Artist Profile: Nancy Condrey


Thank you for reading this series of Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Nancy CondryQ. What art medium do you work in?
A. I work in acrylic and oil.

Q. Why that medium?
A. I started in acrylic and have now done several paintings in oils. They are softer for blending and truer colors.

Q. What inspires you?
A. The sunsets over Galveston Bay inspired me to pick up my brushes after almost 50 years! The clouds and the colors have me in constant awe of God’s creation.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. I love to paint at our home in Galveston with a whole wall of light coming in off of the Bay.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. As an art student at the University of Texas in the 1960s, I fell in love with the amazing sunsets of George Inness. His attention to detail and the golden glow of the sun as it set fascinated me.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. I love creating things with my hands! Painting, sculpture, needlework, woodcarving, stained glass and photography are mediums that I have enjoyed working in over the years.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. Sherwood’s Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show? 
A. It is my first year and I am very excited to have my paintings included in the show! It is also my first show.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. I hope you are as excited about coming to the show as I am to be in it!

You are invited:
Pendaries Art League
Pendaries Event Center
31 Lodge Road, Rociada, NM
Opening Reception

Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Fran Ryan


Thank you for reading this series about artists and writers represented at the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. Attendees will find a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

A woman of few words, Fran Ryan is a talented artist whose work reflects a gentle nature and deep appreciation for the natural world. In her brief responses she speaks to what is closest to her heart: working at the thing she loves to do in a place that brings her joy. Fran Ryan

Q. What medium do you work in?
A. I work in acrylics and gouache, paint landscapes of Northern New Mexico often with animals or a story line. Also birds and music themes.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. I’m an original Pendaries Art League Show participant; I don’t think I’ve missed one even when not a resident for a few years. I am happy to be back iFran Ryan Painting.n my original home which I built in 1995.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. My work can be seen at el Zocalo in Las Vegas and Tome gallery in Tome, N.M. Also other shows such as New Mexico State Fair Fine Art and Las Vegas Art Council.

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Duffy Peterson


Thank you for reading this Q&A series about artists and writers represented at the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. Attendees will find a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Duffy PetersonBio from el Zocolo website: Duffy Peterson has lived, studied and exhibited her art from coast to coast but spent the majority of her life in Southern California. Loving the New Mexico landscape and its various cultures, she moved to Las Vegas, N.M. in 2006.

A painter since her early teens, Duffy primarily works in oils and acrylics. She has studied painting, drawing, natural dyeing and spinning wools and weaving. Duffy has been exposed to the breadth of the United States and its various local and national art forms.

With two mottoes guiding her, Georgia O’Keefe’s  “It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough I could have it,” and “Never apologize for your art,” (which Duffy always tells her students), she has savored a lifetime of artistic endeavors.

Duffy's HollihocksQ. What art medium do you work in?
A. I work primarily in oils but also acrylics, pastels and watercolors.

Q. Why that medium?
A. At the age of 11, I took oil painting lessons and fell in love with the medium.

Q. What inspires you?
A. All subject matter is interesting but I love landscapes primarily.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. I work alone at my studio usually, but love attending painting classes or with the Camino Real 8 – a plein air painting group to which I belong.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. The artists I most admire are the early Taos artists, Sorolla and any artist who works at his art full time.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. I hope my love of our beautiful Northern New Mexico will be evident in my art.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. I am a founding member of el Zocalo Gallery at 1809 Plaza in Las Vegas, N.M., as well as at exhibits throughout the state and with the Camino Real 8 group

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. I believe this will be my fourth participation at the P.A.L. show. It is an entertaining, relaxing way to exhibit and meet both residents and visitors to Pendaries. People have even attended riding up on horseback!

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. Take a drive through our beautiful New Mexico landscape to Pendaries to meet artists and view their talented work in many mediums.

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm



Author Profile: Kayt C. Peck

The writer's life

Over the next four to five weeks, I will share Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Kayt's Books

From Kayt’s website: Kayt C. Peck has been a professional writer for over 30 years while applying her skills in a variety of situations from serving as a journalist to being a public affairs officer in the US Naval Reserve to efforts as a highly successful grants expert who has raised over $30 million for nonprofit and non-governmental organizations both foreign and domestic. Read more…

In the Q&A below, Kayt responds to questions about her writing. In her day job, Flying Pigs Creative Services she is committed to incubating dreams for nonprofit organizations via fundraising, program development, organizational and project evaluation, and skills training.

Q. What genre do you work in?
A. In novels I primarily write contemporary westerns and magical realism. Although I Kayt C. Peckwrite for a lesbian press out of California (Sapphire Books), my novels are considered “crossovers” that appeal to a general audience. I also write plays, short-stories, and nonfiction articles.

Q. Why that genre?
A. Contemporary western because I love writing about the life I knew on the family ranch in the Texas Panhandle and even today living in the village of Rociada. Magical realism because it feeds my soul, and I pray it does the same for my readers. I think we all could benefit from being more aware of the unseen world.

Q. What inspires you
A. Life! I am amazed at the beautiful complexity of humanity and the world.

Q. What is your preferred work environment as a writer?
A. At my desk, a cat purring beside me as I write and the occasional glance out the window, especially if deer or turkeys happen to be crossing my property.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. That’s a hard question — choosing only one. Maybe it would be the fictional character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird or Idgy in Fried Green Tomatoes. There are so many people who have earned my respect and admiration. I admire courage, integrity, individuality, creativity, humor, open-mindedness, and I have been blessed with many people in my life who embody those traits.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as a writer?
A. That I write because I’m called to do so. I pray my words provide what the readers need as they make their own journey through life whether that be entertainment, inspiration, or a better understanding of what it’s like to build a five-wire fence.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. It’s available through Amazon,, at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, NM, and through Barnes and Noble. Bella Books also sells my work.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. It’s especially gratifying to offer my books to friends and neighbors.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. Home is where the art is!

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Emma Lujan


This is a continuing series of Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7. The opening reception is July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Emma LujanEmma Lujan’s cazuelas (Spanish for cooking pots) pottery reflect her heritage and creativity. This Cleveland, N.M. artist has 20-plus years of experience creating colorful, functional pottery. Her trademark is the vibrant, earthy hues in her cone 6-fired ceramics. She creates Northern New Mexico pottery, specializing in functional wares. Her work is available at El Zocalo in Las Vegas, Mora Spinning Mill and at the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Show.

Q. What art medium do you work in?
A. My work is ceramics, specifically functional pottery fired at cone 6, which results in stoneware.

Q. Why that medium?
A. When I started learning pottery, 20 years ago, the choices were cone 04, a low fired method, almost like a Mexican pottery, or a mid-range stoneware. I loved the functionality of mid-range because it was food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, all the aspects of a functional dish.

Q. What inspires you?
A. I am inspired by vibrant colors and my heritage, which is 47 percent native American. I am attracted to red and blues, yellows and greens. I love purple dishes too.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. My house that we built in Cleveland when we retired, has a full pottery studio for myCeramic Bowl use. Perfect for production pottery. In addition I have a home gallery.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. Three people have inspired me. The first is Andrea Holsen, she was my first pottery teacher. She loved the clay work, whether it was hand building or teaching the wheel.  The second was my glaze teacher, Loetta Lowman. She loved to make glazes, which inspired my love for transforming color. The third was Bill VanGilder. He is a master potter. I took a class from him.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. That my work is personal. I love that it is created with the basic elements that God has provided, earth, water, air, and fire.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. At El Zocalo in Las Vegas, N.M., and various shows in Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Socorro.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. It’s my third year. I love that its local.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. Visit one of New Mexico’s pristine valleys of beautiful mountains, and a wonderful golf course. Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Range makes Pendaries a go-to location to add to your Sunday drive destinations. See you at the Pendaries show.

You are invited:
Pendaries Art League
Pendaries Event Center
31 Lodge Road, Rociada, NM
Opening Reception

Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Books at Paper Trail

Thunder Prime Hunter's Light

My books

Nancy Colalillo is once again into the book-selling business and has kindly added my books in the regional section, along with books by other Las Vegas and area authors. I’m positioned right up there with two of my favorites: Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, and Anne Hillerman, author of authentic Native American novels. They are a good bit more successful and famous than me, but I like sharing the shelves with them anyway.

Of course, Paper Trail sells many other items – more about that on another day – but the books are new and definitely composed of paper… and writing, lots of writing.

My friend Patti Romero, also has her book Prairie Madness at Paper Trail. Stop in and browse for books and other goodies. See a review of the Patti’s book here.

