Whether someone has changed because of moving to Mexico or whether the change occurs that inspires the move, there is no doubt that Mexico is pivotal in many women writers’ lives. Today I hope you enjoy a brief look into Kate Evans life and times.
I’m from California. I live a nomadic life, while spending several months a year at our house in Mexico. My husband Dave and I left jobs and home eight years ago to travel and live home-free. A year in, we bought the casita near Cerritos Beach in Baja California Sur…sight unseen. My sister lived next door and told us about the place being for sale. We intuited we’d love the area—and we were right.
Whenever we return to Baja and are driving down the bumpy dirt road to our place, a sense of peace sweeps over me. Mexico has taught me to relax with what the moment brings. I love Mexico’s rich culture, history, and beauty (both natural and human-made). We’ve driven up and down Baja several times, and I find the desert/sea combination unique and awe-inspiring. I’ve also very much enjoyed Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Tepoztlán. Mexico is a huge country that I want to explore more.
Two months into living nomadically, I had a seizure and discovered I had a brain tumor. As I write about in my memoir Call It Wonder: An Odyssey of Love, Sex, Spirit and Travel, this challenge set into motion a life transformation. It also reinforced how grateful I was to be living the life I love
I’ve faced other challenges, including another major surgery two years ago, falling in love with and marrying a woman midlife, then dealing with a brutal divorce after 15 years together, and losing my beloved parents to prolonged illnesses. These are not singular to me. We all face challenges, change, and loss. “Overcoming” means allowing life’s lessons to help my heart grow. And, truly, life is transformation.
The love and support of friends and family keeps me going. Also, reading has always helped me understand how others live this life, make it through tough times, and keep their creativity alive. I’m proud of how many lives I touched in all my years of teaching. I’m also proud that my memoir won the Bisexual Book Award. But honestly what I’m most proud of is that I’ve learned to make friends with myself.
We explore wherever we are. For instance, right now we’re spending six weeks on Kauai and have been snorkeling, hiking, biking, going to farmer’s markets, spending time with friends who are vacationing or live here—and tomorrow we’re taking a boat to the Na Pali coast. We also do the usual things, such as cook, clean, read (we’re book addicts), listen to music, do yoga, surf the internet, take walks, play cards and Yahtzee, zoom with or call friends. I play the ukulele, watch about an hour of YouTube videos in Spanish most every day, and listen to guided meditations. I also work as a writing coach and book editor, and of course I do my own writing.
Our discovery of housesitting has helped make our life slow travel possible because we live for free in wonderful places all over the world. I write about this on my blog here: Living the Journey: Housesitting All Over the World (beingandwriting.blogspot.com)
I retired early (at age 50) from teaching with a small pension but more importantly lifelong medical benefits. My husband is retired and draws social security. When we’re not at our casita, we rent it out. We keep our eyes open for opportunities. For instance, we lived in China for a year, where I taught at a university. I led a writing retreat in Thailand and have developed online creative writing courses. As a writing coach and book editor, I help people write their stories (www.kateevanswriter.com). I’ve also published a number of books (several are available on Audible as well), including:
- For the May Queen, a coming-of age novel about a young woman going away to college
- Complementary Colors, a novel about a straight woman who falls in love with another woman
- Call It Wonder, my aforementioned memoir
- Two books of poems and a book about teaching
- And most recently, I co-wrote with Mary Janelle Melvin Revolutionary Kiss, a historical romance that takes place during the French Revolution (under the pen name Mary-Kate Summers).
I would consider a defining moment in my life when I read Harriet the Spy as a girl. That set into motion my desire to write, to travel, to be a strong girl, and to live unconventionally. I’m currently working on a book about our house sitting adventures.
Also, after retiring from nursing, my mom became a writer. I remembered reading one of her books in manuscript form, a historical romance taking place during Gold Rush California. After she died of dementia, I figured it was lost. But last year my sister found it in a box! My mom hadn’t spoken the last year of her life, so it was quite moving to see her intelligence and humor come alive again on the page. The book has good bones but needs reworking, so I’m also working on that and will publish it under both of our names.
I plan on meeting these goals by writing one word at a time.