Leaving for Italy also entailed leaving behind the trappings of the modern world - television, land lines, and computers. My only "entertainment" in the Tuscan hills consisted of conversation with my fellow travelers, walks up to Colle Verde - where delicious olives were grown - and gazing at the vistas. But I couldn't leave my writing behind. No way. In the years I've been a freelance writer, I've grown accustomed to hearing the click of the keyboard. It was faster and an easier way to meet deadlines. Here in Italy, I journaled, pen in hand, on clear crisp pages. Somehow it made me appreciate the "process" of writing, forced me to stop and "smell the roses" of the writing life. I rediscovered the curls and swirls of my own handwriting, and felt some deep satisfaction as I filled a page and went on to the next. I wrote about the little Tuscan towns visited the day before, the foods I tasted, the sounds I heard. I took the time to express how I felt when I was there. After all, I had all the time in the world.