Monday, September 25, 2017

Fundraising for Baby Book's Recording

Composer Lauren Spavelko has set some of my poems about a miscarriage, second pregnancy and early motherhood to music. These poems come from a (yet unpublished) manuscript titled Baby Book. You might remember that she won an award to have the song cycle performed in Spoleto this July. This month, Lauren, soprano Natasha Lynn Foley & pianist Bethany Cothern are raising funds to record the song cycle.

You can learn more and donate to them through their Indiegogo page. Click through to read sample pages from the score and watch a video in which the three artists discuss the project and their interest in it. 

I hope that you will consider supporting the poems, music and women artists. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ciao From Florence, Italy!

today's view from our balcony

I apologize for the recent blogging-silence. Our family has temporarily relocated to Florence, Italy, and are now settled into a new, yet recognizable, routine that will last until summer 2018.

As of October 2, I will be available to schedule appointments with new writing coach clients. Click here for more details outlining ways that we might be able to work together. I am flexible and able to tailor a plan for your needs, goals and interests. Please note that I can take up to three new writing clients this semester since I have a number of clients who will be continuing. If you are interested in starting, please email me as soon as possible: chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you're interested, do remember that I am six hours ahead of the east coast (EST) and the best time for me to meet with you is your morning. We can video conference (WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype), I can call you or we can do everything over email. Send me an email and we can develop a plan together.

Some of you have been asking for details about our lives in Italy. I'm writing and teaching writing online, my husband is on sabbatical researching and writing and our four year old is attending a local school. We've been eating our fair share of fresh pasta, pizza and gelato. We've visited Michelangelo's Davide at the Accademia Gallery, wandered around the many piazzas and churches in Florence, visited Pisa, Fiesole and Piazzale Michelangelo, and have a long list of more art and architecture to see in Florence and throughout Italy. And, of course, we have an equally long list of foods we want to eat.

There has also been a lot of packing, unpacking, organizing, and paperwork (the paperwork-component of a move to Italy cannot be underestimated. And by paperwork, I mean dedicating a number of mornings to going to offices where you take a number, wait a while and then find out there's another piece of paper that you need from another office.) It has been daunting at times, but as my dear friend Mary H. said, that part of the move couldn't continue forever. After about a month, the most time consuming parts have ended. My friend's emphasis on the finite quality of the administrative side of it all helped me to remember that I'd eventually get back to noticing the beauty with my family and settling into writing. A very sincere thank you to my local friends who have helped us to navigate these offices. 

I lived and worked here fourteen years ago when I was the Residence Hall Manager at NYU's study abroad campus in Florence. My senses still need some time to settle before I can really digest the changes in the city and myself. I have returned as a signora (an older, married woman, rather than a younger, single signorina) and mamma. If I were to write a memoir about this time, I think it would be titled, "Becoming a Signora," as it feels as though I receive more respect when I speak Italian (the men listen and respond to me, instead of turning towards my English speaking husband) and our child has been embraced (folks offer their bus seats to him and everyone smiles at him.) 

I'm unlikely to write that memoir, but I do hope to write some new poems and maybe draft a children's book while I'm here. I will give myself a writing routine for structure, but I'm hoping that the landscape nudges me in a new direction. If I were to guess, I think that the light and colors will feature in the new work. We'll see. Vediamo. 

And I hope to see you all, too. Keep in touch and email me with your many successes (former students: let me know if you have published new work) and any questions about writing coaching (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.