Ciao ragazzi! Oggi vorrei parlarvi della mia amica Mary Osborne che ha appena completato il suo secondo romanzo! Vi ricordate Mary? L’anno scorso vi avevo presentato il suo primo libro, “Nonna’s Book of Mysteries”.
Today I want to talk to you about my friend Mary Osborne who has just recently competed her second novel! Perhaps you remember Mary. Last year I told you about her first book, “Nonna’s Book of Mysteries”.
Figuratevi, ci siamo conosciute all’università. Oltre ad essere una scrittrice, Mary e’ anche un’infermiera che abita e lavora a Chicago. Ecco una breve descrizione del suo nuovo libro; è un piccolo assaggio.
Can you believe it, we attended the same in college! Not only is Mary a writer, but she is also a nurse who lives and works in Chicago. Here is a brief description of her new book; it’s just a little taste.
“Alchemy’s Daughter” racconta la storia di Santina Pietra, una diciassettenne che vive a San Gimignano nel XIV secolo.
“Alchemy’s Daughter” tells the story of Santina Pietra, a seventeen year old who lives in medieval San Gimignano.
La ragazza e’ figlia di un mercante e, come usava allora, tutti si aspettavano che si sposasse e si dedicasse alla vita domestica; lei è innamorata pero’ di Calandrino, un brillante studioso, che si dedica a testi di alchimia. Santina incontra Trotula, la levatrice del villaggio che… è forse una strega?
The girl is a merchant’s daughter and as was the custom of the time expected to marry and dedicate herself to domestic life; she falls in love with Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts. Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife who… is perhaps a witch?
Trotula sfida Santina a dimenticare Calandrino e a seguire il suo destino. Qualcuno pensa che la ragazza sia la vittima di un incantesimo della levatrice, ma Santina e’ decisa a seguirne le orme anche quando scoppiano calamità intorno a loro. Il romanzo e’ ambientato nell’Italia del Medioevo ma, nonostante questo, i lettori potranno identificarsi nella storia di questa donna e nella sua ricerca del senso della propria vita.
Trotula challenges Santina to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say that she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike. The story takes place in 14th century Italy yet reader will identify with the story of a young woman whose search for meaning echoes their own.
Io porterò il romanzo nel mio viaggio a Roma, per gustarmelo meglio nell’atmosfera italiana, e scrivero’ una recensione per “Virtual Book Tour” che sara’ pubblicata il mese prossimo. Leggetelo anche voi!
I will take the book with me on my trip to Rome next month to read on the plane to get me in the mood for Italy. I will also write a review of the book for the next “Virtual Book Tour” that will be published next month. You should read it too!
Ecco qui Mary che vi racconterà qualcosa di più della sua nuova avventura.
Here is Mary to tell you about her latest project in a guest post called: Traveling, the writing life, and mindfulness
Years ago, during a trip to Italy, I stood at the ancient brick wall surrounding the medieval village of Certaldo. From this vantage point, I gazed out at the rolling Tuscan countryside and saw San Gimignano, with its enigmatic tall towers, beckoning from the distance. While my travel itinerary could not accommodate a stop in San Gimignano, this picturesque town nonetheless became the setting for my new novel, Alchemy’s Daughter. On the other hand, my first novel, Nonna’s Book of Mysteries, was inspired by an actual visit to Florence. Perhaps more than travels to Italy, the cultivation of a “vacation mindset” spurred my progress as an author. By disconnecting regularly from the daily routine and tuning in to the extraordinary amidst the ordinary, I have managed to carve out some time and space to write and create.
In an ideal world, I would disappear from the mundane responsibilities of life and hide away in a charming old Tuscan farmhouse to pen my novels. However, as a single mom and part-time RN, this is not at all feasible! So with my precious memories of past trips and trusty travel guides in hand, I escape instead to my office, with a view of Wrigley Field in the distance, in order to write. I turn off the phone and let go of compulsively checking email and Facebook, just as I do when I travel. It sometimes takes extra willpower to disengage, but with practice, it becomes routine.
Detaching from your devices might not be the same as gazing at the Mediterranean Sea from the Amalfi Coast, but it does have its perks. When the steady stream of high-pitched technological chatter is silenced, you might feel withdrawal symptoms at first, but eventually, you might experience a something like a mini-vacation. I believe traveling inspires us not just because we experience new things, but also because we are mindful of what we are experiencing. Unplugging, from time to time anyway, can inspire us to do the same at home, to experience peace as we go about our daily tasks, to slow down long enough to really savor a good cup of coffee, or observe the beauty of the blue iris in bloom in the garden, or to make art.
Writing Alchemy’s Daughter transported me to the world of medieval midwifery, medicine, and alchemy. After spending a number of years getting to know Trotula (a midwife who is a suspected witch), and Santina (the midwife’s apprentice who refuses to do as she is told), and Calandrino (a handsome scholar who is preoccupied with ancient alchemical texts), I am returned to my hometown of Chicago. Currently, I am preparing to set sail for 17th Century England, a possible setting for my third novel. I look forward to disappearing this September, after my son goes off to college, and time traveling to the London of Isaac Newton’s time. Flying across the pond to see Newton’s old stomping ground would be a welcome adventure. Whether I travel physically or only in my imagination, I will be far away, and my phone will be turned off.
Wishing you happy travels, wherever life leads!
Mary A. Osborne is the award-winning author of Alchemy’s Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. An honors graduate of Rush University and Knox College, Mary is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, NewCity, and the Examiner.com. She lives in Chicago.