No…I haven’t fallen of the end of the world just yet. Although I have been in a whirlwind and probably came close. February was one busy month around our house. I’ve been writing on the second story for my next volume of the Mystery Collection. The first story is finished and resting for the moment. I’ll revisit it once all three stories are done.
Our writers’ group at the library had grown and we now have a pretty steady group of about ten writers. I’ve been put in charge of organizing the meetings so the workshop moves at a pace where most of us have an opportunity to read each week. So far, things have been pretty smooth – so I guess I must be doing something right.
The Reading Room at MEL and Part of The MEL Writers’ Group
The Yucatan Symphony is back in full swing with performances four weeks in a row – then we take a month break for other events and Holy Week. Starting symphony again in April and May and ending with the opera performance of Don Giovani in June.
OSY – The Yucatan Symphony Orchestra
Meanwhile…The Merida English Library is having an auction in March to generate funds for the renovation and expansion of the current facilities, which are badly needed to host more lectures, children’s activities, writers’ workshops, book signing events and other functions.
Architect’s proposed library expansion
I volunteered to help secure donation for the auction. I did this when I co-chaired the Santa Fe Opera Christmas Dinner and Auction for four years with Isabel Jewell while running our country inn and restaurant in New Mexico. I have to admit I’ve never been too shy about asking people and companies to donate. I remember one year when our business donated lodging in three luxury suites for two nights plus champagne four course dinner for six and full breakfast for six each morning. The package reached a final bid of $10,000 – but the people who won the bid never used the package. The point is…the funds went to a good cause and everyone had fun bidding.
I also collected romantic getaway packages from six Relais & Chateaux resort properties in various locations of the USA, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Canada/ BC. However, it has been ten years since all that took place and I wasn’t sure I still had the knack to twist a few arms, but felt the need to give it another shot.
I was able to acquire the following items in only two weeks:
A Contemporary Painting / Christofle Silver Platter and Fruit Bowl/ Two Frette Spa Robes, plus Two 1&1/2 hr. Spa Massages/ Gift Certificates of Dinner for 2 at Oliva Enoteca and Apoala restaurants/ Breakfast for Two at Latte Quattro Sette / Art Nuevo Dinner Ring in silver and turquoise/ 2 sets of cufflinks (carnelian and sterling silver & lapis/malachite w/ gold and silver) / Vintage Japanese Kimono Haori Jacket (black silk)/ and last but not least – Two nights lodging at The Fearrington House Relais & Chateaux in North Carolina.
I currently have two books available to purchase at the library: Tales from a Country Inn and the D.G. Heath Mystery Collection. Each selling for $250 pesos. I decided to dedicate $100 pesos for each book sold to the library expansion funds. I’m not going to get rich and neither will the library, but every little bit helps.
Available at the Merida English Library
Several others have acquired numerous fantastic donations and I’m sure the auction on March 13th will be a huge success. Tickets to attend the auction are currently on sale at the Merida English Library.
See how a prompt can lead me – Prompt: “I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there.”
Hot! It was a sweltering inferno, making it difficult to breath. The sweat dripped from every pore of my body like slime oozing from a snail that someone had just doused with a dash of salt. I tossed and turned in the canvas cot draped in mosquito netting. The night sounds of Africa’s evening predators sounded in the distance. The screeching and screaming of the hungry hoards as the searched for an evening meal, sent chills through my limp torso and my brain, with a sense of fear, had ceased to function.
It was the middle of May in the Serengeti National Park located in the Mara Region of Tanzania, not far from Lake Victoria. This was our first experience of traveling on safari and an opportunity to view the great migration of the Wildebeest. Numbering over a million, in the vast plains area of the park, they headed north across the dry savanna grasslands. “Soon the monsoons – soon the monsoons,” our guides kept saying. That appeared to be the only English they knew. I felt like a wildebeest searching for water in this parched and cracked land of red soil and golden waves of dried grass.
The Maasai people first described the area, as siringet, which means “the place where the land runs on forever”…(5,700 sq. miles of forever). I have never felt the finger of God as Adam did on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. However, when the clouds rolled over head in monstrous billows of charcoal grey stretching for miles, thundering and swirling as they threatened to release a torrent of H2O, we knew we were in for the beginning of the first monsoon showers that can last for days at a time. Night had fallen quickly, but still no hint of moisture – nothing to bring cooling relief.
Then without warning came the chilling roar of an African lion nearby. This was not the MGM lion – this was the real thing. It was followed by a chorus of greetings from several other nocturnal carnivorous predators now circling our campsite in the dark. God’s creatures were closing in to punish us for invading their sanctuary and fowling it with our presence. They had already marked this area with their scent. We were not welcome.
There – in darkness – black as pitch – I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there. Like the human animal that I am, my sense of smell detected strong odors of urine. The lions were marking a circle around their prey. Our guides had vanished. We had been left as a sacrifice to the gods of the siringet.
The End (Literally)
Last night was Open Mic Night for writer and others who want to read to an audience. I always try to take something I’ve written. Tonight is dinner at home. Thursday is Merida Writers’ Group at 1:00 pm then pizza on the roof at Escondida that evening with friends.
Mel, Eddie and John waiting for the second pizza to arrive. This is a medium size. We ordered half and half ( Chelsea and Central Park – these are New York style pizzas with a thick crust and lots of different toppings. They hope to have a wine and beer license soon.
Symphony and dinner out on Friday night. Our friend Catherine arrives from the US on Saturday and we’ll do dinner out on Sunday with her before she embarks on a ten day trip to Pueblo, MX and Veracruz with a group of women. We’re invited to a party on St. Patrick’s Day, so the social calendar for March is starting to fill.
Thanks for letting me rattle on. Not that anyone really wants to read all of this colossal gibberish, but writers have a passion to write and we need to realize that passion at the expense of our readers.