Thursday, 26 February 2009

13 Random Objects Currently Sitting on my Desk!

Welcome to this week's Thursday Thirteen!
This week, I'm showcasing
13 Random Objects Currently Sitting on my Desk!

(Can you feel the excitement?)

1) I couldn't even *do* the Thursday Thirteen without this one:

My computer.


My phone. This is my phone's exact model, above. I've had it since 2003, and it just keeps on going. Nokia ROCKS my SOCKS, y'all!


My kitty box. I use this to keep small objects out of my kitty's paws, actually. This picture is very close to mine, except mine sits on one book, not two. Creepy fact: in searching for pics of mine on the 'net, I found the very one I have. The problem? The people selling it say it's a "casket" or an "urn". Eeew. :(


Cds and multicolored slimline cases. I make mix discs for my students, sometimes. So far, they've enjoyed 'em - so they say...


A dictionary of Italian proverbs - written in Italian and in various dialects, too. Neato! And verra, verra handy when trying to come up with a pithy saying for my characters. Heh.


My printer. Actually, mine has kitty paw prints across the top because I can't always catch her in the act. Naughty Kitty!!!


My Kate Bush Complete Songbook. No particular reason for this, actually.


My English grammar book with explanations in Italian. I don't profess to know all the rules, anyway. ;)


My iPod. 32 Gigs of delight, my friends. I play music all the time, and this sucker has all the songs I can put on it with room to spare!


Chopsticks. I got these years ago at the Japanese restaurant in Modena, and they're still in their plastic container. They're all kinds of awesome. Mine are blue, not black, though.


My little plug-in warmer. Known to my Facebook friends as my plug-in walnut. This keeps my back from getting too cold and thus permitting me to pull a muscle doing something strenuous like, oh, say, typing?


Post-its! Of course!

13) And, naturally, no writer worth her salt is without her copy of

- am I right?

And so we conclude 13 Random Objects found on my Desk.

Random enough for ya?

And now, what you're all waiting for.

I never forget.

So, when will you trust me?

I mean, seriously?

Here ya go:

Sylvain Nicolas, rugby player


Thursday, 19 February 2009

13 Random Photos from Italy

Another 13 Random Photos From Italy!

Yeah, I'm a one-trick pony. Do you care that much?


The hubby fell asleep watching TV, and Sophie took full advantage. Crafty kitty...


At the Christmas Eve dinner at my father-in-law's, Mia got passed around the table.


The hubby and his sister goof off during the Christmas gift exchange.


This is the size of the average Italian Christmas tree. Really.


This, however, is not. This is in Piazza Prampolini in Reggio.


A snap of a street in Reggio just before Christmas.


We finally had some snow, just a little, though - but I had to grab this image before it got obliterated by afternoon foot traffic. :)


Happy (hic!) New Year! My niece Mia discovers the joy of Prosecco (not really - but what a shot)!


Moody kitty. She got annoyed with all the pics I was taking, eventually. Heh.


Mia and her mommy, Roberta, have a look at the scenery.


Shot of a Reggio street, just after Christmas.


More snow! Yay!!!


My hairdresser, Fabio. I was impressed with the fact he was wearing a purple shirt instead of his usual black. Ain't he a cutie? :)

And yes, there's one more surprise...

Maybe you've seen it before?

I dunno, but I reckon he bears repeating...

Alessandro Gassman, Italian actor.

Ciao! ;)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

13 Opening Sentences/Paragraphs

13 Opening Sentences/Paragraphs

I'll be using my own work as well as that of two other writers whom I hold in high esteem, to show how important that first line or paragraph of a story is. Mine aren't quite as good as the final three examples, of course, so no need to point that out, or anything. (ouch!)

Let's jump on in, shall we?

1) Ypsilanti was nothing like this. (WIP - Alternate Rialto - Kimberly Menozzi)

2) The more you want something, the slower it is in arriving. I suppose this includes Italian trains. (Connections - Kimberly Menozzi)

3) Why is it so hard for a single mother to find a decent man to date? (WIP - Grand Emilia - Kimberly Menozzi)

4) Davide checked his watch and realized that he'd already glanced at it three times in the last minute. The seconds hand barely had enough time to make a full circuit before he looked once more. (WIP - A Milano - Kimberly Menozzi)

5) The sunrise was covered in a dull, heavy haze, but Eros knew it wouldn't matter. (WIP - Il Bagnino (The Lifeguard) - Kimberly Menozzi)

