Listening to Manul singing from the kitchen, I realize the distinct difference between when she is doing what she loves and when she is teaching what she loves. The low melody strikes a peaceful chord. I don't know if she is baking dessert or preparing dinner for later, but the sounds she makes come from deep within her body and, I have no doubt, fill the food she prepares.Read More
Why didn’t I realize that Tuscany isn’t flat, that it’s a series of ridges and valleys, I mean I’d read about it, and seen pictures, and watched movies, but no, the sharp hills were a surprise, and so going for a walk and not sticking to the country road was dumb because I got lost in an olive grove and panicked when I realized I had no phone, no ID, and no Italian apart from some coffee and food terms and unhelpful words such as chiaroscuro and fiasco...Read More
A great cooking adventure in Manul's kitchen - from brutti e buoni ("ugly and good" cookies) to pumpkin gnocchi with sage, to Sicilian chicken with balsamic vinegar, to Tuscan salad with local pecorino, raisins soaked in vin santo and EVOO. A tavolo!Read More
A few retrospective views of our train travels from France to Italy, our arrival in Pisa and our day in Volterra.Read More
In Tuscany, the weather rules everything, including our Internet connection. After several days of beautiful storms, roaming kittens, hidden churches, abandoned medieval villas, Manul's extraordinary lunches and dinners, and almost enough wine and gelato to satisfy our insatiable cravings, we return to you with greetings from Pisa and Palaia.Read More
The weather was beautiful, the castle was magical- and the writing was even better. Our supermodel writers played among the topiary, while the paparazzi snapped away.Read More
The croissant bakers are here before dawn, and so are we...Read More
And the best wines of the day, at Domaine du Closel.Read More
Market day at Chalonnes, followed by wine tasting and grape picking...Read More
Our group of brilliant writers, after an afternoon of wine tasting.Read More
A cup of coffee, fresh croissants waiting in the kitchen and sunrise over the meadow.Read More
We took an afternoon walk through the vineyards and topiaries of Chateau du Pin. Stunning warm sunlight after listening to last night's rain running through the gargoyles.Read More
After an evening rain, it is a cool but sunny day at Chateau du Pin. We're having a great time, and our students - Ginny, Joyce, Mary & Candace - tell us they love being here. We can already see huge progress in their writing.Read More
Chateau du Pin in a new light...Read More
Saturday sunrise...Read More
John outside Chateau du Pin. We're off to greet our new students in Angers.Read More
At the airport, Mimi charges her cell phone the old fashioned way: pedal power!Read More
Mais les vrais voyageurs sont ceux-là seuls qui partent
Pour partir; coeurs légers, semblables aux ballons,
De leur fatalité jamais ils ne s'écartent,
Et, sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!
But real travelers are those who leave
Just to leave; hearts light, like balloons,
Never turning from their mortality
And, without knowing why, always say: "Let's go!"
--Charles Baudelaire, "Fleurs du Mal"Read More
On October 3rd, we'll begin our October Writeaways with a week at the Chateau du Pin in the Loire Valley of France!
Imagine a week in a castle: fresh croissants from the boulangerie for breakfast, mornings spent writing and talking about what makes good writing, afternoon excursions to taste local wines, four-course dinners prepared by our fantastic Parisienne chef, Anne Villeday, and after-dinner drinks around the fire.
Can you tell we're looking forward to it?Read More
We leave for our Writeaways in France and Italy (and the Grand Tour!) in one short week!
Come along with us by following our new blog, Blogaways, where we'll posting new pictures daily, beginning October 3rd, 2014.Read More