My Titles at Paper Trail:
Thunder Prime Hunter’s Light, Sci Fi / futuristic
The Ballad of Bawdy McClure (No, it’s not a western, more of a futuristic adventure)
Blind Curve, Contemporary fiction
Finding Family, Contemporary fiction
25 Days of Christmas, an Advent Journey, Poetry counting the days up to Christmas
Lines, Poetry in Notion, yes, as you might expect – poetry

For more about these books, click on the Books link in the menu and select the book you want to know more about.

Follow Sharon @
Amazon Author Central


Author Profile: Dr. Ronald Maestas

Folk Art

This is the sixth in a series of Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Dr. Ronald W. MaestasWith in-depth research, retired New Mexico Highlands University professor Dr. Ronald W. Maestas, has created La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes, y Padres – (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives, and Parents), a book full of rich details about Colorado santeros and santeras. In the forward to the book, Dr. Anselmo F. Arellano wrote: Lifestyles, diverse social and cultural habits continue to affect these people (santeros and santeras) and their families and friends, who now live in different areas of the United States, but they continue to retain their faith and an important aspect of their culture, a sincere devotion to their santos. It is sincerely hoped that this book will provide others with a better understanding and appreciation of this cultural and religious experience that has been retained among these families for centuries.

From an article in the Conejos County Citizen: With deep roots in the San Luis Valley, Dr. Ronald W. Maestas has completed La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes y Padres, (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives and Parents) a book on Colorado santeros and santeras, the historical and cultural legacy of Hispanos in New Mexico and southern Colorado. Read more…

Below are his responses to questions about his work and the publication of La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes, y Padres – (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives, and Parents)

Q. What genre do you work in?
A. Hispanic traditional colonial art.

Q. Why that genre?
A. This genre represents hundred of years of Hispanic art in New Mexico and southern Colorado

Q. What inspires you?
The quantity and quality of santero, santera art.

Q. What is your preferred work environment as a writer?
A. I do my best work in the wee hours of the morning. I am able to concentrate without any interruptions

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
Pope John Paul II; he was the most humble man I ever met.  I was fortunate to be in his presence twice in my life!

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as a writer?
That I was fortunate to showcase the work of many of New Mexico’s Hispanic traditional colonial art. The artists opened their hearts, their homes to allow me to write about their fantastic work

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. My books is available on and from me directly. I self published the book; it will soon go into a second edition.  I have included additional artists.  Therefore, I will also self-market the book.  The book is available at Donnlley Library, West Las Vegas High School Library, and the Las Vegas Rough Rider’s Library.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. It is my first year and I am delighted to join other local artists

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
Come out to see local, fantastic artists!

You are invited:
Pendaries Art League
Pendaries Event Center
31 Lodge Road, Rociada, NM
Opening Reception

Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Artist Profile: Chuck Wallace


This is a continuation of the Q&A series of interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show, to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Chuck WallaceFrom the artist’s website: When people find out I’m an artist they many times ask me what I like to paint. I never know how to answer since I paint what catches my eye or what I like. I saw this old truck in a field and thought it had a lot of character. Think of all the stories it could tell. So I took a photo and painted it. – Chuck Wallace

Chuck is a prolific artist who captures a variety of subjects. His website has a small sampling of his colorful and diverse work.

Q. What art medium do you work in?
A. Watercolor painting

Q. Why that medium?
A. I love the spontaneity and unpredictability of watercolor paint along with how clear the colors can be. I also love the ability to layer colors for affect.

DevotedQ. What inspires you?
A. I can be inspired by many different subjects. I’m drawn to the dramatic and/or different perspective of a subject. Color inspires me when it is used in the right way. The paintings of other artists, which stop me in my tracks are usually those which have a dramatic or unusual perspective, include high contrast and beautiful colors.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. My studio with some good music playing. I also love being outdoors and I’m just beginning to do more plein air painting.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. Definitely John Singer Sargent. I’ve always loved his watercolors and a few years ago was able to see 30 or more of his paintings in person. I was mesmerized by his use of color and how he could seemingly with little effort make one brush stroke that made an object or subject pop off the page. His compositions were amazing. I would have loved to watch him paint.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. I believe beauty is something our culture has lost as a value that each human being needs to survive. When God created the world he could have made it gray, white and black, but he chose to make it incredibly beautiful and full of color. I believe this is because he highly values beauty. It is something we all need. I’d like to think that in a small way my paintings when hung in someone’s home can encourage, inspire, and refresh someone. I’d also like people to know that I have a very personal and deep relationship with God from which I draw inspiration. God is the most creative being in the universe and I’d like to think that in some small way a very small fraction of that creativity makes it’s way into my paintings.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. Anyone can go to my website to view other paintings and then contact me if interested in purchasing a piece.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. This is my second year to be in the show. Last year it was great to  meet the people who came through the show and get to visit with them. I also enjoyed getting to know some of the other artists who were in the show. We own a home in Pendaries and so that makes it easy to come to and be in this show.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. For a smaller show, compared to some of the large ones, there is a wide variety of artists to see and it is a very friendly atmosphere.

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Nancy Wallace


This is the fourth in a series of Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Nancy Wallace grew up in Lubbock, Texas and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Spanish. She has worked for a faith-based nonprofit organization for 44 years, and has lived in various places in the U.S. as part of her job. She currently resides in Austin, Texas. Nancy has been coming to New Mexico for vacation since she was three years old. A few years ago she and her husband inherited the family cabin in Pendaries from Nancy’s father. She has always loved being creative, and since moving to Austin has taken up the art of making mosaics, taking various mosaic classes over the years, and has participated in a couple of local shows in Austin.

Nancy WallaceQ. What art medium do you work in?
A. I do mosaics, so my medium is varied: vitreous tile, natural stones, found objects, stained glass, rocks, objects found in nature, broken ceramics and dishes.

Q. Why that medium?
A. I love the texture, the variety of materials, and the happiness of creating art out of broken pieces.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Ilana Shafir, a deceased mosaic artist who lived in Israel, is my inspiration.  She interpreted things from nature into incredibly stunning mosaics, using a variety of materials. The beautiful materials used to make mosaics inspire me.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. The home studio I share with my husband, who is a watercolor artist.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. I most admire Jesus Christ. He is the Great Creator….everything was made through Him.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. That I take great joy in creating and want to bring glory to God through the work of my hands.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. At this point, my work can only be purchased at shows like this one.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. This is my first year as a P.A.L. participant. My husband was in the show last year and that made being in the show this year appealing to me. We both love to create so getting to do a show together is really special to us. Plus, we love Pendaries and New Mexico, so getting to display our art here is such a treat!

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. You won’t want to miss the chance to view and purchase amazing and varied local art in an intimate and relaxed setting against the backdrop of the beautiful Rociada valley.

You are invited:
Pendaries Art League
Pendaries Event Center
31 Lodge Road, Rociada, NM
Opening Reception

Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Kathy McCoy


Over the next month, I will share Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Kathy McCoyFrom the artist: Kathy McCoy has been a soldier, artist , museum director, published author, performing arts director and lecturer. She holds a B.F.A. in sculpture from Northern Arizona University. She worked primarily in bronze and showed professionally in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Kathy was selected as the inaugural artist to show at the DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun in Tucson, now a National Historical District.

Kathy returned to her home in the southeast to complete studies in Applied Anthropology at University of Tennessee and Georgia State University. She became the founding executive director of the Monroe County Heritage Museums in Monroeville, AL, the home of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. At that time she began her journey from visual arts to performing arts. She founded, directed  and toured  nationally and internationally the production of To Kill a Mockingbird,  which was selected as a Millennium Year production at the Kennedy Center.

Kathy continued her visual arts artistry as a performing arts director in Pell City,  Alabama until her retirement . At that time she returned to her “roots” and began finding her way back into visual arts. Kathy now spends her time between Alabama, Florida and LeDoux , New Mexico.

Below are Kathy’sIn the eye of the artist responses to questions about the Pendaries Art League Show scheduled for July.

Q. What art medium do you work in?
A. Oil and ink.

Q. Why that medium?
A.  I like the flows and colors.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Natural surroundings, animals, people.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. New Mexico!

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. I am not influenced by one particular artist  but, like all artists I believe, I am influenced by the works of many ,many artist , past and present.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. I have been both a visual and performing artist all my life.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. Black Belt Treasures, Camden, Alabama, and ARTSCAPE Gallery, Pell City, Alabama. Both are cooperative galleries.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. This is my second year for PAL show. I love meeting the other artists and working together for three days in a beautiful environment.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. Come one, come all to the best little Art Show in the most beautiful valley anywhere!

The  profound beauty of New Mexico is so overwhelming that one has to stop and take notice. And being an artist , I have the passion to interpret that beauty through my oil and ink paintings, whether they be on canvas, tiles or anything with a surface!