6) He had committed an unpardonable sin: He had muddied his best school uniform. As an additional blasphemy, he had dirtied his hair, as well. (Groundwork - Kimberly Hudson)

7) The plane touched down at LAX just after two a.m., and while the weary passengers prepared to disembark, the sound of luggage compartments being opened and Scott Chaver's poking and shaking roused David Wallis from a deep sleep. (Resolution for the Muse - Kimberly Hudson)

8) I was working at my makeshift desk in the maintenance hangar when Derek, the airport manager, brought the new guy in. (The Night Flight - Kimberly Hudson)

9) I nearly lost my footing as I stepped up onto the sidewalk, my boots skittering over the grainy surface of the salt melting the ice. (Return Flight - Kimberly Hudson)

10) It was the whispering that woke him. (opening chapter – A Marginal Life (Well-Lived) – Kimberly Hudson)

11) When I was very small, I saw a God. (Timeskipper – Stefano Benni)

12) I climbed into bed, and the stars had vanished. (Margherita Dolce Vita – Stefano Benni)

And finally, what I think might well be one of the most perfect opening sentences ever:

13) The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. (The Gunslinger – Stephen King)

Now, can you guess which ones of mine were early writing efforts, and which were more recent? Which of these would get you to read further? Let me know! I'm curious, y'all...

And no, I haven't forgotten.

Today, I have a new piece of eye candy, recommended to me by a friend on Facebook.

I thank her for this suggestion.

I think you will too.

Here ya go - a two-fer!:

Ignacio Figueras - Argentinian Polo Player, Model


Monday, 9 February 2009

Can I Now Say I've Won Awards?

Gosh... Swell!

I've been given a little ol' blog award. :)

Thanks Alice Audrey of Alice's Restaurant! You're too sweet!

Now I'm really feeling the pressure. LOL!

Ciao for now - I must go work on a new Thursday Thirteen!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

13 Things About Kim Rossi Stuart (and why not?)

Okay, this one is special for my Romance Diva friends.

Anyone who knows me on that site knows that I am currently working on a story called "Alternate Rialto", which is set in Venice. The story itself is a "prequel" to a story I wrote last year, called "Connections."

In this story, we see how Emily Miller met Jacopo Spadon, and how she made some big leaps forward in her life as a result.

Something else that the Divas know about me is that I'm presently nursing a massive crush on Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart, who happens to be the "model" I have in mind for Jacopo. (Ah, the movies in our minds, eh?)

This week I thought I'd take a break from flooding the (admittedly appreciative) Divas with my pics of Kim, and just post a bunch here. Maybe it'll get it out of my system?

Yeah, right...

I've gone a bit heavy on the pics from his appearance in the series "Le Rouge et Le Noir", for the sake of inspiring the Divas who write tales about that era. ( But I *do* have others, as well, ladies!)

So, here we have
13 Pics of Kim Rossi Stuart (plus trivia).
Enjoy! :)

Kim was born in Rome on October 31, 1969.

His father, Giacomo, was also an actor. As is his sister, Valentina. His mother, however, was a model.
(no kidding, right?)

He has two other sisters, Ombretta and Loretta.

When he was 28 years old, Kim played Julien Sorel in the international film production of Le Rouge et Le Noir (The Red and the Black), based on the novel of the same name. It remains one of his most beloved roles, amongst his fans.

He speaks Italian, French and English.

He also had a small role in The Name of the Rose, based on the Umberto Eco novel of the same name.

He left home at the age of fourteen, and left school to pursue acting.

He starred in and directed the film Anche Libero Va Bene (released in the US as Along the Ridge).

He also performs on the stage, in plays such as King Lear.

He was named after the Rudyard Kipling novel, Kim.

His favorite writers include Dostoyevsky and Chekov.

He is a good swimmer.

And, finally...
Kim won the Pasinetti Award for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in Le Chiavi di Casa (The Keys to the House). Watch it and tell me if he didn't deserve it. ;)

There y'all go! 13 Facts and Photos of the Delicious and Delightful Kim Rossi Stuart!
I hope you enjoyed it all...

And yet, I still feel obliged...

As though I owe you one last pic...

As if Kim isn't eye candy enough, right?

Sadly, I don't have any "eye candy" shots of Kim lying about, at the moment. So we'll have to change direction, a bit.

Here ya go (but he's so young in these, I almost feel dirty):

(Almost, I said. Almost!)