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Uncle Donnie

Oct 25, 2003, 8:03 AM

Post #26 of 43 (2950 views)

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Re: [tkingrey] Send me your stories!

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Hi Terri,

Now that you're gettin' personal I'll weigh in.

Think what you may, as Carron wrote earlier, many of us are writers and have actually done work similar to what you're trying to accomplish. In my recent project I solicited seven contributors. Friends of mine, not strangers. Here's a suggestion, just one way to go about it; come to Mexico, meet some people, then ask for help.

As Alex noted, how will you know if a story is even reasonably plausible if you don't have an opportunity to explore and question for yourself. Writing of the type you're describing is not a solitary calling despite some popular misconceptions. And it's much different from writing a thesis or a grad level research paper. Look under the home page author index for Alex Vinson if you want to read what it's like SoB.

I'm going to guess that the folks who wrote to you about the attitudes on this thread all live NoB. Those of us who live here often wonder why folks believe that we have an obligation to drop whatever we're doing to feed their fantasies of life down here. Most of us go about life just as those NoB from whence we came and sometimes view requests like yours as a bit condescending. As an example of what you're looking for why don't you tell us an outrageous tale of life where you live it? With the reference to "Garcia's" I guessed Joe T's in Ft. Worth. Could be wrong.

There are currently a number of books out there that tell the same types of stories you're looking for. So, here we go again...first, go to the home page and search the index. Lots of good stories. Contact any author you feel might have something you could use.

Next lead: "The Reader's Companion to Mexico". B&N, Amazon, Borders, et al.

Lots of folks write what they believe to be outrageous and amusing tales for two Lake Chapala publications. Go to www.chapalareview.com and www.chapala.com and order back issues. Read until you find writers you like and then contact them.

My friend Blue has a book that might help: Midlife Mavericks; contact her at mexicoblue@prodigy.com.mx. She can tell you, based on dozens upon dozens of PERSONAL interviews, that gathering info is a face to face, on location job.

And finally, go to www.VallartaVoice.com for contact info. In March, April, or May they published a list of books about PV. You'd be interested in the ones by Polly Vicars and Gil Gevins.

I know this ain't what you wanted, since it involves some effort on your part, and runs contrary to your initial plan but you really need to understand life outside the ivy covered walls of acadaemia. Good luck with your project; and from personal experience I can tell you it'll be a long and expensive one. But you'll love every minute of it if you're committed to writing, rather than arguing.

Relax and get after it!

UD

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com


Carol Schmidt


Oct 25, 2003, 9:28 AM

Post #27 of 43 (2934 views)

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Re: [tkingrey] Send me your stories!

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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


LMiller

Oct 25, 2003, 1:09 PM

Post #28 of 43 (2915 views)

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Lighten up folks

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This young man asked for contributions and is met with vehement opposition by some. I really don't understand it. We all have stories to tell whether they be about our experiences in Mexico or some other part of our lives. Not all of us are capable or articulate enough to present these stories in a way others may find interesting. But that doesn't mean the story itself holds no interest. How about all of the autobiographies written by ghost writers? How many here have actually been paid to publish?


Marlene


Oct 25, 2003, 3:31 PM

Post #29 of 43 (2900 views)

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Re: [alex .] Tell me about Fords!

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Alex, Alex, Alex! We all know that your first problem is driving a FORD! OOOPs....WE drive one (all the time)....so take that comment back..and we haven't really figured out how to fix it even sometimes, but come to think of it I could tell you some very amusing stories of my Ford fix-its and how my Mexican husband deals with these differently than I. Duct tape seems to be a universal man thing! Maybe you could get somewhere collecting FORD stories. Call me, but in the meantime I will be under the hood of our Ford tapping on the "whatzit" to make the air conditioning fan work. Ooops, sorry off topic, but hope there is room for a little humor in this long drawn out and quickly becoming boring thread.


Marlene


Oct 25, 2003, 3:44 PM

Post #30 of 43 (2898 views)

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Re: [LMiller] Lighten up folks

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Welcome, I notice that you have just joined the forum. Please read Uncle Donnies post. It makes sense. I don't think anyone is opposed, other than to offer some advice. Do you live in Mexico? This is a hard one to explain to someone who doesn't because as UD says - our lives are our lives - and maybe we don't consider them as highly amusing or entertaining as folks NOB do! (that is a joke btw) Enjoy Mexconnect and do read everything in the e-magazine. It is a fabulous source of all information. Once again, welcome and we hope you stay.


