Oct 25, 2003, 9:28 AM
Post #27 of 43
If you're sensing people are "unhappy with the direction of this forum," it may be because you are asking for forum members to do all the work for you for a book from which you may benefit and it is unlikely any of the writers will see a cent.
And, as Alex points out, MexConnect already exists to be exactly the source you are trying to put together, and MexConnect already has done so, so you'll be reinventing the wheel.
Here again is the link to the index of MexConnect authors and articles, many of which are exactly what you want: http://www.mexconnected.com/...orsindex.html#vinson
There are already dozens of books which do exactly what you want to do, such as Don Adams' delightful new book which contains some of his hilarious columns from MexConnect.
I don't mean to be blunt or to put you down for what you think is a fantastic "new" idea, but oldtimers have seen this before. I'm a writer, too, and you wouldn't believe the stories I could tell about people wanting to rip me off.
I will share one funny tale: I was in the middle of a Los Angeles protest march on violence against women when a woman came up to me with a pencil and the back of an envelope in hand, and said her lover wanted to write a best-selling novel and how should she do it?
I was supposed to tell her, in words that would fit on the back of an envelope as I huffed it down Hollywood Blvd., what I had learned in 50 years of writing and hard work! As if anyone could condense into a few grafs all the years of perspiration it takes to write a book that mainstream publishers will pay for!
Oh, there are a few writers' jokes about such a truth: apply backbone to back of chair before computer, and stay there, writing, for many years.
Not that many writers don't try to reinvent the wheel and sometimes succeed doing so, with a better wheel. Look at all the diet and self-help books around--they all have the same message, "just do it." And I guess people are telling you, if you want to write a book about life in Mexico, come live life in Mexico and then write it!
You may come out with another "On Mexican Time" as Tony Cohen did which sold very well, but then he'd written many books before that and many afterward. He had 15 years of life in San Miguel de Allende before he tackled such a book, before he felt comfortable enough that he had the depth and breadth of experience to not just be throwing some anecdotes together, to actually provide real information, and he is still criticized for not "getting it right." He told his story, which is not anyone else's story, and that is what a writer has to give.
Maybe some day I'll write my book about my experiences in Mexico, but I'll do it for me, and I'll do it when I feel comfortable enough that I'm telling accurate information in context, not just my first impressions. First impressions can be fun, but they can be vastly inaccurate and sometimes can contribute to misconceptions and stereotypes about Mexico, which is not what anyone here wants to do.
I'm finding layers and layers of meaning and history behind even the basic social interactions in Mexico, of saying "Buenos Dias"! Wonder what I'll know in 10 years about the real meaning of the Day of the Dead celebrations, beyond just, aren't all those graves decorated beautifully, and how nice that families get together with their deceased relatives on this day?
Carol Schmidt, looking forward to next weekend