It’s true: The Shallot will no longer live a bi-coastal American life for the next thirty days. Rather, we intend to get bi-continental on your brain. That is, I will be stationed in Italy through the end of June, but I also will soon ask a guest editor to introduce herself. Your host will be a talented LA writer with far-reaching cultural interests and just the right amount of skepticism. While she pens bi-weekly dispatches and more quippy additions, I may chime in with observations about: travel, America's political profile abroad, food, international arts and culture, and the only European country I grew to love in my early twenties. It’s an interesting time to visit, in the wake of reviewing Umberto Eco and certain health conditions, considering, as I often do, the slowing down (if not the eradication) of my digital life in favor of returning to a more natural existence. But then where would the Shallot exist if I turned off the laptop? If the blog has done one thing for me all these years—aside from providing a waystation for my work (from literary to vapid, draw your own conclusions)—it has allowed me to put some parts of myself out into the ether that other vehicles just wouldn’t allow. I have too many stories (fiction and non)--to say nothing of the momentary surge of short ideas I wish to share--that I should have submitted, should have pitched, should have marketed, perhaps, if I had cared more over the years about making myself “known,” as I grow less confident about the so-called market for such work. Alas, I left music performance for a similar reason: I just don’t care to “perform” for an audience. Blogging, when it’s best for me, is about practicing some (casual) element of my craft for a small group of eyes, largely composed of people I know or have grown to know. Or will get to know. Or should know. I’m not sure how the forthcoming guest editor feels about the form. But I do know she’s doing bang-up work on her site while diving in with lots of energy into this world we call publishing. Give her some of the love (and by love, I also mean good-spirited bile) that you’ve given me, and she will likely respond in kind, engendering the brand of dialogue that the Shallot enjoyed in its earlier, more active years. If I jump in now and again, and I will, it may even be in photo or video form. But I will also be at work on a long-term project as well as travel articles, so let’s make a date to reconvene in a short while and enjoy some new Shalloteering in the meantime. Cheers.