Memory Rendered into Poetry
Jacqueline Woodson's visit and her novel, Another Brooklyn
All Roads Lead to Florida
Sarah Gerard's dark evocations of the sunshine state
Baby, It's Hot Outside
Beat the summer blues with ice cold reads
Midwestern Horror Mise en Scène
Universal Harvester falls short of its promise
Junk Yards, Church Yards, Everything In-Between
Damien Flores translates the life of the city into poetry
Who Comes for the Girls
Zadie Smith's inquiry into race, belonging and privilege
The Magic of Solitude
Pond stands apart from literary convention
The Specter of Consequences
The Gloaming traces grief across continents
Sunday, Oct 23: Albuquerque Record Convention
The Last Samurai in London
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with that awful Tom Cruise movie
The Last Samurai
Telling the Soul's Truth
Magic abounds in Child of Duende
The Daily Word in Slave Labor, NASA and Honeybees
A new study gives insight into treating anxiety disorders. Scientists determine that the key isn't simply lowering cortisol levels in the brain, it's lowering them in particular areas of the brain.
NASA always seems to be working on something mind-blowing and certainly larger than life. These days, it's a mission for a spacecraft called Osiris-Rex. Ever wondered what ingredients were involved in the making of the solar system? This spacecraft aims to follow a 500 meter, carbon-rich asteroid holding the answers.
Coffee is an essential component in many Americans' lives, but how much do you think about the origin of your precious roast? Not to put a damper on your beautiful, caffeinated morning but you can most likely thank slave labor for that latte.
Wake me up when the election ends.
I can almost smell musty pages and feel the buzzing yearning for knowledge from here.
In an attempt to kill mosquitoes carrying Zika virus, an aerial pesticide sprayed in South Carolina killed millions of honeybees. The sweet creatures crawled from their hives to escape the poison but died just outside the entrance.
It's bat season! Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to hundreds of bats that head to Mexico when the weather gets chilly (so, right about now). Before you take a road trip to watch them pour out of the caves at dusk, here's some info about these little winged creatures.
Would you run 8.8 miles to school every day while barefoot? This guy would (and did). Read about the importance of education to Uganda native James Arinaitwe, who gladly took the lengthy journey to learn in his youth.
Should. What does it mean? And why do we use it so often? It's been so normalized that we say it without realizing our intentions, without realizing that we're bound by obligation to act and live in certain ways for reasons unknown. It's a concept that I question often and desperately strive to detach from. In an ideal world, the “shoulds” are far from my life, thrown off a cliff or anchored to an ocean floor and certainly nowhere near my decision-making. Why? Because the entire idea exists on a foundation of societal pressure and expectation.
Last week I received a late birthday gift in the mail from my mother. I expected a silly card with a corny message inside, or some ridiculous clothing item that I would never pick out myself. Instead, I reached inside a slightly crumpled priority mail envelope and felt the cool, smooth cover and sharp cardboard edges of a book. The Crossroads of Should and Must, I read. The title was written in colorful letters and on the bottom was a small illustration of a sign with two arrows pointing in opposite directions, reading, “should” and “must.”
I held the colorful book and let the title sink in. Could it really be about what I thought it was going to be about? I turned the first few pages and started skimming. “These pages are a pep talk to honor that voice inside of you that says you have something special to give. It's a reminder that while there is no map for where you're going, many have traveled the road before. It's permission to unlearn everything you've ever been told you should do in order to learn what you must.” I flipped through the pages, quicker this time.
The book detailed the difference between a job, a career and a calling. It was filled with splashes of colorful artwork and creative fonts, and looked almost like an interactive journal or picture book at first glance. The author talked about her personal experience with stepping outside of her comfort zone in order to quit doing something she felt she “should” do, and to start honoring her true passions, regardless of money or fear of failure or rejection.
You know those times when you start reading a book and it speaks to you on a spiritual level and you don't put it down until your eyes are bloodshot from staying awake for so long and the final page has been turned? That's what happened. I read the entire thing in one sitting and might have teared up a couple of times. No shame.
My brain! My heart! When did someone jump inside of my skull, steal my thoughts, articulate them much better than I ever could and then publish them?! I sat on my couch in a bit of a haze, the torn envelope flung onto the floor, and felt a wave of calm inspiration mixed with a frenzied, overwhelmed desire to do everything in the world all at once.
