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  • Leanne W. Smith

A song, a soup, the harvest and a quote

Blogging about unexpected roads traveled.

Seeking to keep my chin up, and to help lift yours.


My toast burned this morning. The bread got sideways, nudging too close to the burners. I blame the toaster. If only I could have snuck the toaster from the Villa into my suitcase coming home from Florence. Now that was a well-constructed toaster! I also miss Emily and the students and the sight of the Medici Chapel across from the downtown classroom and the cinnamon vanilla gelato from La Strega Nocciola and the sight of kayakers on the Arno going under the Ponte Vecchio. I miss cobblestone streets and Italian flowers spilling over window boxes and the cheerful guys at Rimani’s making me a cappuccino in the mornings…or at mid-day…or one last decaf before dinner although true Italians would never after 10:00 a.m. because of the milk. It’s espresso only for them, and after meals not prior. I love that I got to learn this.


But no more torturing my heart or yours with memories of my abbreviated time in Italy. Let me share instead recent blessings from my mother country of America. A song I cannot stop listening to this song by Jac Thompson and The Arcadian Wild (Dreams, Fleetwood Mac, cover). To borrow a line from one of my favorite books by Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse:

“’Wow,’ said Mr. Slinger. That was just about all he could say. ‘Wow.’”


A soup If you, like me, like Italian food, I’m sharing the best hack I’ve discovered: Pomodoro Soup from Trader Joe’s, best topped with fresh basil. It’s a frozen block of deliciousness that you simply have to thaw and heat. I had a bowl of soup like this in Florence and each time I slip a decadent spoonful into my bowl, I am transported over the Atlantic through my taste buds. I plan to go to Trader Joe’s later this very day and if they are out of it again, I may throw a fit inside the store…or at least have a hearty cry. The harvest The deer have thus far enjoyed more of our crop’s harvest than we have, but I am not giving up. The cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas we have managed to harvest have been terrific on salads. And a quote

A story begins with a disruption to the heroine’s daily life—a major disturbance in the balance of things that throws her off her footing and sets her on her rump.”

Thus begins my 3rd book, Alone in a Cabin, about a writer discovering that stories abound. Like Maggie, I have felt knocked to my rump a time or two in 2020.

“After the inciting incident kicks the heroine to the ground, she has to decide whether to lie there and wallow, or stand up and put one foot in front of the other. If she can rally, the reader has cause to cheer.”

Burnt toast, deer, and pandemics aside, I plan to keep moving forward. Hope you do, too.

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Contact me at the following:

The Seymour Agency: Julie Gwinn, agent

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