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Archive for the ‘Mexicali book’ Category

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Free pdf:

Mexicali! a mini-gem guide to surgery in Baja, California

The pdf has been uploaded to Google books, and several other sites.

Low-cost e-format:  I managed to work out a kindle format, but Amazon.com won’t allow independent publishers to offer our books for free (except as part of a limited trial on KDP select.)  However, I have received several emails specifically asking for the Mexicali book to be placed on Amazon.com – so I am reluctantly doing so.  Please note that this e-format version is priced at the minimum – of 99 cents with a free download trial period.  (In case you are wondering, Amazon.com collects 65% of that.)

Update:

Paperback book:  The paperback version of the Mexicali book is now available!  I had hoped to offer a color version (for fans of medical photography) but for small-run books, it was going to be 28.00 a book, which seems excessive to me.  I’ve priced it at just above the cost to produce and offer it on Amazon channels for less than 7.00.

 

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Celebrating book completion with Carla Luna, co-author Carlos Ochoa, and contributor Joanna Calzada.

Celebrating book completion with Carla Luna, co-author Carlos Ochoa, and contributor Joanna Calzada.

So the free pdf version of the book is complete – and available for download.  (It was hosted on the Smashwords site, but their software reformatted the pdf into a bit of a mess, so I’ve posted the original here.)

I am still working on print versions in both color and black and white for readers who prefer paper versions.  Unfortunately, the cost of printing color photos is outrageous – so please note that this is the direct cost – no profit added.

I would love to have an electronic book available but with the extensive footnotes – it’s quite an endeavor, and since I can not afford to hire someone, a little out of my reach right now.

Mexicali book

mexicali-a-mini-gem-guide-to-surgery-in-mexicali-baja-california:pdf

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Back in Mexicali but just for a few days – as I pack up the apartment and get ready for my next journey – to Texas, of all places!

As I mentioned before, leaving Mexicali is hard – it’s a city, and a people who get under your skin.  I’ve lived (and traveled to) a lot of places, but this has been the most bittersweet of all.

In the meantime – I am (finally!) finishing up the last bit of editing  - with much help from friends -  for the Mexicali guide to surgical tourism book.   I hope to have it finished – and available on-line for downloads before the end of the year.

I’ll post links and directions for interested readers once it is ready.

Mexicalisign

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Well – this book has gone through the first-pass round of editing.. Now it’s on to the second step (another round of editing) before final formating and publishing.  As I’ve mentioned previously – I will be offering free pdf downloads at multiple outlets for interested readers.  (I would love to be able to offer it as an e-book but it costs quite a bit to have it professionally converted – and my previous efforts to convert books to electronic formats were exercises in extreme frustration.)

I wanted to take a minute to thank my additional content contributors:

Dr. Joanna Calzada, MD and Dr. Cuauhtemoc Cairo Robles.

Their assistance and contributions have been invaluable!  Dr. Calzada absolutely threw herself into helping me uncover the life and history of Mexicali – and as a second-generation Mexicali resident – her input was amazing.  We crisscrossed the city several times to get information to include in the book for our readers.

with Dr. Joanna Calzada, MD – book contributor (life & culture of Mexicali)

Dr. Robles, a professor of architecture at the Universidad Autonoma Baja California, and expert on Mexicali architecture was equally outstanding.  Not only did I use several of his publications as references and resources on public buildings – but Dr. Robles stepped right in to offer photographs, stories and local history on all of the amazing houses and other buildings I fell in love with (such as Mexicali’s Graceland.)

Lastly, special thanks to Elizabeth A. Warren – who is currently editing my book.  She is my former college roommate (and thus has been editing my writing intermittently over the last 18 years.)  She is also an English teacher in Memphis, Tennessee where we attended college together.

I felt quite the poor friend when I offered her the ‘opportunity’ to edit my book for free – (since I am budget less at the moment.)  But, as always – Libby was up for the challenge.  (Let’s home my improper use of grammar doesn’t get the best of her.)

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into the 110′s (and higher) it’s been an interesting week in Mexicali.  I’ve definitely entered new territory in my book writing venture.  In the last books, I basically didn’t see the forest for the trees – meaning that even as I raced around, and enjoyed the cities I was living in – I didn’t include any of the information about the cities themselves.. Just the surgeons, and surgery.

In retrospect – I think that was a mistake.  While I know the beautiful multifaceted Bogotá, my readers don’t.  At the time, I didn’t want to duplicate the efforts of the many talented travel writers out there.  But on consideration – living in a city is so much different from visiting one.   It takes months to see and fully appreciate the nuance of many locations – especially cities..  Anyone can talk about the historic church built in 19 whatever, but it takes time and familiarity to see the beauty of Mexicali’s Graceland, or the changing canvas of the UABC museum.  It takes time to collect the stories that bring the city to life.  So now, I am trying to do that – in a small fashion with everything I’ve collected since coming here in March.

I am not Frommer’s.. I am more like his awkward, quirky little cousin. I don’t have the manpower or the resources to talk about the hundreds of restaurants here (more than 100 Chinese restaurants alone!) but I can tell you some of my favorite places; for a casual lunch with friends, or a night on the town.  I can’t give exhaustive listings on all there is to see and do in this thriving city, but I can show you the heart of it.  I can tell you about the things that make Mexicali more than just spot in the hard-baked earth; the things that make this city real, and make it a fascinating place to be.  I can make your stay; whether just a few days, weeks or months; interesting and informative.

