Friday, August 6, 2010

La Notte dei Desideri

by Kris Kahrs

Lawrence before Valerianus
La Notte dei Desideri, The Night of Wishes will be coming round again on August 10th, (notice how Desideri looks like “Desires”). It is more commonly referred to in Italy as La Notte di San Lorenzo, the Night of Saint Lawrence. Saint Lawrence was burned alive on a gridiron after refusing Valerian’s order to reveal the location of the Vatican’s wealth. Surely, his last (ahem) searing quip, “I am roasted enough on this side; turn me over and eat” must be the forerunner to the current rib-tickler, “stick a fork in me, I’m done” and would make him the obvious choice for Patron Saint of Grillmasters everywhere, but, alas, this is not so, that honor went to George Foreman.

The proceedings on this night, are as supposed: with a friend or friends, grab a blanket, bottle of Barolo and comestibles, search the sky for stelle cadenti (falling stars) and say:

mia bella Stella,
desidero che…”

my beautiful star,
I wish that…”

I hold no claims to precognizance when I say that I know what the wishes of the unpublished will be.

“Please let my manuscript get picked up at the next Writer’s Conference.”

“I hope that kids l-o-v-e my Middle Grade story.”

“I need a killer plot twist for my Young Adult novel.”

“If I can just write the next vampire-zombie teen romance….”

“If I can just stay afloat till I sell my manuscript….”

“If I can stay awake tonight, I can turn out 20 more pages…..”




This year, I will wish for enough shooting stars, one for every unpublished writer that looks up.


  1. I wish I may,
    I wish I might,
    I wish I had chocolate ice cream tonight.


  2. Thanks Kris. If there is one this I love, it is a good wish! If I only get one, I may go for the TV series instead of the book. If I get three (a traditional fairy tale number)... Well that's a whole nother story

  3. Hmmm, that's quite a leap for the poor saint to go from roasting on a gridiron to being a shooting star. I wish--as I try not to think of San Lorenzo while I grill my burgers and wonder why the Vatican didn't spring for his release--that every writer here will fly off the grill and become a star (if you aren't one already).

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