The Marfa Mondays Podcasting
Project is apropos of my book in-progress, World
Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas.
Ever since I first heard
about Marfa and the remote mountain ranges of Far West Texas, I yearned to go there. About a decade ago, on a brief
visit, I drank in the majesty of the vast spaces, the bluer than
blue skies, and at night, stars beyond stars, and yes, they're realthe Marfa
Lights. But the people? Breezing through, I didn't have a
chance to talk to many, for I was deep into writing another book,
Miraculous Air, about
Baja California, Mexico's nearly 1,000 mile long peninsula. Once
that wrapped up, I wanted to come back to explore but first,
what I imagined would be a lickety-split project: researching
and writing a novel based on the strange but true story of, as
the title says, The
Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. It seems a pattern
with me, that writing a book always takes about seven times longer
than I had planned, but never mind, finally, I am returning.
No, not to live: I'm based in Mexico City, but over the next
few years, in a series of journeys, I'll be writing a
book about Marfa and the Big Bend.
In the past, as I did
while writing Miraculous Air, I would have turned out
a series of travel articles for newspapers and magazines. I may
still write an article or three, but I am less interested in
which is the cheapest / best / coollest bed-and-breakfast &
etc., than I am in talking to people and, now that podcasting
is possible, rather than stash my notes and taped interviews
in the drawer, I can share them widely.
A QUEST FOR UNDERSTANDING
Who are some of the people who live in this remote and beautiful
place? How is this part of West Texas unique, or similar to other
places? How are things changing? What is it that outsiders inevitably
miss? (What are those Marfa Lights?) As in my travels
in Baja California, I'm especially interested in hearing from
artists, for they make a razor-sharp habit of seeing what others
do not. But anyone can surprise, I learned that much in writing
Miraculous Air, when I interviewed, among so many others,
a surf star; a sportfishing
mogul whose family crest included a corn stalk; and a goat
herder who, even from the deepest canyons, could identify the
flight numbers of the airplanes that passed overhead. As I question
as wide a variety of people as I can muster, I will depart from
a simple premise: an interviewlike a travel memoiris
a quest for understanding, not just about a certain place and
time, but in the deepest sense of what it means to be human.
With this series of 24 podcasts, I invite you to join me in this
adventure in listening.
"The Rambling Boy," reports on the Marfa Mondays Podcasting
Rock art expert
and historical novelist Mary S. Black interviews C.M. Mayo about
travel writing and "Marfa Mondays"
FOR A DREAM
Turn in Far West Texas
by C.M. MAYO
in any time to all the "Marfa Mondays" podcasts,
which include some material that will be in the book. And if
you'd like to be notified when this title is available, I welcome
you to sign up for my free every other monthly-ish newsletter.
for the opt-in form from MailChimp.com.
It's automatic, it's free, and you can opt-out at any time.
BY C.M. MAYO
METAPHYSICAL ODYSSEY INTO THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION:
Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR HISTORY
"In my fifteen years
of researching the life of President Francisco I. Madero, I have
never read a more complete book as the one just written by C.M.
Mayo. It will simply surprise any reader. The research is impeccable
and the narrative well-rounded."
Guerra de Luna, author of Los Madero: La Saga Liberal
"Mayo does a brilliant job combining the known facts of
the Mexican Revolution and Madero's role within it, and creates
an intellectual bridge to the president's spiritist belief structure...
von Feilitzsch, author of In Plain Sight: Felix Sommerfeld,
Spymaster in Mexico
THE LAST PRINCE
OF THE MEXICAN EMPIRE
LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK, 2009
"I have read
a few sweeping historical novels that have remain inside of me
forever. Tolstoy's War and Peace is one of those, Dickens's
A Tale of Two Cities is another, Pasternak's Doctor
Zhivago is another, and now The Last Prince of the Mexican
Empire is another."
Tipton, Mexico Connect
"a swashbuckling, riotous
good time, befitting the fairy-tale promise of the opening sentence."
Journey of a Thousand Miles
through Baja California, the Other Mexico
"With elegant prose
and an artist's eye for detail, Mayo may just have written one
of the best books ever about Baja California. Highly recommended"
breathtaking vision of the past, present, and future of [Baja
California]... Meticulously researched... a valuable combination
of historical and social study"
OVER EL NIDO
FLANNERY O'CONNOR AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION
"A remarkable literary
debut... tautly fashioned prose, alive with myriad turns of phrase
as on-target as they are idiosyncratic."
writes some of the most exquisitely fashioned, perfectly measured
prose alive in the world today. Her stories glitter with delicious
odd details. They feel electrically charged, richly mysterious,
and rhythmic. I love her layering of cultures, her offbeat humor,
her potent instinct for voices. Bravo! Captivating! Yes, yes,
A Traveler's Literary Companion
BY C.M. MAYO
is a book to throw in a suitcase or mochila (backpack) on the
way to Mexico or just settling into a favorite patio chair. It
will open your eyes, fill you with pleasure and render our perennial
vecinos a little less distante."
Angeles Times Book Review