Ten Days, Ten Pounds

Pasta & Prosecco, Caravaggio & Carnevale, Jewels & Justice, Brain Surgery & Butterflies:

What I Gained From Losing It in Italy & How I Became a Volcano Goddess!


A midlife mom goes to Italy and discovers new creative horizons.

When my travel companion went into the ER I took my milestone birthday trip to Italy on my own.Following my desires. I wandered alone on Mt. Vesuvius, I became possessed with the desire to become fully myself.

After galloping through a snowstorm in Naples, shopping for shoes in Rome, a fantasy masquerade in Venice, and lighting candles everywhere for my friend, it was impossible toreturn to normal life. I erupted into creativity and sexuality, reshaping my marriage and writing The Vesuvian Affair.

A story about foreign travel and friendship packed with temptations and meditations on writing and art, history and the future, clothing and cars, food and wine, marriage and motherhood, and the Divine Cardio Multipus. A lushpre-pandemic memoir exploring the essential beauty of togetherness in an essentially lonely world.

Categories: Travel memoir, midlife memoir, women’s spirituality, philosophy, humor


Synopsis | Chapter Breakdown | Author Bio | Playlist 



“You know how, in Eat, Pray, Love, Under the Tuscan Sun, An Italian Affair, and all those other memoirs,” I said to Jenny, sinking my fork into the crunchy breadcrumb crust of our enormous shared bowl of Garlic Maxiumus,  “Women always seem to go to Italy when their lives fall apart.”

She nodded chewing, fanning her face and making yummy noises, and when she’d swallowed her first bite of the religious Mac & Cheese, said, “Screw that. Let’s go and have a delicious time because there is NOTHING wrong with our lives! We are happy, healthy, and loved. Our kids are in school, no one’s doing drugs, we’re doing what we want to do.” I was writing. She was painting.J enny raised her glass and swallowed while nodding her head. “Let’s make it our plan, Kris,” she said, “to stuff our eyes with art, and our bodies with good food.” “

That’s it,” I said. “We can write a blog about it.”

“Yes!” She gestured at me with her fork.“And nap,” she said. “Let’s just plan to gain ten pounds.”

“There’s our title,” I laughed. “We’ll call the blog, Ten Days, Ten Pounds!



“A sparkly, descriptive, funny memoir about friendship and service to community vs care of self. The rekindling of lust in middle age, and the reconsidering of marriage after you’ve done all the work are universal themes. It’s got a female demographic—the clothing is lush—especially moms—but as a man and a dad I loved all the moving moments, especially the healing. So many moments of real beauty, unforgettable sentences. Especially relatable and readable for high-speed minds. I want to go to Venice now.” —Dr. Matthew P. Jones

“Personal in a way most memoirs aren’t. I loved the irreverent Catholic devotions and spiritual ponderings. Exuberant writing with LOL humor.” —Henry Hitz, author of Squirrels in the Wall

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My Nth birthday trip to Italy turned upside-down before it even began, turned me inside-out, and changed me for good. My blog about carefree travel couldn’t hide my fear for a good friend’s life. The blog became a little book, and then grew to a fully realized narrative through rewrites on Wattpad, through work in writing groups and workshops, expert advice and many rounds of readers.

Beyond inspired!” 

“Friendship stuff… so incredibly lovely…” 

“Incredible writing.” *

Ten Days, Ten Pounds will find itself on shelves alongside travel memoirs like Eat, Pray Love, Wild, Lunch in Paris, Four Seasons in Rome, The Sweet Life in Paris, and so on. In this novelesque memoir I share my inner journey to fully embracing my creative self, through experiences with mountains and masks, and motherhood.

*my beta readers have been saying the loveliest things!



Ten Days, Ten Pounds was rated #1 among over 300 stories about Carnevale on Wattpad!