Rome is my High School Boyfriend & M is for Marrakech

I'm a girl who loves to travel.
Always have.
Haven't always had the pleasure of doing so, though.

My sister Nefeterius and I grew up with a single mom who was a teacher. She still is.
Being a teacher is one of those things that you never stop being once you are one.
We grew up unable to opt out of using what my mom referred to as proper "subject/verb agreement."
Whenever we watched our favorite action movies, like Bad Boys or A Low Down Dirty Shame, my mom would wince and scream one word from the next room, "Language!" when an expletive was shouted.

My mom gave us so many gifts. I think one of the most important ones was stability. I'm one of the few people I know who was born and raised in the same house. My first move was to college at 16.

There's a part of me that wishes I could be the kinda Claire Huxtable mom my mom was and still is. She's had the same routine for as long as I can remember...Bible study on this night, dinner with friends on that night, Sunday school and church service on Sundays, of course.

There's a bigger part that appreciates the gypsy I am. A pretty stable gypsy, but a gypsy nonetheless. I'm a native from Texas raising my boys in the eternal city, Rome.

As an artist and a creative, Rome is both a gift and a curse. I find myself forgetting time exists here, and have been known to show up late to events or appointments on more than one occasion having nothing to say for myself other than, "I couldn't stop staring at this nun..." or "I wandered into this cafe and then had this great conversation with the owner." Most notably, Rome charms and spoils me in a way that no other city has. Rome is my high school ex-boyfriend, I often joke. I could have its baby out of wedlock and would cut anyone who dares to talk about my man on Monday, and by Wednesday be ready to cheat on him with his hot cousins, Paris. Or Cairo. Or Marrakech.

But Rome has been giving so much to me lately that it'd be hard to think about being unfaithful. After all, the idea for my latest book came to mind while I was strolling around Piazza del Popolo. I kept thinking, "Every kid should be able to know that places this beautiful exist...all over the world."

So I asked Phil to hook it up, and he did.

The result, M is for Marrakech: An Alphabet Book of Cities Around the World. I adore this book. I adore the illustrations and the simple genius of my illustrator, Phil. What a gift he is.

If you love beauty and gorgeous places, and if you appreciate art, I think this book is right for you and/or a curious kid in your life.

And R, of course, is for Rome.

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