Untitled Mainstream

To:  Mailing List

Date:  December 28th

From:  Sharon, John and Rex – The Crazy Canucks

Subject: Somewhere in the Madre del Sur Mountain range in Mexico

I’m gnawing at  my fingernails,  a sign I should distract myself, save  what’s left of my cuticles, and write.

We’re staring at a makeshift bridge spanning a twenty-five foot drop.  Five vehicles are lined up behind us, overflowing with Mexicans chomping at the bit for us to advance.  Their shouts and cheers fill the air.  Rounding out the panorama is the reason for our predicament: a collapsed bridge.  A mudslide, I suspect.  John has this incredibly intense expression on his face.  More like a crazed man on speed rather than a man secure in his ability to maintain his sanity while balancing us on a high-wire.  Seriously, I’m wondering why I ever let him talk me into pulling a forty-foot fifthwheel into the depths of Mexico.

I’m writing to distance myself from the situation. I can’t call anybody being there’s no phone service in the boonies. Why am I not screaming and yelling?  Because we’ve just spent six grueling hours crossing over a mountain range, and I’m numb.  Besides, I dare not add more stress to my typical calm English husband.  LoL

Anyway, my hope is you’ll receive this snippet in the weekly trip-around-Mexico briefing and you’re picturing yours truly basking in the sun with a piña colada in hand.  Or, you’ve been contacted by a Mexican Official (just know I haven’t sold your contact information), we’ve plunged. . .


The pen flew from my outstretched fingers when John screeched, “What are you doing?” followed by Rex’s guttural wail.

“I’m writing an email to our family and friends.”

“Are you absolutely-bloody-nuts?”

“Would you prefer I join you and Rex in a howl fest?”

He whipped his head from side to side.  His stiff neck muscles clicking made me wince. “There’s no way I can position the rig on the bridge or reverse.  We’re buggered.”

“And whose fault is that?  We could be enjoying winter in a luxury Texas campground.  Oh noooooo!  Not us. Like idiots, we had to explore Mexico.”

“Do we have to deal with this issue now?”

I slouched in the seat, a whole litany of thoughtless ramblings competed for attention.  I rubbed my forehead and combed my hair from my face.  Only the sound of Rex licking his private parts breaks the quiet. Like every challenge we survived since trading suburbia for life on the road, tackling Mexico started three months earlier.

12 thoughts on “Untitled Mainstream

  1. kcpwriter says:

    You are quite a comedian. I loved this piece because I love to travel and because you have used great descriptive words with a comedic flair: Crazed man, thoughtless ramblings, gutteral wail. I would add “our dog” to the heading: Rex, our dog – the Crazy Canucks. Maybe TRADING SUBURBIA would work as a title. Want to keep reading. Keep writing.

  2. Julie Griffith says:

    I like the humor. I smiled at the “Rex licking his private parts” thing. The story sounds like a fun, entertaining read, but there are a couple of points that confused me. When I read the first three paragraphs following the subject heading, I thought she was thinking to herself. It wasn’t until I got to “Lol” at the bottom of the third paragraph that I realized she was writing all that. Maybe a different font for that portion would be helpful. And I assumed she was typing into a device, like an iPad or phone, but when you mentioned a pen flying out of her hand, I realized she was hand writing it. Why would you hand write an email? Did you mean stylus instead of pen? Was she writing it out to make it easier to compose the email later when she had access to the internet? I do really like the voice and the writing style, though. Hope this is helpful.

    • S. A. Smith, Author says:

      Thank you for critiquing my submission. My title is “A Grand Mexico Tour” and is part of a series “On RVing Time”. (A cut and paste anomaly, lol). I have changed the font as per your suggestion. You were bang on about writing out my briefing in long hand until I got access to an internet cafe. Thanks. If you’re interested in keeping in touch, check out my website: http://www.onrvingtime.wordpress.com and join my mailing list.

  3. Dhara says:

    I really liked the voice here. It would be nice to know that the very first sentences were part of an email because it sounded like your MC’s thoughts. I also thought Rex was a baby at first until I read on! Instead of ”Rex’s guttural wail”, maybe you could say something that describes his bark, canine teeth, or ear/tail movement so that we know instantly Rex is the family’s dog.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s something about the email that throws me off (maybe because it doesn’t sound like real correspondence). If you want to keep it, you should definitely think about rewriting it. Personally, I would add a greeting along the lines of ‘Hello Friends, I’m writing to tell you…..’ because I think it would help clarify the email. Also, I’m not liking the ‘gnawing at the fingernails’ line, it seems contrived. I’d ditch it.

    Once I got past the email, things flowed and you kept my interest. I would definitely read more and yours has been my favorite passage thus far (and I’ve read quite a few).

    Good luck!

    • S. A. Smith, Author says:

      Thanks for your critique. My title is “A Grand Mexico Tour” and is part of a series “On RVing Time”. (A cut and paste anomaly, lol). I like your idea of the greeting and changed the font of the memo as per Julie’s suggestion. I’ll consider removing gnawing at the fingernails…lol.

      If you’re interested in keeping in touch, check out my website: http://www.onrvingtime.wordpress.com and join my mailing list.

  5. Briana says:

    Loved the writing. Smooth, and intriguing. In the second paragraph she is writing and email but he knocks a pen from her hand? Whats that about? No keyboard? I was left hanging in the email as to why they are in Mexico…I was thinking drug run? As I read on I think they are just truck drivers? After that, it reads like there is gonna be a time rewind. My suggestion: Though I like the email, i wonder if that is the best way to begin the story, maybe snippits throughout the scene of her writing then stopping to tell us what is going on in the scene. It sounds like they are stuck on a bridge. I’d like more of a fight between the two as tension rises and if it is gonna flash back- I’d like this scene to go on a bit longer.

    • S. A. Smith, Author says:

      Thanks for your critique, Briana. My title is “A Grand Mexico Tour” and is part of a series “On RVing Time”. (A cut and paste anomaly, lol) Perhaps I need to add a prologue before the prologue…lol. I will revisit my submission and see how I can incorporate some of your great suggestions. If you’re interested in keeping in touch, check out my website: http://www.onrvingtime.wordpress.com and join my mailing list.

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