Today is the fourth anniversary of my first novel’s release: Fling! I had worked on this narrative for years. After such a long incubation, it was hard to believe it had made its way into the publishing world because Pen-L Publishing (http://www.pen-l.com/Fling.html) believed in it. I wrote then that “Finally having one of my novels launched reminds me of what it’s like planning a major trip, such as the one I’m now finishing up in Italy.” Ironically, my husband and I have just spent another three weeks in Italy, and my feelings about traveling long distances and writing a novel haven’t changed.

This time, we started out with eight nights in Murano, an island 20 minutes from Venice by boat, and ended up at Bogliasco on the Ligurian coast with stops in between.  We spent a year talking about this vacation, plotting our moves, reserving apartments, and doing all of the other important things involved. We also discussed what we anticipated seeing during our excursion, savoring every possibility. It felt as if departure day would never arrive.

But then it did, and we dove headlong into the Italian culture, enjoying every minute of all the various pastas we consumed, proseccos we drank, piazzas we lusted after, and more. Our stay in Europe ended yesterday, and it’s hard to believe we’ve already returned to our daily rituals. The glorious days and nights touring such a lush country have ended. No more long rides on the Venice lagoons, absorbing the dreamy quality of that city. No more lazy days of lingering over breakfast before leisurely sightseeing.

Writing Fling! was a similar undertaking as I followed it through its many permutations until it discovered its final form. There were times when I thought it would never coalesce. And there were even more days when I feared it would never find a publisher that loved it. But today I thank Duke and Kimberly Pennell for not only publishing Fling! but for also releasing earlier this year Freefall: A Divine Comedy. Having these novels published has catapulted me into another dimension—that of being a published novelist.

This transition is not unlike visiting a new country. I’ve had to learn a different language and follow the twists and turns of what being a published novelist means. As with finally leaving on an anticipated trip, there was something anticlimactic about this day. But there also has been something incredibly satisfying about seeing my creations finally find their place with readers.

I hope you’ll become one of them!