Writers Abroad Magazine 6 May 2017 - Page 11

WRITERS ABROAD MAGAZINE: THE THIRD SPACE …TO THERE. FEATURING MAGGIE SHELTON What brought you to Mexico, from when and where? We wanted a waterfront property for a vacation/retirement home. First we searched north of us in Washington State, looking at beautiful homes and undeveloped lots on the pine-treed slopes of the Puget Sound. As lovely as it was, we’d grown too accustomed to our outdoor living style in Southern California and knew we’d not do well confined indoors by weather. So instead, we looked south of the border in the Mexican peninsula called Baja California, or, Lower California. It has only been a hundred and sixty-nine years since upper California was acquired by the U.S. in a treaty following the Mexican-American war, and traveling down the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Baja is seeing how California, USA would have looked a hundred or more years ago. We purchased a hunting and fishing lodge built and run by an American on a large bay known by two names, Bahia San Quintin on the east fork, and Bahia Falsa on the west fork. We are one of about twenty homes, three or four occupied at any given time, and the nearest grocery store is ten miles away on a dirt road. Fortunately, a mere three hundred feet from our home is a dirt runway that we fly into in one of the various Cessnas we’ve owned throughout the years. What are the advantages of living in Mexico for a writer? Our location is a paradise, world-renowned with birders, fishermen and botanists. Whales, dolphins, sea lions and other Pacific Ocean dwellers often shelter in our bay and the water is so pure the oyster farms on Bahia Falsa are known throughout the world to produce some of the cleanest, pollution-free oysters. Because of our remote location, the biggest advantage is the renewal nature brings with it, which unfolds my creative center. Has your writing output increased since you came to Mexico? We raised our four children in Orange County, California, and used the home as a vacation home for twenty years. After the children left, we retired here. Since I’ve been here I’ve written two full-length screenplays, and various short fiction. From here we’ve explored both the Baja Peninsula and Mexico Mainland in our plane, and I’ve published articles reflecting those travels. Is there anything you find hard to cope with in Mexico? Yes, the isolation. I’ve involved myself in local concerns and needs but there are only a handful of ex-pats that come and go and our neighbors are one-man oyster and land farmers. When I am in the States the first thing I do is get a pedicure, eat in an Italian restaurant, and catch a movie! 10 | MAY 2017