It struck me yesterday that I’ve been in Rome for a week without posting anything. A lot of bloggable things have been seen and done, but most will be lost to history, I’m afraid.

Of the trip over here I mostly remember the process of having my luggage searched by the Dutch security people in Amsterdam. The young woman searching my luggage raised her eyebrows gently when she discovered my spare underwear. (Well. Damn it. One’s luggage doesn’t always end up at the same place as oneself, and nowadays I always pack a change of clothes in my carryon.) Her eyebrows rose still further when she found my copies of Livy and Homer. It was when she found printouts of some early drafts from Guile of Dragons that she stopped searching. Reader of Homer: potentially dangerous. Would-be writer: clearly not dangerous. I wanted to shout, “Hey! I have a contract! I AM dangerous!” But just in time I realized that wouldn’t lead to the optimal result, so I packed up my underwear and ran off to catch the plane for Rome.

I did have a window seat for the AM flight over the Alps, which is always fun. Usually the sight inspires profound or at least hyper-Byronic thoughts, but this time I just kept thinking, “Wow. That’s tough country for elephants.” (Because I’m reading Livy again, although I haven’t gotten to the Hannibal part yet.)

In Rome I soon found myself ensconced in the Castello d’Engitudine. (Ensconcing sounds painful, but it’s all a question of the proper equipment.) To mortal eyes it’s a studio apartment a couple of streets away from Piazza Navona. It looks a little bit like this, at least in my complicated delusional ideation:

Guidebooks and my therapist will tell you that this is really the Castello Sant’Angelo by night. If you want the easy answer, simply because it’s true.

Here’s some Roman art I saw, on the side of an apartment house along the Tiber:

Flying Donkey

On the theme of tough-times-for-elephants, here’s an elephant hauling an Egyptian obelisk. The ancient Romans put it in the temple of Minerva; Pope Alexander VII repurposed it yet again.

And here’s a picture of my son’s cat Lewis.

I have no idea how this got on my camera. I suspect terrorist action by a guerilla photographer.

This morning I made my first cup of coffee with a machinetta, and have thus taken a first step into a new world. A brighter, more intense world with very sharp luminous edges.

More later as the situation develops.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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