Writer in Opulence


I’m in heaven. Well, nearly so. I’m at my dear friend Kat’s parents’ house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and I do believe that even God would agree that this place is something special. I would also submit that there’s never been a writer more rapturous in a residence more glorious.

We were picked up by the house manager, Raoul, in Leon. After a ninety-minute drive, we were met at the front steps of Casa Heyne by a trio of uniformed women who offered smiles and welcomes and adult beverages. They served lunch on the veranda. Two masseuses arrived

“You hunch over your computer too much,” Alicia said in Spanish, knuckling the permanent kinks in my scapulae. “I remember you.”

Two years and some months ago, I wrote part of my novel here. My gracious hostess read it nearly as quickly as I scribbled. This time, after my massage, I took a breath (and a proffered beverage) and cut one of those beloved chapters in pursuit of my current draft of the same novel. What better place to kill my darling than where it was born?

A breeze lifted my hair while Alicia was working on my back. I could hear the church bells of La Parroquia in town. A water feature in the center of Casa Heyne obliterated the sounds of fireworks and dog barks. I could sleep if I wanted to. But I couldn’t.

I thought of my protagonist and her plight. Of the dogs barking. The fireworks. Of the people I will miss while I’m here, working and relaxing (as if I could.) I’m not very good at relaxing, even though I’m told I appear to be. There are words—always words—to pillow the gaps between thoughts and dreams and massages.

Dinner is nearly served. After that, my computer and I will retire to the Cactus Room, and see what words flow from the fonts of San Miguel.

Muchisimas gracias, Kat, et al.