We're back. We got back Friday evening. Our dog was delirious to see us again, and we returned the sentiment. There's lots of e-mail to catch up on, since I had to be frugal with online time abroad. Once again the garden is a mass of hearty weeds, although the basil and parsley have fought back valiantly and managed to be prolific: I foresee pasta nights for some time.
Galicia still resonates in my ears. I miss the sound of Spanish flowing around us. I have to resist the impulse to answer "si" when I agree with something. Not many people speak English in Galicia (except for our British friends), so going there is truly an immersion experience. Our Galician neighbors are supportive of our efforts and seem to get what we think we are saying. But I'm dutifully continuing to study Spanish, in hopes of being more fluent by the next trip.
As much as we enjoyed the trip, it's great to be back. Immediately I had to go to my two favorite used book stores, The Book Collector and Time Tested Books, in search of more books in Mary Stewart's Arthurian series. We took the first two books with us and read them in Spain. Rajan read them twice, to clarify the many names and locations mentioned in Stewart's beautiful writing. Luckily I got the next two books over the week-end, so we are set with good reading for awhile. I blame our Arthurian addiction on the TV Pilot, Merlin that we watched over the summer. It has a different story line for Arthur and Merlin, in fact for the whole cast of characters, but it was a refreshing pilot, and it piqued our interest. Now we are both hooked on the legend and anyone's version of it. And I've always admired Mary Stewart's writing.
I painted a little on our trip, though I wrote constantly. But today I go back to the pastel landscape class I like so much, and Thursday I start teaching the after school art club for kids again. Art may sound like a distraction for a writer, but I think it enhances writing. It certainly makes you visualize what you are trying to describe in words, and to think in "scenes", and I think it removes some of the clutter that can make for writer's block.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to more research for my next book that takes place in Sacramento. I've already written one draft of it, and a partial re-write, then put it on the back burner for another book. But it involves a ghost, and this is a wonderful season to explore the old cemetery, among other things, as I pick up the threads and continue the re-write.