Sorry this is going up so late, guys; I finally started to feel better today (thanks in part to all your awesome cold remedies — seriously, I appreciate each and every one of them.) However, as I’m sure you know, after you’ve been in the house sick for a few days, the first thing you want to do when you feel better is get out of the dang house. So I took myself off to see “The Rite,” because nothing says “I’m on the road to recovery” like a good old-fashioned exorcism.
Due to my questionable taste in filmgoing, I am very late announcing that the winner of Ellen Schreiber’s ONCE IN A FULL MOON is none other than Angela F.! So congrats, Angela! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it.
If you didn’t win, don’t despair: More contests are coming starting Tuesday. We’re leading into AFTERLIFE now, so the good loot is about to start coming.
In the meantime, in case you were wondering, “So, how is ‘The Rite’?” — Probably better than you’d think! It’s not brilliant, and really, after “The Exorcist,” has any film come up with something genuinely new on this topic? But thanks to some hard work by Sir Anthony Hopkins, I found the film’s fundamental question interesting (can you believe in the devil without believing in God?) and some of the sequences genuinely scary and unsettling. And the photography of Rome made me deeply nostalgic for the place. You could do worse with your moviegoing dollar. You could also do better, this time of year (“127 Hours,” “The King’s Speech,” “Black Swan,” “True Grit”), but sometimes, you just need a horror movie, you know?
I’m back in the United States! Still a bit jetlagged, but I’ve unpacked all the bags, done all the laundry and even gone through my voicemail. (Helpful tip: If you’re leaving the country for a month, it might be a good idea to say so on your voicemail message. Whoops.) Tomorrow I hope to post the rest of my Rome photos and share them with you guys.
We’ll have some other ARC giveaways and author interviews this month, but the first contest is for souvenirs I brought back from Rome — specifically, Murano glass rings!
That is not a picture of one of the actual rings — my photos of them aren’t turning out for some reason — but this is what they look like. I have five rings, all in different colors (let me pick for you), all of them adjustable so they’ll fit anyone. I bought them in a little shop one block away from the Pantheon, where I thought the jewelry was incredibly cool. (Possibly I also purchased a couple things for myself. Ahem.)
Anyway, here are the rules for the Italian Souvenir Contest:
1) Send an email to evernightclaudia at gmail dot com with the subject line “Italian Souvenir Contest.”
2) Tell me what kind of content you’d most like to see on the blog in the future — giveaways, photos, interviews, writing tips, knock knock jokes, whatever! There’s no wrong answers; I’ll pick the winners at random.
3) Also tell me the name and the address for sending the ring, if you are one of the five lucky winners. (And, yes, I’ll ship anywhere!)
4) Do all this before Tuesday, July 13 — this contest will run two weeks instead of one so that people celebrating the Fourth (or Canada Day, or watching the World Cup, wherever you might be) will have plenty of chances to enter.
That’s it! I hope you guys enjoy the contest, and it’s good to be back home.
Only three more days left here in lovely Rome! I broke down and did a bit more shopping today, but from now on I am mostly taking it easy and revisiting a few favorite places. (Plus FINALLY getting to the Roman Forum … aka the very first place I attempted to go and the only major attraction I’ve not gotten to even once!) But I have a couple of questions for Roman/Italian readers, things I have not been able to puzzle out on my own:
1) Prego is usually translated in English as “you’re welcome,” but I notice that people in stores and restaurants frequently say it even before they are thanked or have done the activity for which they would be thanked. So what does it mean really? Is it something like, “I am happy to help?”
2) A few days ago, when I was in the Borghese Gardens, I was going along, minding my own business and attempting to reach the Piazza di Spagna, when suddenly my only option was to take some stairs down and then take some more stairs down and suddenly I was in a series of subterranean tunnels and then I was in a Carrefour supermarket in the bowels of the earth. And then I kept going and I was in … the Piazza di Spagna. What happened, exactly? I didn’t dream the Carrefour, did I?