LMiller

Oct 25, 2003, 5:08 PM

Post #31 of 43 (2888 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] Lighten up folks

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Wow I wasn't expecting the patronizing so soon. Is this some sort of elitist clique or a simple message board? I don't think living in Mexico has anything to do with what I posted. The young man is just looking for anecdotes of peoples experiences. And what perchance is NOB?


tkingrey

Oct 25, 2003, 5:23 PM

Post #32 of 43 (2886 views)

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Re: [Uncle Donnie] Send me your stories!

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Hey all,

Thanks again for all the great repartee. Anyway, I thought I said it in an earlier post (could have been in the many private ones, if so, pardon the omission), but the contributors WILL BE PAID, whether lump sum or percentage, depending on who will publish. And I never for a moment thought that this was some "new", "great" idea Ė there really arenít so many of those when you think about it. I just thought it would be a good way to present this wonderful culture and am taken aback at the hostility to such a simple and innocuous little thing, which is in no way meant to be condescending Ė I hope to retire in Colima some day, Iíd move to Mexico tomorrow if it was possible. Anyway, most of those who wrote me, live in Mexico for at least part of the year and most live there.

I keep saying over and over, IíVE BEEN TO MEXICO MANY TIMES, why is this constantly missed? The best times are when I get away from the gringo areas and go where the locals are, Iím usually the only gringo (my pale skin and red hair are a dead giveaway), but because I treat them with respect and try my damndest to speak the language (I decided to take Russian in college in a moment of rebellion Ė God knows why, although being able to read & write in the Cyrillic alphabet has had a high "cool" factor), they are so very polite and helpful.

BTW, Uncle Donnie is thought of highly in the personal correspondence Iíve gotten, and for good reason as far as I can see.

Carole, the Tony Cohen book has been recommended, I see it is a must-read.

As far as "getting it right", this is the very essence of why I want to do this. No one person can possibly "get it right", it would be like someone living in Boston writing on what it is like to live in America Ė I, as a native Southwesterner would laugh, this isnít MY take on living in America. No one person can capture the flavor of a nation, which is made up of INDIVIDUALS, many voices are so much more powerful than one.

Please try to get past the "club" mentality, Iím not trying to screw anyone over Ė I really wanted to make a lot of friends Ė and the goal was to be as fair as possible to all involved.

Regards,

Terri



tkingrey

Oct 25, 2003, 5:34 PM

Post #33 of 43 (2883 views)

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Re: [Uncle Donnie] Send me your stories!

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ARRGGHH, Uncle Donnie,

While I was up on my soapbox, I nearly forgot. Garcia's is a "Mexican" resteraunt chain native to the southwest, I grew up thinking this was real Mexican food - greasy, saucy, and heavy. They take great pride in that they invented the chimichanga - a deep fried, calorie-laden taste treat sure to clog the hardiest of arteries.

Amazingly, they are highly regarded here. This is such a great illustration of my motivations - if I thought this was Mexcian food and culture, can you imagine what the rest of America thinks? It's appalling, really.


Uncle Donnie

Oct 25, 2003, 7:45 PM

Post #34 of 43 (2863 views)

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Re: [tkingrey] Send me your stories!

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Teresa eats a less deadly form of the NoB chimichanga at a local "Arizona-Tex-Mex" joint down here but I'm pretty sure Marcos doesn't understand the entire concept of that particular brand of manna---hardly any grease, pale yellow queso, and crispy fresh jalapeno slices. Hardly enough bad stuff to cause any real discomfort. If you can't paint your pickup with what's left oozing around on the plate it just ain't Tex-Mex.

Good culinary history lesson you offered---inventor of the chimichanga. Undisputed? Try to pin down the history of that ambrosiac Margarita, or the true origin of the Caesar salad. More stories there than the Grimm's could catalog.

