San Miguel de Allende Books, John Scherber

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Articles of interest by author John Scherber

 
    REASONS TO LEAVE HOME

Every choice in favor of something is also a choice against something else. Is it this one or is it that one? To choose México as your place of residence means you decline to remain in the United States or Canada

I’m not going to deal separately with Canada in this chapter because I’ve never lived there and I can’t address the conditions that might cause people to move south, other than climate or cost of living.             

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    HE SAYS, SHE SAYS: Dialog in Fiction

In reading the work of Ian McEwan, specifically Atonement and Saturday, both powerful books, I was struck by his sparse use of dialog. You can go for pages upon pages without seeing any. Couldn’t they both have been even stronger, I asked myself, if we had heard and watched the characters speaking more often?  It was as if the author had performed a difficult task, as writing always is, while often ignoring one of the primary tools of the trade. As for why he chose to work that way, I don’t know. But for myself, I make sure I have access to everything I need when I work.           

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    FINISHING A BOOK

Many authors find that starting a book is the hardest part. That crucial first sentence, that opening grabber to the initial paragraph, upon which depends first the enticement, and then the subsequent engagement of a generation of new readers, is more intimidating than a first communion, a first marriage, a bar mitzvah, or a first rejection slip from a New York agent who doesn’t really care to know you that well. At least, not in that way, my dear. It’s nothing personal, since it’s not about you, it’s more about me. He would rather be your friend than your agent. Hope you’ll understand. You’ll probably have a great career with another firm. I hear they’re looking for bitter memoires over at…fill in the blank, there are not many to chose from anymore.   

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    DRIVING IN MEXICO: NO COUNTRY FOR NEW CARS

The thought of driving in México strikes a deadly fear into the hearts of many Americans and Canadians alike. Of course, they purchased Mexican car insurance when they crossed the border. Yet somehow this only made them feel legal, but not safe. Now here’s the reality as they ease their $46,000 BMW onto the pavement and point it south. They have heard there is no rhyme or reason to the driving there, and any clown can get a license. But they are tourists in the classical sense, and they want to cruise from town to town and only stop when the spirit moves them. Serendipity is a proven value in their lives, and they would never be caught taking a package tour, even to Antarctica. Furthermore, they hate what air travel has become. 

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    ARE WE THERE YET?

Whether I’m writing a nonfiction account of the expat experience, or the next volume of the San Miguel mystery series, place is always an important character in these narratives. In this book in particular, it anchors our exploration of the expat lifestyle. Yet, no matter how flawless our Spanish, how thorough our grasp of Mexican manners and customs, how enthusiastic our participation in the local fiestas and cultural events, we will always remain in some respects an outsider.            (READ MORE)

 
       
       
 
   
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