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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Scribbling Away in Cartagena


(Reading D.K. Broster in the hotel hammock. Couching at the Door is an excellent collection of creepy stories!)

I’m home! Pretty much every trip I take seems like the best ever, and Colombia is no exception. I’ve got plenty of photos and stories to post, but for now I just want to show you how I spent my last three days in Cartagena, after Kate went back to D.C. and Sierra home to Bucaramanga.


I wrote. A LOT. Don’t look too closely at the scribbling—it’s still a rough draft—but you get the idea. I went down to the hotel café for coffee, headed out to a vegetarian restaurant for lunch each day, and one afternoon I took some time out to visit the Palace of the Inquisition, but for the most part I just wrote. Leaving my laptop at home was a very good idea. (You can pick up WiFi at most hotels and cafés in Colombia.)


After Cartagena I took the bus to Bucaramanga to hang out with Sierra for a week and a half or so. (I went with her to school and watched her teach! She cooked fabulous vegan meals and threw a dinner party in my honor!) I got a lot done in Buca too, but there’s definitely something to be said for self-imposed social isolation when you’re looking to–figuratively speaking– kick your own took. Nova sometimes books a hotel room for a weekend so she can write non-stop, and I’d really been wanting to try it myself. I managed to find that essential combination: an inexpensive but comfortable hotel (i.e., where I can sit for hours and no one will bother me), no company, and no WiFi. That was all I needed.


Once I’d written enough to feel that glow of satisfaction in the afternoon, I treated myself to a shake. Mango + spearmint = BLISS!

I’ll tell you more about what I’m working on once I’ve actually finished the draft. Until then–more about Colombia! (And Turkey too, I still haven’t finished blogging about Turkey!)

3 Comments to Scribbling Away in Cartagena

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    That looks like a bad protein shake, but sounds delicious!
    I’m so sad I didn’t stay the entire time with you.

  2. February 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s mint, not spirulina. 😛

  3. February 22, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I woke up this morning wondering how you were doing… now I’m feeling very inspired! Every once in a while I shut down the internet but I rarely write longhand anymore.
    and oh, to do it somewhere warm…
    Welcome home!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.