26 March, 2012

Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak Mini Blog Tour

I am pleased to have with me today, Mark Saunders, author of Nobody Knows The Spanish I Speak. So tell us Mark, why the move to Mexico?

Back in the day, we could always “blame it on the bossa nova” for casting some kind of magic spell and making us do crazy things.  In our case, we were blaming our move on Guanajuato city and the magic spell it cast on us during one very brief visit in February 2005.  By September of that year we had rented a place in the soft landing of San Miguel de Allende, one hour east of Guanajuato, and by December we were living there.

But timing and a good sauce are everything. So why did we move to Mexico when we did?

Shortly before our initial visit to Guanajuato, my wife, Arlene, and I learned that our jobs were going away and we were not sure what to do next. We were both in high-tech and in our late 50s, living in Portland, Oregon, an area where employment opportunities were already on the decline, and exhausted of the high-tech grind.

We could start our own business, but years earlier we had already traveled that road. It was a road that ended with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. We could cobble together part-time jobs, but the prospect of working for a low-hourly rate without health insurance kept us awake at night. Or, we could move to a city with better odds for employment.

Truth be told, we were tired of the sameness of our routines. If most men lead lives of quiet desperation, we thought couples might double the ante.  Products of a well-rounded liberal arts education during the rock and roll sixties, the needles of our lives seemed stuck between the refrains of “What’s it all about, Alfie?” and “Is that all there is?”

As we were sitting in the mid-February sun in the central highlands of Mexico, a solar-powered light bulb appeared over each of our heads. We had an epiphany or, to put it in the context of Mexico, a milagro. There was another option to consider: drop out, sell everything, and move to Mexico. So we did. We took the lemon of job loss and turned it into a very tasty limoncello.

We liquidated most of our assets, including our home with the picture-perfect view of Mt. Hood, filled out all the paperwork, applied for and received a resident visa known as an FM-3, said our farewells, loaded up our car with the missile launcher-luggage carrier on top, threw in our pets, and made the six-day drive to San Miguel, arriving tired and dirty and smelly but relatively unscathed.  In violation of such expectations, we didn’t get car-jacked, kidnapped, mistakenly shot at, or ripped off by a shady policeman looking to shake us down for a few easy bucks.

Our adventure was inspired by two quotes. The first was Joseph Campbell’s “follow your bliss” dictum. The second was from Henry James, who said, “It was time to start living the life you imagined.”

Our bliss took us to a small city in the central highlands of Mexico, where for two years we lived a life we could not have imagined.

Thank you Mark.

About the Book:
Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak Book Summary
Ay, chihuahua! Ay, caramba! Oy vey!

In early December 2005, Mark Saunders and his wife, along with their dog and cat, packed up their 21st century jalopy, a black Audi Quattro with a luggage carrier on top, and left Portland, Oregon, for San Miguel de Allende, three thousand miles away in the middle of Mexico, where they knew no one and could barely speak the language.

Things fell apart almost from the beginning. The house they rented was as cold as a restaurant’s freezer. Their furniture took longer than expected to arrive. They couldn’t even get copies of their house keys made. They unintentionally filled their house with smoke and just as unintentionally knocked out the power to their entire neighborhood. In other words, they were clueless. This is their story.

Mark Saunders' Bio: 
An award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and cartoonist, Mark Saunders tried standup comedy to get over shyness and failed spectacularly at it — the standup part, not the shyness. He once owned a Yugo and still can’t remember why. Nearly 30 of his plays have been staged, from California to New York - with several stops in-between - and two plays have been published.

With three scripts optioned, his screenplays, all comedies, have attracted awards but seem to be allergic to money. Back in his drawing days, more than 500 of his cartoons appeared nationally in publications as diverse as Writer’s Digest, The Twilight Zone Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post.

As a freelancer, he also wrote gags for the popular comic strip “Frank and Ernest,” as well as jokes for professional comedians, including Jay Leno. Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak is his first book.

Price: $14.95
ISBN: 9780984141289
Pages: 298
Release: November 2011

Mark Saunders' web site:
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Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak blog tour site:
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Price: $9.99

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1 comment:

Tribute Books said...

Kathleen, thanks for hosting Mark today. He makes so many good points laced with a touch of humor. I especially love the line, "If most men lead lives of quiet desperation, we thought couples might double the ante." Poignant, yet funny.

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