My grandfather used to say: "Learn something new every day." This is good advice not only for a writer but also for a human being.
I've been learning something new every day for the last few months, and my focus has been languages. I've got the Spanish Word of the Day on my browser homepage. Today it is mercato meaning market.
I receive the Italian Word of the Day by email. It's pretty neat because you can click a button and hear how it's pronounced.
About two months ago I bought some Berlitz software to learn Italian. You see, I'm going to Italy this summer for a bit and wanted to know the important phrases every American needs to know.
1. Where is the bathroom?
2. How much does that cost?
3. Where can I get a Coca Cola?
4. Take me to the American Embassy fast.
I've traveled a bit in my lifetime and have always found it necessary to know numbers 1 - 3 above.
Number 4 I've never actually had to use, but you never know. It's always good to be prepared. You never know what may happen.
Once I was caught in the middle of an anti-American riot, blissfully eating Kobe beef in a restaurant while Molotov cocktails were being tossed outside. Inside was quiet music and conversation while outside, angry cab drivers and militant students were filling Coke bottles at the nearest gas station and setting American owned cars ablaze.
Of course, my "take me to the American Embabassy" phrase wouldn't have been much use since the cab drivers were too busy throwing their gasoline bombs to pick up a fare.
Mi chiamo Joan Reeves. Prendalo all'ambasciata americana velocemente.
Or something like that.