It is with ambivalent feelings that I return from Costa Rica’s Gold Coast to the wintry climes of Alberta. Undoubtedly, one of my first transitions will be in relation to my most frequently worn apparel. Prior to my initial visit to my friend’s condo in Plaza Junquillal, my friend had advised me to take, at the very least, two bathing suits since they are the preferred attire. The notion that I would spend much of the day in swimwear was so totally foreign to me that I had stared at her in utter disbelief; she’s been correct too often to be questioned though so I had packed them without further argument.

Perhaps equally significant will be the change in the tempo of my life. In the relaxed country of Costa Rica, one day blended into another, and I subtly felt myself slipping away from the necessity of doing to the blissful state of simply being. And yet, during my refreshing morning strolls along the sandy shore, I was inspired to return to my computer, and to continue with my new novel Lords and Lepers.

Indeed, there is much about the exquisite Villas Las Ventanas (where we have spent twelve wonderful weeks over the past three years) that makes it a writers’ paradise. Five Spanish-style buildings, resplendent with an array of constantly flowering plants, shrubs, and palm trees, and a splendid swimming pool at the centre, shape the perimeter of the superbly manicured grounds. This location’s artistry, beauty, serenity, and enchanting star-studded evening skies awaken my creative yearning to write.

Still, since over five hundred copies of Arriving: 1909-1919 were sold before I departed on my winter vacation, I must now focus on ensuring that book two is ready to be released by October 2012. Remembering how close I came to completing my Understanding Ursula trilogy last year in this marvellous setting, I must wait until I return near the end of December to resume my passion for writing.

Thank you, Michael Sochatsky for daring to dream about, and succeeding in developing, your fantastic condo complex; it really is a paradise for all. I offer my warmest gratitude to Rosa Bustamante, your property manager, for always working assiduously to make our sojourn delightfully enjoyable. Rosa and her son Danny have become our Costa Rican family, and we eagerly await the possibility of seeing them in Edmonton this summer.

Even as the temperature in Costa Rica continues to rise, reaching averages of 37 degrees Celsius, I am encouraged by the information on the Internet about a warming trend returning to Alberta. I anticipated my arrival home with renewed energy and enthusiasm. I now look forward to seeing my family and friends, and recommencing my exciting activities as a recently published author.


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