The loveliest day today: I awoke at 4:00, after a solid six hours sleep. I lingered until 5:00, and then got up. I felt rested. I tip-toed out onto our porch with my laptop and settled into a chair facing the dark surf. The world is mine at that hour.

I worked on the plot outline for several hours, until the day dawned—a beautiful thing to see anywhere, but especially on an isolated beach. I scolded myself a bit for spending much of this time fooling with format, but then I realized that this is the natural thing to do before something gets sent out. It’s the ribbons and bows stage. Not that I’m truly there!

By 8:00, I had done a great deal of work and was content. It was a gorgeous morning, clear and calm. We ate melon, walked the beach, chatted with acquaintances. I studied my French language tape (yes, in Mexico! go figure), read from my book on 17th century French theater, and then we swam in the warm ocean and went for abalone and shrimp in the palapas down at the village end of the beach.

Everything had a movie glow: “summer at the beach.” Bathers bobbing, a fishing boat blaring rock ‘n roll, couples hitting a ball back and forth, women in bikinis lying in the sun reading. But all so wonderfully Mexico: vendors cruising, singers playing—and intoxicated lovers getting tattoos. (Oh dear!)

Now, as I write this, the sun is setting, a golden ball reflected in the water. I do love this reflective life. A reader of this blog asked if I felt more creative here, and I believe the answer is yes.