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm




Author Profile: Carmen Baca

Over the next month, I will be sharing Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

From Carmen’s Amazon Author Page: Hello! I’m Carmen. As if 36 years in the classroom weren’t enough, I now “teach” from home, helping aspiring authors with their own manuscripts, researching marketing strategies, and working on my next book. You can find me in the mountains of northern New Mexico where my husband and I enjoy a peaceful, quiet life caring for our animal family and any stray that happens to stop by.

Below are Carmen’s responses to a Q&A interview about her work as a writer and published author.

Carmen BacaQ. What genre do you work in?
A. The majority of my works are literary regionalism with a touch of magical realism. My first book, El Hermano, is a historical fiction based on my father’s induction and subsequent rise to leadership of our community’s brotherhood of Hermanos Penitentes. My second book, Las Mujeres Misteriosas, is a ghost story mystery, which pits La Muerte against la Llorona in a fight over the soul of a young woman. My third book, Cuentos del Cañón, is a short story collection. It’s a companion book to the first because it’s comprised of the backstories of characters featured in the first book. My fourth, Viajes con Fantasmas, is a sequel to the second, which will publish this summer. My fifth, a short story cycle, is called La Quinceañera. It’s a parallel narrative of three plots which intertwine in 12 separate short stories. It is currently in the editing stage. I have also published 17 short pieces, fiction and non-fiction, in online literary magazines since 2017.

Q. Why that genre?
A. I found my voice in the first book and discovered that my readers appreciate both the stories I tell and the style I use to tell them. The realization that I could be a small voice whereby I could inform, educate, and entertain those who are interested in my culture is why I love writing regionalistic literature. It’s what I know, what I love, and what I want to leave behind as my legacy to New Mexico’s literature. We New Mexico Hispanics have a rich history, but we are not well-known. We are distinct from Latinos of other countries, and I want to tell everyone I can reach about our uniqueness.

El HermanoQ. What inspires you?
A. A locked wooden box, which revealed the secrets of los Hermanos’ brotherhood, inspired my first book. I was disappointed with the way their religious practices were sensationalized in other publications. I wanted my book to show readers that the brotherhood is so much more than what people think. That box gave me the historical information I needed to set the record straight – so to speak – without revealing private information none of us has to know, since we are not of them. Now, I’m inspired by elements of my culture in addition to religion: dying traditions and customs, superstitions, folklore, and beliefs, lifestyle, dialect — all of which I include in most of my works to show younger generations how our ancestors lived, to remind those my age and older of the old days we share, and to preserve the past. I’m inspired by life and death, real human struggles, my career — so many themes in life to write about. I’m also inspired by a variety of writing genres. This allows me to experiment in writing.

Q. What is your preferred work environment as a writer?
A. I worked as a teacher for 36 years, leaving my beautiful home built by my husband on the land of my ancestors. I retired in 2014 and am living the life of my dreams: working from the comfort of my home surrounded by mountains and meadows. Several times already I have caught a movement in the reflection of my PC, which turns out to be elk or deer peering in the window next to me. There is nowhere I’d rather be.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by this individual?
A. That’s a hard one. I can’t focus on anyone, other than Jesus Christ. I admire those who persevere, who are honest, and humble, and who attain their goals through willpower and courage — too many to name individually.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as a writer?
A. I want them to know that as a student of languages and a teacher of upper level English courses I learned the skills I need to tell stories effectively; I want them to know that for me all elements of the writing process bring me joy. That readers appreciate my works is still new and surreal to me. I don’t know that I’ll ever quite believe what I do now isn’t all just a dream I wanted to realize for over 25 years before that first book published. I want them to know that since I became an author, I have mentored and continue to mentor aspiring writers as I write. The teacher in me wants to help those who dream of being an author experience what I am.

Q. Other than this show, where can you work be purchased?
A. All my books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and Goodreads; they can also be found on a variety of other websites as well as local venues: Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, Op.cit in Taos, Bookworks in Albuquerque and several other locations.

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. The opportunity to meet other authors, readers of my books, and potential readers is the most appealing factor of being a P.A.L. participant. If people from other countries attend this event, I’d love to see what nationalities I can meet as well. The icing on the cake is that I live only a few miles away, so I’m in a place where I’m most comfortable.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. For me personally or for my fellow authors and myself, I’d say — Bienvenidos — welcome; come meet some of our state’s finest story-tellers, a New Mexico tradition for generations.

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You are invited:
Pendaries Art League
Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Artist Profile: Sharon Stillwater

Art and Artists

Over the next month, I will share Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Bio of an ‘Accidental Artist’: From Sharon Stillwater’s website
I was born on a cold, snowy night Dec. 18. Sharon Stillwater1942—a volatile mixture of Native American, faded aristocracy, Scottish reclusiveness and French haughtiness. I grew up in far northern Ohio surrounded by flowers, farm and animals, and looked after by sainted, salt of the earth Midwesterners. It was out of this Edenesque early childhood, that I developed the strength and courage needed to face the struggles of life and to endure. Read more…

Sharon Stillwater has a lovely website. I recommend you go there and look at her stunning art and read her complete bio, including the tribute to her husband. This tells you much about a woman who has found a lifeline in art. She expresses herself in compelling ways with rich colors and creative imagery.

Below are her answers to questions about her has an artist. She is one of the coordinators for the Pendaries Art League show scheduled for July. See event details below the article.

Q. What art medium do you work in?

Q. Why that medium?
A. It is where I first started painting and learning to mix colors in about 1997.  I had actually planned on heading to sculpture but fell in love with colors and oil paint. I love the sheen of oil and find it easier to get soft edges. I do a lot of mixing on the canvas. I also like that you don’t have to put it under glass.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Wilderness and the human psyche.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. My home studio, which is also my sun room.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by this individual?
A. It is not one individual but so many friends and others who live with integrity. They inspire me to keep going, keep hoping and keep trying.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. That I feel that the art comes through me as a gift and I do not feel that it is something my ego can take credit for.

Aspens in WinterQ. Other than this show, where can your work be purchased?
A. My home studio and through my website as well as my agent, (see my web site).

Q. Is this your first year as a P.A.L. participant and what appeals to you about being in this show?
A. This is my 16th year.  I have been with the show since its beginning.

Q. What is your one-line invitation to the Pendaries Art League show?
A. This show brings together wonderful local artists who enjoy doing their art and sharing it.

You are invited:
1 Lodge Rd, Rociada, NM
Pendaries Art League Show

Opening Reception
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Art Show
Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 7, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Ensemble to perform June 1

Sound Circle

Little Road

Press release
Sound Circle, a 19-voice women’s a cappella ensemble based in Boulder, Colo., will perform The Little Road: Songs of Journey and Home, at First United Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, June 1 at 4 p.m.

Fresh, fun, warm, and reassuring, the concert contains a range of styles and colors, grounded in simple presence. Following the performance there will be a potluck meal in the church fellowship hall, located at 1000 Douglas Ave. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share.

Sound Circle offers music that speaks of their experiences of the world, with attention to authentic voice and awareness of the healing power of ensemble singing. Most of the music is contemporary, and much of it is created by women. Sound Circle performances are consistently noted for creativity and depth of programming, as well as expressing warmth, freshness, and beauty. For more information about Sound Circle, see

Sound Circle singer Celeste Niehaus said: “I sing in Sound Circle because the community of women and the music feeds my very soul. After twenty years, the women of Sound Circle are my family and to make music with them is like being home.”

First-year singer Janice Jones said: “I sing in Sound Circle because I love the intimate engagement with each other and with the music, but I especially love concert time when we invite the audience into our circle.”

Katie Palmer, pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church, invited the group to perform in Las Vegas. Before moving to Las Vegas, she sang with Sound Circle’s sister chorus in Boulder, Resonance Women’s Chorus. Sound Circle will also sing in Taos on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. with Becky Reardon’s trio Shepherd Moon at the St. James Episcopal Church.

Tickets for the Las Vegas concert are $10 per person, available from the Presbyterian church office, from individual members or at the door on the evening of the event. For more information, call 425-7763. One-half of proceeds from the concert will be given to support the Dinner Ministry of the local church, which prepares weekly meals for Samaritan House clients.

From information provided by Sue Coffee, Sound Circle artistic director.


Canva Classic

Canva, a design website, is an amazing resource for bloggers and content developers. Much of the content is free and even the premium backgrounds are inexpensive. There is a pro version for a monthly subscription fee. Depending on your needs, it is an excellent affordable resource. The graphic below, and it’s content, is downloadable as is, or you can use the template and add your own information. I can’t recommend it highly enough. To be an exceptional graphic designer, consider a degree from New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts. It is a cutting-edge program that has led graduates to stellar careers.

