Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why Am I In Mexico? & Love, In English

Hello all!!

After a bit of a book slump, I picked up Love, In English by Karina Halle. 


It's been on my 400-something long TBR list. I fell in love with Halle after reading the Artists Trilogy. I'm a big fan of gritty romance, and the fact that part of it was set in Mexico worked for me. Picking up Love, In English was just what I needed to get out of my book funk, but it has turned out to be more than that. Dejame exlicar. Let me explain.

I am an American gal who packed all her shit into her Chevy Impala, including two four legged partners in crime—Andre, my cat and Darla, my dog, and moved to Mexico. Did I get some fantastic job offer? No. Did I meet a man and follow him to Mexico? No. Was I deported??? Nope.

When I was in the process of getting things together in the States in order to move, people asked me all the time why I was going to Mexico. Now that I'm here, I get asked by almost every new person I meet, "Why are you here?"

Usually it starts with, "Are you studying here?" No. Then, "Are you working here?" Well, I'm trying to get a legit job so I can get a work permit, but for the moment I'm writing romance novels. Finally, when they just can't figure it out, "So, really, why are you here?"

My answers vary depending on my mood, but if I had to give you a 100% honest answer, it would be, "I have no idea. It just felt like something I needed to do."

I loved Vera's answer in Love, In English about how she needed to see more of the world in order to study the cosmos. My educational background is Anthropology, so naturally I'm interested in other cultures, and Spanish being my second-ish language (still working on it), it made sense to go somewhere south of the border. I have friends in Mexico... so here I am. How can I understand culture if I don't get out in the world and see it for myself?

Another honest answer that I have only said out loud once since I've been here (but I'm about to share with the world apparently) is that I'm looking for something here. What is it? Fuck if I know. But I'm searching... for something. This illusive meaning for why we're all here that keeps evading me. That's what I'm looking for. At 15, I thought I might actually find the answer one day. At 34, I've realized I'll never find the answer, but I still wanted to give it a shot I suppose.

On so many levels, I've related to Vera. I have not met the man of my dreams or fallen in love yet, though I still have hope. Unfortunately, I'm a giant here at 5'9" in one of the shorter parts of Mexico. Eh, c'est la vie. Though I can say that speaking in a language that is not your native one does make you bolder with your statements. I recently told a dude his eyes were my favorite part of his face. (Maybe not the most suave way of saying it, but it was the best I could muster in my slightly broken Spanish.) There was a moment that passed between us, to which I quickly looked away, slightly embarrassed by what I'd just said, but also feeling like, "Well, it's not like I told him in my own language that I wanted to jump his bones. So it's not thaaaat bad, right?" When you are using a language that you haven't quite mastered, and are in a place where you are clearly the outsider, it can be freeing. You can say shit that you wouldn't normally say because, hell, you can always blame it on the language barrier.

So yeah, it's easier to be honest in a foreign language. I think that was my point.

I recently finished writing the latest installment in the L&J series where there is sex, drugs, violence, drug cartels, an MC, lots of cussing, kidnappings, and did I mention sex? I am currently working on a standalone that is night and day different from the L&J series. The only similarity is that the heroine is a sassy gal. Being one myself, I just can't imagine writing an innocent virginal heroine. I wouldn't even know how.  So in this regard, Love, In English also stuck out to me as it is very different from the Artist Trilogy. It's not gritty (so far. I'm 26% in.) nor has there been any sex, though I do see some on the horizon.  Yeay! For this reason, I find myself relating to Halle and her writing style. I stalked her ass during my Artist Trilogy obsession, and discovered that like me, she is well traveled.  Maybe underlying the adventurer's spirit is a sense of restlessness, of wanting to know what else is out there.  I'm shrugging my shoulders here. Regardless, I think it's the diversity of life that allows one to write vastly different books, rather than staying in one niche of the romance genre. Not that it's a bad thing per se, but for me, the ideas for books I have in my head all stem in some way from a life experience I've had. Since my experiences have been diverse, my books will likely reflect that.

Like Vera, I don't have anyone attached to me. No kids. No man. Just my two four legged homies that travel the continent with me. Also like Vera, I'm not sure where I belong. And like her as well, I find it easier to be alone, yet there is a lingering desire for social interaction. I was barely 10% into the book when I thought, "Does Casa de las Palabras exist? Or a place like it? And where do I sign up???"

In the part of Mexico I'm in, I'm just one step down from a circus freak because I live alone and am my age without kids or a husband. Again, I'm shrugging my shoulders. I want a man, I just can't seem to find one. And sorry, but I like the one's tall enough to be in the NBA. Sue me. I like 'em big!

So this is my rambling blog about how I need to be writing my book, Fighting Words, yet I really want to keep reading Love, In English and Karina Halle is my new lady crush.

On a similar but slightly divergent topic, those eyes I liked so much—totally wrote them into Fighting Words. So when you read my next book (please read it), every description and every emotion played out in the hero's eyes are real. Seriously, this dude has some off da chain eyes. Maybe he'll let me show you, or maybe not. We'll see.

I hope you all are chasing your dreams and searching for answers to unanswerable questions. If not, what's the point of life, right?

I'll leave you with a few pics of Mexico.

Deuces mis amigos-

1 comment:

  1. Didn't see a Starbucks in any of those shots......:-(