Back to the money deal; don't offer! You'll make damn little profit, but lots of enemies. Talk to people and get their stories if they want to share, but forget the cash. What do you think causes most knifings and divorces (sometimes they're the same transaction---at least in two or three of my own experiences) ? Misunderstandings about money!

Stay poor in cash but rich in friends---you'll wind up ahead of most.

BTW, you probably already know they have a booming aquaculture disaster along the west coast of Mexico (and Canada). Did your studies turn up any solutions to the environmental problems caused by the commercial fish and shrimp raising operations?

On my way to Mazatlan in the morning so it may be a couple of days before I'm on here again.

Alex, good show! Folks, read those stories of his.

UD

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com


tkingrey

Oct 25, 2003, 8:47 PM

Post #35 of 43 (2851 views)

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Re: [Uncle Donnie] Send me your stories!

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Well,

Undisputed it you believe their advertisingÖorÖpropaganda. This is what they claim and no one has disputed, at least around here.

Iíve managed to nail down a pretty good margarita myself, mostly based on GOOD ingredients, and Iíve found Mexico has some FINE tequila, we found a local Chihuahuan tequila that was simply to die for. However, the Mescal tasted like keroseneÖI insisted on trying it, maybe I got the wrong brand Ė Gusano Rojo Ė anyone with a better idea?? Iíve also had Dos Gusanos (2 worms) a long time ago but canít remember the taste, but I thought it was rather like tequila, I seem to be off the mark here.

Arizona-Tex-Mex, eh? Iíd be interested to see just what THAT is. Good advice on the cash issue though, I guess all the good intentions in the world donít add up to the proverbial Ďhill of beansí huh? A sad statement.

About the shrimping issue, yes, Iím aware of it. I wrote and extensive section on this in my graduate thesis on global fisheries. My undergraduate degree is in biology with an emphasis in environmental issues. Northern Arizona University tailored a special curriculum for me so my MBA emphasis is in Environmental Management.

Solutions?? Well, there are many, but you wonít see them implemented anytime soon, by any nation. Humans, by their very nature, will wait until we are at the brink of destruction before taking any kind of measures, and even then, theyíll be short of what is needed. I canít ever recall being more depressed that when I researched and wrote that paper. Iím ever so fascinated to see what the southwest will do with regard to the water issue which is on the heels of their unrestrained quest for growth out here.

So much information available, yet still so much stupidity. Amazing.



Rolly


Oct 25, 2003, 8:58 PM

Post #36 of 43 (2848 views)

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Re: [LMiller] Lighten up folks

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Hola LMiller, welcome to MexConnect.

NoB=north of the border. SoB=south of the border.

I don't read Mazatleca's remarks as being patronizing. I'm sorry you do. No, we are not an elitist clique; we're just a diverse group of folks who have a common interest -- life in Mexico. We don't all agree on all things -- which is as it should be. You'll get a variety of responses here -- some off the wall and some insightful and useful.

Those of us who have been around here for a while have probably lost count of the number of posts we have seen from folks up north wanting to know about out lives here in Mexico. Some of these requests come from people who are thinking about Mexico for their own retirement. This website is crammed full of information useful to those folks. Some of us have developed our own websites that respond to those questions.

Some requests come from students wanting information for an assignment; and many of these come in the lightly disguised form of a request for us to write their paper which, by the way, is due in two days. Now, this is clearly not what Terri is asking, but after a while some of us develop an allergenic reaction to the idea of writing something for someone else.

What Terri has gotten here is some good advice. In addition maybe some useful tales as private messages which, I believe, is what was requested. While I agree with those who have said they think his approach is not the best way to gather material, I have a couple of stories I will send to him when I get time.

Rolly Pirate


Trudy

Oct 26, 2003, 12:37 AM

Post #37 of 43 (2836 views)

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Karen Blue

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I bought a book through this forum by Karen Blue. It is called Midlife Mavericks. In this book Karen interviewed women who had moved to Mexico on their own. She gave some of her own story and told theirs. It was a great book and I appreciated the opportunity to read it.

Perhaps instead of soliciting stories for your compilation, you could visit Mexico and interview people. Tell their story in your words. Maybe it would work.

I, too, thought, why should I send you a story that I feel is worthy of publication. Perhaps...if I have done all that work, I could get it published myself.

