Thursday, May 16, 2019

OAG 6 Days Blog-Hop #10 Stop

Welcome to the #10 stop 5 of the 6 days OAG blog-hop

Visit every blog that participates in this fun blog-hop and collect 12 words (hidden in the text of the posts between 6 asterisks).
If you visit every blog on the list at the end of this post and collect the 12 words, you'll have a quote about writing.
At the last stop enter the correct quote in the CONTEST ENTRY form.

The # 10 secret word is hidden on this page, in the text, between 6 asterisks.

Find the secret word below


Something keeps Laura Jefferson up at night. Maybe it’s the Boston traffic, maybe the sounds of the city outside her apartment window, maybe the stresses of day to day life. Whatever it is, when she’s offered a radical treatment at a secluded hotel, she doesn’t even hesitate.

But while the hotel is perfect, the grounds idyllic, ***hardest***  and Dr. Wright and his staff friendly and eager to help, it isn’t long before Laura’s fellow patients begin acting strangely, some even dropping out of the program altogether, disappearing into the night. As Laura loses chunks of time, a detective arrives, and the questions at the heart of the hotel begin to unravel.
Continuing the trilogy, Deadly Deception -Insomniac- draws closer to the mystery of Dr. Wright’s research, and the lies behind Laura’s perfect night of sleep.
Find out more following the LINK TO DEADLY DECEPTION - INSOMNIAC

The list of the participating blogs

Thank you for playing with us!
Hop on to the next blog to find the next hidden word


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Under the Tuscany's sky - part 2

As promised you last week, here I am back talking about the beauties of the smiling town of Fiesole in the Florence province. Last time I lingered talking about the beauties of the archaeological site. Today we will conclude the tour of the city with a couple of other sights, which anyway do not make the whole of the attraction in the town at all.
What is interesting is that in most of the places I have ever visited, there is always a certain degree of little details which are going eventually to escape the attention of the traveler. This is not necessarily due to the lack of time one has at his availability to discover new places, but also to the richness of every single town, city or village.
Moreover, we also need to consider that nothing ever remains the same and the changes result in new sightseeings.
That said, let’s start with another oasis of peace, the monastery of St. Francis. The church was historically an old hermitage which was built in 1399, which was enlarged at the end if 1400 and restored in 1905.
The complex includes a church and a convent.
The church is rather small but absolutely beautiful reflecting a simple Gothic style of the period.
Inside, like all the monasteries have a small garden with a well for the water, which harmony will invite the visitor to linger and contemplate about the beauties of life and nature. Particularly enjoyable in the complete silence that surrounds the site.

On the upper floor is it still possible to visit the places where once upon a time the monks had their cells, which nowadays are transferred on a backside of the monastery and that is not possible to visit (unless you decide to join the monastic life).

The cells were once upon a time occupied by important names like that of St Bernardino of Siena.
He was an Italian priest and Franciscan missionary. Nowadays we would not consider his preaching as an example of tolerance because it was frequently directed, among the others, against sodomy (homosexuality) and Jews. Nevertheless, we also need to consider the times when he was living.
Despite that, Bernardino was later canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint, where he is also referred to as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.
The cells of the monks reflect the frugality of their life dedicated mostly to the prayers and contemplation rather than to the materiality of the existence.

The scenery that can be enjoyed from the yard of the church is absolutely amazing giving a full panoramic view of the city of Florence and the surrounding mountains, which completes the beauty and peace of the monastic life. There you really find yourself far from the noises of the busy city life, to make you believe to be transported to another dimension from where is possible to look at our modern life from a different perspective.

Indeed Fiesole is a lovely spot, a must visit, when traveling to Florence, together with all the surrounding beauties, so wherever you go on holiday, don’t limit your wanderings to the main city, take the time to visit the surroundings to find real gems to fall in love with.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Under the Tuscany's sky - part 1 -

I could not write under the Tuscany's sun, because the Sun didn't grace us with its presence, on this day. Nevertheless, despite the weather conditions, there is a magic that those little towns on the Tuscan's Apennines can do.
The magic is to transform every day into something charming, and whether grey or sunny you will surely fall in love with them.
I have met a couple of old friends in Florence, and the first thought was 'what to do today?'
We all have been visited Florence hundreds of times, so we decided to go discovering the surroundings and check the beauties hidden in those places less known to the tourists.
The place I am going to bring you today is Fiesole.
This little town of 14150 inhabitants, like the rest of the Italian cities, has a long history and it was probably founded in the 9th -8th century as an important Etruscan city, and the remains of the ancient walls testify it.
In 283 BC it was conquered by the Romans and integrated into their territories.
It is also one of the wealthiest centres of Tuscany, and since the 14th century it was considered a getaway for the upper class of Florence.
The chance to visit those remains was my main target, and we’ve spent most of the time walking around the archeological site, and this is the place where first I would like to bring you in this virtual tour.

