Happy, happy holidays, everyone! Hope you're feeling excited about the new year, and dreaming of new creative adventures...
In celebration of finishing The Ruby Notebook, and getting over what is hopefully the last in a string of colds, Ian and I took our first romantic vacation since Lil Dude came into our lives two Decembers ago.
Not only was it a heavenly (and *much-needed*) trip, but it also rekindled my passion for writing The Jade Notebook, which is set in a Mexican beach town (although a different town from the one we visited -- we were near Tulum on the Yucatan, and Jade is set in Mazunte in Oaxaca).
There's nothing better than opening your eyes in the morning and seeing this.
Stepping outside into this . . .
There was no electricity in our palapa, so we used candles at night. One night we lay on the beach and watched a stunning meteor shower... dozens of shooting stars leaving trails across the sky. And each time a star zipped across the sky, I gasped in delight.
Inside view of our palapa's roof. We want to make one of these in our back yard...
We ate meals outside on the sand in the jungly foliage... resulting in a ring of bug bites around our ankles-- which still itch-- but it was definitely worth it to be surrounded by transluscent green as we ate papaya and sopa de lima and sweet flan . . .
The first time I snorkeled, years ago, I felt I'd discovered a different world. I wanted to spend hours, days, weeks, months underwater with flashing silvery fish and wavy sea creatures. I still love it, and if I were brave enough, I'd attempt scuba diving... maybe one day.
We also swam in cenotes-- freshwater underground rivers in caves, which, if you've read my books, you can guess is right up my alley. I love the magical shades of deep blue in the shadows... And I love how, when you least expect it, you swim around a corner and you're met with glimmery columns of sunlight that take your breath away.
Pelicans and sea gulls and the sound of the ocean rushing and the wind through palm fronds...
A tiny tiled pool overlooked the ocean, just in front of our palapa.
After our outings to the cenotes or open sea, these funny elephant creatures greeted us on our bed inside the mosquito net.
One evening we made a sculpture with debris from a spot down the beach... his hair is made of seaweed, and he's wearing a jaunty plastic purple bowl hat.
This little guy enjoyed the sea view, too.
I'm so, so grateful to you for reading my books and this blog, and encouraging me in all kinds of wonderful ways! Here's to an extraordinary new year!