Z is for Zanzibar

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Number 26 in The A to Z of the Writer’s Affliction, part of the A to Z blogging challenge.

The tide at Jambiani, Zanzibar, withdraws for half a mile, revealing a vast expanse of beach. Which is fine: at low tide, you walk; at high tide, you swim. And in between, you laze in a hammock, reading. So how, you ask, can such a place become a writer’s affliction?

Well, holidays are nice, sure, but the thing is, I was just gathering steam in the first draft of Mystery Manor, 3rd in the Magali Rousseau series, when I was transported to Zanzibar. And my morning routine fell apart. This wouldn’t be so bad – a few days’ break is refreshing – but while I was there, I had another idea. And I couldn’t stop it growing. I thought about it in the hammock, made a few notes, started filling in the details. So now I’m back, there are two books competing for the limited space in my brain. You see? If you try hard enough, it’s possible to be afflicted even on a beach in Zanzibar.

Well, here endeth the A-Z. Phew! Just as well I decided in the end not to do it in Cambodian – it has 74 letters. My thanks go to the organisers, notably Damyanti Biswas (whose A-Z about the project Why in New Delhi is a far more worthy contribution than my own), to all of you who have visited, liked or commented, and of course to my friend Arnold Pogostik, without whose help I would doubtless never have made it.