I recently spent a month in Todos Santos, Baja Sur. In exchange for house/pet sitting, I got four weeks of solitude in a casita, during which I was able to work on a book project about Dr. Warren Borgquist. The prospect of leaving California for an extended time to write was exciting, but I also hated the thought of missing out on the active lives of my family, all of whom live nearby. Close proximity to my fifteen grandkids is a blessing I’m grateful for everyday, especially when I talk with friends whose families are scattered all over the world.
I had no idea the degree to which I’d be singing the praises of technology while on this trip, but I found that there were a gazillion ways to stay in touch while also working faithfully on my project.
I tutored and responded to the essays of two grandsons and two granddaughters, via Facetime and Google Docs. I watched videos of two granddaughters in their dance classes and viewed pictures of my swiftly growing 15-month old grandson. Toward the end of the trip, two videos arrived in iMessage of him learning to stand and then learning to walk while pushing a rolling toy. I watched my brother walk the Camino de Santiago compliments of a photo album on iCloud. I texted and emailed with family and friends, staying abreast of their exciting lives. I chatted on Facetime with Cindy several times a week and we texted one another all day long. I also consulted with my daughter-in-law via Facetime to get clarification on a medical procedure about which I was writing. And I remotely promoted a Writers Workshop that was scheduled to take place several days after I returned home.
At the same time I was writing my third book in Baja, the Kindle version of my first book, BetweenTwo Women, was published on Amazon. And of course, the work I was doing on the book could not have been accomplished without a computer and word processing while listening to MP3 files of some of the interviews I've conducted.
Though I’m a happy and relatively competent user of technology, this experience of maintaining wholesome communication with my loved ones while far away was new to me. I feel gratified to be a writer working in the 21 Century—one who can have her solitude and community too.