A Garden of Women Writing in Tuscany

Burnt red tile rooftops in Florence, Italian voices wafting up from the overcrowded streets, and bathroom bidets remind me that I’m far from home.

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Me and the big guy

No longer at the Tuscany Villa where we six women bonded — hailing from Washington State, Hawaii, Arizona, New York, New Mexico, LA, and New Orleans — we’re now in bustling  Florence. A flurry of roses, poppies, olive or cherry trees aren’t visible from my hotel window, I can tell you that.

But each of you is a distinctive blossom (I’m too tired to cleverly figure out which).

How can I adequately thank Sheila Bender for helping me to see the forest through the trees, and for her generous spirit? Probably by continuing to write my life. I have such admiration for her skillful gardening.

Lee — a daughter of Sicily — deems me an iris. With her quips, one-liners, and hearty laugh she would be a great stand-up comic. Whether or not she creates pandemonium with children’s stories, she’s committed to the best words.

Nancy — previously devoted to writing children’s nonfiction, she’s been brave to switch to poetry in the past five years, and to plant herself in our villa garden — despite her helicopter children’s protests.

Julie — a rose is a rose is a rose. Exuding calm and positivity, a master of onomatopoeia (or maybe synonyms?), she will finish her “Spacious Unknown” on the Italian coast. She inspires me with her adventurous and intuitive nature.

Lucille — precise, caring, and a talented professional, she’s solid and straightforward. I hope she finds the exact rose she’s looking for. She may be a New Yorker but she’s clearly not provincial.

Rhonda — no bullshit for her, strong and sturdy. She’s gone through a lot and will help others grow by telling her story, of which I have no doubt. Her sharp images have stayed with me.

May your writing flourish, wherever it takes root.

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A secret garden in our Tuscany villa backyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Fight wimpiness, Journalism/Writing, Nature Girl, The Rest of the World and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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