How to become a graphic designer

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central


For Writers

Eat the Cake

Thunder Prime Hunter's Light

Sitting in the eye of the storm,
in front of a handful of skeptics.
Will it be an epic fail,
or an open door to converts?
Readings are a test of a writer’s mettle,
something you must do… and do again.
Writing is but half the battle,
sales and reviews become your goal.
The fun is over. Now the work begins.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central


Dandelion Light



Dandelions dot the landscape,
yellow bright against spring greens.
Once, I thought them a nuisance,
now I give thanks for their value,
providing nectar for bees
and salad greens for the daring gourmet.
Mostly I love their perky color
and joyful reminder of spring days
and the lazy hum of life.

TPHL - Cover web2Book Signing & Reception
Featuring Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light
by indie author, Sharon Vander Meer
Saturday, 2 p.m., May 4, 2019
Paper Trail, 518 Bridge St., Las Vegas, NM

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central

Quick Look @ Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light

Thunder Prime, Hunter's Light

Book signing and reception, 2 p.m., May 4
Paper Trail, 158 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, NM
Tune in to KFUN May 1, 9 a.m., for a preview.

Thunder Prime Hunter's Light

Follow Sharon @
Amazon Author Central


Sci Fi Book Signing May 4 at Paper Trail

TPHL - Cover web2In Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light, Pella Soames allows nothing to stand in the way of her search for her mother. Taken from Earth by a known galactic slave trader, Trish Soames is presumed dead, but Pella doesn’t believe it. Not a downed transport, attempts to abduct her and well-meaning friends who want to stop her mad and dangerous search will stay her resolve. Fate, unexpected help and Pella’s wily sense of self-preservation keep her out of the hands of abductors… mostly.

When events conspire to bring her closer to reaching Chandor, a planet at the edge of the galaxy, Pella is faced with the difficult choice of protecting the children who have come into her care or using them as a means of reaching the holding of the hated Chandorian chieftain who took Pella’s childhood away.

Pella’s quest is further complicated by the realization her father had a hand in her mother’s abduction and seems to be party to attempts to kidnap her as well. How can she overcome the obstacles to finding the truth?

Thunder Prime Hunter’s Light is the fifth novel published by Vander Meer, and is the sequel to her first novel, The Ballad of Bawdy McClure, published in 2009

 Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light may be purchased in Las Vegas, NM, from Paper Trail, 158 Bridge Street, through online retailers and directly from the author. For more information contact Vander Meer at She writes regularly at about a variety of topics.

Vander Meer’s other works include Blind Curve, Finding Family, Future Imperfect, and The Ballad of Bawdy McClure. She has also published two chap books of poetry and a book of daily inspirational readings.

Vander Meer will be a guest on the KFUN Las Vegas 1st Business Alliance radio show on May 1 with Nancy Colalillo, and will be featured at a book signing and reception at Paper Trail on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m.

Follow Sharon @
Amazon Author Central


2 new shows at Mayeur Projects

Art and Artists

Mayeur Projects proudly presents JUGNET + CLAIRET “Cue Marks” and Eléonore CHENEAU “White Cline Corners”

Cue Marks
Jugnet + Clairet, CUE MARKS Series, SPITFIRE #4-1942, 2018 Snow white neon on a black background, 9 x 9 in

The show runs May 3 – June 15, with an opening reception, Friday, May 3, 5 – 7 pm. Mayeur Projects is located at 200-202 Plaza Park, Las Vegas, N.M. Open hours May 4 – 5, 11 am – 6 pm (special week-end), and on Saturdays, 11 am – 6 pm. Open other days by appointment. Contact Christian Mayeur and Anne Poux, founder and owner and associate director,

Jugnet + Clairet
“Our work explores and develops that which escapes the ordinary attention of the surrounding world and comes back to an intimate art history.

All that is imposed by sudden emergence, strangeness, dazzlement.

Our point of view is peripheral, we are interested in the margins, the background, the depths.

Cue Marks or ‘cigarette burns’ are that artifact that signals to the projectionist that a film reel change is imminent; it enters furtively yet instantaneously and mostly at the top right of the frame.

The Cue Mark comes from film history, the machinery of cinema, the physical weight of the reel. It’s a legacy, a relic. Today, films are digitized and transmitted on a cable. The Cue Mark no longer has a presence, but still is present, escaping the notice of the everyday viewer. Two episodes of Columbo bring this mechanism vividly alive.

In 2012, we began working on a chrono-typology of Cue Marks.Today we use this repertory to create paintings, video installations and works in neon.”
Jugnet + Clairet live and work in Lamy, New Mexico.

Eléonore Cheneau
“It’s an overlay more than a monochrome. I have a range of gestures, which I stop at some point. I paint, I sand, I spray. What guides me, time, emotions, desire, moments, memories, I sometimes feel like being an archaeologist. I sand, it means being on the edge, remove without destroying.”

Eléonore Cheneau mainly paints, first on paper and for ten years on canvas. She is concerned with problems internal to painting, where matters are intertwined, and where order and disorder are put at work. How to work without vision or prior intention. Painting is made by accumulation of gestures, sedimentations, differentiated times, additions or even withdrawals. A series of gestures make up the paintings: paintings painted with each other, one by the other, overlays, sanding, paint projections through stencils, grids, etc.

The tables contain all these moments, they are hardened by time, stratified. Time establishes a remote, some covered gestures are forgotten, as far as sanding brings back the older layers.

The image is born from the gesture and state of matter, mechanically.
Eléonore Cheneau lives and works in Paris, France.

Used by permission: Mayeur Projects, 200-202 Plaza Park Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Run by French collectors and entrepreneurs Christian Mayeur & Anne Poux, Mayeur Projects is a contemporary art gallery and creative company, supporting emerging as well as established artists. The Mayeur Projects building is one of the more than 900 historic buildings in Las Vegas, and has a particularly rich history.





Jesus didn’t come into the world
to save the good
and decide who is bad.
He was not an obstacle-maker,
he was – and is – a bridge-builder,
the connection to salvation and freedom.
That’s the man who suffered and died,
rose again on the third day
and remains a guiding light for all.
Not just the believer,
but all who will see the way ahead
through the eyes of love and compassion.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central

5 Reasons you are important

Flower Border

Volunteers Wanted

When I go to meetings, I often see the same faces. These are dedicated folks who believe in making a difference, and who believe there is a difference to be made. They Will Rogerssometimes suffer criticism instead of praise for their efforts, but this does not deter them. They show up, give their opinions, lend their support, stand up for the promise of a better tomorrow, and forge ahead. They volunteer for business groups, animal welfare activities, social justice causes, civic improvement organizations, and anything else you can think of that will make your life and mine a little better. They don’t get paid, and most go unrecognized. These engines for change are the lifeblood of a vibrant community. If you aren’t currently working for the betterment of the community as a volunteer, here are a five reasons you might want to come to the next meeting of interest to you, and sit down at the table.


Ideas are the seeds of change. Without ideas, there would be no iPad, iPhone, or iMac. There would be no interactive notebook that responds to a touch. There would be no music, no art, no books, no invention of any kind. It all begins with an idea. If you think your ideas aren’t important, think again. You can and will make a difference, but only if you are at the table.


I’ve been at the table many times, perhaps too many times, some might say. My perspective comes from my frame of reference. I still believe my perspective has value, but so does yours. When decisions are being made your thoughts count. If you aren’t present, those thoughts won’t be heard, not because your perspective is being ignored, but because you aren’t there to represent it.

Kick the lid off the box

It is an unfortunate fact of organizations that sometimes leaders become mired in procedure and process and forget their primary purpose, whatever that may be. The board and membership ages. Individual members become complacent or overburdened. In either case the lid must be kicked off the box so new energy, new leaders, new members can come pouring in. Leadership development is as critical as new ideas. Your presence and participation as a new volunteer can make that happen. You can learn from and be mentored by seasoned volunteers.

Your Experience

Nobody brings to the table what you bring. Your experience at every level will help inform and define the organization you become involved in. You will get out of it exactly what you put into it. Your experience will make the organization better and stronger for your participation.


Getting acquainted with people you don’t ordinarily encounter is an excellent way to expand your horizons. Their energy, their ideas, their dedication will energize you, inspire you, and broaden your creativity. Studies have shown that people who are more involved and engaged in life are happier. Volunteering is good for you. So, come to the table. Be a part of making your community great. Just as seeds need water and sun to grow, organizations need your fresh ideas, perspective, and experience. They need you to kick the lid off the box and pour in your creativity and energy. And isn’t it encouraging to know you will benefit from the experience?

