Nyon: Ancient City

Rumor has it Nyon, Switzerland was founded by Julius Caesar around 44BC, but the site has been occupied since the Neolithic. I’m staying 4 train stops from this haunted town by the lake.

Rumor has it Nyon, Switzerland was founded by Julius Caesar around 44BC, but the site has been occupied since the Neolithic.

I say “haunted” because it’s spaces are loud. I walked down a narrow passage and heard whispers. Touched Roman walls and lost sense to the grunts of the slaves who built them. Wandered through a castle and expected to see a knight on the circular stair or around the next corner.

I sat in a park next to the Roman columns and watched a man read a book in the shade.

First glass of wine in almost a week!

I sat in Place de la Chateau and dined like a human instead of a pen intent in a cell. Ordered my first meal in French and only stumbled once. I sat in a park next to the Roman columns and watched a man read a book in the shade. Toured the Museé Romain, and went to the pharmacy and shopped for groceries. Lugged a big fan box onto the train along with my shopping.

I toured the Museé Romain in Nyon, Switzerland.

Sweaty me in the Museé Romain, Nyon

I wanted a steak since it’s coming up on my lady time, but settled for this veal and mushroom ravioli instead. People warned me about how much things cost in Switzerland. With restaurants, they weren’t kidding!! A steak was 48 francs. My ravioli was 32 francs. First courses started at 20 francs. Service is included, because the Swiss pay their restaurant workers a living wage. Still, I won’t be dining out again soon.

I ordered my first meal in French in Nyon, Switzerland, and only stumbled once.

When I’m home, MTM and I have coffee together every day. He FaceTimes now when he’s having his coffee, but I don’t have a way to make coffee in my cell. Worth the 3 franc train ride!

coffee in Nyon, Switzerland

My first decent coffee in Switzerland.

As I type, I’m sitting in my cell enjoying the first few hours of not sweltering since I got here. The only thing I forgot to pack? A swimsuit. I had no idea people swim in Lake Geneva! If you ever head this way during summer, make sure to bring your suit. Especially if Switzerland is experiencing a record-breaking heatwave!!!

Hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures in Nyon, Switzerland, during my writing residency. I shared pics and info about the nearby town of Trelex in this post. Have you been there? What did you think of it?

Artist Nina Rodin started The Trelex Residency in her home, Maison Binet.

Artist Nina Rodin started The Trelex Residency in her home, Maison Binet. Her father entered this eclectic architectural addition to Trelex’s skyline 80 years ago.

Artist Nina Rodin started The Trelex Residency in her home, Maison Binet. Her father entered this eclectic architectural addition to Trelex's skyline 80 years ago.

Multiple architectural styles are on display, almost like he couldn’t decide what sort of home he wanted. Plus, the house expanded over time. As an artist of some renown, Nina wanted to make space for other creatives to retreat, recharge, and make art. She makes studio and living space available free of charge to artists.

The Trelex Residency in Nina Rodin's home, Maison Binet.

This year, she started the Writing Desk Residency program. A writer can apply for spots in Trelex at Maison Binet, and poets can apply for residencies in Paris. A third Trelex Residency is available in Peru, with more on the way. For more information, go to thetrelexresidency.com.

Nina’s work is in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection, among many others. Learn more about her and her work at  ninarodin.com.

The artwork outside my door at Maison Binet

If you look closely, you’ll see faded words within each piece. Because that’s history, right? Things happened however they did, but we only know what people chose to tell us.

In some cases, they lied to glorify themselves and be remembered as grander than they were. In others, they tried to smear enemies to keep their accomplishments from being remembered at all. So much history is faded words and phrases we barely grasp.

Much like Merry’s journal in To Live Forever, we don’t really know what happened for much of Time. Yet we try to interpret it. We read various accounts, both pro and con, sympathetic and not. But in the end of our searching, history is a few nuggets of truth layered with a century or more of opinions.

In “I Am Number 13,” I’m grappling with a historic event that was never recorded, but I’m certain it happened. On a dark night lost to history, men met. They agreed. And they implemented an audacious plan. Theo was there. Maybe Merry was, too, though unwitting. Their failure doesn’t stop people from making bold and doomed plans.

We don’t study history, because the living want to believe they’re more powerful than the dead. We’re the ones who breathe and dream and eat and orgasm and explore. But we could learn a lot from my characters’ failure. Emmaline is finally flowing, and she’s ready to see what she’s supposed to see. I’m not sure I’m ready, nor do I know what price I’ll pay for delving into something best forgotten. But my butt is in my chair. My fingers are nimble. And my soul trumpets words.

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See what my room and view is like in this post about my writing residency, and tour the town of Trelex in this post.

Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

Welcome to my Trelex Writing Desk Residency! I’m staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland. I share kitchen and bath space with two other artists: Matthew, a painter from the U.K.; and James, a painter from Chicago.

Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

Sunroom Writing Area At Trelex Residency in Switzerland

Residencies are communal experiences. Little privacy beyond my room. Sharing a small fridge with two other people. Scheduling time for laundry with consideration for the other residents and a busy family.

I’m staying in a private residence.

Oh, I didn’t mention the family, did I? Nina and David have three children and a very inquisitive Jack Russell terrier named Talisker.

residency dog | Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

What residency would be complete without a resident dog? He’s already tried to run into the street when I left and invaded my room, where he made himself at home on the bed.

I’m writing on a Monday, my day to get settled. I trained from Lausanne with a change in Nyon and walked from the train station with three bags AND groceries. If I don’t lose a few pounds, I’ll be disappointed. I have a bicycle at my disposal, and I can use a family car if one is available, though I’m always fearful of driving abroad.

Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

View from my studio room

Jura Mountains make for an inspiring view to write. Here’s to the voices who speak!

Jura Mountains | Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

View from the sunroom

This is a residency – a lot of staring at screens and wrangling words in hot rooms with no air conditioning! Three chapters of I Am Number 13 revised/rewritten at the end of the first residency day. The voices already gobsmacked me once. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

Welcome to my Trelex Residency! I'm staying in the guest room at Maison Binet, an eighty-year-old home in Trelex, Switzerland.

If the view of the Jura Mountains doesn’t inspire me, I’m doomed as a writer!!

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To learn more about the Trelex Residency visit their website.

The book I’m working on now is a sequel to the others in the Nowhere Series so if you haven’t read the first two – go get them now!