The Roman theatre:

The Termae:

The temple:

Despite the site might seem small, there are many details that deserve to be observed and the location is an oasis of peace.
Fiesole has attracted many international artists who chose it as one of their residences, just to cite a few, Bernard Berenson, Alexandre Dumas, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hermann Hesse.
There are many beautiful and interesting places that deserve being described, and for this reason, I will not rush everything on one single blog. Just because I want you to have the time to enjoy the beauties of this place, at their fullest, I am concentrating today on the archaeological sites, and next week I will talk a bit more about another famous place; the church of St. Francis and the rest of this charming town.

Stay tuned!!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

An old railway to time travel

The old saying that you will never get to know your hometown could never be more pertinent. I discovered something that, much probably I had heard about when I was a kid, but never really paid attention to it.
I am talking about the abandoned railway that, once upon a time, connected the town of Spoleto with Norcia in the region of Umbria in Italy.
According to the history, the railway was built in 1926 following an initial project of 1906, which was slowed down by the war. At those times it was considered a jewel of the railway engineering, crossing the Apennines and the complex of the Sibillini mountains.
Unfortunately, the second world war caused irreversible damages to the structure of the railway, and despite all the attempt to keep it running, it was definitely closed in 1968.
Nevertheless, the railway, which is long about 50km, can be still walked through or traveled by bike, and it was a pleasure for me in this wonderful and warm spring weather to have a walk on the first part of it.
Starting from the town of Spoleto, the railway has a constant slope of about 5% and reaches a maximum altitude of 625 m.
The quiet and the peace of the place, now surrounded by the National Park is almost amazing, and the walk through the old tunnels through the reliefs brings me the memories of the old times. Although this wouldn’t be considered safe to run with a train, the structure itself is perfectly preserved and allows a great view of the panorama.
Here are some pictures I have taken during my trekking (keep in mind where I was walking, for the whole distance there were the tracks of the train, so imagine how spectacular was to cross this beautiful landscape by train!):

I have only walked it for the first 8 km because I knew that whatever distance I was going to walk, I had to double it to return to the actual railway station from where I have started my quest.
I promised myself that I will come once again walking along this old railway but starting from the other end, hoping to reach the main bridge.
And here some other pictures of this stunning place:

Hoping you liked the post and enjoyed this virtual tour on the abandoned railway so close to my hometown.
Have all a great weekend and a Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Wandering Writer's corner... news

It's a grey day here in Finland, and I am approaching to finalize my luggage for the next wandering back to Italy. At the same time, I just got the confirmation that very soon my next novel "Deadly Deception - The Devil's Deal" will be released from the editor, and soon enough I will be able to publish the final book of the trilogy.
Writing a series can be fun, but there are some points, which are common to the process of writing that reach the extreme in the case of a series.
-The characters: The biggest challenge for me was to be consistent with the characters, some appeared in the first book and returned on the third, or met, sadly, their demise but they gave still their contribution to the story. I had so many times to go back to the first book and check the names of the people involved in the story and connect them with those who appeared only in the third book. Personally, it was messy enough to make me forget about the idea of making a series longer than just trilogies.
-The storyline: If it is somewhat challenging following a plot during one whole novel, when it comes to a series, it might get frustrating. Being a pantser myself, rather than a plotter, I had, for this trilogy, to write down the storylines of all the previous books and plan carefully the storyline of the final one, to make sure that each event could connect with the previous in a flawless manner (I will continue to have nightmares about the fear of not having connected facts).
-The characters talking in your ears: That is one of the best and worst, they all want to have their spotlight, and they have their own idea on how to get to it. Sharing is not a word in their vocabulary and many times I moderate their arguments. Whether this is just a joke, there is still a foundation of truth. Characters are the multiple and unabridged reflections of our inner selves; fears, hopes, dreams, desires, likes and dislikes. The duty of a writer is to give them space ordering them into characters with different personalities. It is a little like the story of Pinocchio. Geppetto was unaware of the troubles of creating Pinocchio, but in the end, he managed to turn that little piece of irreverent wood into a well-behaved boy. Something like this happens with writing a novel, and it gets stronger when dealing with a series.
Regardless of this, I have enjoyed so far writing this first series, and I believe I will take the chance to write more of them in the future. Although, I might take a break from them with at least a couple of other novels.
So, you might wonder whether there is already a date for the next release, and unfortunately, I have to say that there isn’t. I aim to publish it between the end of this month and the end of May, but if you keep following me, I will keep you all updated!
Stay tuned and have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Three years of blogging. Past, Present and Future.

