Six delightful places and things I saw in my Tuscany vacation

1. The medieval San Gimignano

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Once an Italian friend told me that this small town is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany, and I agree with her. It looks like a magical fantasy setting, especially at night when the stone towers, walls, and houses seem even more lost in time.

 

2. Etruscan tombs.

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Which, according to my son, look like the entry to the lost city of Ouroboros in Ninjago. 🙂

3. A delicious candy made of milk powder.

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These sweets made of milk powder, honey and yogurt were my main fuel in my Tuscany tours.

 

4. Decorative objects made of Alabaster.

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Alabaster, a white soft stone from Tuscany, is so beautiful white I couldn’t resist buying decoration objects made of them.

 

5. The Pisa Tower does justice to its fame.

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I had seen pictures of it before like everybody else, but to see it live is still an amazing, surprising and breathtakingly experience. It was much more beautiful than I expected.

6. The Devil’s Bridge

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Also called The Bridge of Mary Magdalene, it has the classic medieval “hunchback” design, but what makes it different (according to the prospect from the Borgo a Mozzano Comune) is its asymmetrical arches and the gravity-defying central arc.

I never saw such a glorious gothic bridge before and loved crossing it. I wonder how the eleventh-century pilgrims must have felt back then.
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LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINATION

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Thank you to Mike Wolff  (blog) for the nomination.  It’s always fun to answer other author’s questions and see other people answers to your questions later on.

Once I have answered the questions posed to me, I will nominate 10 new bloggers and provide them with a new set of questions.  Should they feel like playing along, they will do the same to another set of 10 bloggers.  The hope is to spread the word and dominate the internet…or something like that.

Nominee’s Rules:

Thank me, as I nominated you (you own me!!!) 🙂 and supply a link to my blog for your readers to browse. https://leticiatoraci.wordpress.com/
Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge into your post.
Answer the ten questions.
Nominate ten bloggers and inform them of their nomination via social media methods.
List ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

Once again, there is no obligation to do this.  You really should though, as it’s fun and helps spread the word of evil…no wait, it helps spread the word about your blog.  Yeah, that’s what I meant!

Have fun with it.

My answers:

1. Are space aliens real? Give a compelling argument to support your answer.

I think they are real. My compelling argument: Because they visit me sometimes. Lol, just joking, but the universe is big enough and has planets enough to sustain life, so why not?

 

2. What is your favorite genre to read and why?

I like sci-fi and fantasy equally so the two genres are tied.

 

3.If you’re not a vegetarian, what would you put on your burger?  If you are a vegetarian, what would you eat instead of a burger?  If you don’t like burgers, why not?

I’m not so crazy for burgers and I’ll explain why. Some years ago there was a meat scandal in Europe where they found old horses meat mixed in minced meat products, so this made me mistrust the origin and quality of minced meat food. That includes also chicken nuggets, bolognese sauces and ready made lasagna. I would put a steak in the place of the burger because at least then I know what I’m eating. I would become vegetarian if I could, but the last time I tried I had no energy, so I put the idea aside for the moment while I still have a really busy life.

 

4. Finish this sentence with a short paragraph.  A little green alien, a panda bear and the Grim Reaper walk into a bar…

… The Grim Reaper asks for Archers with lemonade for his alien friend, some bamboo shoots for his pet, and tells everybody to relax. The panda bear though eats, shoots and leaves. 🙂 And the Grim Reaper says: “Oh no! Now I have to work only because you misplaced the comma!”.

 

5. What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

I haven’t been totally there yet. I hope it will be when I manage to publish my series. An art exposition with a newspaper article was close to it though.

 

6. As a writer/reader/artist/creative-type person, what, if any, music do you listen to while you create?

Songs I like. I made a blog post with a list of some of them:

https://leticiatoraci.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/my-writing-playlist-25-songs-full-of-emotion/

 

7. What is your worst fear?  I’m talking clowns, spiders, rats, falling, etc…  Why?

My second worst fear is roller coasters. Anything to do with too much velocity. I won’t reveal the worst though because it’s a secret. 🙂

 

8. If you could either be a highly successful author/artist with no ability to interact with your fans, or a slight to moderately successful author/artist with fan interaction, what would you chose and why?

I would prefer to be able to interact with people always.

 

9. I like myths and urban legends, you should all already know that.  So, what is your favorite myth or urban legend and why?

There are many native Brazilian myths I like. One of my favorite is called “the origin of the stars”. They say that once kids tied a rope in the sky and climbed up, never to be seen again, and they became the stars.

 

10. What message about you and your creations would you like new followers to know? Get on that soapbox, this is your stage!

This is a difficult one. 🙂 I think it would be that I always try to do my best in any creation, be it a painting or a story. I can’t be sure people will like it, but I’ll be sure I did my best at the time when I was exposing or publishing them.

Now for my nominees:

I thought a bit about it and, since a lot of the bloggers I know have already been nominated, I would like to invite anyone who feels like playing too. If you answered my questions in your blog please leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog. I’ll be happy to read your answers. Cheers! 🙂

1. What’s your perfect pizza?

2.What did you do for your latest birthday?

3. Which was the best book you read last year?

4. You favorite character in a book?

5. How many books do you read per year?

6. If you could retire tomorrow what would you do?

7. Your dream vacation? Worst vacation? Best vacation?

8. Crowds, small groups, only a partner or “Go away, I’m a loner”?

9. If a friend in love with you kidnapped you, and you woke up in a ship going to a planet destined to be a new Earth colony what would you do? Assuming you could not kill your friend because without him/her you could not control the spaceship?

10. Do you have writing or other artistic/hobby projects? How are they going?

Looking for inspiration? It may be a good idea to turn your computer off.

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I made an interesting discovery on my last summer vacation. Time away from the internet can do wonders for your writing and for your time management too.

As usual in every vacation I never take my laptop with me. I know that it will be hard to be away from the virtual world, but I make a stand on it. It’s a, to some degree, return to the past ritual; to the time when I didn’t own a computer and didn’t even know what an email was. I remember having more time for everything back then even if some of that time was spent watching television. As nowadays television for me is something I mainly use to show my DVDs twice per week, during these three weeks I used the internet free time for something more constructive; reading.

Since I often change my mind about what I want to go on reading, it’s very practical to carry a great number of books in an electronic reader. So, apart from the two books I started and didn’t feel like reading to the end, during this vacation I managed to finish reading other six books: Four science-fiction books and two about writing craft. These last two I didn’t only read, but also studied, making notes on the e-reader. When I was writing, I was fine under the sun with a paper notebook and a pen. I had the double word count I usually have at home while trying the almost impossible task (with my white complexion) of getting a tan. All this while reading and writing were just a part of my day. The rest of the time I was “busy” enjoying my vacations and had a great time, without internet.

But coming back to my main theme, inspiration. Ideas rarely come to me while sitting in front of my computer. I think this happens because too much goes on in the virtual world and I’m not disciplined enough not to look around while writing. New ideas appear while cooking, talking to people, taking a shower or just after closing my eyes and deciding I was done for the day and I’m going to sleep. Usually I’m not thinking about my novel, it happens unconsciously when I am relaxed. So, the best thing to do when you hit the wall is to take a break. Give it time, from half an hour to a full night of sleep, preferably go to do a task that doesn’t occupy your mind so much. Even everyday work, like baking a cake or ironing clothes can help your mind in answering your questions for you. Inspiration will surface when you expect it the least.