The Pines of Rome Blog Is Reborn!

For me, the New Year starts in September, not January. Being the start of the school year, September has always lent itself to new beginnings for me. The long lazy days of summer are left behind, and with it my lazy ways are sloughed off, and big plans for exciting projects and personal improvement take their place.

{Great minds think alike, evidently, as writer and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin on her awesome podcast Happier recently dedicated an entire episode to just this sentiment, charmingly titled, September is the Other January. I hadn't heard this episode yet when I wrote the above, but was delighted when I discovered it!}

The prospect of new office supplies (in my mind they will always be school supplies, no matter how old I get), scarves (by far my favorite accessory), tights (second favorite), soup (butternut squash, if possible), crunchy fallen leaves, crisp mornings, and endless cups of tea (Marco Polo by Mariage Frères, if you're asking) remind me that fall is the very very best time of year. Some of my greatest memories occurred in fall (and I'm sure that's in part because it coincided with the start of every new school year) and all three of my serious relationships began in September. It's a month ripe for new and promising beginnings. Absolutely everything feels possible in September.

 Roman Pines and Castel Sant'Angelo, © Neil Cornwall

Roman Pines and Castel Sant'Angelo, © Neil Cornwall

This year is no different. As I am writing this, it is still August, but the cooler, shorter days of September are only a whisper away, and a dozen ambitious ideas are bubbling on the soon-to-be-cozy hearthfire of my mind. And one of the most important of these is this new fandangled website and blog of mine. And although the website has been in the works since spring, and I officially started blogging on it in early August (I couldn't throw a new website and blog up with the most recent post from 2016, now could I?), I knew it had to be officially launched in September. And specifically, on September 22nd, the anniversary (lucky number 13 this year!) of the day I walked off of a plane and onto Roman soil––and never looked back. Goethe supposedly said, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." (Emphasis mine.) Begin being the key word here. New beginnings are powerful things.

As some of you may know, I have a book coming out from HarperCollins in six months (although the deal has been in the works for a year and a half, and the contract signed over 12 months ago, I still can't believe I actually get to type those words!!) and there will be more on that later, but I figured, I had to have a professional(-looking) website if I'm to be a professional(-esque) author, so here it is! Voilà! Eccolo (as my two-year-old would say)! I hope you like it! Comments and suggestions are more than welcome. I promise (really, this time) that I will be blogging regularly again, giving previews of the big upcoming exhibits and events taking place in Rome, scouring ancient Roman history to bring you the most obscure and useless facts you never wanted to know, discovering the fascinating (maybe only to me?) reasons behind Rome's odd street names, recommending books, and tackling some of art history's greatest mysteries. You're welcome.

And to those of you who have been following this blog from the beginning, thank you for being so patient with me while I wrote a book, started a podcast, and had a baby. It's been a crazy and amazing few years, and it's time to add this blog back into the mix. Tell me what you think, and how I can improve. I'm new to this web-design thing, and could use all the help I can get!