What a trip! I went under a waterfall (it felt like a fire house of water in my face); I made friends with butterflies; visited a spooky ‘city of the dead’ (the famous cemetery in Recoleta, Buenos Aires; I danced Tango, drank wine & ate more steak in 16 days that I normally eat in a year…. And now, I’m back home.
During my trip I drafted four short stories and came up with some new ideas yet to be explored. I had one whopper of a nightmare, so scary that when I recounted it, it seemed like the opening sequence of a horror story. Um…. Maybe it’s time to try my hand at horror that is not adulterated with other genre influences?
I also read a great deal. Reading on vacation is special. The phone rarely, if ever, rings and with few appointments there is more time to simply sit back and enjoy a novel, biography, or history book.
What did I read?
Well, after the Fodor’s Guide to Buenos Aires, I devoured Neil Gaiman’s short story collection entitled “Trigger Warning.” I loved it.
I also read William Goldman’s “The Temple of Gold.” He’s best known as a screenwriter (The Princess Bride, Butch Cassidy) and this was his first novel—a classic coming of age book written in 1957. For me, it was an odd trip back in time to someplace before my time and not a time I am drawn to visit… And yet, as I was immersed in the life of his hapless protagonist—better to read about him than to meet him. It made me think about Holden Caufield and how coming of age novels about young men are so different from stories about young women.
I then read a mystery by an author who is new to me. “Artifacts” by Mary Anna Evans features a compelling protagonist with a loaded backstory and expertise in archeology. I’m definitely checking out other books in the series.
Due to a general strike in Argentina, my trip home turned into a marathon that alternated between long periods of time to be killed (walking, reading, drinking tea) and rushing to make connections, spiced with complete insanity in three versions of airport hell. If Dante were alive today, he’d write about air travel!
The waiting time and long sleepless flights facilitated reading the first Inspector Wexford novel by Ruth Rendell. I’m certain that I never read this one. As an introduction to her famous characters, it was fun, but as a mystery it was less sophisticated than her later work. I solved it a little too quickly and realized that my prescience might simply be a 21st century perspective on a 1964 story. What was shocking then is normal now.
I then turned to a history book about witches in America. It is written in a cheeky, almost snarky, style and I’m on the fence about it and won’t give it a thumbs up or down until I get a bit further into the text.
Now… what will I read on my next trip? Any suggestions?