Hell Fire Arc contest

Hell Fire So I have 10 arcs of this fine book.

Two of them are reserved for a Twitter contest. When I reach 2000 followers, I’m giving away two of these arcs. So that’s one way you can enter. Then post a comment saying you’ve done so. You must be following me at the time these two ARCs are awarded.

That leaves eight others ARCs up for grabs for other people. But I’m combining these contests for simplicity. To enter, simply post this widget in your blog sidebar.

If you don’t have a blog, you can Twitter about the contest. You can also post the widget on Facebook and MySpace. Then come back here to comment and tell me it’s done. If you have no social media whatsoever, then tell your friends about the giveaway in whatever manner you see fit. Comment to tell me how you’re spreading the word about the second Corine Solomon book.

This contest will run for two weeks. By entering, you agree you’ll post a review somewhere by April 6.

ETA: One week left. To sweeten the pot and make sure I hit 2K by next Friday, I’m adding a $50 Amazon gift certificate. One lucky, random winner will get a $50 Amazon gift certificate in addition to the Hell Fire ARC. How sweet is that? You must be following me on Twitter to enter and win. If you don’t have Twitter and you want that book money, well, it’s pretty simple to open an account. You can decide if it’s worth it.

Through My Eyes

I get up. I shower. I work. I answer emails.

Later, I go to the grocery store. To get to Superama, I drive up to Pinon and back down Alcanfores. I pass a brightly painted shopping center the right called Plaza Jardins, but I don’t love shopping at Soriana. Their grocery section isn’t as nice. So I take the roundabout up and back down to the back road that leads to the market. This street is wide and has a garden running down the center of it. Fir trees march alongside palm and acacia, bougainvillea and redbud, aloe vera and rubber trees. My drive to the supermarket is, surprisingly, quite green. White paint bands the bottom of each tree, discouraging insects. The houses are bright, like a flock of tropical birds.

First on that road, I come to protesters angry with the government for closing down independent power stations. The government alleges these stations were corrupt and took kickbacks for power discounts. Either way, I see men in mufflers and down jackets milling around, carrying signs. In the next block, a man sits on a lawn chair behind an open red hatchback car, selling bonsai trees for fifty pesos. He is drinking from a thermos and reading a magazine. I make the left turn at the big tree, and this side street has a man washing a car. He waves as if I might know him. I wave back. I continue down to the restaurant that sells flautas and pozole and make a right turn. Two buses block the narrow road and the drivers are arguing in the street. It takes four minutes before everyone shakes a fist one last time and goes their own way. Then I’m at the store. I find a place to park and get a cart.

It’s cold out, the sky so gray I think it portends snow. It has been freezing these past weeks, and we are just not prepared for it. Everyone hustles in and out in their jackets and hats, head down. The man who sells magazines is not around; nor is the flower seller. The woman who sells pastries is not working. Clearly, this is a winter unlike we’ve seen before. To make matters worse, my back door is broken. The repair men were supposed to come today. Now they are supposed to come tomorrow. When will they be here? Who knows? This is Mexico. I have become philosophical about such things.

I do my shopping and listen to conversations in Spanish. In the produce aisle, a toddler tugs on his mom’s coat and wails, “Quiero fresas!” (“I want strawberries!”) Another woman talks about a scarf she is knitting. An old man tells his grandson that he cannot have the new Hershey’s Good Night Hot Chocolate. I ask the clerk to step away from the onions so I can buy some. At the checkout, I pay in a mix of vales and cash. The bagger is quick, so I tip him extra. In the parking lot, I pay a security guard twenty pesos to take my groceries out and put them in the trunk of my car. Once home, I carry them inside and put them away. Next I make a pot of beef vegetable soup to ward off the chill.

And this is a day, through my eyes.