello, I am only sorry that you cannot turn your brilliant, twisted sense of humor to the regional trains. Specifically those that go from Livorno to Florence.

    But I'll come up with some other topics.

    Ben tornata, carissima!

  5. Dear P, I think perhaps YOU should write about the trains, perhaps ending with a recipe to soothe one's addled nerves after the voyage!

  6. Happy 3 years from me too! I stop by and read your blog. I don't always have time to sign in and reply. You are one of my very few personal sources of information on life in Italy and I really appreciate that. I like to read of your life in general. Your trips to the grocery store, shopping centers, people you randomly meet on the way. The weather and how you dress. (I hope to visit Italy in a few years, or so.) Just anything you may not feel is interesting is interesting to me because I live here and not there.

    I'm glad you decided to keep blogging.

  7. Lynn, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. You gave me an idea about a post--a typical trip to the supermarket. Watch for it! I hope you make it to Italy soon, it's a fascinating place.

  8. I really admire your writing and grinta...and how you are able to describe your parenti without getting a divorce suit.

  9. Mary Jane--thank you for dropping by and commenting. I love my husband (who is very understanding and does his OWN laundry, thank you very much) but actually if it were possible to divorce one's in-laws, I would have done it years ago, citing irreconcilable (though at times amusing) differences. I know my situation is--well--what it is. Many expat wives get along swimmingly with their Italian in-laws and find loads in common, etc. I, on the other hand, feel like Little Red Riding Hood among Pope-fearing aliens ;)

  10. Hi Elizabeth! I've been meaning to say hi to you recently - not least because I saw an Elizabeth-look-a-like strolling down the street near my house the other day! (bit bizarre).
    Anyway, I've just been reading your blog and I'd forgotten how funny it is, fab stuff. You've inspired me to actually get back to writing myself. Great idea about a book - are you thinking autobiographical or fiction?
    Hope all's well, baci, Mel xxx

  11. Hi Melissa! So nice to hear from you--I popped over to your blog and read the wonderful news. Congratulations! It's definitely easier the second time around. As for il libro, it'll be nonfiction, though sci-fi is certainly an appealing genre, given the goings-on around here ;)

  12. ornInteresting blog, nice reading "Letters from Florence".


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