Our Yucatan is a charming and often whimsical anthology of fiction, true stories and poetry from the Merida Writers’ Group, and it’s published by Hamaca Press. Maybe you haven’t heard of Hamaca Press. I just started it, and Our Yucatan is Hamaca’s first offering.
Back in January, I announced I was publishing a friend’s memoir, and that’s still in the works. But my time in Mérida has inspired me to produce books under a separate imprint, devoted to the spirit of Yucatán. I have all kinds of ideas, and building up a backlist will take a couple of years, but I’m almost excited about this as I am about building Casa Nana.
Working with the Merida Writers’ Group has been a dream. Not only do they write beautifully, but they provided wonderful drawings and photography to accompany their stories. The cover design fell into place after Cherie Pittillo provided detail shots of the embroidery from a traditional huipil. My 20-plus years designing and copy editing for magazines and newspapers was helpful in getting the layout and typography just right. I also took care of all the back-office chores, right down to getting a Library of Congress number. It’s available in paperback or Kindle ebook on Amazon.com.
The book is special. It’s voices are wide-ranging, but have in common the fact that the writers are struck by the quality of their new lives in Yucatán. Many have been here for years, but still appear to be looking around in awe at the community in which they now find themselves.
Here’s what’s inside. As you read the descriptions, keep in mind the book’s tagline, Tales and Poems, Mostly True, But Laced With Artistic License.:
Introduction, Robert E. Jack
Midlife Meatloaf: A midlife crisis leads to a treasure hunt behind the Merida English Library, by Lorraine Baillie Bowie
Imprecision, and three other works of poetry reflecting everyday life in Merida, by Marianne Kehoe
The Maya Queen, falling in love with Yucatan while visiting a charming fishing village called Cancun, by Gwen Lane
Cha’ac Rules!, a true account of HRM Queen Elizabeth II vs. the rain gods at Uxmal, by Maryetta Ackenbom
Hammocks and Guayaberas, short memoir on discovering the Centro Historico, triplets in tow, by Gwen Lane
Waiting for Gas: Nothing is simple when you’re expecting a delivery in the Gringo Gulch, by Robert E. Jack
Four-by-Four: One mother’s heroism facing the wrath of Hurricane Gilbert, by Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado
The Outside Inside Merida: A tribute to marvels, partly natural and partly manmade, not far from Centro, by Cherie Pittillo
A Baseball Story: A hilarious first-person account from the bleachers of Kulkulkan Stadium, by Lorna-Gail Dallin
My Salvador: Anything is possible when you take an interest in the people you employ, by Maryetta Ackenbom
Sometimes You Have to Cry a Little: If you want to survive around here, you need mad haggling skills, by Theresa Díaz Gray
Women of a Certain Age: Mary and Suzanne hail a cab and get more than they bargain for, by Patricia Mathisen