Brazil – getting started

Two amazing things happened in the past few months: I started to write full time AND I moved to Brazil. 

After a month or so, my husband, our cats and me left our cupboard-sized hotel flat and moved into our new home in São Paulo. The hotel was convenient. It sparked quite a few ideas for murder mysteries and produced one real cat incident, leaving a very frightened housekeeper. But our new home would have an office. This meant I would have my own space to do some undisturbed writing.

Undisturbed? Ha, this human has a lot to learn.

What was best was I would no longer have to get behind my computer still half-asleep, only to get some writing done. There would be whole days, weeks, years just for that.

What a luxury!

I soon found out that my newly found writing freedom had to be sandwiched between getting around local bureaucracy and waiting for things in our empty flat to get fixed, or damaged, as it turned out. Thanks to my husband’s job the move was as painless as they get: the worst part was leaving my beloved Brussels behind.

Upon coming to Brazil, it was fairly easy to adopt the necessary changes, like using a new fragrance called mosquito repellent: hello, dengue. São Paulo is a fascinating city that seduces you with its relaxed atmosphere, endless cultural events, restaurants and ridiculously tasty caipirinhas. It lulls you into forgetting its darker, poorer and more violent side. I reevaluated many things I took for granted.

At the same time, living in Brazil feels like being a kid who just discovered magic. Everything holds exciting new stories, even the small building across the street, where a small new dentist’s practice is just begging me to make it a crime scene.

The most difficult part so far was getting used to a different perception of time. Being late is not only acceptable: it is expected. Half an hour’s delay? It doesn’t even count. An hour? That’s fine. Two hours? Understandable. In São Paulo, even superheroes would struggle with the local traffic. I am yet to discover what all of this means when you host events, which I am told is something we will do quite often.

Despite all the distractions and caipirinhas, I finished the second draft of my novel and am now working with an editor to finalise it. Ideas for the next three books are lined up and ready to be plucked for NaNoWriMo. I also started a writers’ circle for English speakers.

Is there more? I sure hope so. Stay tuned.