I live here in Guanajuato, Mexico, an ancient mining capital, at 7,000 feet, high desert, on the western-facing slope of the canyon, 203 steps up from the bottom.
You can find Guanajuato on the map by laying a ruler between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, and then extending the line eastward, until you arrive at the center of the country.
Guanajuato is a lovely old colonial city, with a good university and a very good symphony orchestra. It is a fine place to learn Spanish and other languages. It is the home of the three-week long Festival Cervantino, with performing artists from all over the world. It is a small walking city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can learn more about me as a writer by going to “About My Stories” on this blog. My essay “My Friend Tonio Kröger” talks about writing and being a writer. On the sidebar, on the right, you can pull down my finalist short stories for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award.
My stories are either about Mexico or were written in Mexico, over the last thirteen years.
Mexico has a way of bringing out the writer (and the painter). I think of Gary Paul Nabhan’s book The Desert Smells Like Rain (highly recommended) as the metaphor for my own sprouting.
My goal is audience, as simple as that. Not fame, not money. I want people to read my stories, and my novels as I post them.
One of the latter is coming up. A story about a young mining engineer (based on my own grandfather) who at the age of twenty-eight and suffering from mercury poisoning, hence lacking judgment, wanders down into the Mexican Revolution in 1916 and becomes an adversary, but not enemy, of Pancho Villa, who in the end helps him out of a hopeless situation.
It is a coming of age story (Bildungsroman) and a love story: he chooses the fiery heroine-addicted widow of a Carrancista officer he has accidentally mortally wounded.
It is a passionate tale of horses and men and women, with the flavor of John Reed’s Insurgent Mexico. I think you will like it, if you like my stories.
As for what’s already posted, not everyone likes to comment publicly, and so I invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will respond to you.
Just tell me the story or piece of writing you’re referring to and how it resonates with your writing, thinking, or life experiences.
I can respond, of course, in English, adequately in Spanish and German, and haltingly in French. No Dutch!
I am finding my way still as a blogger and writer, and it would help me tremendously if you would give me feedback.
It would also help me if you tell friends about this blog who are interested in Mexico, or have been here, or are thinking of coming here in the future.
So that’s it, let’s talk!
And don’t forget to try out the Biff story (translated into those languages, plus Dutch) on your child, grandchild, great-grandchildren, or – with permission – on young students, and tell me how it went. I wrote “Biff and the Sinking Coal Freighter” for my 5-year old grandchild.
Here’s hoping I hear from you!