Guest Author Mark Saunders

We all need laughter and humor in our lives and Nicole, from Tribute Books, is stopping by today with just that type of author.  So please welcome Mark Saunders to the CMash blog!!


An award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and cartoonist, Mark Saunders tried standup comedy to get over shyness and failed spectacularly at it — the standup part, not the shyness. He once owned a Yugo and still can’t remember why. Nearly 30 of his plays have been staged, from California to New York – with several stops in-between – and two plays have been published.

With three scripts optioned, his screenplays, all comedies, have attracted awards but seem to be allergic to money. Back in his drawing days, more than 500 of his cartoons appeared nationally in publications as diverse as Writer’s Digest, The Twilight Zone Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post.

As a freelancer, he also wrote gags for the popular comic strip “Frank and Ernest,” as well as jokes for professional comedians, including Jay Leno. Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak is his first book.
Mark Saunders’ web site
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Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak blog tour site


Some cultures record their history by cataclysmic events: the year of the big fire or flood, the day the great earthquake or tornado struck. My history is recorded by my stomach. In conversations with my wife and friends, it’s not unusual for me to interject a comment such as, “Oh, I remember now, dear, that was the time we were in San Francisco and I took my first bite of monkfish in lobster sauce.”

With such habits, it should come as no surprise that what I miss most about no longer living in Portland, Oregon, is Dungeness crab. I currently reside in the middle of Mexico, six thousand feet up in the mountains and three thousand miles from the nearest Oregon crab pot.

These days, when December rolls around, generally considered the official start of the Dungeness crab season, I am depressed. For me, there’s nothing quite as simple or as bountiful as a meal of fresh, sweet, and meaty Oregon Dungeness crab, a loaf of sourdough French bread, and a green salad, all complemented by an inexpensive bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s. Now that is a meal.

Unfortunately, for me, those days and meals are gone. I’m not complaining, mind you, I’m just describing.

It goes without saying, of course—which is why I’m going to say it—I also miss the friends we left back in Portland, even though we find no shortage of new friends here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a convivial tourist town known for its fiestas.

I miss certain urban conveniences. Portland, for example, believes so thoroughly in public transportation that they let you ride for free in certain areas. It has, perhaps, the best used bookstore in all of America, along with well-stacked and oft-frequented libraries. I like and miss the fact that Portland is almost equidistant, slightly over an hour each way by car, from either the ocean or the mountains.  I miss the clean air that floats through Portland because it is, at times, so fresh it could serve as a role model for retail air fresheners. I certainly miss the variety of lush parks full of gorgeous trees and vibrant shrubs, as well as the breathtaking sweep of the Cascades, with at least two volcanoes in easy view.

However, I do not miss the damp weather or gloomy skies or traffic or pace or the high cost of living of Portland. I’ve replaced all of those things with what I consider to be a kinder-gentler way. My new life in old Mexico is full of dry-blue skies and a sun at my back. I walk everywhere and everywhere I walk I see brightly-colored houses, like field color paintings, that make me smile.

Oregon, it’s been said, is like Ireland: All green and no gold. But if you ask me, there’s plenty of gold in Oregon, and it’s usually panned in crabbing nets during winter.


Ay, chihuahua! Ay, caramba! Oy vey!

In early December 2005, Mark Saunders and his wife, along with their dog and cat, packed up their 21st century jalopy, a black Audi Quattro with a luggage carrier on top, and left Portland, Oregon, for San Miguel de Allende, three thousand miles away in the middle of Mexico, where they knew no one and could barely speak the language.

Things fell apart almost from the beginning. The house they rented was as cold as a restaurant’s freezer. Their furniture took longer than expected to arrive. They couldn’t even get copies of their house keys made. They unintentionally filled their house with smoke and just as unintentionally knocked out the power to their entire neighborhood. In other words, they were clueless. This is their story.

No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

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4 thoughts on “Guest Author Mark Saunders

  1. Being a crab myself, I appreciated your comments, though in my case they should speak of the dinginess of this crab. Don’t know whether I’m more convinced by the plug for Portland or the plug for San Miguel Allende. Do they have snowbirds in your town?

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