Announcement: My Second Book is Coming

This week, I found a print shop in Tepic, Mexico, and spent thousands of Pesos on printing out the first draft of my second book.

The printer whirred and clunked, and I paced as it spat out all 303 pages.

It will be my first official novel. It’s titled, The Drifter’s Curse.

It’s the story of a young man who gets cursed in Morocco after dating the wrong girl, and wanders from country to country trying to break it.

Amid the bazaars and forbidden underground dance clubs of an ancient city, the narrator stumbles into the bloody world of real-life witchcraft. Wander with him through the foggy castles and beery pubs of the U.K.. Join him as he brings a single mother and her daughter to tour former Nazi concentration camps, earns room and board by working a farm in Spain, treks through the surreal salt caverns, mud volcanos, and eternal flames of Romania, and searches for his family on the Greek islands.

It’s a story that pushes the real world as close to fantasy as it gets. If you look back at my flight paths, I circled the globe to get it.

It is a work of fiction, but far more of it happened than you might ever think.

I have at least two more drafts to complete before I consider the final product ready. No, I don’t know how long that will take.

Beyond the story, I have a lot of decisions to make, like whether or not to find a publisher this time, or go independent again.

I invite your input and thoughts, either in comments on this post, or by emailing me at:

Thank you!

Get my first book Odd Jobs & After Hours in audio, hardcover, or paperback by clicking here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another.


Heat. Sweat beads on every surface of my head, and runs in rivers down my temples. My mouth opens to pant like one of the skinny street dogs that scamper up and down the flooded mud roads, with their round rocks jammed together in ankle-rolling jumbles.

On my plate are three tacos and a blistered chili pepper. We’re in a building that looks like a jail cell somewhere in San Blas, a largely forgotten, beat down coastal town in Mexico.

My friend Juan covered his tacos in a creamy looking light orange salsa, an innocent looking green one, and only bothered to warn me about the third dark red, oily salsa.

Assuming I was safe with two out of three sauces, I copied him and slathered them atop the taco happily. Bit a corner of the blistered chili, and half of a taco, admiring the fresh-baked tortilla made in the bakery across the street, the tender all-day stewed cut of cheap meat, the white cabbage and cactus salsa, but soon I got hit with the flamethrower.

Every pore of mine opens, and chili oil floods out. Eyes dilate as if by a drug. It’s the type of spiciness that ignites your tongue, makes your ears pop; brings about a momentary deafness.

In that spice induced tinnitus, Juan, whose perma-sweat stains the knees of his jeans chalky white with dry sodium deposits, garbles the praises of the food. For him, it is done just right.

My American mind searches for a safe haven, but apparently real tacos aren’t served with sour cream, yogurt sauces, or even cheese. This place doesn’t have drinks, so I can’t ask for so much as a cardboard box of milk.

There’s no air conditioning in this concrete box with black bars and no glass for windows. Fans blast hot air in my face, rattling and whirling.

Sound returns, and outside, the night is frenetic with barking dogs, chattering street hawkers, babbling gossips, and the blaring horns of Ranchera music, and the pulsing speakers of boom boxes. The wings of billions of blood sucking insects beat. Smells of burning trash and coconut husks, which are set ablaze to keep the mosquitos away, float through the shop, brought in by the fan. There’s no wind.

The warm water we’ve been brought makes everything worse. Tongue turns to red ember. Eyes melt away from their sockets. Shoe leather smolders around my feet. It’s more than a meal, it’s a right of passage, a diabolical transformation.

I somehow finish the small tacos, and stumble out into the night, leaving hundreds of Pesos on the table. Juan follows me, mildly concerned, mildly amused. My head explodes in flames and I gape at him as a flaming skull.

We pass a kid with a cart full of sour candies for sale, and- are you serious? Three bottle of different hot sauces to be poured into an open bag of candy. I run from the sight, smoke trailing from behind me.

A woman sells popsicles, and tells us it’s two for one on lime with jalapeño, and pineapple chili. Juan is tempted. Those are his favorite flavors, but I breathe fire on him to voice my objection to peppered popsicle.

He finally gets the point, and orders a coconut milk popsicle for me, and takes jalapeño lime for himself. One bite of the coconut ice and I realize, I just might make it, I just might survive.

Get my book Odd Jobs & After Hours in audio, hardcover, or paperback by clicking here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another.

What Brought Me to Mexico

Where I’m living lately

Though months of traveling across Europe and North Africa left me quite confident, Mexico City Airport is one of the most jumbled and chaotic I have ever seen. The layout forces you to retrace your steps across the entire airport to handle customs, your next boarding pass, get a bite, anything you need or want to do.

The seats do not face the screens at the gates, so when the boards, the announcements and the alerts on my phone were all disagreeing over whether I was departing from gate C or D, I was basically forced to sprint between the two, ask a confused staff in broken Spanish, and triple check till I was finally on the bus that drove to the plane.

From the airplane windows, I could see the patchwork of farms running up hillsides. After an hour in the air, I landed in Tepic. The plane touched down on a gleaming wet tarmac as the sun was setting yellow and orange behind rainforest mountains. The air was hot, humid, and oxygen-rich from all the greenery.

Basically, an old friend, Juan recently quit a job we used to both work. He now markets for a jungle resort between Tepic and the coastal town of San Blas. In silver-tongued Spanish, he explained to his new boss that he knew how to get a few articles in English about what a great resort this was for free: put me up in cabin and show me around for a week or so.

Soon we were seated in a seafood restaurant while Juan ordered oysters, marlin empanadas, and ceviches. We clinked micheladas, and reminisced about working for the same shrieking boss at the same rinky-dink agency, and bunkering down to weather the hurricanes of Miami.

Jetlagged and worn out, I struggled to stay awake as we pulled off the mountain highway onto a washed out pebbly dirt road. Juan got out to unlock a giant wooden and iron gate under a white arc, and I watched as a procession of leaf cutter ants walked across the road. They looked like a sliding necklace of tiny green triangles as each ant carried a carefully-sliced piece of leaf across the road.

Then it was into the grounds of the resort, arriving after dark.

Though resort is a description that needs some clarifying. The true purpose of these some 170 acres of Mexican wilderness, with its five waterfalls, jackfruit, and mango farms, is to serve as a nature preserve. The money the cabins, concrete igloos, bar, cafe, and restaurant earn all go towards that aim.

Though this means that no animals get killed on the land. Not the two types of venomous snakes, the poisonous spiders, the scorpions, or even the pumas and jaguars in the jungle.

Though I am sludgy and draggy with jet lag, and want to collapse in the cabin bed, I have to flip the pillows and toss the sheets for scorpions and and spiders. Finding one this way would be a bummer. Finding one by plopping down and rolling up would be worse.

The preserve has zip lines, hiking, kayaking, and mountain peaks. More to come on what it’s like here. There’s a spring that pours fresh water out of a tree trunk. But for now, the pillows and blankets are free of stingers, and it’s time to go to bed.

Get my book Odd Jobs & After Hours in audio, hardcover, or paperback by clicking here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another.