All About You


Stand OutYour purchase of a single-page artist or business profile will serve multiple purposes for a one-time fee of $67.50. Purchase includes 30 color copies of your profile on quality paper. Uses for the profile include:

  • Outline for news releases
  • Sales stuffers
  • As a flyer for promotional purposes
  • For openings
  • To share your expertise
  • Sets you apart from the competition
  • May be used as your website business profile

View samples: Andrea GottschalkTito Chavez

Next steps:

  1. Provide a list of all web addresses where you post information.
  2. Provide digital images (2 or more) to be used with your profile.
  3. Provide email address and cell phone number
  4. Email this information to

Within 48 hours you will receive 10-12 questions. Respond to the questions and return your responses to

Within five days you will receive the first draft of your profile. You will receive subsequent drafts until you give final approval. Upon approval, you will receive the following:

  • 30 color copies of the profile on quality paper
  • A PDF copy of your profile for distribution in whatever manner you choose
  • One-time revision of copy within the first year

A featured article on

Click here for more information about Sharon, call 505-617-0839 or email

Order profiles in the shop.

2 Ten April Show


Corner ShotPerspective. It has more than one definition, but for an artist, perhaps it is the vanishing point of reality from which creation occurs. In the mi casa es su casa show at 2 Ten Galeria on the Plaza, it takes on new meaning in the context of how artists selected the work they chose to exhibit. Some is new work; some was selected from a prolific body of work by individual participants. Each artist looked at the theme with different eyes. Some stayed true their artistic roots while others ventured into unfamiliar mediums.

For this piece I asked the artists who wished to participate to answer three questions:

  1. What appealed to you about the theme mi casa es su casa for the April show?
  2. Did you create something new for the show, and if so what and why? If no, other than theme, why did you select pieces from your body of work to exhibit?
  3. What word best reflects who you are as an artist, and why that word?

The feeling one gets from reading the responses is one of personal connection that extends beyond the work. Perhaps Duffy Peterson’s comment – which touched on all the questions and expressed the connectedness of an artist to her work – best captures the celebratory nature of creativity.

“My painting, Home At Last, references my past and present. Having lived all over the country, finding Las Vegas, NM 15 years ago was almost a calling! We couldn’t move here fast enough! Finding friends and fellow artists who continue to support artistic endeavors has been enriching and most of all fun.” -Duffy Peterson

Fran Ryan also addressed the questions as a reflection of her creative process.

My small painting was done for the show, when I was away from home. It is not like my home at all except for the chair and bird feeder, which are mine. My paintings always have some feeling I experienced when I took the reference photo or painted on site. Most of the time I don’t realize this until the painting is done. -Fran Ryan

I found the artists’ responses to the questions thoughtful and revealing. They are reproduced here with permission.

Theme responses:

Michael Peranteau and Linda AnderleLinda Anderle:
I had made a number of the felt embroidered houses for family members and the ideas just multiplied. I share my studio time long-distance texting with an artist friend in Texas, Laurie Davis, who is primarily a watercolorist. She had sent me a watercolor book-marker of a house and at the time was concentrating on tiny (2″x2″) house watercolors. She was painting one a day and I suggested we do a HOUSE show. That’s how it started. I further decided to do an invitational show of our local artists. It worked out nicely for our 3rd anniversary, asking artists to bring their idea of house/home to our “home.”

Lisa Lawrence:
When Linda first mentioned the show, I thought she was referring to concepts of “home;” what “home” meant to different folks. The piece I had done that came to mind immediately had the word “home” in its title, “Home Is Where You Hang Your Beret …,” and took the concept away from bricks and mortar, placing it squarely between a person’s ears, in the mind. But, this does not necessarily make it less accessible or less likely to be shared with another. As a state of being, a relationship with all the multidimensional data one collects in one’s lifetime as one goes down the road, “Home” is where one docks, where an anchor is thrown down, where lamps or candles are lit for the duration, however long that may be. It is a place of insights, inner vision from whence to launch action in the outer world.

Lin Chibante:
Home is a comfortable place for me. Many images come to mind that represent my feeling of house/home.

Mary Search:
The show appealed to me because Linda’s exuberant personality motivated me to play with the house idea in the clay studio. Since I’m committed to making the 2 Ten Gallery a vital presence in Las Vegas, I thought I would join in the “house idea” and see what I could do.

Sharon Stillwater:
I saw House as a metaphor for Home. Home, the place where we can be protected nourished and made whole again. Home, a place of nurture and love, a place for ourselves, and a place to share with others. Homelessness is a human condition which brings out in me the profoundest of compassion, and so sharing home feels like something that heals.

Meredith Britt:
I knew the warmth associated with thoughts of house and home would pull together a cohesive exhibit. Besides that, I have many pictures of houses and other buildings because I like to work with angles and perspective.

Kim and ElaineElaine Querry:
Mi casa es su casa is an inviting and welcoming slogan. It reflects a generosity of spirit for which I think most people long. The theme evokes a sense of openness and sharing to friends and strangers both.

Frank Beurskens:
The theme is curious for its timing while as we live in a political period where people are being driven out of their home of origin, to seek a new home in another country. The phrase usually implies a welcoming, but in the current time, it seems the phrase is reversed to suggest “my house is mine and you stay in your house.” The theme conjured up a primitive image.

Kimberly Reed-Deemer:
I’ve always been drawn to interesting and/or historic structures, whether it’s the form, or the location and how people use or have used them.

New or selected from existing work responses:

Linda Anderle:
Some new… I added the paper and cardboard houses to other work I had created.

Lisa Lawrence:
While I made the piece in the late 1990s, it is interesting that my first time exhibiting it comes precisely as I have put my renovated house – my bricks and mortar “home” – on the market.

Lin Chibante:
New. I had nothing appropriate. I found “house” images that suggested my ideas of ” home” and I went along with the images using fabrics and objects that seemed right.

Mary Search:
New. I thought I would join in the “house idea” and see what I could do, and alas! A little solar casa came out of the kiln the morning of the show.

Sharon Stillwater:
I simply selected pieces from my collection that fit with the theme. Many of my pieces deal with Home at a personal level for me. I chose the ones I felt were the most accessible and might most clearly evoke in others the notion of home.

Meredith Britt:
I entered work I already had. I picked images of houses in the two places I love most: Westcliffe, Colo., and Las Vegas, NM. The three paintings and the collage all depict humble homes.

Elaine Querry:
I selected pieces from two existing bodies of my work. When I began searching for images that would fit the theme, these pieces jumped out for their sense of timelessness, peace, and connection to the spirit. The Teepee image was taken at a Taos Pueblo Buffalo Pasture Powwow. The two Grand Canyon River Trip images are of the Nankoweap granaries that date back to AD 1100 and are located high above the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Frank Beurskens:
The simple ceramic huts appeared spontaneously while staring at some cut out slabs Mary Search had in her ceramic studio. When she mentioned the show’s theme, the simple structure emerged, technically primitive and childlike.

Kimberly Reed-Deemer:
The paintings I have in this show are some I had done many years ago when I was just out of school and living in my home town, which like Las Vegas, has many historic buildings. I’ve never had the opportunity to show them in New Mexico, so this exhibit was a good match for the paintings.

What word best reflects who you are as an artist, and why that word?

Back to FrontLinda Anderle:
Eclectic. I like the way it sounds. And I am truly multifaceted as are my artistic endeavors.

Lin Chibante:
Newbie. I only discovered fabric art a few years ago and I’m having fun exploring its possibilities. I love using the mediums of fabric and thread in new ways.

Mary Search:
Learning. I feel so fortunate to have my own space for playing and creating as I join the post- work seniors in retirement. It is very soothing to find satisfaction in the use of my hands to learn the skill of hand building and throwing on the wheel. Being in the studio allows me to enter a state of meditation. Life is good here in Las Vegas for me.

Sharon Stillwater:
Accidental. I did not set out to become an “artist” and do not think of myself in those terms. I am just a person who is drawn to create. I feel that it is as much a devotional act as anything. It is a gift that allows me to stay connected with the deeper levels of myself and the Great Mystery. I have been drawn to creating all my life and have often used it as a way to express myself, both to myself and on a deeper level to the Great Mystery/Presence especially during my hardest times emotionally. It did not occur to me until late in my life that what gave so much to me and made me feel the restorative power of love, might also produce something that touched others. I am glad to share what I can. Art simply comes through me, I do not own it even though it heals and restores me. As such I do not really think of myself as “an artist.”

Meredith Britt:
Inspired. Why else would I do it?

Elaine Query:
Shadowcatcher. I’m a photographer. Someone who records light and shadow, and shadowcatcher to me represents what I do as an artist.

Frank Beurskens:
Bricoleur. To create with what is at hand, in the moment, into what the material wants to be. Never with forethought, done largely to shut off the conscious mind which is the escape art can be; allowing something to emerge out of nothing.

Kimberly Reed-Deemer:
Dogged. I will keep working, keep showing where I can, and keep doing what I have to and want to do.