It’s been a fascinating and amazing journey to discover these ‘pockets of life’ and living history – and now that I am outside my realm (of medicine and surgery) one that would have been impossible without the numerous people who have embraced me, and shared their wisdom.  (It’s becoming quite the list – and I’ll share it with you all soon.)

But I certainly hope that my future readers enjoy the journey as much as I have.

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I was in the United States most of last week (at my reunion) but I didn’t stop working.  While a reunion may not seem like the most ideal situation for a medical writer – it’s actually a great opportunity to talk to people and get their opinions about health care, medicine and surgery.  After the first few minutes of catching up – talk naturally turns to everyday life, and for many of us – ‘everyday life’ involves worrying about the health of our families.. Also, many of my classmates – and old friends have been some of my biggest supporters of the blog (and my other work) so it was good to get some critical feedback.

Bret Harte class reunion

The book is coming along – almost continuous writing at this point.  While I (always!) want more interviews with more surgeons, I am now at the point where I am filling in some gaps  – talking about the city of Mexicali itself.  So I am visiting museums, archives, and talking to residents about Mexicali so I can provide a more complete picture to readers.  Right now, I would really like some information about 1920′s -30′s Mexicali – I can find a lot of interesting stuff about Tijuana, but Mexicali is proving more elusive.

It’s a bit of a change from my usual research – finding out about decades old scandals (even local haunted houses), visiting restaurants and nightclubs, but it’s been a lot of fun., even if it seems frivolous or silly at times.  I hope readers enjoy this glimpse into Mexicali’s rich history as much as I have.

Finished the cover – which to me, is critical at this point.  (I use the cover to inspire me when it comes to the less than thrilling stage of copy editing) so I am posting an image here.

cover for the new book

Meeting with an architect later this week – to learn about, and write about some of the variety of styles here in Mexicali.  (There is such a surprising array – I thought it would be nice for readers to have a chance to know a bit more.)

Now there’s one house I’ve dubbed “Mexicali’s Graceland.”  I don’t know why Graceland comes to mind every time I go past this home (it looks nothing like Elvis’ home in Memphis) but the term has stuck.  I am hoping to get some of the history on this house because it just looks like a place where even the walls have stories to tell.

The pictures aren’t the most flattering – but I’ll post one so you can tell me what you think.  (It’s actually far more lovely in person – with the contrast between the pink walls and the white scrollwork, as well as some of the more classic design features.) I guess my imagination tends to run away with me – with images of grandeur and elegant ladies sipping champagne in the marbled halls of the past – but then – most of my usual writing is technical in nature, so I have few outlets for my creativity.

Mexicali’s Graceland

Meeting with my co-writer today to go back to the archives..

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As much as I have adored working with my previous co-author, Dr. Albert Klein, PharmD on two previous editions – it just wasn’t practical for this title.  He’s now living and working in North Carolina, whereas – I don’t know when (and if) I’ll be returning to my beloved southern Virginia, which makes this sort of collaboration more difficult.  Also, Dr. Klein, (by the nature of his background) is more of an expert on Colombian history, culture and Bogotá life than the rest of Latin America.  (I always feel that the best way to get a glimpse of life is through the eyes of those who have lived it.)

But I do want to sincerely thank Albert for everything – (without him, I might not have been brave enough to publish at all!)  It’s been a pleasure working with him – both on the books and in the hospital, so hopefully we can collaborate again in the future (Medellin, perhaps?)

In the meantime, I have a new co-author for the latest book, the ‘mini-gem’ guide to Mexicali.  While it’s a more breezy style book compared to my other offerings, I still feel very fortunate to have enlisted some local assistance for the sections on culture, Mexicali life and local color.  The input has been invaluable for me during the writing process – and will prove to be the same for readers, (I hope!)

I am also hoping to get a few additional contributors for other sections of the book to talk about issues in their respective areas of expertise.  (It may be free but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a quality product and a good read.)   It’s not a done deal – and it may be difficult due to everyone’s busy schedules etc – but I am hoping it all comes together.

Once I get all of the specifics nailed down  – I’ll post more about it here.

The rest of the book is going well – I am probably about 75% complete (and then the dreaded editing process!!)  Depending on how horrible editing is – and time limitations – determines whether or not the Mexicali book becomes a e-book.  (I find the e-book conversion process endlessly frustrating, particularly for a die-hard fan of footnotes like myself.)

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The service is quiet so I am spending the day writing and working on the Mexicali book.  For new readers, I would like to explain that the Mexicali book is a little different from my previous offerings.  This is not an exhaustive compilation of surgeons and facilities in Mexicali, as frankly, I do not have the time or resources to accomplish such a task at this point in time.

Like all my books, it is a labor of love, but differs in that it highlights some of the best, and worst of Mexicali and medical tourism in this city.  So instead of interviewing and observing hundreds of surgeons, it highlights the limited number of physicians who agreed to participate in this project.

As such, no plans are being made to market this book commercially. Instead, I plan to offer it as a free pdf download for interested readers.  I will also be offering a full color soft-bound edition (at cost) for people interested in the many full color photographs of surgeons and surgery in Mexicali.  I will be placing the soft-bound edition on Amazon.com for interested persons.  Unfortunately, the cost of producing such a book (color photos) in limited runs is fairly expensive, so I apologize in advance to readers – but as I said – it’s a labor of love, and I won’t make a dime off of it.  I can only hope that if readers enjoy this book, they will consider purchasing one of my longer, more detailed books on medical tourism (such as the Bogotá book.)

More information will be forthcoming as I get further and further towards completion of this project.

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