To Spain and home again

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Last week, I travelled to Madrid, Spain, to promote the Spanish-language version of my book. 

La corredora is officially off and running.

I took many notes and sat observing on park benches whenever possible. Hearing Spanish opened old pathways in my brain, and if there’s something I’m missing right now, being home, it is the absence of Spanish being spoken all around me. I loved being immersed in the language, but also appreciated not being expected to speak it; I worked with a talented interpreter during all interviews and media events. She made me sound fluid and articulate, which was pretty much a miracle, because at moments it felt like I’d forgotten how to speak fluently in either Spanish OR English.

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I went for a run in a beautiful city park. I walked everywhere I could, orienting myself. I visited the Prado museum. I visited the World Press photo exhibit at the architectural school. I went to Segovia and saw the remains of an ancient Roman aqueduct. I ate paella, and gazpacho, and bread dipped in olive oil and salt, and the potato omelettes that I think are called tortillas. All of the orange juice was freshly squeezed.

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I talked and talked and talked about Girl Runner.

I slept fitfully and rolled with the time change, as is necessary. I had little access to wifi, and therefore only sporadic access to my family at home, which paradoxically made me a little less homesick, I think. I was too busy and occupied to let myself think about missing them. But I missed them.

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I felt welcomed by everyone I met, in a way that I can’t fully describe. It was not just that everyone was kind; it was more than that. It was that everyone was open, present, generous with their time, engaged. The experience was immersive, as the best travel experiences are.

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I arrived home late Sunday night after being in transit for around twenty hours (includes time waiting in airports), taught my class last night, and have a One Book, One Community event tomorrow evening in Georgetown. 

This is what life feels like right now. A blur. A beautiful, remarkable, strange and mysterious blur through which I am walking. Or maybe that’s sleep-walking.

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I can’t remember being this tired before, although I’m sure that must be hyperbole. I have spent way too much time today organizing the online system for students to hand in their work, work which I must then read and mark. Also, side note, I just volunteered to coach my eldest son’s indoor soccer team (and was immediately accepted). I blame sleep deprivation. If I ever write another publishable book, it will be a solid gold miracle.

But it’s been quite a ride with this one.

xo, Carrie

Wade in the water
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3 Comments

  1. Sounds like a lovely trip. I spent a few days in Toronto and attended my first Word on the Street at the Harbour Front location, for the first year.
    I visited the House of Anansi Press booth and bought a copy of Girl Running in hard cover.
    Sounds like you have a lot going on, but hoping for the solid gold miracle of another book from you.

    Reply
  2. *Girl Runner
    🙂
    I like that the words on the front cover are tactile so I could trace my fingers across the title and your name.
    I met Douglas Gibson and listened to his stories from his new book about all kinds of Canadian authors. His story about Alice Munro was particularly inpsiring.
    I was introduced to him and had no idea who he was. That was a good thing because as soon as I learned more about him I ended up following him, as he’s pretty much publishing royalty, and I got a copy of his book signed by him: “From one writer to another.”
    🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Kerry! It sounds like you had a wonderful time at WOTS. I’m so glad you were able to go, and to meet Douglas Gibson and receive from him such a warm inscription in his book. xo, Carrie

      Reply

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