2 Ten Galeria is itself a matter of perspective. When you walk in the door you might believe that what you see is what you get. Do not be deceived. Walk the corridor and check out the wall spaces and tiny rooms packed – artistically, it must be said – with wearables, food, art and more. And the best part is that this gallery joins with all the others in the Plaza/Bridge Street corridor in providing artists a means by which they may show and sell their work.

Happy 3rd anniversity, 2 Ten Galeria.

Other aritsts participating in the April Invitational Show are: Laurie Davis, Denise Fox, Stuart Gelzer, Bob Henssler, Mary Rose Henssler, Harry Lieppe, Angela Meron, Martin Montoya, Terry Mossman, and Patty Nelson.

Photos: Sharon Vander Meer

PAD – April 2019


I am participating in the Poetic Asides annual Poem a Day challenge. I’ve done it in the past, but for some reason, skipped last year. It’s great writing exercise and gives me food for thought about poetry in general, and my engagement in particular. I’ve published two chap books of poetry, some of which have shown up on this site, as well as several brand new poems as time and the tides of life inspire me. Below are the poems I’ve posted on the PAD site thus far. The poems are based on writing prompts from Robert Lee Brewer, senior content editor of the Writer’s Digest writing community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He is a poet and writer (yes, I know, a poet IS a writer, but for some reason the two disciplines seem to be taken as separate children of the pen), and is the catalyst for me to be as much a poet as I am a writer.

DAY 1: A morning poem

Morning bursts over the horizon,
joy-filled with bright bunches of red
shot through with gold
tinged with orange sherbet,
infused with soft yellow cream.

Silhouettes of trees
outlined in stark relief
against this burst of color
a dance of nature in the raw
making a statement about God’s creation.

There is no power
like the power of daybreak,
streaking across the sky,
tendrils of light bringing anticipation,
charged with hope.

Day 2: Worst case / best case poem

My life is framed by you.
Is that a good thing, yes or no?
I have no life outside the boundaries
of who we are together,
no activities, associations, plans…
It’s all about us, we, together forever.
Am I comfortable in these confines?
Are you? Do you just want to hide sometimes?
I do, but there is nowhere to go beyond the frame.

I am framed by your love,
enclosed in the warmth of
who you are, who we are together.
You are my heart, my joy in life,
my today and my tomorrow.
I can think of no better place to be
than inside this frame, with you.

Day 3: An animal poem

Panda black and white
eating bamboo bright and green
rain falls crystal light.

Day 4: An artist poem

splatter and spatter, drizzle and drip
down a canvas awaiting the tip
of an artist’s endeavor to astound

the public perception
of artistic perfection
can be nowhere found

in Jackson Pollock’s
thousand-dollar frolics
in which mockery resound

did he question our sanity
as we peruse Pollack inanity
or was it simply ego unbound

Day 5 – A stolen poem

Sometimes – not often,
but sometimes – I feel as
though writing fiction
is stealing from real life,
but I do it anyway
because as a writer
what I’m putting on the page
is – for that span of time –
more real than real life
will ever be. The woman
on the page is who I want to be,
vibrant and sassy, brave and constant,
controllable in the way the real me
can never, ever be,
until suddenly
the protagonist asserts her personality,
and my momentary control
is stolen, just – like – that!
Ah, the joy of writing fiction
and the conundrum of what is real
and what is the woven web
of the writer’s imagination!

Day 6 – An after poem

So it is written
in the loopy tendrils of
greening vines, life is.

My chap books of poetry are available online or at
Type Poetry Book in the subject line. Read more here about the chap books of poetry.


It’s all about health

Infinite Health Center

Drs. Carlos and Elena SandovalAs health care providers, Las Vegan Drs. Carlos Sandoval and Elena Sanchez Sandoval want to take their patients’ health to the next level. They believe you can unleash your body’s innate ability to heal, and are trained to help you get there. Their chiropractic office, Infinite Health Care in Santa Fe, NM, provides a range of services with that in mind. The couple earned their doctorates in chiropractic medicine at Life Chiropractic College West in San Jose, Calif. Below they respond to questions about their health philosophy.

Q: You had different experiences that influenced your decision to become chiropractors. Would each of you talk briefly about those experiences?
Carlos: We both discovered chiropractic the same way the majority of people discover chiropractic, a low back injury. I was 21, and at that time had no idea what a chiropractor was or did. I was working out one day. When I went to rack the weight after a set of squats, I missed the rack and dropped 350 pounds on my back. It was the worst injury and pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. The low back pain was excruciating. I went home and took painkillers, and iced it, thinking it would go away in a day or so. I was wrong. I woke up the next morning not able to stand up, and the pain was worse. This continued for the next five days. I finally went to my medical doctor and he did the only thing he knew to do to get me out of pain, which was to prescribe opioids. Little did I know a person is not supposed to take opioids for more than four days. My prescription was good for two months; it got me out of pain, but didn’t fix the problem. I took the pills but was not back to living my normal active life. I was on opioids for a month a half before I ran into a friend who was a nurse. She explained to me the dangers of opioids and suggested I go see her chiropractor. I immediately made an appointment with Dr. Powers, the local chiropractor at the time, to see if he could help me out. After a consultation and a couple of x-rays he sat me down and explained exactly what was wrong with me, and laid out his recommendations to fix it. I followed his recommendations and just after a few visits I was completely out of pain and no longer in need of the opioids. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The longer I stayed under care, the more I noticed how other health issues such as digestive problems and chronic sinusitis, started to improve or diminish. At the time I was going to school at NMHU to become a physical therapist, but after my time in Dr. Powers office, it inspired me to become a chiropractor. I applied to schools and that’s where my journey to become a chiropractor started.

A: Elena: When Dr. Carlos started chiropractic college I was trying to figure out what I wanted. I knew I wanted to be in the health field, I wanted to have opportunities to teach others about health through nutrition and exercise, and was also fascinated by the field of radiography. The college we went to offers something called “Champions Weekend.” They host you at the college for a weekend to learn what chiropractic actually is. I went into the weekend thinking it was all about pain relief. My world was completely turned upside down. Not only did I learn that chiropractic is about health and how our bodies heal and function, but I also realized how my own body had changed while under chiropractic care myself. When Dr. Carlos was under care with Dr. Powers in Las Vegas, I got under care as well, not really knowing what it was for or about, I did it because Carlos said it would be good for me and that it would help with my workouts. After about three months I noticed that I no longer needed my inhaler to be active; I could breathe and recover completely on my own. My menstrual cycle was for the first time since it started completely normal and regular; it used to come and go and last for weeks to a month at a time and the cramps were unbearable. Seasonal allergies I had every spring no longer existed. Chiropractic has given me my life and potential back.

Q. After practicing in California following graduation, what brought you back to New Mexico and why Santa Fe?
After California, we initially moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., thinking that was going to be the place we called home. However, after living there for three months we realized that it wasn’t the place for us. New Mexico is our home and we felt called to come back to our home state to serve the people here. There are not that many chiropractors in the area and we felt that our friends and family were not getting the care they deserve. So we packed up, left Colorado and settled down in Santa Fe. The moment we got back to New Mexico, we knew we made the right decision. It’s been amazing to help our friends and families who have come into the office, as well as all the other amazing people we have come across.

Q: In life, we look at obstacles as challenges or opportunities. What are the opportunities you face in building your patient base in the City Different?
Two things come to mind and both have to do with educating our community. First, there is a major misconception about chiropractic. People think it is only about neck pain and back pain. There is so much more to chiropractic than that. Chiropractic has the ability to influence a person’s overall health because of the intimate relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and individual nerves. This system is what controls every function in the body. The main point of the spine is to support and keep us upright, but also – and more important – to protect the spinal cord. A healthy spinal cord is essential to our overall health. If the spine is not in its normal position, this could affect the function of your overall health.

Second, people don’t value their health enough to be proactive about it. Health is our greatest asset and if we lose our health, we lose everything. The majority of people wait until they get a symptom or get sick, then want to cover it with a pill, lotion or potion. They think that if they look good or feel good then that must mean they are healthy. The unfortunate problem with that is, by the time someone is experiencing a symptom it can be a lot harder to get back to health, or too late for successful treatment.

Q: Talk about some of the ways you are getting your name before the public?
One is utilizing social media such was Facebook and Instagram. We do our best to put out tons of valuable information to the public on chiropractic and health. Another way, and one of our favorites, is doing corporate health talks and lunch and learns. We partner with local businesses to arrange a day we can take them to lunch and do a health talk for them. They are always fun and a great way to get our name out and educate the community as well.

