San Miguel de Allende, VRBO and the Lovely Woman . . .

Posted by admin on Thursday Jan 27, 2011 Under Uncategorized


. . . I met on the plane going to Mexico City.

I went to Mexico for three days last week to attend the memorial service for George Miller, the photographer I’ve written about. It was a beautiful ceremony, and the church was packed, not a dry eye in the crowd. He was much loved by the expatriate crowd.

On the flight down, I sat next to a lovely woman who was on her way to spend a month in San Miguel de Allende—something I’ve always wanted to do. Sometimes I go to VRBO and look up the wonderful houses you can rent in San Miguel through them. Just take a look!

“Did all your friends freak out that you were going to Mexico?” I asked. “Did they tell you how dangerous it was?”

She laughed. Apparently, they had already done that when she went to Cuernavaca last fall with some girlfriends to take a cooking class. I’m glad to report a great time was had by all.

‘”Well, “I said, “At least, we’re not going someplace really dangerous like Arizona.”

After a while, she pulled out her Kindle, I grabbed my i pad, and we began to compare notes on what our book groups were reading. That’s when it hit me. I have to make business cards! Here was a woman who fit my demographic perfectly, as they say, in terms of age, education (she was a music teacher) and whatever else goes into the market research publishing houses do. Besides, she loved Mexico AND she had an e-reader. And she was a really, really nice person.

Okay, so add to the New Year’s resolution list…make business cards (if you can call what I do a business. It seems just like life or fun—something like that.)

So now I’m thinking about what kind of graphics to have on the card, what kind of font to use. (Any suggestions y’all? Anyone know an on-line business card company that’s really good?)

This is the thing I really like about self-publishing. It’s so creative. I get to blog, pod-cast, think about cover art. In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to complete the steps in The Artist’s Way. I have a hard time figuring out when I’m NOT doing things in that book, which says something great about country life (plus cool technology) out here on the ranch.

It’s true I would love to spend a month in San Miguel. I mean take a look at one of the places Dave and I dined when we were there—Hotel Sierra Nevada.

But really, I’m loathe to leave the ranch, especially now that I can feel spring in the air. I’ve been cutting back all the plants in the patio, the sun warm on my back and the balmiest of breezes all around me. The tulips are sending up little green points and the daffodils are starting to show in the meadows where I’ve planted a thousand—really! I’m about to take a walk around the property—so green and lush this time of year. Soon I will see the first spring flowers on this walk—the little Baby Blue Eyes I love so much. Hard to leave.

Anyway, if the lovely woman I met on the plane to Mexico City sees this, maybe she’ll tune into my podcast, or maybe —when the book is in e-book format—she and her book group will read it. She should know she was the inspiration for my making business cards. I hope she’s having a great time in San Miguel.

As we say out here in California, I’m expressing my intention to the universe. We’ll see what happens.

Oh BTW. I was going to give you all an update on my podcasting progress. Episode Two is recorded and edited. This time it only took about three hours. Tomorrow I’m recording Episode Three. I’m getting there.

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Mexico City (Part 2)

Posted by admin on Thursday Dec 16, 2010 Under Uncategorized

Here’s a picture of my friend Frances and me.

On the morning this photo was taken, we’d met for coffee in leafy Parque Mexico before Dave and I were to embark on the rest of our day. However, we ended up spending a lot of time talking about our families, our gardening plans and our enneagram signs. ( I’m a six. She’s a two. Does this mean anything to you?)

I’ve come up with a new math equation. Women + Interest in Personal Growth = Cultural Universal. Anyway, Frances and I always marvel at the fact that we come from two different cultures and yet have so many of the same interests.

When we finally looked at our watches (OMG the time!), I got on the cell phone—like every other Mexico City resident— and arranged to meet Dave in another of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City—The Roma. Actually, the two neighborhoods that I love sort of merge into one another and are sometimes referred to as Condesa/Roma.

I wanted to walk around Parque Rio de Janeiro—the setting that inspired my novel. After the 1985 earthquake, the buildings around the park, which are so romantic, fell into disrepair. Many were abandoned, and it didn’t take long for Mexico City’s artists, musicians and writers to move in.

I don’t know what it’s like for other writers of women’s fiction, but I didn’t make a conscious decision to write about the two expat sisters—Vivienne and Lili— who inhabit a house on this park. They just came to me, like new friends do—and I spent the rest of the time trying to get to know them—their passions, their rivalries, their secrets. Finally, the whole draft came together and the title —Palace of the Blue Butterfly— as well. I have no, I mean it, no idea how I got the title. It just flew into my head the way a bird might fly into a room.

If you are familiar with Nahautl, you’ll know that Quetzalpapalotl means Blue Butterfly, and if you know that, you’ll know that Blue Butterfly was the rain god’s (Tlaloc) wife. Okay. Actually, the real translation is iridescent, blue-green butterfly goddess. Not really a book title.

Well, to continue in this pedantic vein a moment . . . the actual Palacio de Quetzalpapalotl is a beautiful temple to Blue Butterfly at Teotihuacan, which houses this mural . . .

The Paradise of Tlaloc. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of Pre-Columbian art.

A little digression, I know, except that’s Mexico—so many layers, ancient, colonial, modern—and they all sort of blur.

After poking our heads into the OMR gallery, Dave and I ended up in a little tea shop on Orizaba—the street that wraps around Rio de Janeiro Park, the street where my characters Vivienne and Lili live. Okay. Live? I can hear you say. Uh . . . Jane?

Oh dear. That’s why I have to get this book out there in the world . . . as an e-book, anything, so Lili and Vivienne can actually live— in someone else’s head not just mine— and can be sitting at a table in this exact cafe on a lovely, autumn evening when one of them gets the news that . . .

If any of you folks out there know anyone who has published an e-book, I’d love to hear about it. And yes, I’ve gotten agents and so on. They were both lovely, supportive people who only wanted the best for me. And then, there’s the publishing industry, the economy and well . . . If you write, you know the rest of the story. Let’s just not go there. Life, my friends, is too short, and there’s still so much to do!

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Mexico Trilogy Graphic Link

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