Thursday, April 02, 2009
Refilling The Well
Hola! Writers live in their heads many hours of the day. I think it's important to take breaks and get out into the real world from time to time. I call it "refilling the well." (The well being my brain.) Writing drains it dry. If you don't get out and experience life, what will you have left to say?
So to refill the well, I recently spent a week in beautiful Zihuatenejo, Mexico on the Pacific coast north of Acapulco. The new photograph in the header of this blog was taken off the balcony of the condo we rented overlooking the bay. The trip was my surprise Christmas gift from my husband. Remember my personal "Do Something New Challenge?" We started a new tradition this past year, and it applies! We are alternating years planning a surprise trip for each other. Christmas of 2009 will be my turn to surprise him with my trip plans for 2010. It will be tough to outdo him! Our condo in Zihua was beautiful, the beach was gorgeous, the weather perfect, the people incredibly friendly, and the village chock full of old Mexico charm.
A little history about our destination: Zihuatanejo was a holy refuge for Aztec aristocracy many years before Columbus sailed to America. Apparently, the fairer sex dominated in Zihua as the Nahuatl word "Cihuatlán," from which the name Zihuatenejo is derived, means “place of women.” (Nahuatl is an Aztec language ) Artifacts discovered in the area indicate that weaving was the primary trade in the village.
Zihuatanejo Bay was along a Spanish trade route to the Orient. Ships passing through carried spices, coconut palms, fabrics, and silk. Legend states that one of these vessels sank near Playa La Ropa Beach where my husband and I ate breakfast at an outdoor café every morning and took a walk in the surf before siesta time – otherwise known as margaritas by the pool. The legend says that fabrics and silks stocked on the shipwrecked boat floated to shore and washed up on the sand, giving the beach it’s name. (“La Ropa” means “the clothes”)
We were fortunate that the yearly Zihuatanejo
International Guitar Festival (www.zihuafest.info) started two days before we had to leave, so we were able to catch a few really good acts at local venues. I became a fan of one artist in particular – Eric McFadden out of San Francisco. He calls his sound “Gypsy blues.” I bought a CD and there are three songs I can't get enough of. I haven't gone to see if it's on ITunes but if it is, you should check out the song DEVIL MOON.
Oh, and another "do something new" thing I did on the trip -- I had another food adventure. I ate squid in it's own ink. Sounds icky, I know, but it was actually good! You never know until you try something, right?
I'd love to hear how some of you refill the well. And if you don't, what's stopping you? I love travel, but there are all sorts of alternative ways to energize your creativity closer to home. So if you can't travel, or don't like to, don't let that stop you.
While away, I read two books: The YA novel JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta, and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon. Both were very unusual and very interesting. I'll post my thoughts on them soon.
Jennifer Archer's website