Q: What services do you provide that address your patients’ overall health?
What sets us apart is that our office is a “health center” not just a chiropractic center. Chiropractic is the foundation to getting our patients back to 100 percent health. We know there is a normal position for the spine, which is perfectly straight from the front, and from the side there should be 3 perfect 45-degree curves. When our spine is in that position, there is no stress on the nervous system, the brain is communicating with the body the way it should at 100 percent, and the body is functioning and healing the way it is intended to do.

Most people we see don’t have spines in that position. This is where we implement our spinal corrective technique to get the spine back to its normal position, which allows for better overall health, functioning and healing. We also work with our patients on nutrition, exercise, developing a positive mindset and becoming more aware of the toxins around them. We do one-on-one consultations, but the big thing we do is our monthly educational workshops on specific health topics. This is to help our patients become more health conscious and to make better-informed decisions about their health.

Q: What do you most want potential patients to know about you as providers of health care?
Health is a journey, and we are with our patients the entire journey. We truly care about people, want to see them well. Our goal is that people are THRIVING and not simply surviving, we want our patients to enjoy their lives with their loved ones doing what they love doing. We offer our help and guidance to everyone.

Q: What can a patient expect when he or she comes to your office?
Our office is unique compared to most other chiropractic offices. It takes a little more to become a patient because of the specific spinal corrective process we implement. It is a 3-day/step process. Day 1 is data-gathering day. This is the visit during which we gather all the information we need to determine if we can help that patient. This includes a comprehensive consultation, examination and necessary x-rays. The second visit, we bring the patient back the next day to let them know if they are a good candidate for our office, spinal correction and chiropractic. If they are, they will receive their first chiropractic adjustment and a follow-up stress x-ray to see how they responded to the chiropractic adjustment. At this time, we have all the information we need to determine how many visits and how long it will take to correct the patient’s spine back to its normal position. That brings us to the third visit, our required new patient workshop. In the workshop we teach them what normal x-rays should look like, how it affects their health and why it is important to get adjusted. We teach them and give them all the information they need to be the doctor so that it is a doctor-doctor relationship not a doctor-patient relationship. This helps our patients understand their problem in more depth and detail, which helps them get better, quicker results. After the workshop, which is about 20-30 minutes, we go into private rooms, go over the patient’s x-rays, the care plan on what it’s going to take to correct the problem, and the financial investment.

Once the patient signs up, every time they come in for a visit they follow a three-step process. Step 1 is to warm up the spine. We teach our patients specific spinal corrective exercises to help warm up their spines for the adjustment, build strength and mobility in the spine and help hydrate the discs. Step 2 is the adjustment. We meet with the patient at the table to deliver the specific chiropractic adjustment. At the table we have the x-rays pulled up along with the listings of subluxations (misalignments in the spine) that we found, and we use a variety of techniques and tools to adjust. After the patient gets adjusted, they go to our spine and posture rehab area. This is step 3. We use complete body weighting systems and high frequency vibration platforms to reconstruct the spine and posture back to the normal position that it is supposed to be in. This 3-step process is repeated every time they come into our office for the number of recommended visits. We also give our patients a homecare kit and teach them specific exercises to do at home. This a way they can support what we are doing in the office.

Q: Do you treat children and teens as well as adults? How are treatments methods different based on age, or are they?
As chiropractors we do not treat anything. We practice a salutogenic model, which gives birth to health, not the treatment of a specific condition. What we know and do is improve the function of the nervous system, which allows the body to heal and improves overall health. We do have specific CARE for infants, children and teens. We are a family-based office and aim to help our patients from womb to tomb. Dr. Elena is the pregnancy and pediatric specialist and one of the very few in the state. Adjusting and caring for children is different from adults. Infants, children and teens have different spines. Adjustments for children are very gentle, safe and effective. The amount of pressure used to correct the spine of a child is about the same amount of pressure you would use to test a tomato. Since children have not lived and accumulated the stressors that adults have, their care and frequency is much less than that of an adult, and they respond quickly to care, in some cases instantly. Parents have reported that through chiropractic care their children have improved immune systems (get sick less often and recover from colds quickly), improved sleep (especially with infants, they sleep through the night) and improved disposition.

Q: What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
The thing we enjoy most is seeing the health transformations people go through, which allows them to get their lives back. We have truly seen some amazing things happen while people are under chiropractic care.

Infinite Health Center is located at 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite C-2, Santa Fe, NM. For appointments contact their office at 505-772-0114. For more information e-mail and check out their website at,


Writing is what I do

The writer's tools

Thunder Prime Hunter's LightAuthor Sharon Vander Meer: I love sci fi and I love contemporary fiction and I love mystery/adventure and I love poetry. As a writer, I’m told I should stick with one thing or the other, but if a story or poem pops into my head, it will end up getting written. Not everything gets published, but the work of creation is my heartbeat. A writer is what I am; writing is what I do. My dream is that you will enjoy the results of my labor of love.

Character and plot development are like 1000-piece puzzles: you start with the edges and work toward the heart. You don’t get the full impact of the image until the last piece is in. Therein lies the secret of storytelling.

My latest novel – Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light – is now published. The last piece of the puzzle is in place. The book is available as an e-book  ($2.99), or as a paperback ($15). I will have copies available by April 5 if you would like to buy directly from me and get a signed copy.

Sci-fi action and futuristic politics combine in this story of a young woman who is on a quest to find her mother. Pella Soames will allow nothing to stand in the way of her search for Trish Soames, taken from Earth by a known galactic trader in slaves. Not a downed transport, attempts to abduct her and well-meaning friends who want to stop her mad and dangerous search for a woman who may not even be alive will stay her resolve. Fate, unexpected help and Pella’s wily sense of self-preservation keep her out of the hands of abductors… mostly.

When events conspire to bring her closer to reaching Chandor, a planet at the edge of the galaxy, Pella is faced with the difficult choice of protecting the children who have come into her care or using them as a means of reaching the holding of the hated Chandorian chieftain who took Pella’s childhood away.

This is my fifth novel. If you are looking for genre fiction from me, you will be disappointed.  If you’re looking for stories about independent female protagonists, then I have great tales to tell.

 Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light may be purchased from online retailers and directly from the author. For more information contact

Other works include Blind Curve, Finding Family, Future Imperfect, and The Ballad of Bawdy McClure, two chap books of poetry and a book of daily inspirational readings.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central


The Creative Spirit Freed

Never Stop Dreaming
Graphic image -

You have made art in some magical form.
The thing you made is ready to sell.
Excitement pounds! Gallops, if you will,
stirring the heart and mind
to unnamed and unnameable possibilities.
Think of the thrill, the accolades, the glory!

But, wait! What if your brilliant creation
falls flat, has no resilience, gains no traction,
ends up on the scrap heap, a dud, a flop, a bomb?
Snickers and derision scrape like thorns
across your naked heart leaving you only slightly alive,
hope buried under insecurity, a shuddering fear of failure.

Stop. Right. There.
Doubt never lit a fire under anyone.
Fear frustrates flights of fancy,
stabs the brain with “I can’t! I Can’t! I CAN’T!”
That kind of thinking mocks the creative spirit,
binding her with thorny creepers.

You are ART. You are WRITER. You are CRAFT.
Believe in your work. Everything begins
and ends with your confidence in what you
have made, through your sweat and tears,
laughter and fears, worries and joys.
Believe in your WORK or no one else will.

Let excitement pound!
Thrill at the galloping hooves of hope!
You are an innovative life force.
Put it all out there and trust your gift –
whatever that gift may be.
Leave a mark. Inspire laughter. Arouse passion.

You cannot know what your work
will do to, or for someone else.
And does it matter?
What your work has already done
is made a difference in you.
You have done something no one else can do.

Ply your craft with dedication
and single-minded focus.
Create to your heart’s content.
Let excitement permeate the sweating artistic process,
believe and be proud. You produced something unique.
Put it out there with courage and not an ounce of doubt.

Color Graphic

My newest baby!

Thunder Prime, Hunter's LightYea! It is this close to publication! Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light, is the sequel to The Ballad of Bawdy McClure (now under the title Thunder Prime, Fog Island),published more years ago than I care to admit. Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light, has been a long time in the birthing.

Some readers will receive a print copy in the next week or so. Thank you to those who signed up to receive the episodes one-by-one over time as they posted on my website, I hope you will all read the final version as some things have changed.

I can’t express how happy I am to get this into print. It’s a good read with strong characters and a story that could be told in any era, this just happens to occur in the distant future. I read somewhere that space novels are really nothing more than westerns with rockets in the cowboys’ pockets.

I don’t know about that, but in most westerns the good guy wins and rides off into the sunset with the girl. In this case, the cowboy is a girl and you’ll have to read the book to find out if she wins the day, and the guy.

