As I type this, a summery breeze is blowing through my office window.  I can smell lilacs.   The new book, HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE is finished at last…written, rewritten, given to agent and editor for thorough reads, then revised some more, and returned.  It is on its way.  I’ve seen a mock up of the cover, and will post one when I get a final.  This is always a bittersweet period, when it sinks in that I actually have finished, and I won’t be living with these friends again. They’re on their way into the world.  I’m glad, but also a little blue.

So now I’m catching up on the multitudes of tasks that have fallen by the wayside while I immersed in this book.  Catching up on email from readers (please be patient with me if you emailed and I haven’t yet responded–I answer them all myself and it takes time, but I will get to every single one of them), catching up on blogs, catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a couple of months.   Walking. Studying Spanish.  Reading. Dancing.

What I’m really doing most of the time is packing and repacking in my head.  My goal is to make it through England and Spain, four weeks, with one carry-on and a backpack.  So, no more than two pairs of shoes.  One fleece and one turtleneck and one rainjacket.  A dress that packs very well, some leggings, and scarves to accessorize.   I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve been walking many miles every week, aiming for at least 30, and only making that rarely.  This week, I had the exuberant pleasure of dancing with Carlos AyaRosas, one of the founders of Nia, who is retiring this year.  Under other circumstances, I would have cut back on the dancing to give my body a chance to adjust to the extra walking miles, but how could I forgo that chance?  No way!

It was deliciously exhilarating! Carlos is a very physical dancer, and a great teacher, with an entirely different style than our (beloved) Loretta Milo.  The workshop was two hours and we danced our heads off–the kind of dancing that makes you forget everything and sweat away all stress and fill up entirely with joy.  I have been faithfully attending at least one, and sometimes three, classes a week since I began eighteen months ago. I always learn something new about my body or the music or how to count something that had eluded me before, but dancing with Carlos and his wife, who looks like she might be half-fey, coming out of the trees just to teach us to dance, and having the pleasure of watching Loretta and some of the other black belts lose themselves in the dance was…pure flame, pure notes, pure love.  I wish you could all have been there with me.

Have you ever tried something new that ran away with your heart?

6 thoughts on “Finished!

  1. My friends who are doing the Camino at the moment, keep sending stream of consciousness emails about their experiences. Main obsessions beside walking and weight is food.

  2. Mel

    Yay on book finishing and am now pea green with envy for your Nia with Carlos. Still lacking a nearby class here and I miss it even if my shoulder might not!

  3. So glad you’re back, Barbara! We missed you! Can’t wait to read the new book–I’m guessing it’s going to be its own special brand of amazing if it consumed you to that degree.

    And do let us know how the packing goes. Having just gotten back from a trip to the East Coast, I am aware of how radically I need to rethink how I pack. Can’t wait to hear how you manage. 🙂

  4. Congrats on finishing!

    No nearby class here either, sadly. After getting lost in winding hills the first 2 times I tried to attend a class I haven’t been brave enough to try again.

    Soooo wish I could find one.

  5. Do your friends have a blog, Keziah? I’m glomming everything Camino at the moment.

    Mel and Nicola, I wish we could all do a class together sometime. I’m really thinking maybe a white belt next year.

  6. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a class together?
    One day…

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