3) What in the name of our sweet baby Jesus are those Amore ads? The ones that appear to show an orgy in progress (European ads = not like American ads), but everyone involved is wearing dog and cat masks, which is just astonishingly disturbing. I have attempted to parse out the Italian beneath it, but if I understand correctly, these are ads for PET FOOD, and so I can’t possibly understand correctly, can I?
I’ve almost maxed out Flikr, so the rest of my vacation photos will be up in my first July update, but I promise many more to share then!
1) Even if the train from Ostia Antica to Rome appears to be heading in the exact opposite direction than it should, you should probably go for it asap instead of waiting until the doors nearly shut on you.
2) If the doors are nearly shutting on you, do not assume that they are configured like US subway doors, which will bounce open upon bodily contact to preserve human life. These Italian doors mean business. In or out, they say (in Italian).
3) This means that if you just barely manage to get in the train car, you will NOT be able to keep the doors open for your friends. Who are now outside the train. While you are inside the train. Which is leaving.
4) Yelling a curse word really loudly, in panic, as the people you obviously meant to remain with stand helplessly on the track while the train rolls away, turns out to be a LAUGH RIOT for people from many nations. (Though the laughter was not of the mean variety, more of the “dude, that sucks” variety.)
5) If you go to the next transfer point on the train and remain there, your friends will find you in the end.
So at least there’s a happy ending!
Today I traveled from Rome to Rimini, Italy, for the Mare di Libri festival. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be on a panel (at 10 a.m.) called “More Than Vampires,” where we’ll talk about the paranormal trends in YA literature and in publishing overall. If you are in the vicinity, please come — I would love to meet some of you there!
I’m really loving Rimini so far, though this may be because I got to travel here via train, enjoying the lovely countryside. Or maybe because my hotel here HAS INTERNET, which is a luxury I will never take for granted again. Or maybe it’s because I went to dinner tonight with a lot of writers and publishing people, and it started with us all being very formal, like, “So tell me how people go to dinner in YOUR country” and ended up with us all drinking wine at midnight and discussing how freaky it is that Johnny Depp never ages or what we consider our favorite parts of the “Spider-Man” movie. Good times, people.
Tomorrow I return to Rome, so more luxurious train journeys (yay!) but not nearly enough time to explore the town (boo). Soon I hope to have more photos to share with you, but of course in order for me to do that I will need to find the blessed, lifegiving internet in Rome. But certainly I will have more stories. 🙂
Well, I’ve had an absolutely marvelous trip in Rome so far, the high point of which was probably my birthday yesterday, which involved not only the best risotto ever but also a chocolate cake so good I suspect its consumption is a sin in some minor religions. But this morning I woke up with a cold. 🙁 It promises to be a bad one, too; my throat’s been swelling tighter and tighter throughout the day. Happily, “decongestant” turns out to translate just fine. If I need to spend the next few days in Rome piled up in my bed, writing and hiding from the heat, there are worse things to have happen … and as soon as I get better, I’ll still be in Rome.
Rome adventures included the epic trip to Pompeii two days ago. Only a handful of new photos, but check them out. Will be in touch soon, to either report on my recovery and continuing adventures, or to whine about the sniffles.
I went out and about, but decided that my touristy activities were going to be highly concentrated on museums and churches … i.e., cool places, because the blazing summer heat has arrived here in Rome. No photos today, because the single coolest/creepiest place I went doesn’t allow photography: the Capuchin cemetery, where the monks used the bones of lots and lots and LOTS of people to create, um, decoration. As in ribs and vertebrae embedded in the walls to create deceptively delicate floral patterns. Or skulls stacked on top of skulls to create high arches. Or a child’s skull with scapula on either side to look like cherubim wings. Some complete skeletons have been dressed up in monk’s robes. I hope they really were monks. One thing to be displayed after death as what you were; another to have someone come along after you’re deceased and gad your corpse up in the equivalent of a Halloween costume.
The writing is going really well here. Maybe I write better when I eat lots of pasta. Oh, I hope this is true.