Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

miércoles, septiembre 09, 2009

09/09/09 And A Bird

Today's an auspicious day. Look first at the date and time. It's all nines.

I've been in Mexico for more than two weeks writing. And, thank you thank you thank you, I have finished the first draft of my novel, Tulum. And I've sent it out to two writer friends to read. I want to be sure that it's worth continuing with. It, of course, will need an agent and/or a publisher and some reworking and editing. All the usual things that turn coal into diamonds. I will get to that after my friends have read it and after I've honed it a little more.

I'm not going to spoil it now: it's about an American expat with a shady past who's been hiding in Tulum, Mexico for a decade and his making friends with a Mayan Curandero who is his neighbor. Their friendship is very playful. The book is set in Tulum, Cuba and the Mayan Riviera of Mexico. That's all I'm telling for now.

When I was in Ireland at the end of April, I received a very strong message from The Hag, The Crone to finish the first draft of this book by mid September. Or else. There would be no excuses, no extensions of time, no dogs eating my homework. The message was that I had to finish this up without further delays. So today, 9/9/09, I have met that deadline. I am relieved. I don't expect I will taste the lash that was implicit in the April message I received. Thank goodness.

I've had a wonderful solitary week of taking very long walks, swimming, and writing. The writing has required me to go on very long walks on the beach in the forest. When things were getting stiff, or sore, or congested, I stopped to walk.

Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum, where I've been has been virtually deserted. Almost no one else is here. It is extremely quiet, and the weather has been absolutely perfect. Hot and sunny every day. In fact, the area could use some rain. We've had only one brief shower while I've been here. I am delighted to have had this produtive time here.

Throughout the week I've had repeated sightings of a particular kind of bird that keeps showing up to watch me, to hang out with me, to sing. It's called a "social flycatcher." It lives primarily in Mexico and Central America. It's a very beautiful bird:

I assume it's called "social" because it doesn't immediately fly away from people, though it does keep its distance. It has a sweet but simple song. It likes to be near the ocean, but it's also happy in the selva. And it likes to sit on wires and sing.

Since I finished my first draft I haven't seen any of these birds again. I wonder why that is.

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