postcard from Praha

July 1997

Opera outside my kitchen window. Actors in Mardi Gras masks blow kisses at me. Dancing on top of a roof, watching gypsy women sing. 3-D theatre, orchestras in palace courtyards, movies in a park, played under the stars. Castles and catacombs filled with philosopher's stones and dead kings. Bridges, statues, a man with devil's horns, mad hatters, marionettes, strolling around Old Town with a camera, notebook, and witty company. AT LAST!

I returned to Prague and retraced my steps as an exchange student...almost ten years ago. I'm thankful for the Florida artist grant that gave me the chance to travel. The city has changed and grown so much...and the same is true for me.

I managed to sneak into an Internet cafe that sold "coca" in glass bottles, along with unpronouncable candy, and found an email from my editor. She says "the novel is there" and my final revisions are almost finished. After rearranging the chapters like a house of cards, I was afraid that the entire narrative might fall to pieces.

Now we're talking cover designs and I'm emailing pictures of doodles, such as this t-shirt I bought from H&M overseas (which matches the hand-drawn aesthetic of my website, which is finally coming along, thanks to my web wizard, andrew). It reminds me of something that a teen girl would draw in her notebook.

When I got home, jet-lagged and loaded with bottles of Moravian champagne (only five american dollars!) I found a UPS package on my porch. This time, Julie's letter was only two pages long. I need to trim a few sections, add a couple paragraphs, and we're almost there.

My agent emailed yesterday. She's probably wondering what else I've got up my sleeve. Luckily, I have two new novels in mind...I plan on meeting up with her in nyc next month. Until then, I'm still dreaming of castles and flaming absinthe ("Oh, you were with your people?" my students keep asking. In fact, I'm Polish. But close enough...)

Czech candy is all about animals!

I think this says: curb your pooch.

An adorable book of fables from Tesco. "The Frog Prince."

I will post more fairy tale pictures on Flickr soon...for those voyeurs who like flipping through other people's vacation photos (I do! I do!)