Believe it or not, I’ve missed my little soapbox. Every once in a while I would find myself thinking that it would be nice to pull together a nice little rant on some topic or other. But then I’d think about my stack of undone student assignments. I know how hard it can be to wait for feedback, so I try to avoid making them wait any longer than I have to. And then there was the siren call of Venice for my Italian chase novel. I was really struggling with my first chase scene along the canals of Venice. Not that I was suffering. After all, I was busy checking out bird’s eye and ground level views of Venice courtesy of Google Maps. This is such a great tool and time-waster all rolled into one.
I’m also keeping copies of Rick Steves’ Italy and Art for Dummies within an armslength of my computer. These books were invaluable when it came to deciding on what to visit when my family lived in Europe.
I remember wrinkling my nose when my husband picked up the Dummies book until I saw it was by Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He definitely made art interesting and accessible. And now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be writing this novel in this way without the perspective he offered on one of his favorite artists, an artist who should be better known….