Image by Kevin King(Chandana Perera) from Pixabay
Far from being a lesson in grammar, this post is going to be a sort of going through the history of the blog "Paper Pen and Inkwell."
The first thing that comes to my mind is why did I start blogging?
Well, at that time I was just starting my brand new career in being a published author, and I was just going through all the possibilities I had to be noticed by the big crowd of authors, and content online.
At the question what next? in the marketing process, the possibilities of blogging were indeed something highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try, the problem then was the name of the blog, which would have become my brand.
The name Paper Pen and Inkwell came from a very old way of saying at school when you were prompted to write something. "Prepare paper pen and inkwell" so to be ready to write.
I consider myself a very nostalgic person, and although I like the advantage of technology, I also look back at those times where we needed to do everything on our own without any automation.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Then came out what to write, I didn't have many writing experiences to write, and definitely, I could not give advice to anyone since I was the one in dire need of them.
One thing, though I had done extensively in my life, and that was traveling, and considering that my travels have been quite extreme, I decided to share them with the rest of the world.
That's how also the "Wandering Writer" was born.
That's how I depict myself, this is not only because of the travels I am doing around the world but also because of the extensive travels I go with my imagination when I am writing my stories. Those can be invented places or really existing ones.
Now after having described all the experiences, I have acquired during my travels I had to change a bit the topics unless I wanted to blog only the months when I am traveling or when I have a new novel coming out.
This doesn’t mean that the Wandering Writer is no more here but she is traveling differently exploring new topics, and that is also a sort of journey.
I also started to share my passion for photography, which has been a never-ending journey in learning new techniques, practicing combinations, acquiring new objectives for the cameras, and dreaming on those subject that is for the moment not at my reach (but they will be one day).
Now after three years of blogging, I think I have learned that you do not need necessarily to stick on one single topic in your blog. Whatever is in your heart, every story that needs to be told is worth the time of a blog. The experiences shared might help someone else too.
Paper Pen and Inkwell is a name that can include everything that is written, and I am glad to have chosen such a versatile name. I have to admit that initially, I was wondering whether this was the right one or should I have used as a more specific name either connected to traveling or to writing, but then, thinking twice, this was just perfect and describes the Wandering Writer in its essence.
What about the future then? Well, the future holds at least I hope, more travels, more novels more pictures taken, more experiences. As once I said we are planning our escape from the rat race, and at the moment we are at the count -4.45 years (LOL).
Indeed, the future holds a lot of uncertainties too, and I cannot really tell for sure what will actually happen. One thing I want to let you know is that whatever it will be, I will write it here on my blog.
I wish you all a great Weekend!!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring is here and it's time to grab back the camera!

Photography has always been a big passion for me, and I cannot really pinpoint a real moment from where it started. Maybe it was because my father brought me out to take pictures and then together we were developing them in our darkroom.
Yes, those were the times when digital cameras were not even invented, and if you wanted to have your pictures, you needed to take good shots, of which quality you could know only once you’ve spent money on developing them. The worst part was when you were on a journey, and you took something like 200 pictures, and then when you came back home and developed them… only 10 were of decent quality (LOL).
Despite the fact that we lived in Italy and the weather is fairer than Finland (where I do live now), my father hated winter, and barely wanted to go out on those gloomy days, not even for taking pictures.
Spring and Summer were the times when we were always out together, at least until I started to hang around with my friends and have other interests too.
Life has brought many changes in my life, but there is one thing that remained the same, and that is the passion for photography.
My favorite subjects are either flowers, insects or other animals, and the moon.
Here are some of the pictures taken at this beginning of Spring:

However there one fellow which I love to photograph, and it is a wild hare that took his home in my yard. Now there are several hares and wild rabbits that come spending some time in my yard, but this one is among the others my favorite. I also gave him a name Pörrö (hairy/fluffy. Some dictionaries wrongly translate this word as ‘pussy,’ which is not!).
Here is he:

Spring offers indeed limitless possibilities for those who love being in the outdoors and also to those who need a reason for exercising. Most of the best subjects are found inside the forest, where you cannot access with a car, so you need absolutely to go walking, and in many cases also climbing.
A challenging subject is the moon, I am looking after the perfect shot of a full moon, but it seems like I have to get a better objective for that purpose . In the meanwhile, I have taken great shots of the half moon when in very dark conditions, so be prepared and go far from the city and source of light not to get the pictures flawed.

Something I am still learning is how to take good shots of stars. I guess that for that I need to try when I am in places with low or no human settlements. The incoming trip to Africa might give me that possibility, and honestly, I cannot see the time.

OAG 6 Days Blog-Hop #10 Stop

Welcome to the #10 stop 5 of the 6 days OAG blog-hop Visit every blog that participates in this fun blog-hop and collect 12 words (...