Please welcome Guilie Castillo Oriard from Quiet Laughter as she drops by for a stop on her tour to promote her book The Miracle of Small Things. She'll also be revealing my song pick for the Battle of the Bands coming up on Sunday November 15th.
The Miracle of Small Things Book Tour
Hint #1: The song is one that Luis—and probably every other Mexican—knows well. BUT it's not a mariachi song, or a ranchera. No, it's not the Mexican anthem, either.
Curaçao is just a stepping stone. A peeled grape. After living in New York and London and Hong Kong; after working at the biggest wealth management advisory firms and with three of the Big Five tax firms... Really, in spite of its size Ehrlich will be a piece of pie, and this island out in the middle of nowhere only a challenge in terms of staying awake until he can move back into the big-time.
The book opens with Luis driving back to his condo on the morning of New Year's Day, after having spent the night with Milena Durant, Ehrlich Curaçao's current Managing Director. The woman he's been hired to replace (she's moving to Singapore later that year). And she's going to use this transgression to control him, to make him toe the line—her line. He's trapped. A prisoner. And he has no one to blame except himself. So why doesn't he just leave? I mean, really. Just get on a plane, Jack. (I mean Luis.) Put to work one of those 50 ways to leave your lover—and the island.
(No, this is not a hint.)
Hint #2: One can also be prisoner to good things... Like besos—oops, sorry. Kisses, I mean.Luis considers leaving, briefly, and then discards it as a non-option. He can't break his contract, for one: what's he going to do, tell the Ehrlich CEO he slept with Milena? Make something up, then? Like what? What could possibly be so serious that he'd leave a two-year contract only two months in? And what about his resumé? How does he explain this break in employment? At the level he functions, it'll be a black mark in an otherwise enviable career. No one will hire him. No one that matters. Backing out of this Ehrlich thing will, quite literally, cost him his career. A career that defines not just his life or his future, but his very sense of identity. So he lowers his head, he bends a knee, and settles in for the long haul.
What else can he do? The Caribbean is treacherous, but it also has a (sometimes infamous) reputation as refuge for those escaping... well, whatever's kept them prisoner. But freedom is for the intrepid, for those alert enough to spot the opportunity before it vanishes like a mirage at sunset. Will Luis see it? Will he recognize it? Even if he does, freedom won't come at an easy price. It'll be a painful process of loss and shattered dreams. The question will be whether it's worth it.
Have you ever felt a prisoner of something? How did you break free? Was it painful? Was the sense of liberation worth it? Do you think mental prisons are part of human nature? Would we be better off without them, or do they play an essential function in our psyche—and our interactions?
Hint #5: Have you ever been a prisoner to love? Can that be a good thing?Lee's song choice for the Battle of The Bands on the 15th is none other than José José's Preso... An ode to prisons not of steel or concrete but of flesh and blood (and hips and lips).
Thank you, Lee, for making me a part of a Battle with this song. It brings back all sorts of wonderful memories... The original, certainly, but also (especially?) one of the covers you've chosen for the Battle. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the votes fall with this one.
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About THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS (Truth Serum Press, Aug 2015): Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career. But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.
Now available in:
About THE TOUR: To celebrate the release of MIRACLE in e-book formats, several blogs will be hosting Guilie throughout November to talk about writing, about the book, its island setting and its characters—including a 100-lb. monster dog rescued from the streets—and some of the issues MIRACLE touches on, such as the role of large and small things in the realignment of our values, and the power of place in our definition of self.
Gracias por visitar Tossing It Out, Guilie!