After I came down from my post-reading high, I had to wonder: how real is this? How possible is it to live a life that serves you in every way, and to refuse to compromise your principles for the sake of societal acceptance or money? The idealist in me wanted every single word to be true. The idealist wanted to take the book and my keys and bolt out the door towards a life of unprecedented adventure. But the realist was skeptical, latching onto the all-too-well-known ways of comfort and conformity. I believe in living vulnerably, striving to look a fool and prove that I'm attempting things that make me uncomfortable, and I'm working on making that lifestyle a reality. This book was a reminder that simply being aware that I want to avoid a life of complacency and complete foreseeable structure is one step in the direction of where I do want to be.
Read the book. Even if you're someone who puts up barriers to mask your vulnerable side, and the thought of pages upon pages of cheesy, inspirational words is making you cringe with embarrassment. Especially you, read it.
Saturday, Jul 30: Harry Potter Countdown to Midnight Magic Party
What's On Your Bucket List?
N.M. Authors Celebrate "Bucket of Fun"
New Mexico authors Barbe Awalt, Loretta Hall and Patricia C. Hodapp are celebrating the release of their Bucket List books with a "Bucket of Fun" event at 3pm on Sunday, July 17, at Page One Books. Awalt's latest is The Ultimate Green Chile Cheeseburger Bucket List, Hall has The Complete Space Buff's Bucket List, and Patricia C. Hodapp's effort is The Complete Santa Fe Bucket List.
Awalt's Green Chile Cheeseburger is described as such: "The Complete Green Chile Cheeseburger Bucket List is the sixth book in the series of Bucket List books from Rio Grande Books. New Mexico didn't invent the cheeseburger, but it did invent the green chile cheeseburger and is famous for it. When you visit New Mexico you need to eat a green chile cheeseburger. The book documents green chile cheeseburgers all over New Mexico with the epicenters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There are even green chile pizza, lamb cheeseburgers, vegetarian, make your own, and with every kind of topping known to man."
Hall's Space Buff is teased as such: "The Complete Space Buff's Bucket List talks about, of course, the usual things like great museums, planetariums, astronauts, space suits, rockets, planets, and stars. But it also has duct tape, Tang, Cosmos, movies, space burial, Astronaut Ice Cream, Biosphere, aliens and the Meteorite Crater. Each Bucket List book is dedicated to an appropriate non-profit and this book highlights The National Space Society. If you have things on your bucket list that are not in this book, no fear, because there is a blank list in the back of the book. This book is a fun and light space book that will appeal to astronauts everywhere."
And Hodapp's Santa Fe list is thus described: "The Complete Santa Fe Bucket List Book is the fifth in the series of Bucket List books by Rio Grande Books. Patricia C. Hodapp, Director of the Santa Fe Library, lists all of the Santa Fe events, places, and distinctive fun that makes The City Different is one of the greatest tourist locations in the US. There are 100 things that she thinks are noteworthy including: green and red chile, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, sunsets, blue skies, art of Hispanics, Native Americans and Anglos, museums, Canyon Road and the Plaza."
Awalt has hung and curated countless art exhibits including nine venues for the Our Saints Among Us travelling exhibit. She is also the co-publisher of Tradicion Revista, the only regular magazine featuring the Hispanic arts and culture of the Southwest. She lives in Albuquerque.
Hall, formerly a high school math teacher, started a new career as a freelance writer in 1990. She has written magazine articles on many topics, including travel, business and construction. She has also written reference book chapters on such topics as Native American tribes, biographies of scientists and mathematicians, and how various products are made. In 2009, when plans for Spaceport America, the country's first purpose-built commercial spaceflight facility, began moving forward, she was fascinated to discover the important role New Mexico has played in the development of space travel. She decided to herald that unheralded history by writing Out of this World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel, the only book to document the historic events in the state and the personal stories of the people who accomplished them. She also created a website, NMSpaceHistory.com, to supplement the book with news items and additional insights. Out of this World was named Best New Mexico Book in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards. She is a member of the National Space Society, the Society for the History of Technology, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Historical Society of New Mexico's Speakers Bureau. She and her husband, Jerry, live in Albuquerque."
Hodapp is the director of the Santa Fe Library, and lives in the City Different. Hodapp started her book with questions that she has been asked in the library and on the street. She enjoys encountering visitors with the simple question, “Where are you heading?”