New paths along old paths

Today I walked two miles to take an envelope to friends who are returning to England tomorrow. It contained a Contract I had signed with Endeavour Press, an independent publishing company based in London. They have taken on “Tuscan Roots” and “Now and Then in Tuscany”. All along the dusty track I had last minute nerves: was I doing the right thing? Why didn’t I continue to promote these books myself?

As I walked, ideas for another book started to drift into my head. Inspired by abandoned houses in our valley, I feel there are stories still to be told; ghosts from the past knocking at my mind. I passed a trough that may have been used in the past for animals or laundry by the local women. In it lay a piece of discarded barbed wire, like a symbol.DSCN3103DSCN3093

And then, more ideas presented themselves and I stopped to jot them in my notebook. Afterwards, I realised I hadn’t thought this way for a while. I’ve been so preoccupied with marketing my first two books, I had no space to think of my next projects.

Once home and after I’d delivered the envelope, I felt freer and I wrote a 75 word submission for Planet Paragraph. It may well not be accepted, but it marked a turning-point for me.

“Up the track I trudge, air scant, broom and orchids withered now. Holm oaks sough in the Scirocco wind and cicadas blast my ears. By a crop of sandstone, a lizard scurries over crisp leaves. My heart thumps, the terrain is arid. I stop to guzzle water from my flask and scribble in my notebook.  Perched on the Apennines, high above me, sits a huddle of abandoned dwellings. Ghosts whisper to have their stories told.”

The photo below wasn’t taken today because I was on my own and it was hot. This is Tuscany when it drizzles. The village of Gattara that I am looking at has plenty of stories and I shall weave them in. My heart feels lighter now.



About Angela Petch

Bit of a story dreamer, written two novels - a third in progress. I love my little family and in no particular order afterwards: Italian culture, food, wine, walking everywhere I can and especially in the Apennines, East Africa, tennis when I can, reading, reading and more reading. So much to discover still before I die.
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6 Responses to New paths along old paths

  1. Rose says:

    It would be great to read more of your stories about those so-recently-passed ways of life…

    And can I ask your “novelist and dreamer” advice? My grandfather died before I was born and my grandmother when I was very young, so I hardly remember her, and I can’t decide whether to keep the few love letters from the beginning of their relationship, when he sounds so happy, because it was not at all a happy marriage (he loved the country and dogs and music, she loved cities and art and politics and the latest ideas) – it seems like telling a lie and that I should just let the letters and memories slip quietly into the past… I feel you will intuitively have the right answer!


    • Angela Petch says:

      Thanks, Rose, for your encouragement. I have some stories brewing and I need to do some research but I will record some more aspects of past ways of life.
      As to your query: I feel it would be a shame to discard your grandparents’ love letters. The feelings they had at the start of their marriage might not have remained the same throughout, but were very strong and real at the beginning. You say your grandfather died before you were born and your grandmother when you were tiny – so how do you really know how their relationship was? I would keep the letters to pass on to future generations and write a note explaining that as far as you are aware, their relationship might not have ended up how it started. But does anybody’s? Sorry if this is a rambling answer, but that is my instinctive reaction. (I am also a bit of a hoarder, however). Sorry if you are trying to declutter, by the way!


  2. Celia Bush says:

    I am sure you have done the right thing, in order to liberate those new stories within you.


  3. Angela Petch says:

    Thank you, Jessie.


  4. jessiecahalin says:

    ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.’ Nietzsche
    Don’t look back. Your lavender scented letter will bring you luck!


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