Let it never be said that I am not a lucky woman. At this moment I am sitting by the pool of the Hotel Real de Minas in San Miguel, listening to the hooting of the doves and the distant chatter of writers here for the conference, squinting in the sun as I gaze at the scarlet poinsettia trees and trying to digest yet another huge meal. Muy bien, gracias.
Had to get up at six a.m. and out the door by 6.45 – was that only yesterday? The six hour Aeromexico flight left early and was marvellous; though the flight was full, there was an empty seat next to me and next to that an interesting guy with lots of opinions I didn’t necessarily agree with, so we talked all the way to Mexico City. The flight arrived 3/4 of an hour early but I waltzed right out with my small carryon and there was Curtis, who’d come in a few days before from Puerta Vallarta where he spends the winter, waiting with the driver of our car. A four hour drive jabbering the whole way, with me sticking my face in the sun as much as possible and eating the delicious sandwich he’d brought for me.
The hotel where we’re staying and the conference is happening is huge. I was thrilled to have exactly the right room, with a sliding door out to the pool and courtyard. We got our bearings and walked to the centre of town to have a margarita and some enchiladas con mole, while watching the town walk by: yes.
Today a huge breakfast – scrambled eggs with fried plantains. refried beans, papaya, pineapple, and a Mexican sugar doughnut. Registered, got my badges, put my books for sale in the bookstore here, and took a walk with Curtis through town again, buying necessities, including a bottle of wine for aperitif and some of those vibrantly coloured paper decorations Mexico is famous for. The shopping has begun.
And then a big lunch. Breakfast and lunch are included which means I will eat a lot. Perhaps I’ll be able to go easy at dinner though that’s unlikely, so they’ll have to roll me off the plane home. Dinty Moore is here; he spoke at our CNFC conference in Toronto in 2018, it’s good to meet him again. Have met a bunch of writers from all over already.
It all starts in an hour or so with the first workshop, and tonight a keynote from Madeleine Thien. I’ll write again soon. Right now – maybe time for a swim. Or a nap.