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Literary Sala presents stories of adventure and love

By Carole Schor

Camie Sandas

Literary Sala Presents:
Lyn Fuchs’ Fresh Wind and Strange Fire
Camie Sands’
The Wicker Basket: Love Me Still for One More Day
Thu, Apr 10, 5pm
Hotel Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15
100 pesos (50 pesos for Literary Sala members)

Two extraordinary memoirs will be the subject of the Literary Sala’s April 10 presentation.

Lyn Fuchs

Lyn Fuchs has spent three years in Oaxaca writing Fresh Wind and Strange Fire, and has now relocated to a desert ranch outside Queretaro, “an isolated Mexican ranch under a fiery sunset and the influence of tequila,” a new landscape to provide new inspiration for his next book, Chocolate, Vanilla, Tortillas and Salsa: Trekking the Birthplace of Food. This work will transport readers around Mexico and over the history of Mesoamerican cuisine. “Think Anthony Bourdain with an extra helping of fun and a side order of down-to-earth spirituality.”

At his April 10 presentation, Lyn will present Fresh Wind and Strange Fire. It is his second book, recounting his non-fiction journey through stranger-than-fiction primal terrain. His adventures include buying fake documents, eating iguanas, ingesting peyote, scaling glaciers, train-hopping with migrants, splash-fighting with Mayans, joking with narco-traficantes, being exfoliated by fish, having a tooth extracted without anesthetic, and interviewing the last living witness to a Latin American extermination camp.

Lyn is quite a survivor and calls himself “Lyndiana Jones” after having survived grizzly bear attacks, erupting volcanoes, Japanese swordfights and giant squid tentacles. He has been entrapped by FBI agents and held at gunpoint by renegade soldiers. He has sung with Bulgaria’s blues master Vasko the Patch and met with Mexico’s Zapatista Army commander Sub-comandante Marcos.

Mexico inspires Lyn’s writing because Mexican culture encourages one to face life as it really is, with the help of humor and courage. “Mexico offers all the good things in life, plus just enough violence to keep the wimps out,” he says. He’s a university professor in Mexico with advanced degrees in communication and philosophy. The phrase “philosophical adventure” describes both his writing and his life. He doesn’t have a phone, but he does have an iguana. He has an obsessive/compulsive routine for his writing discipline, starting every morning after breakfast with his dog and writing as long as he’s having fun and feeling creative.

Lyn has some controversial advice for beginning writers. “Don’t write for anyone who wants you to pay for publication.” He feels it’s good for writers to struggle to make their work acceptable to a publisher who has a feel for what readers want, and urges new writers to start with a publication that might pay little but might earn excellent feedback and editing. “Fortune favors the bold, but usually the bold who listen to other people too.”

Camie Sands

Camie Fenton Sands’ new memoir, The Wicker Basket: Love Me Still for One More Day is a heart-warming and heart-rending collage of young love and loss.

The story is of her coming of age in the ‘70s, a pretty young girl from a loving family, growing up in a Seattle suburb, planning her future with her friends and her high school sweetheart Tom. Her book is filled with love letters and photos and poems written by the two teenaged lovers.


Camies Room

By Tom Lander

From your bed

Alone on clear wintry days

The trees here lean to each other

Shrugging the cold massage

And frame children in the playground

They create days some

May long remember

And so from here have I

Lost in satin comfort

Memories I will long hold

In my heart and mind. TL


By Camie Fenton

I have imagined ourselves as

A present to be opened

In private to appreciate all

Small nuances of strings tied

Tight in twisting memory

And in humor for

Tracing old scotch tape

Up sides where wrapping

Never fit quite right.

Impatient still I just

Might grab the satin ribbon

And run, gladly to unfurl

This whole anticipation of the creation

You become in my eyes. CF

The stories, photos, drawings, and newspaper clippings tell of sweet young lovers who look forward to the ends of time together. But, like many sweet young love stories, this one does not have a happy ending. Tom, an avid sailor, takes off one day in their little sailboat, just hoping to enjoy a quiet day of sailing on a calm neighborhood lake. Too soon, too young, and too tragically sad, he falls into the lake and dies. The golden boy of his hometown, the one everyone called the most likely to succeed, is the one whose life is cut down in its prime, leaving Camie and their families and the whole town in mourning.

“Tom, te amo. I love you. I do not know how to live my life right now. I am going to San Miguel de Allende. (Camie’s uncle, Don Fenton, owned the Hotel Jacaranda.) I can’t stay here right now. . . You will always be with me. . . Because I will love you still for one more day. . . I forgive you for dying.”

And so Camie came to San Miguel where she continues to live and work and write. She has found a new love in her husband Larry; a passion for writing inspired by the blue skies of our town, the love of her friends, the Writers’ Conference, and the space to be creative. She has been Director of the August Chamber Music Festival for the past five years, and she publishes the San Miguel Walking & Shopping Guide.

While writing this article, I learned that Camie’s mother had passed away. We can only hope that the writing of her love-filled tribute to her first love has taught her how to cope with the heartbreak of death, and that she can fill her memories and heart once again with the love she received from her mother and her family. As her mother wrote to her upon Tom’s death, “The happiness is always there with the sadness of days that will never be again. But what would we have without these memories?”

The Literary Sala is proud to present these two authors on April 10 at 5pm at the Hotel La Aldea.


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