Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Travels with Myself and Another

"A place to write, think, escape..."

I don't often get to travel with my kids. Most of the time, I'm either on assignment or, more accurately, used to be on assignment before I pretty much started back on fiction full time. Or I'm looking for an escape in order to gather inspiration for a new novel. Or I'm simply looking to get the hell out, which is not uncommon for a guy like me who is always itchy (I think I've mentioned before that I never sit down and watch TV, and it's tough to get me to a movie).

So when the opportunity arose to bring my 17 year old son Harrison (we call him Bear) with me to Italy for the month of August for which I've rented an apartment in Florence, Italy, he and I both jumped at the chance. As some of you already know, Harrison is hoping to become a writer and for now anyway, he has traded in his traditional education for one of being self-taught and simply reading and writing (while he pursues a GED).

He also seems to be in search of the meaning of life these days and asking himself questions that many of us either choose to ignore or run away from because they are so dangerous, the most obvious of which is: Am I really happy?

I may not always appear to be the best father to some people, but I know to others I am an exceptional father. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. My life in unconventional at best but the love I have for my kids can't be defined in terms of convention of mandates, rules, mores or otherwise. It's simply an unconditional love no matter how often or not-so-often I get to see them.

Harrison and I will be living close quarters for the next month in a second floor downtown Florence apartment in a four-hundred year old building, that's spacious and breezy, with plaster walls, exposed wood ceiling beams, tile floors, french windows and doors, and a large terrace that supports an arbor. I will be writing my new novel and reading over the galleys for Moonlight Rises and Scream Catcher while outlining a new romantic suspense novel based upon one of my most anthologized and translated short stories. We will head to Rome, Pisa and Venice, and we will see the museums and eat the food and drink the drink. But mostly we will spend time together, getting to know one another, as father and son, and as writers.

(To be continued...)


  1. Sounds like fun. I do love Italy - and Florence. What an experience. BTW although I really learned a lot from an English degree, I think that if I had understood writing better, I might have been able to write w/o the degree.

    Good luck to your son. I think if he would study Joseph Campbell some, he might understand the story structure better. But it takes writing it to learn it. Writing is really an apprenticeship program. Professors have no idea how one student can write better than another. At least in my experience. ;-)

  2. I think I've said it before and I'll say it again you my friend are an original father for exceptional children. And when you have posterity that are so completely different from one another it takes the originality of a parent like you to nurture their uniqueness.