Friday, October 26, 2018

The Riverwalk in Monforte

There are three rivers that have affected our lives when we come to Galicia, Spain: The Minho, which we cross in our trips to Portugal; the Sil, which has inspired poetry from me when we've climbed to the cell of an ancient monk atop a hill that over looks the river and Doade; and the Cabe, which flows right through Monforte de Lemos, the nearest town to our village. Here is how the Cabe looked from one of the bridges mid-September a few days after we arrived.

Over the years that we've come (14!), more and more features have been added. And now, below the beautiful park on one side that borders the parking lot, a river walk has been created — a path behind many restaurants and homes.

You can see the famous "castle" of the Conde de Lemos atop the hill in the center of the town. I love this castle. It's my dream to one day paint a picture of it on canvas. The town built up around it at the base of the hill, and it dominates the landscape for kilometers.

On the river walk, in one direction is the bridge I mentioned above; in the other, the old Roman Bridge, (puente Romana), still functional (for autos as well as pedestrians) after centuries!

And everything is reflected, as if in glass. And who cannot like ducks? (There are swans here, too, but I didn't get pictures of them this time.

Or fountains?

 If we lived here, I would probably spend every day (well — in good weather) at this park and river. And I would picnic and feed the ducks.

But since we don't, I'm so happy the main parking lot abuts the park, and every trip to do business means walking across the river on one of those two bridges.

How about you? Do you like rivers? bridges? fountains?  castles? parks? picnics?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

An Interview About My New Book, The Carnival of the Animals

I know I've been promising pictures of the riverwalk in Monforte, and I've downloaded lots of nice pictures to share. These will be forthcoming later in the week.

But first, fellow writer, Craig Briggs, who lives in Galicia, interviewed me for my new book, The Carnival of the Animals.  You can read the interview HERE. And check out the book HERE

Fellow author, Craig Briggs.
The book has received some very kind blurbs:

“Thanks to Elizabeth Varadan, you will roar with the lion, bound over clouds with the unicorn, dance with the tortoise, weep with the elephant, feel the friendship of a magical bird, know the enduring love of a swan…and more.  Best of all, you will enjoy the genuine magic of this carnival of creativity!”
T. A. Barron, Author of the Merlin Saga

“. . .These stories beg to be read aloud to children again and again. . . . Since Carnival’s characters are from all over the world, these stories will spark discussions with young children about cultures, languages, and even animal habitats. Truly a wonderful work of art.” 
--JaNay Brown-Wood, author of Imani’s Moon, NAESP Book of the Year, Northern CA Association of Children's Librarians Distinguished Book for 2014, a Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Multicultural Book for 2015. Her newest book Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

“The stories in Elizabeth Varadan's The Carnival of the Animals are a wonderful tribute to Camille Saint-Saëns' musical suite. Children will be drawn to the clever, charming narratives and come away with a real appreciation for both the stories and the music that inspired them.”
-- Steve Richardson, Author of Canlandia, (winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for best juvenile fiction in 2014, and the Arizona, New Mexico Book Award for best juvenile fiction in 2014), and Lavender Blue and the Faeries of Galtee Wood (winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for best in juvenile fiction in 2013)

 “A beautifully penned tale inspired by the musical suite The Carnival of the Animals, by Camille Saint-Saëns. The story and its settings will delight children of all ages. Varadan’s magical menagerie is marvelous!”
Victoria Lindstrom, author of The Tale of Willaby Creek

Craig Briggs, by the way has an interesting blog for its own sake, and a fabulous series telling of the adventures he and his wife had coming to and staying in Galicia. Many of you have expressed interest in Galicia. The books and his blog combine to give a wonderful "guided tour" of the area. Check out his website HERE You can scroll on past the interview to read other articles about small towns and villages of Galicia. Lovely pictures, too.

Questions: What moves you most when reading about a new area? The articles or the pictures? Or both?  Do you enjoy author interviews?