Jerusalem 135 A.D. General Julius Severus has just guided his legions through a difficult campaign in Palestine. The repression of the rebels has been maybe the bloodiest in Roman history. The praetor Fulvius Atticus is asked to return immediately to Rome, he has a secret mission to carry out. In Rome Cornelia Clodia, the only daughter of a rich copper trader, is getting ready for her husband’s funeral. He died during the Jerusalem campaign. Theirs was not a good match. She was his young second wife and he married her for her money.
Also, she has not a drop of noble blood, while Marcus descended from a long line of patricians. Marcus’s best friend, Fulvius Atticus is the executor of her husband’s will which states that Fulvius and Cornelia should marry. The praetor has a decree from the Emperor
Hadrian, by which the Emperor himself blesses the wedding. Cornelia can’t do anything but obey. On the night of her wedding she discovers a list of names in her new husband’s study and finds a partially burned letter from the Emperor in which there is mentioned a list of conspirators. Her father is on that list…
Long time no talk! These last days have been full of things to do, books to read, places to go to, people to meet. I’ve finished writing a prequel taken from the paranormal trilogy I’ve written and I’ve published it for free. In these days, my life can be pretty well summoned by two words: writing and music. I’m spending my mornings at the conservatory, studying piano for my graduation exam next July. Everyday my alarm rings at 6.30 and I get up, I have a shower, I take the bus and, after the arrival, I stop by a bar on the road in order to write or translate or edit something or doing anything else which concerns Microsoft Word. Then, I go to the conservatory. Everyday. I’ve found out that this kind of daily routine is really productive and that I’m writing very much and that the piano pieces are getting well as if after a long illness. This routine obliges me to be alone most of the time. D’u know what? Who cares! Solitude can be a useful ally if you’re carrying on creative works. Sometimes, creativity needs silence. No one speaking, no one interrupting. Just yourself and your music and your art and whatever you’re doing. What else?
I’m not disappeared into a puffed, light-blue cloud. It’s just that my IELTS test is approaching and I’m just… panicking. I can write, yes, I think I can do it. And I can read and listen to the records (although the latter makes me incredibly anxious). But the speaking? That’s my real problem. Speaking is something you usually practice with English-speaking people, but I live in Italy and it’s not so easy to find someone who can talk to you in a foreign language and, most of all, who WANTS to spend his time with you like that. So, I’m panicking. I don’t know if I can pass this exam and I don’t know if I’ve the necessary skills. Apart from that, life goes on as usual. I spend my mornings playing the piano in conservatory (I should graduate next year) and I’m perfectionning my PhD research proposal. I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (we’ll have time to talk about that) and I’m trying to reduce the pile of magazines standing on the floor like a paper tower. Most of all, I’m writing. I’ve subscribed to the #NaNoWriMo and I’m writing my novel-in-a-month. This year I’m writing into Italian language, but I’ve sweared that next year I’ll try to do it in English. Can I do that? I don’t know but, as wise people say, “do things before you’re ready”.
Blue, cyano, white. A bit of yellow. That’s pale green. And then all over again.
Seven years ago, I drew a little croissant and a fork plunged into it on canvas. Then, I abandoned it. For years it’s been there, among the magazines I wrote for and the books I still have to read. Yesterday, I surprised myself thinking “The day’s come to finish what I’ve started”. And I’ve done it. I’ve searched for my acrylics and the brushes, I’ve set the palette, I’ve started painting. It was midnight. My mum has looked at me, still in her nightdress, and she’s said: “You’re completely fool”, which is actually true. I’ve carried on painting until 2 am. Then, I’ve washed the colours out of the palette, I’ve washed my hands and looked at the almost finished plunged-into-heart brioche. Seven years to complete it, but now I’m really satisfied. So it’s true: the time always comes to complete what you’ve once thought of. Sometimes it’s a matter of a couple of days, sometimes it’s a matter of years, but the time will come. Now, my hands are green with acrylics and I’m sleepy but it doesn’t matter. I’ve finished what I’ve started. That is always a good way to spend your days.