One of the lovely porticoes

Another crazy fantastic week in Italy – this time Bologna. Learned so much about the children’s book biz, including much ado about apps (more to come soon).  Bologna won me over with its lovely porticoes and outstanding food.  It’s a completely different world in Bologna from Florence, even though it’s only a 35 minute train ride.  If you ever go, make sure you pack your black.  It seems the only two colors people wear there are black and dark wash jeans.  I felt like an Easter egg in my wardrobe.  As a friend said, “Bologna – where black is the new black.”

Quotes on Gratitude

“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” — Joan Borysenko

“There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.” — Seneca

“Love is the true means by which the world is enjoyed: our love to others, and others’ love to us.” — Thomas Traherne

Gratitude list for the week ending March 24

  1. First, I am grateful for my in-laws, my stepmother and my mom for helping my husband hold down the fort while I took this epic trip to Italy.  Thank you!!
  2. Learning enough about apps and ebooks at the ToC Bologna conference to make my head spin.  Cheers to Kat Meyer and the entire O’Reilly team making it all happen.
  3. Meeting Katherine Paterson, author of one of my all-time favorite books – Bridge to Terabithia
  4. SCBWI Bologna dance party!
  5. The folks who put together the SCBWI booth program for the Bologna Book Fair – Kathleen Ahrens, Angela Cerrita, Kirsten Carlson, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, Tioka Tokedira, Chris Cheng, and anyone else I am forgetting.  These guys worked tirelessly to provide great programming, regional showcases, and opportunities for writers and illustrators attending the fair.  Grazie mille!

    The hard-working SCBWI team at the booth celebration

  6. Making wonderful new friends – including all of the above, plus Sarah Towle, Emily Smith Pearce, Danika Dinsmore, Susan Eaddy, Lucy CoatsBarbara McClintock, and Andi Ipaktchi.
  7. Hall after hall after hall of nothing but children’s books – enough said!
  8. Tagliatelle ragu and red wine with Danika and Susan – lovely dinner
  9. The city of Bologna itself, with its seductive porticoes, antiquarian bookshops, black-clad residents spilling into the streets from Enoteche at night, savory food shops and best of all, Gelateria Gianni!
  10. Receiving the best welcome home in history from my kids. The sign was fantastic, but the hugs and kisses even more precious.  How I missed them!

What are you grateful for this week?

The best part of the trip was coming home and knowing I was missed.

Categories: Apps, Authors, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Italy, Picture Books, Publishing, SCBWI, Storybook Apps, Travel, Travel Writing, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. “Bologna – where black is the new black.” LOL!

    And I love that it took minimum FIVE people to hold the fort in your absence at home. That says a great deal!

    So much to be grateful for – and we lived it vicariously! Yea Bologna and Yea Julie!

    • Cathy – I hadn’t thought about the fact that it takes many to make up for one (me), but now that I have, it is indeed quite flattering. 😉

    • That was my thought too . . . Julie must be a Super Mom since it takes so many people to replace her. 😀

      Glad you had a wonderful trip and warm welcome back to the fold.

  2. What a fantastic trip. I’m so glad you were able to attend and look forward to all of your reports. Hope you are able to get some rest. This week, I am grateful for second estimates and neighborhood friends.

  3. This week I am thankful for spending a weekend day with my husband who has been traveling FOREVER. We enjoyed playing at the park , feeding the ducks and watching airplanes takeoff and land as we ate lunch. Yum!

  4. Oh my goodness, I don’t know what I would do if I met Katherine Paterson. Probably say, “Damn you for making me cry so much when I was 10!”

    • I am not often eloquent in those types of situations, but luckily, I managed to tell her that Terabithia meant the world to me, and that she has always inspired my writing. She made me want to be a writer.

      She’s also so funny and gracious! Just a dream come true to meet her.

  5. Sounds like a great trip and a wonderful homecoming 🙂

  6. What a list!! I am so glad you had such a great trip!

  7. So glad you are home safe…what a fantastic journey you have had. Books and Bologna sound like a great match! Kudos to your family members for watching over your loved ones…what a blessing!

  8. Sounds like a fantastic experience! Look forward to hearing more about it :~])

  9. Aw… Welcome back, Julie! So glad you had a wonderful time and came home to such celebration. 🙂 “Where black is the new black”—hilarious!

  10. Bologna sounded wonderful Julie. So glad you enjoyed yourself and were able to share it with us.


  11. I think you’re an honorary member of SCBWI France now, Julie. Can’t believe you met so many of my friends but not me! Oh well! Another time. Glad you had a great time in Bologna and that the return home was just as great.

  12. Grateful that everything I own is black so I only stick out when I go to tropical islands. 🙂 Ben tornata!

  13. What an amazing trip, the culture, the sights, the food and the children’s authors. Wow! I bet you are buzzing right now. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  14. Wow! And wonderful! Sounds like a splendid trip and capped off with a warm homecoming!

  15. Welcome home, Julie! I’ve missed you!

  16. I am grateful for your posts and look forward to hearing more about your trip! (Can’t believe all the great creative minds you met!)

  17. What a fantastic trip! 🙂

    Today I am grateful for extra lesson plans I found hiding in a binder. 🙂

  18. I’m grateful that you’re sharing your wonderful experience with us…thanks for taking the time to do that.

  19. I’m grateful, too, to have met you and to know that you made it safely home! Have fun with those lovely kids!

  20. Hey Julie—it was great meeting you, too. Loved the dance party especially! Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to next.

  21. This is a wonderful weblog, could you be interested in working on an interview about just how you made it? If so e-mail me!

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