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Melinda Gallo
Expat in Florence, Italy | Fiction & Non-Fiction Writer | Blogger | Polyglot (English, French, & Italian) | Hapa | Instagrammer |

Grief is a personal journey that takes patience and love.

This morning while I was contemplating what to write in my bio, the words “my five-year hiatus in the US” kept spinning back around in my head. I have used those words many times over the years to explain my absence from Florence. It was my way of containing the most challenging and yet also the most significant five years of my life. I rarely explained that time in my life because I was still struggling to make sense of it myself.

When the phone rang one evening as I was about to go to sleep, my mom called to…

Now is the time to reassess your life and make it more fulfilling.

After two weeks of lockdown in Italy, I feel a great sense of tranquility. Initially, I only saw how disrupted my life was and how I couldn’t do what I did before. Over time, I not only adapted to the lockdown, but I began to revel in it.

As time stretched out before me, I saw how I could better manage it. I now see this lockdown as a unique opportunity for us to take a break from life. …

Every photo reminds us of all the beauty around us.

Anaïs Nin wrote, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” I can say the same about photography. The first time I experience beauty, the moment is intense and richly satisfying to all of my senses. The second time is more like an echo: it doesn’t stimulate all my senses to the same extent as it did originally, but I’m able to savor that moment for much longer.

Every day in Florence I bask in my surroundings: I walk along the Arno, delight in the sights, smells, and sounds around me, catch sunrises and sunsets, stroll…

Embracing my mother’s presence and absence

There are two significant dates I need not mark down on my calendar: the day my mother took her first breath and the day she took her last. At least a week before these two dates, a deep sadness bubbles up inside of me and simmers right below the surface. I rarely understand why I feel so sad when nothing seems to be the cause. Usually, a few days before the dates I realize I’m feeling the loss of my mother.

I used believe I could run away from sadness, hoping it wouldn’t be able to catch up with me…

Tips for using NaNoWriMo to your advantage

At the end of October every year, excitement builds up inside me. November is right around the corner, and so is NaNoWriMo. Taking part in NaNoWriMo is a rewarding experience for writers if you use it to your advantage.

After recently reading “The INFJ Writer” by Lauren Sapala, I discovered that I’m an intuitive writer. I had known for years I’m an INFP, but didn’t link that personality type to my writing.

I know that other writers outline, plan, and plot their stories before beginning, while I usually have only a vague idea. …

Understanding what it means to have confidence in myself, my projects, and the path ahead.

As a writer who juggles multiple writing projects and navigates them by inspiration, I grapple with faith as it relates to having confidence in myself, my abilities, my projects, and my future.

My faith wavered: sometimes it walked alongside me and at other times it was nowhere to be found.

While I was writing in my journal the other day, the word “faith” popped up in my mind. With each of its letters, a different word materialized:

F for fears,
A for anxiety,
I signifying me,
T for trust, and
H for hope.

In that moment, my definition of the…

Transforming ourselves brings us closer to discovering our purpose

The moment I arrived at the top of Bardini Gardens, I was greeted by a butterfly that encircled me twice before joining a few other butterflies and bees buzzing around a lavender bush. As I watched the butterfly drink nectar from the center of the lavender blossoms, I thought about her life. It’s such an incredible transformation for one being to go through: from being born a caterpillar and to being reborn a butterfly.

We have all gone through transformations in our lives. Some we have chosen to embark upon and others we were nudged (if not forced) into. The…

Melinda Gallo

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