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Tuesday in Peru....

Cheryl's Musings: Tuesday in Peru....

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Tuesday in Peru....

I feel like I borrowed a month of winter and traded it in for an extra month of summer. Maybe that's part of the place's magic for me, that everything—weather included—is completely different from what I'd find at home. The differences inspire.

So how can I keep this sense of place fresh in my mind when I return to Colorado? Translating the details of experiences, people, and places onto the page is an invaluable skill for a writer to cultivate, since most of us can't travel to exotic locations for every writing session. Freewrite, describe, make lists, take notice—but learn to catch inspiration to use in your writing.

Here's a bit more of my gathered inspiration:

  • Breakfast: eggs with slices of hot dog, mango, fresh rolls, strawberry jam. We drink yogurt (strawberry, lucuma, and guanábana) and coffee mixed half and half with tinned milk.

  • Moto-taxis: three wheeled vehicles only a little bigger than bicycles with canvas tops, zipping around the streets of Chosica

  • Streets crowded with cars, combis, moto-taxis, bicycles, people, and buses, with trucks stopped in the middle, cars parked on the sidewalks, cars weaving in and out of traffic...when we pulled out of a parking spot, we drove a ways in the oncoming traffic lane. Cars beep constantly,high-pitched, and no one seems to mind.

  • A class of laughing adults (including my mother!!) doing the hokey-pokey in the name of education. None of them will forget “left” and “right.”

  • Narrow streets edged by narrow sidewalks, which are in turn bordered by stone walls covered in painted advertisements and graffiti

  • A grocery store with three types of pineapple

  • Half an hour in a store where I was the odd one out, where people stared or tried not to stare at my strange skin, hair, language, accent, clothes.

Now I just need to figure out how to express the depth of exhaustion that comes from day after day of nearly-unbroken intensity. Tomorrow....

:) Cheryl

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