This is an adapted excerpt from my memoir, Between Inca Walls.
At the Cusco railway station on November 22, 1964, my Peace Corps roommate Marie and I purchased tickets for the local train to Machu Picchu, not the more expensive train for tourists. Our plan was to see the ancient wonder of the world, then visit fellow volunteer, Larry at his site in Quillabamba.
Trains were one of the few things that arrived and left on time in Peru. We hopped aboard as soon as ours pulled into the station and settled onto a couple of scratched blue vinyl seats. After a short wait, we hear three toots of the whistle and began to move. The diesel engine labored forward, then backward, to pull, then push, the six passenger cars up the zigzagging rails on the side of the mountain and out of the city. Close to the top, burning oil replaced the musty smell of red clay soil. Smoke billowed outside the window of our car. I voiced concern to the man checking our tickets.
“Just a dirty carburetor,” the man said.
For the second year in a row, seven CWC members, including myself, were invited by former CWC-NorCal leader Carole Bumpus to attend the 35th National Kidney Foundation Authors Luncheon on October 28. Over 500 readers, writers, and booklovers met at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco to listen to four best-selling authors. Inspiring talks by those affected by kidney disease helped raise over half a million dollars for kidney transplants. Retired KQED radio host and author, Michael Krasny interviewed four best-selling authors about their writing processes, revealing many surprises.
My appearance on The Travel Addict podcast has just dropped. You can find it in the usual podcast places but here are a few:
I enjoyed speaking at the Fremont chapter of America Association of University Women at their installation luncheon. Thanks to all who purchased my memoirs. I sold out of both!
My story, "Parted, not Separated," a 3,000-word short story summarizing much of my first book, Between Inca Walls, has been selected for publication in the SF-Peninsula chapter's 2023 Fault Zone anthology. This year's anthology titled, "Detachment," will be published in late fall or early winter, 2023.
On June 10 and September 30, Evelyn LaTorre will be speaking to the Fremont, California chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She will be featured speaking about women's empowerment at the group's installation luncheon. In that presentation and the Fall kick-off keynote, Dr. LaTorre will stress the importance of keeping journals and women writing their memoirs.
I've been getting some positive feedback from the excerpt I read at the Feb 18 CWC Peninsula meeting from Love in Any Language called "And Baby Makes Four", so I wanted to post it here:
I unwrapped pink diaper bags, pink onesies, and frilly pink dresses at the April 1971 baby showers thrown by the Hawthorne school faculty and the women in our UC student-housing unit. Those who doubted that I could choose the sex of my baby, thought impossible in 1970, gave me yellow blankets, sweaters, and booties. (I’d read a Life magazine article about how to conceive a girl. My husband loved the method.)
When birthing Tony, our first child, four years before, I’d been caught off guard by the pain. Then, my obstetrician had quickly administered a saddle block anesthetic. The painkiller deadened me to all feeling in my lower extremities. For days afterward, I had excruciating headaches every time I lifted my head. I didn’t want a pain-deadener with this second birth. I wanted to experience the pleasure of a natural birth, like so many women said they did in the ’70s. I enrolled in weekly evening Lamaze classes the month before my due date, and hoped for a painless, enjoyable childbirth.
Evelyn LaTorre is a memoir writer living in Fremont, CA.