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A Romantic Aside

June 26, 2013 · Leave a Comment

A brief word about the Renaissance Faire. I never did a goofier, more ridiculous or worse-paying gig, but the place was a hotbed of summer romance. Men in tights, left and right. And I’ve always loved historical romance.

Then one day, I saw a group of Italian musicians stroll by. They were all handsome, as Italians tend to be, but the lute player’s legs in tights surpassed all others. His long, tanned fingers twinkled deftly over the lute strings. He didn’t speak a word of English, but he had a gorgeous smile, and I followed him around shamelessly, dreaming up lame excuses to talk to him. Insofar as I could, with no common language.

At the cast campfire, he and his Italian buddies would whip up pasta on two tiny camp stoves for more than fifty people with such audacious grace and flair. Mmmm, nothing sexier than a man who can cook. After we devoured his bounty off paper plates, he played Bach on a classical guitar, naked to the waist in the firelight, green eyes flashing. Hold me back. (No one did.)

Shannon and Nicola

The ultimate whirlwind summer romance ensued. After he went back to Italy, I resigned myself to a bittersweet memory of what might have been, but damn, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. A year later, I quit my job, broke my lease, put all my stuff in a friend’s basement, bought a ticket to Italy, and went to find him. Yes, it was nuts…but passion makes you reckless. I must have read too many romance novels during my impressionable youth. Dangerous, heady stuff, romances.

Improbable though it seems, it worked out fine in the end . . . and when it comes to love, Nicola will always be my inspiration.

My Former Life

June 26, 2013 · Leave a Comment

After graduating from Yale University, as an English major, of course, I temped at random corporate offices for years in NYC support my music habit. I sang with several different ensembles that performed medieval and renaissance music, I was the voice of a fabulous Celtic fusion band, I sang church gigs, weddings, funerals, cabaret, country/blues, Christmas carols in shopping malls dressed in a cheesy Dickensian outfit, I was even a strolling madrigal singer at the Renaissance Faire in one of those cleavage-enhancing lace-up bodice thingies. Anything to make the rent. Then came Italy…a grand adventure if there ever was one. Writing’s great, but oh, how I miss the singing. In my perfect world, I would have both. If you’re curious, here’s a cut of me singing with the southern Italian medieval ensemble Calixtinus, some years ago.