Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That Time of Year Again! Mar 2011

If it was a perfect world,
Jacarandas would bloom all year long.
And it would already be the rainy season.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Indie Publishing - Update Mar 2011

Here are the stats:

In 2010, Apple sold 15 million IPads,
Amazon sold eight million Kindle books,
and Borders is closing 224 stores.

Soon digital books will become the norm
and paper books will be a niche market.
The future for writers is in self-publishing
digital eBooks.
A bandwagon I'm jumping on with both feet.

The digital eBook market players are Amazon's Kindle,
Amazon being the heavy hitter.

Look at the prices!
Books for free, books for $1.99, books for $2.99,
and some of these new indie writers are damn good!
A popular pricing strategy is to price books
at $.99 or to give them away until you gain a following.

Sooner or later the John Grishams and James Pattesons
will have to join up.

It's a new world and the coolest thing is that I am in charge.
I write the book, I hire or design the cover, I hire or format
the book, I download it to one of the above 3—or all three—
I set the price and I get to keep most of the money!
Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Book Bloggers. . .
these are my marketing tools.

Gone are agents, publishers, query letters, book proposals,
rejections, 16% royalties, and traveling book signings.
It used to be I couldn't get a book to a reader without
the blessing of a publisher.
All that has changed.

I attend Joe Konrath University.

I have two books looking for a formatter,
one nearly completed that will also be looking for a formatter,
and two more that need to be written.

I am currently in the process of getting estimates from formatters:

Here is the advice I've received for eBook success
from Joe:

1.  Write a damn good book.
2.  Make sure it has professional cover art.
3.  Keep price under $4.
4.  Have flawless formatting.
5.  Write a good product description.
6.  Upload to Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.
7.  Repeat.  Over and over, until the world can no longer ignore your work.

What have I got to lose?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Mole Men of Tlaltelolco Respond to Japan Mar 2011

The Mole Men Left Today

All volunteers, these brave men AND WOMEN
walk of their jobs and leave their families
to travel all over the world under the direst of circumstances.

They went to Haiti, the World Trade Center, they work earthquakes,
mine collapses, cave-ins, structure collapses, around the world
and will go where other rescuers will not.

They are one of the most respected
rescue teams in the world —
Mexico's famous Mole Men.

Lives lost.

Lives saved.


PayPal your donations to:


No amount is too small, even a dollar will help.

Gracias, amigos!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Indie Publishing Mar 2011

Ok.  I've been bit by the bug,
the indie publishing bug, that is.
Mexican Trailrunner will slow down on the blog
posts for a little while in order to work on transferring
my already-written books to digital format
and get them Kindle-ready. 

The EMS workers that buy my Emergency Medical Spanish
language books will then be able to download them to their phones,
IPads, Kindles, and so on to help with treating their
Spanish speaking patients.
Much more convenient.

Same goes for my English speaking customers
who want to be able to converse in Spanish
with doctors and paramedics while traveling in Spanish
speaking countries.
In fact, it was their idea, thanks Tancho!

And, here's the best part!
The books can then sell for
under $3.99!
I control the price and can change it at whim.
I can even give them away for free if I want.

It's the way of the future, they say.

Indie predictors say Amazon will be giving Kindles away
in order to sell more books.
And, the popularity of the IPad looms in the future.

I succumb.
 My goal is to have five books up on Amazon,
Smashwords, and the Nook by the end of the year.

Read about a likable young indie writer who has done
quite well for herself - Amanda Hocking.

Writers?  Are you listening?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gloria's Cafe - El Chante March 2011

Very hard to beat the combination of good food,
good prices, comfortable place to eat,
and good conversation. . .
well, until you add Gloria to the mix!

Then it becomes a hang-out.
The latest westend hang is Gloria's Cafe
in El Chante.
Gloria and Ismael Torres have returned to Mexico
from the US
where they lived in San Francisco for 21 years and Dallas for 18.
Out here on the westend, WE are the lucky ones.

Gloria's Cafe is open 7 days a week
from about 6AM to 9PM.

The menu consists of a small combination of Mexican
and American standards,
as well as a daily special
that will look something like this:
Mon - Carne de Res con Brocoli coliflor y Arroz - 40 pesos
Tues - Spagehetti Pan con Ajo y Ensalada - 40 pesos
Wed - Milenesa de Res o Pollo con Arroz y Ensalada - 40 pesos
Thurs - Carne en su Jugo - 40 pesos
Fri - Costilla en BBQ con Ensalada de Papa - 50 pesos
Sat - Pollo Dorado,con Pure de Papa y Ensalada - 40 pesos
Sun - Enchilads y Tamales con Arros o Frijoles - 40 peso
Call Gloria for info:  387 763 1795
She speaks English, as needed.

To get to Gloria's, come to the vicinity of El Chante
on the westend of Lake Chapala, and before Jocotepec.
Once in the area, just past the Rancho San Jorge
development - and at the El Chante Hotel and Spa sign -
turn toward the lake.
The road will shortly dead end and Gloria's
will be right in front of your nose.

 Gloria on the right with Lourdes Ascencio.
(Gloria calls Lourdes her right hand!)

It wasn't easy getting a picture of this place
without customers.

There is a nice garden to eat in as well.

Come and meet Gloria, she is a doll.

See you there!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mexico vs US Medical Expense - Example Mar 2011

When I was working in the medical field in California,
I used dozens of these pre-packaged and printed
sterile 4 by 4 gauze pads daily.

Product shown without printing or brand names.

They cost in the ballpark of $0.16 each.
($3.99 for box of 25)

Here at Cruz Roja Mexicana Chapala,
we make our own.

We buy gauze by the bolt and
roll it out on a gurney about 6 lengths in each direction.
Then we snip off the ends and cut  each 6 foot length
into 10" X 10" squares.
Then they are wrapped in brown paper and
go into the autoclave.
They come out sterile 4 X 4s.

Here's Nena, one of our nurses,
packaging soon-to-be-sterilized
4 X 4s between patients.

Our sterile 4 X 4s cost approximately
1.5 centavos each.
That amount of money is so infinitesimal
I can't even calculate it in US $$.

Just saying. . .