— Jenny Neill

Tag "Italy"

Narrow street, no sun in sight, the cloud-filtered light of the mid-afternoon casts shadows on the smooth whitewashed wall. The early spring air feels heavy and cool. Stagnant. I pushed open the heavy slatted wood shutter hoping for even a slight breeze. How can it be both cool and muggy?

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Stephanie (also known as the Viatrix), a fellow travel writer I met taking a writing class a year ago, invited me to participate in a pictorial travel blogging meme: 7 Super Shots. My husband has played the role of official photographer on most of our recent travels, so I had to do some digging to find images I captured. Well, almost all of them are mine…

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view of vineyards from trail between Vernazza and Corniglia in 2003

Vineyards viewed from trail between Vernazza and Corniglia in 2003.

I didn’t plan on writing about travel this week. I was going to tell you I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this month. (Hey, looks like I just did!) Thing is, I kept coming across the subject of Cinque Terre and photos of the damage done to it by torrential rains while doing novel-related research. So like any distractable and procrastinating writer, I went looking for more news, more photos, more information.

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Part One

I was a writer of a different sort 10 years ago. I wrote business analysis and functional specifications as a fulltime employee at an “enterprise portal solution” company. Working with our team’s engineers, I recorded technical designs and customized documentation for end users.

By August of 2001, though it hadn’t been announced to us or the public yet, I had deduced my employer was about to be acquired. I jumped at the chance to go when my dad suggested I join him and my stepmother for their trip to Italy to visit my sister, Missy. I knew that in a matter of weeks what little vacation time I had could be meaningless.

I carried a hardbound journal with me the whole trip with the goal of writing every day. I wanted to be able to share my experiences with my husband, Mike, who could not come with me. He had just started a new job.

I confess I’ve struggled to write this post. A lot. The trip most definitely changed me. I’ve decided to let the writer I was then tell the story. What follows are excerpts from that journal.

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