Important changes to email and bookmarks: Lorena and I have new addresses and The Peoples Guide has a new website server... please read!
Mexico Journal update: Carl describes the route from Nogales to Lake Chapala, with some thoughts on living and retiring in Mexico.
Writers Write! In March of 2000 Carl and Lorena will conduct a week-long workshop on the craft of writing. To inspire greater creativity, its at the beach.
Best Travel Book of 1999: The Peoples Guide To Mexico 25th Anniversary Edition wins a prestigious prize!
Pulling the plug: The Peoples Guide Travel Letter has regretfully suspended publication.
Remembering Steve: your letters continue to console and encourage us.
Last but not least: smuggling spiders, for fun or profit?
After taking a deep, hard look into our crystal ball, Lorena and I have moved the Peoples Guide website to Mindspring, a larger and much more flexible server. We not only expect a significant increase in content and visitors, were also considering the addition of Peoples Guide discussion forums (especially Living/Retiring in Mexico and Independent Travel).
This move establishes a permanent address for The Peoples Guide To Mexico at http://www.peoplesguide.com
For most of you, our change of servers should be transparent and pain free. If, however, you bookmarked our website before the 10th of October, the bookmark address is probably to our previous server address (http://www.peoplesguide.com/mexico) rather than the correct, current address at http://www.peoplesguide.com.
Its not a big change, but to avoid aimless confusion, we strongly suggest that you delete the old bookmark (which ends in /mexico) and re-bookmark right now with the current address. Again, that is:
On to our new email addresses....
In the past, Lorena and I shared the same email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). With our new server, however, we now get additional email addresses. These are:
email@example.com (this address is mainly for mail links from the Peoples Guide website)
Our old address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) still works, so the advantage of writing to our new addresses is mostly on our end: it allows us to quickly find and answer our personal mail, and to avoid reading each others incoming spam.
Incidentally, some of you are still writing to us with this address:
This address was for email sent to us via our previous server. It is about to expire, however, so email to email@example.com will not reach us. Please update our address(es) to the new ones above.
Writers write! Using pens, pencils, and Pentiums. They also search for inspiration: in libraries and bookstores, on buses and in sidewalk cafes. When theyre desperate or blocked, writers beg, borrow and even steal each others ideas. Forget social life; as soon as an idea arises, writers drop everything, scribbling notes rather than paying attention to the kids or whatevers being said. Using pens,pencils, and Powerbooks. Writers write!
In March of 2000, Lorena and I will conduct a practical, how-to workshop on effective writing at Mar de Jade on Mexicos Pacific coast. Well cover everything from inspiration and self-discipline to creativity and craft. The emphasis is on both enjoying and improving your writing. Bring your questions, self-doubts, and manuscripts -- but whatever you do, dont forget a bathing suit. For more information, click here
The Peoples Guide Travel Letter began life several years ago as a way to share information that wouldnt fit into our books, as well as a means of responding to the many excellent letters we receive from our readers. It wasnt long, however, before this casually conceived newsletter turned into a fully illustrated 64 page mini-book.
At just $15 for 4 issues, the Travel Letter also took a regular, quite painful bite out of our household budget. The financial support of advertisers helped, of course, but thanks to the steadily rising costs of printing, postage and handling, weve been lucky if an issue managed to break even.
Ironically, the response of readers has been very enthusiastic. I say ironically, because even as we tried to justify keeping the Travel Letter afloat, we also realized that our greatest competitor was our own Peoples Guide To Mexico website. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to create an information-rich website for a fraction of the cost of a print publication. Better yet, we can publish and update the website from Mexico with laptop computers, either while travelling in our van or renting a house.
This led us to the obvious but reluctant conclusion that it was time to close down The Peoples Guide Travel Letter. The good news is that from now on, letters, articles, artwork and other material that might have been published in the Travel Letter, will instead be published on the Peoples Guide website. Better yet, there is no charge .
The big question remains: What about current subscribers, especially those who have paid for the Travel Letter?
Weve come up with three options:
The first is a full refund: simply ask us to return the unused portion of your subscription and well be glad to send you a check. This is a lot of paperwork, so were hoping youll prefer the second option, below.
Instead of a subscription refund, our preferred way to compensate subscribers is with a copy of our next book (which should be on Living & Retiring In Mexico). As the books value will almost certainly be greater than $15, this will be a good deal for most of you.
When will the book be done? Im sorry you asked. As a Travel Letter subscriber, you ought to know by now that Lorena and I are notoriously hard to pin down about deadlines. The most I can say is that were working on it, but were not placing bets on when the book will be finished. Choose this option, however, and when it is.... youll be among the first to know!
The third option is to simply write off whatevers left of your subscription as a flaky investment.
If you have any other suggestions, or closing comments on The Peoples Guide Travel Letter, please let us know.
Those of you who visited this website over the summer are aware that our compadre and co-author, Steve Rogers, died on July 1 after a brief illness. Were slowly putting together a "Celebrating Steve" section that will include photographs, letters and stories about him. Steve touched a lot of lives, so this will be an ongoing effort to collect some of our best memories. (Please, do contribute something if youd like to.)
In the meantime, we want to thank those of you who sent cards, letters, and emails of condolence. Before he died, Steve expressed astonishment at the outpouring of love and support he received, both from friends and faraway readers of the Peoples Guide.
Hey, Steve. I teased. Dont you know by now that youre a hero? This may not be as public as Timothy Leary or the death of Jerry Garcia, but in terms of impact, youre right up there.
Ill close for now with a believe-it-or-not tidbit that Steve would have loved. The headline is from a leading Mexican newspaper :
French Woman Detained In Germany With 1,300 Mexican Spiders!
According to the article, a French woman was detained in Frankfurt, accused of smuggling 1,300 female Mexican spiders. All of the spiders were of a protected species, and most were pregnant. 112 died; the surviving spiders were interned at a local zoo.