I'm thinking that some of the negative responses might be along that vein. Creating a written manuscript and then handing it over to stranger, with no preset remuneration seems like folly to me.

Then again, maybe you have collected many contributions already. Who am I to say? I just know that I'm not giving away any of my stories. Call me cynical.


Uncle Donnie

Oct 26, 2003, 5:53 AM

Post #38 of 43 (2821 views)

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Re: [Trudy] Karen Blue

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Trudy, glad you liked Blue's book. I always recommend it for both men and women because of the diversity of situations and experiences. And Terri, I'm assuming you're female. Correcto o no?

Rolly is, as usual, dead-on with his assessments. You've already seen what a diverse group we are; but fairly helpful on occasion. Please go to his site and look around.

Tequila from Chihuahua? They're trying to produce it in South Africa now but the Jalisco boys are stoutly defending their turf. Rolly, I defer to your expertise in that area.

Y'all have a good one. I'm on the road in an hour. Santana (no, not THAT one) will be playin' Mexican R&R in Maz and I may break my temporary vow of healthy abstinence to enjoy a locally brewed Pacifico or two while I bliss out to the beat of the good times.

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com


Uncle Jack


Oct 26, 2003, 6:06 AM

Post #39 of 43 (2818 views)

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Bacanora

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Hey, UD;

FYI: They do make a pretty good tequilla like booze in the Sonora hills east of Hermosillo called Bacanora. No reason it twernt possible in Chihuahua.

uj


jerezano

Oct 26, 2003, 5:46 PM

Post #40 of 43 (2749 views)

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Re: [tkingrey] Send me your stories!

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Hello Terry,

So you want to publish an anthology of humorous stories about Mexico. Let me ask a very pertinent question. Have you read all the stories that are here on Mexconnect.com? There are a lot. There should be enough here to get you started. And, of course since they are all copyright material, it should be straightforward for you to select and get permission to put them in your anthology. Of course with due credit given, and any payments or royalties due to be credited and paid.

It is clear to me that you still haven't gotten the point. We are not all desperate wanna-be authors. A goodly number of us---I'm not included---have already written and published books. Many with the new self-publishing or publishing-on-demand firms that are available on the internet. I am still waiting for the firm in Canada to send me Uncle Donnie's book which has caused so much comment here on Mexconnect. Correction, the firm has sent me the book but the pack mule hasn't arrived yet. And the Mexican mail system must be lived with and experienced before you can write about it.

You, as a wanna-be author have received some very good advice. Come to Mexico and experience things for yourself. If nothing else, that will give you a base to judge whether the stories you receive--and I doubt that you will get any from your solicitation--would be worth putting in an anthology or not.

You may have received an A on your thesis (Master's or Doctor's?) but that doesn't mean much in this world. Was your thesis so good that the University decided to publish it to sell to the world of Commercial Fishing? That would be worth talking about.

Same with stories about Mexico. They better be real, and without any experience here you would never be able to judge. Humor, shumor.

And that is my two centavos. Adios. Jerezano.


LMiller

Oct 26, 2003, 5:50 PM

Post #41 of 43 (2746 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Lighten up folks

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Quote
NoB=north of the border. SoB=south of the border.


Thanks for the clarification. NOB= el otro lado as they say in Mexico! It really is an obvious little acronym, now that I give it some thought. It must have been the all cap letters that threw me. The things that you expats come up with!! Got any more?


geri

Oct 27, 2003, 6:46 AM

Post #42 of 43 (2700 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Send me your stories!

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Jerezano:

That is an excellent suggestion. I have "sold" several of my articles to various publications, who find my articles on Mexconnect. They pay me and also mention Mexconnect. Unfortunately, tkingrey, mine aren't the humorous kind you are looking for, but there are humorous ones...Alex's being toward the top of my list. But you must know this, that's why you came to Mexconnect.

geri


alex .

Oct 27, 2003, 8:16 AM

Post #43 of 43 (2681 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] FORD is an acronym, ya know

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Fix Or Repair Daily.

Also, as NASCAR fans already know, it also stands for

First On Race Day !

There are other examples as well,

Alex


(This post was edited by alex . on Oct 27, 2003, 8:18 AM)
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