Virtual Vacation: Mexico 2014

I’ve started a tradition of keeping a “Virtual Vacation" blog during my writing retreats and travels. These posts are from my recent time in Mexico- my 4th year teaching at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference plus a little mini-vacation afterwards. Besides providing a place to digest my daily adventures in another country, I want my students to see me practice what I preach. I hope you enjoy the journey!
15 Pins1.18k Followers
I dropped by Mom’s place today to remind her (for the sixth time) that I’ll be leaving to go to Mexico tomorrow. I’m heading back to teach at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference for the 4th year in a row, and I wanted to be sure that Mom would be okay while I was gone. While she sat beside me in a nest of newspapers, I wrote in giant letters on her calendar, “LAURA IN MEXICO” across each of the 13 days I’ll be gone.

I dropped by Mom’s place today to remind her (for the sixth time) that I’ll be leaving to go to Mexico tomorrow. I’m heading back to teach at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference for the 4th year in a row, and I wanted to be sure that Mom would be okay while I was gone. While she sat beside me in a nest of newspapers, I wrote in giant letters on her calendar, “LAURA IN MEXICO” across each of the 13 days I’ll be gone.

I always love the sweet promise of setting out a trip before dawn. But it wasn’t until the end of a long day of travel, when I boarded the shuttle that would take me to Susan’s house, that it really hit me that I was in Mexico.  The moment I walked out of the airport door, 85 degrees slapped me like a wave. I immediately stripped off my down vest and my black wool cardigan and wished I’d had the forethought to put my flip flops within easy reach.

I always love the sweet promise of setting out a trip before dawn. But it wasn’t until the end of a long day of travel, when I boarded the shuttle that would take me to Susan’s house, that it really hit me that I was in Mexico. The moment I walked out of the airport door, 85 degrees slapped me like a wave. I immediately stripped off my down vest and my black wool cardigan and wished I’d had the forethought to put my flip flops within easy reach.

Today, Susan needed to go to Dolores Hidalgo, a small town a little more than an hour from San Miguel, to replace her ceramic water dispenser and its wobbly wooden stand. I went along for the ride and got a Mexican history lesson in the bargain.

Today, Susan needed to go to Dolores Hidalgo, a small town a little more than an hour from San Miguel, to replace her ceramic water dispenser and its wobbly wooden stand. I went along for the ride and got a Mexican history lesson in the bargain.

A small snippet from David Whyte’s keynote address about why readers need to live a courageous life:  “Writer’s block has to do with the attempt to keep a conversation going long beyond its shelf life.”  As an antidote, David suggested the discipline of asking ourselves “beautiful questions,” questions that enable us to have a conversation between our history and the ground on which we stand and the new, unknown horizon before us.

A small snippet from David Whyte’s keynote address about why readers need to live a courageous life: “Writer’s block has to do with the attempt to keep a conversation going long beyond its shelf life.” As an antidote, David suggested the discipline of asking ourselves “beautiful questions,” questions that enable us to have a conversation between our history and the ground on which we stand and the new, unknown horizon before us.

This morning I headed out in search of a pedicure before the conference begins. I was wearing open toed shoes and my toes look like crap. I stripped off the old polish before I left California, but now they have red ghost residue on them and look tawdry. I’m not particularly vain, but I think my feet should be more presentable.

This morning I headed out in search of a pedicure before the conference begins. I was wearing open toed shoes and my toes look like crap. I stripped off the old polish before I left California, but now they have red ghost residue on them and look tawdry. I’m not particularly vain, but I think my feet should be more presentable.

The San Miguel Writer’s conference, in its ninth year, attracts writers from all over Mexico, the United States, Canada, and this year included participants from England, Australia and Morocco. This year, there are 300 full conference attendees, and some of the keynote speakers draw as many as 900 people.

The San Miguel Writer’s conference, in its ninth year, attracts writers from all over Mexico, the United States, Canada, and this year included participants from England, Australia and Morocco. This year, there are 300 full conference attendees, and some of the keynote speakers draw as many as 900 people.

The most fun thing about coming to a writer’s conference is not what happens in the officially scheduled sessions, but what happens in the cracks between sessions. There’s the fun of exploring San Miguel, but there’s also the conversations, connections and adventures that happen with fellow participants over meals, while getting lost, while shopping, or sometimes while drinking tequila.

The most fun thing about coming to a writer’s conference is not what happens in the officially scheduled sessions, but what happens in the cracks between sessions. There’s the fun of exploring San Miguel, but there’s also the conversations, connections and adventures that happen with fellow participants over meals, while getting lost, while shopping, or sometimes while drinking tequila.

A small snippet from David Whyte’s keynote address about why readers need to live a courageous life:  “Writer’s block has to do with the attempt to keep a conversation going long beyond its shelf life.”  As an antidote, David suggested the discipline of asking ourselves “beautiful questions,” questions that enable us to have a conversation between our history and the ground on which we stand and the new, unknown horizon before us.

A small snippet from David Whyte’s keynote address about why readers need to live a courageous life: “Writer’s block has to do with the attempt to keep a conversation going long beyond its shelf life.” As an antidote, David suggested the discipline of asking ourselves “beautiful questions,” questions that enable us to have a conversation between our history and the ground on which we stand and the new, unknown horizon before us.

One of my favorite things about this year’s San Miguel Writer’s Conference is that my co-author from The Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass, is here teaching poetry and giving a keynote speech. I had the honor of introducing her and preparing my remarks took me on a long trip down memory lane. My introduction was a lot more personal than many of the others I’d heard at the conference—introductions that focused more on accomplishments—after all, I’ve known Ellen intimately for more than 30 years.

One of my favorite things about this year’s San Miguel Writer’s Conference is that my co-author from The Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass, is here teaching poetry and giving a keynote speech. I had the honor of introducing her and preparing my remarks took me on a long trip down memory lane. My introduction was a lot more personal than many of the others I’d heard at the conference—introductions that focused more on accomplishments—after all, I’ve known Ellen intimately for more than 30 years.

Some of you may know, from my previous writing, or from being in class with me, that I had an identical twin sister who died when I was a day old. I’ve grieved Vicki all my life and have always had a deep fascination with twins. Last year at the conference in San Miguel, I met a woman who’s almost as good as a twin—playwright, memoirist and screenwriter Amy Ferris. The interesting thing about Amy is that we have all kinds of bizarre things in common (like we both joined a cult when...

Some of you may know, from my previous writing, or from being in class with me, that I had an identical twin sister who died when I was a day old. I’ve grieved Vicki all my life and have always had a deep fascination with twins. Last year at the conference in San Miguel, I met a woman who’s almost as good as a twin—playwright, memoirist and screenwriter Amy Ferris. The interesting thing about Amy is that we have all kinds of bizarre things in common (like we both joined a cult when...

Pinterest
Search