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.
Most of my stories are written here in Mexico; before that, there are stories written during my life in California.
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.
I encourage you to read my novel Playing for Pancho Villa, 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 the enemy, of Pancho Villa, who in the end helps him out of a hopeless situation.
It is a passionate tale of deserts, guns, horses and love, in the flavor of John Reed’s Insurgent Mexico. I think you will like it, if you like my stories.
Comandante Ibarra, my second novel, Montezuma Books 2015, is about a National Rural Policeman in 1899 who, after a mild stroke, begins to think that the Mexican Constitution of 1857, and all the rights therein contained, should apply as well to the Yaqui Indians, whom the Mexican Government is intent on wiping out. This, of course, lands him in big trouble.
And don’t forget to try out the Biff story (translated into French, Spanish, and Dutch) on your child, grandchild, great-grandchildren, or—with the proper authorities’ permission—on young students, and tell me how it went. I wrote “Biff and the Sinking Coal Freighter” for my 5-year old grandchild.