Karolyn Sherwood, Author

Where Her Great Novel Was Born

This view look familiar to anyone besides me? Wayne and I are back in Costa Rica, the same house where we stayed for one month last year; we’re staying 2 1/2 months this year. The same town, the same villa, the same view, the same routine. We’ve been here almost 48 hours. Our refrigerator is now full of food, our vegetable basket overflows with onions, garlic, potatoes, plantains, and limes. Yes, pico de gallo will be made soon. Fried plantains will be served at dinner.

It’s interesting to be back in the same place for a second time. I’ve never wanted to own a second home, a vacation home. I love to travel, see different places, see the planet. Why go back, repeatedly, to ONE place when there are so many others waiting for me?

Why? I’ll tell you why! (Now I know.) This year, there’s no culture shock. We know a few people, we know where the grocery stores are (and what items are cheapest in each store), and where to buy good meat. Yesterday, we went to the distribution center that sells beef and pork to savvy shoppers and to the restaurants near here. Mmm, real beef.

This morning, less than 48 hours into our trip. I’m already ensconced in my “office.” This is where The King Family will be written. This is where it was conceived last year, except, true to my form, it started out under a different name Left on Blue. And, if I can take a moment to make fun of myself, it very well might change names again. You gotta keep up, people!

In some regards, it feels as if we never left; in another regard, we’re marveling at how many restaurants have changed hands. My husband is now free to contemplate life (“Anything but Groundhog’s day in Des Moines, Iowa, please!”) (I told him, if we keep coming back here, one day it will feel like Groundhog’s day in Costa Rica, but he said that doesn’t sound so bad.) I will be writing in the mornings, reading in the afternoons, and swimming in between. I am currently in the middle of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections as well as Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. I HOPE they influence my writing!

I will also squeeze in a few blog posts to keep you up on my progress. This blog holds me accountable! Feel free to comment, PLEASE! I like this quiet life, but already miss my friends. Adios, amigos. Tener un buen dia!

P.S. See that rocking chair in my “office.” It creeps me out. Like there’s a ghost sitting there, facing me, watching me. If it starts rocking, holy cow, I don’t know what I’ll do. I have just decided that Aunt Rose (from the King Family) will have a rocking chair. You heard it here first.

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