I strung the twinkle lights up over the windows around my desk, and brought home a bright pot of poinsettias for the table and a couple of those battery-flickering candles that look like the real thing. My Underwood is all decked out, too. These days my writing desk is covered with holiday wrappings, messes of ribbons and bows and cards still waiting to be addressed. I know my notebook is under there somewhere!
La Manzanilla, Mexico, where you’ll find a beautiful beach, a mangrove that features 200 resident American crocodiles and dozens of species of gorgeous birds, warm Pacific waters with a gentle surf, jaw-dropping sunsets, friendly people (Mexican and otherwise), a vendor’s market on Friday, many good restaurants with freshly caught fish, and for a few intense and exciting days last week, a gathering of ten women who’d come for a writing retreat.
Summer passes into fall. Birthdays come and go. A dear friend is stricken ill and dies all too suddenly. A baby is born. A book is finished.
Some urge pushes you to your storage unit to begin to divest; you swore you would. All those boxes and bins: notebooks, journals, photographs, mementos; nothing of monetary value. All sentimental, emotional, what if’s…. You bring three boxes home to go through, swear you’ll toss or give away or shred. Promise you’ll record all those old CDs onto your computer.
But this box:
Here is the long-ago novel you put away while you wrote its sequel. You open the box and swear you can smell the muddy water of the fishing camp where the story is set, swear you hear Ruby Diamond’s whiskey voice singing, “Crazy,” and Louise and Lilly arguing on the screened-in porch. You remember how much Anna misses her daddy and Roseann, lost in the woods.
What about you? Would you?