A couple months ago I got an online order for my book Free Gondola Ride. I contacted the buyer, Vonda, to let her know that the book was on its way, and then I discovered that she had heard about it from Max, the gondolier who befriended me (well, hit on me is more like it), which gave me the original idea to write the book.
Vonda let me know that Max is still the same carefree spirit he always has been. She is a devoted Ventophile (to use Judith Martin’s term for those who rather obsessively love the city of canals). Vonda had just returned from Venice, and we started an email correspondence about our favorite Venetian things–books, films, places, and things to do, like letting our hands trail along the crumbling plaster of an ochre wall.
Then Vonda teased me–she had a book idea, and would I want to work with her to bring it to fruition?
So we finally talked by phone (the emails had gotten pretty long by this time). She has a brilliant idea, one that I will happily work on (once Casanova is launched). Sorry, I won’t give away the details here in case spies are reading, but suffice it to say that it’s about Venice and involves some history, some travel tips, and lots of Venicelove.
Neither Vonda nor I can explain our visceral and rather obsessive attraction to Venice, but we’ve decided it makes us sisters of a sort. Maybe we were sisters in a past Venetian life? Scrubbing laundry in the bucket next door? Cellmates in a convent? Venice has given me lots of gifts over the years, and now it has given me a sister.