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?
Here where I live, in this little town in the south of Italy, November is the month with the highest number of fairs. It starts with a big fair in a little town next to mine and it goes on with another in my native town. November smells like oranges and roasted chestnuts and popcorn and sugar. November smells like pouring rain and grey sky. I love this month that is a bridge between summer and winter, the main part of autumn. For me, this is also the period of time in which I’ve to make my decisions and my English test. I don’t know where I’ll be living next year and which language I’ll be speaking. What I know is the incredible atmosphere of this (perhaps) last November in Italy. And I’m gonna enjoy it ‘til the end.
I’ve found this book in a remainders’ shop, near the hugest library of my town. It was completely new, untouched, and I can’t understand how it’s arrived in my little town in the south of Italy, but still…
The story is quite nice, even if I think it should be better edited. The novel is too long for a short story like that. The plot is perhaps too “easy” to justify this number of pages. The last part of the book, for instance, is incredibly long. The story starts finishing too soon, and it finally finishes too late. There’s something that is a bit unrealistic, too, in particular everything which concerns Mrs Ellis and her role in Louisa’s life. Characters are either too good or too bad, as if in a story that’s meant for children. Perhaps, this book really IS for children and extremely young teenagers, but still I’ve found it too simple and linearly written. It’s a “cold” writing, I couldn’t feel anything at all during the reading but the strong need to slap Louisa into her face.
In conclusion, I don’t feel like advising this reading to you. What a shame! But it doesnt’t matter: the next reading will be better!
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.
These mornings I’m experiencing something completely new, for me: I’m reading books in classes from 6th to 8th grades, at school. It’s incredibly funny! Can you believe that? The best moment is when you enter the room and they don’t know you yet. They look at you, they smile ironically and try to understand if they can laugh at you or listen to you and trust you. And then, the miracle: they suddenly feel at their ease ‘cause you’re acting as if you were a student just like them. You’re sitting among them, you’re reading Fred Uhlman, you’re answering their questions and they’re answering yours. You speak all together about friendship, love, hate, future. You’re having fun and they’re having fun. THIS is the secret. And it’s something I’ve never thought it would suit me, and instead… here we are. Yesterday a young, redhead boy from 6th class, sitting just in front of me, has asked me: “Have you a boyfriend? I’m asking you that because my cousin’s boyfriend has dumped her because of her writing”. And I’ve answered “I’ll pick a writer: problem solved”, which could actually be true.
The youngest students are smart, funny and incredibly curious about life, love and… books, too. They want to know how much money you’re earning, in what does your editor’s job consist, why have you suddenly started writing down everything which passed through your mind. A girl has asked me where do I find inspiration, and I’ve said: “Everything that surrounds you IS part of the inspirational process. YOU yourself, while you’re sitting there asking me questions, are part of my inspirational process”, and it’s extremely true.
My parents have been working as primary school teachers for years and years. The main part of my life has been characterized by “schoolish” conversations. And I can remember the infinite times I’ve said “I’ll never become a teacher”. I’m not so sure about it anymore.
I’ve been taking a journal since my 6th grade. “What a childish thing to do!”, some among you could say. Yes, maybe it is, but it’s also a useful practice, as I’m gonna explain to you. For instance, think about a big crush you have upon a nice boy. You write everything about him and about the “déroulement” of your crush. At some point, something goes wrong. Then, you come back to your journal, you read it again from the beginning to the end, and suddenly you understand WHY something’s gone wrong. A private journal always hides the truth. Maybe it’s because we’re completely honest while writing it: we know no one else would read it. On the contrary, when we rethink of some memories of ours, often we slightly edit them, maybe in order to preserve ourselves from the rush of truth. Truth is seldom nice to look at.
There’s also another reason at least that should convince you to take a journal. When you’re writing for yourself only, you can experiment your creativity and let it increase. If you like drawing figures but you’re still insecure about how they look, you can practice on your journal and nobody is gonna watch them. If you like writing poems but you just don’t feel like someone should read them, here we are again: write them down on your journal.
So, now maybe it’s clear why I keep doing this “childish thing”. Make a try and let me know if it works for the best 🙂