Fifty shades of red

There is a big chance I’ll be sitting on our balcony today, typing away. I hadn’t worked on the manuscript in a few days, and had a bit of an “Eureka” moment yesterday afternoon watching the ocean, so wrote pretty much until I went to sleep (I’m now at 16,401 words).

A room with a view: the view from our room in St James

The reason why I’ll be sitting in the shade writing today is two-fold: Firstly, I finally reached a critical mass in the manuscript, so I decided to do what I probably should have done in the beginning: write a proper outline for the story I’m desperately trying to develop into something readable. I was quite happy once I was done, but I know I still have work to do on it. Right now, it looks like someone scribbled directions on a napkin for me to get to where I’m going. I’m hoping that as I write, and as the story changes little by little into something readable, it will acquire the precision of a Google Map.

The second reason is quite embarrassing. When we arrived two days ago, the chatty cab driver who drove us to the hotel took one look at me and warned me that I would probably want to wear sunscreen and a big floppy hat for most of my stay, because, as we’re dangerously close to the Equator, the sun here is very strong.

This didn’t come as a surprise to me – I explained that I was born in a tropical country, and was used to my British rose complexion being more of a liability than a quality when it came to spending time on the beach.

The cabby knew what he was talking about – he must have heard it all before. Because after spending a couple of hours on the beach yesterday, today I look like someone who recently French-kissed the sun.

So to hide from curious looks on the beach (and from skin cancer), I’m likely to spend most of the day on the balcony watching the waves and writing.

With sunscreen and a big floppy hat, just to be on the safe side. And an icy cold rum punch to wash down the pain.

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