I used to collect sets of books with beautiful bindings; leather, cloth, it didn't matter as long as I loved the bindings. I visited many used bookstores in southern California, sometimes as a break from studies, other times as a stress reliever, still others for just plain fun. My insides would churn with excitement when I'd enter a store with book sets I wanted, and could afford. My dream was to one day have a room, a library, where I could be surrounded by beautiful books.
Living in apartments for years, I had no library; there weren't even any built-in bookcases. In fact, I never had room for more than three store-bought bookcases crammed onto one wall at a time. Not exactly the library I'd pictured, yet, when someone asked why I didn't get rid of some of the books, I said, "Because some day having a room to put them in is a dream I'm not willing to give up, yet."
I still don't have the library I've always pictured, but I'm closer -- I now have a room that I can say I own, the study, we call it, and one complete wall is lined with those books. I'm sitting in the study right now, looking out at the sun beginning to creep over my little Tuscany.
And I'm not willing to give up on Half Italian, yet, or accept being overlooked by the industry simply because I'm unknown.
I'm not sure what's next, maybe a third and final submission to Travelers' Tales.