Expected publication date: March 29, 2019. If you would like a review copy, please email I will appreciate you posting your review in all the obvious places, and providing me with a link to the review.

The book will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

For more information or to pre-order Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light, email

A creation story

Apple Blossoms

Blanket Flower


God created people in his own image.
What an amazing thought.
The Spirit that permeates every molecule of creation
is in us as much as it is in
the nurturing soil that brings forth food,
the flowing streams that give life to all,
the neighbor who looks different
but who is of and from God, too.
We and they, are part of a woven blanket,
each thread laid in a pattern we cannot know or see,
which touches us as we touch the other threads.
Our actions
become part of the blanket,
the Spirit that covers us all.

Inspired by Genesis 1:27

Prairie Madness

Prairie Madness

Prairie MadnessPrairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union
Author: Edwina Romero
Publisher: Random Horse Press
Cost: Paperback $18.81, Kindle e-book, $3.99
Available at: Amazon

Edwina Romero is the author of three books about Las Vegas, N.M. history. Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union is her first novel. For more about the author go to

If you like historical novels, you will thoroughly enjoy Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union, by Edwina Romero. If you like a plain old good read, you are in for a treat.

Patti RomeroRomero has blended history and mystery to write an intriguing puzzle surrounding the death of personable Sean Flannery, a first sergeant at Fort Union in the late 1800s. The story involves the complex social structure of fort life with its military personnel, civilian workers, and privately-owned trader’s store. The ever-present winds sigh and bluster across the barren landscape, lending a haunting backdrop to this story of two women and the men in their lives.

Forget stereotypes, with washer women being the low rung on the social ladder, and think instead of the hardy women who ended up at the edges of the wild west. Their resilience is the true story behind this window on the past.

When army laundress Mary Margaret O’Keenan learns Sean is dead, she is convinced from the get-go that it was no accident. Who took the life of the man she had come to love? Mary Margaret intends to find out, ready to confront authority and bring to light clues she comes upon in her determined investigation.

Despite threats and pushback from military officials, she forges ahead with the unlikely but welcome help of Olivia Foote, wife of the post’s contract trader, a man whose motives appear to be less than honorable.

Mary Margaret and Olivia form a bond of trust and friendship that helps them in their pursuit of truth. The historical facts and setting take the reader back to an era when changes were underway for forts across the country. Howling winds batter at adobe walls and trickle through the mind, perhaps scouring away sober judgment and replacing it with the bare bones of greed and self-interest.

Place and character define a good story. In Prairie Madness, these elements are woven together beautifully. The tale moves apace revealing a conspiracy that reaches right into the office of the fort’s commanding officer and beyond.

Mary Margaret has good instincts, but deciding whom to trust isn’t easy. All she knows for sure is that the facts of Sean Flannery’s death must be revealed and the culprit brought to justice.

Paper Trail in Las Vegas, NM, will host a book signing on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m., featuring Romero and  Prairie Madness – Conspiracy at Fort Union. The book is also available online in paperback and Kindle format.


Monday Musings

Easter Morning


My bright ideas
are in stacks of notebooks.
Articles, stories, essays…
 begun but never finished.
Now it’s doc after doc
in a folder called “works in progress,”
yet they never do,
progress, I mean.
Why do I hold onto these tarnished gems?
Beats me.
Perhaps they are like children,
waiting to grow up
and go out on their own.


What did you start,
but never finish?
What did you say
you wish you could say
in a different way?
Can you walk off –
give your hat a doff –
and come back
another day
to pick up,
where you left off?
Is going back
What detritus was left
in your wake
what mistakes did you make?
Can you – I – pick up
where we left off?

Line, Poetry in Notion

Tree of Peace

Plant a tree of peace

Our minister played this during worship today. I thought it was so beautiful I wanted to share it. The song was adapted from a Quaker poem, “Oh Brother Man.” The rendition  below was adapted by Gwyneth Walker. Read more about Walker here.

O Brother Man

by John Greenleaf Whittier

O Brother man! fold to thy heart thy brother;
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

Follow with reverent steps the great example
Of Him whose holy work was ” doing good ” ;
So shall the wide earth seem our Father’s temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.

Then shall all shackles fall; the stormy clangor
Of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease;
Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,
And in its ashes plant the tree of peace!


The Death of Bernadette Lefthand

The Death of Bernadette Lefthand

The Death of Bernadette LefthandA good story is made up of a collection of elements, the most powerful is that magical thing called voice. Who is speaking and what is the storyteller saying from the heart to engage the reader? In The Death of Bernadette Lefthand, author Ron Querry nailed it with Gracie. As the primary source of insight into Bernadette’s life and tragic death, Gracie can’t know everything, so we get to hear from a few other perspectives. But at the core, this is as much Gracie’s story as it is Bernadette’s.

Through Gracie’s eyes we get to see her sister’s world falling apart, attributable to human foible as much as anything, but assigned to fable and witchcraft Native American style, with Singers/medicine men making chilling appearances that portend no good thing.

Gracie reveals the meanness of living on a reservation with little to rely on other than family and tradition. She is not described, but you get the sense of a young woman whose appeal lies in the heart, not in outward appearance. Without guile or jealousy, she concedes to her lovely sister all the attributes she does not have. Her admiration of Bernadette’s spirit, her beauty, her charm, her talent dancing to the music of the drums, all serve to create the love story between sisters. Gracie seems content in Bernadette’s shadow, as though it is the perfectly logical place for her to be. In this shadowland, perhaps she sees what’s coming before anyone else can as Bernadette’s handsome Navajo husband’s life takes a nosedive into the bottle.

The bittersweet truth of the novel is the unanswered question of whether the bad buy gets his comeuppance. It’s left to the reader to decide, but I like to believe that in this good-vs-evil story, evil met his doom in fitting Native American fashion.

The Death of Bernadette Lefthand was first published in 1993 and won the Border Regional Library Association Southwest Book Award and the 1994 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Book Award. It has since received critical acclaim for the author’s ability to depict the intersection between white and native worlds.

Regarding this 25th anniversary edition of The Death of Bernadette Lefthand, Kirkus Reviews wrote: This…beautiful story deserves to be back on the bookshelves of American readers with its innovative, organic use of Indigenous prose form and strong, lovely personalities.

The Death of Bernadette Lefthand is published by Cinco Puntos Press and is available online and in bookstores.

Querry lives in Northern New Mexico in a century-old Queen Anne Victorian house, with his wife, fine art photographer Elaine Querry, and their three cow dogs.

Cover image from Cinco Puntos Press


Book Review

Book Review

Haunted Santa Fe

Haunted Santa FeIt’s that time of year when ghosties, goblins and ghouls come out of the woodwork. Literally according to Haunted Santa Fe, a historical overview of legends and lore born of real people living real lives, and then in the afterlife returning with spectral visitations that make things go bump in the night.

What I like about Ray John de Aragón’s wonderful book is how he ties history to these legendary figures. His richly told accounts stir the mind to a time long before statehood, when many cultures were streaming into New Mexico to join the native peoples already here, not always with favorable outcomes. The tales recounted in Haunted Santa Fe reveal that cultural montage with Martyr Mysteries, Koko Man, Julia Staab, the Forlorn Spirit, La Llorona, and Billy Bonney’s Ghost, among others.

He is an educator who uses stories to bring life to northern New Mexico’s deep and wide history, whether he is delving into fiction, writing nonfiction, or creating a melding of the two. The most interesting tales come from a grain of truth. Aragon broadens the horizon of his prose in Haunted Santa Fe to engage the reader and perhaps elicit a shiver or two.

A native Las Vegan, he brings authenticity to his work by drawing on his roots and remembered stories told to him by elders in his family over the years. Haunted Santa Fe is one of fifteen books he has authored. He has written for or been featured in more than one hundred publications.

As a traveling storyteller, Aragón has thrilled audiences with his frightening and enthralling tales of ghosts and the supernatural. Holding advanced degrees in Spanish colonial history, arts, legends and myths of New Mexico, he has presented on these topics for the New Mexico History Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the University of New Mexico, the College of Santa Fe and many more. His books are available at online retailers or in bookstores.


Fall Trees on the River Walk

Trees turning golden
against a robin’s egg blue
sky I am joy-filled.

Declutter and explore

TreasuresI am bushed! Today was the day I finally tackled the closet into which we shoved everything when Bob went out of private practice and began working for Eye Associates. Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago, 2006 in fact. He’s been fully retired for about two years +/-, but I guess it’s fitting I’m taking on the task in October, since that’s the month he started with EA.

All that stuff we squirreled away? Into the trash, eighty percent of it. Old magazines, old questionable receipts, old eye drops, old letterhead… just old stuff. I still have TWO BOXES TO GO! But I’ve given up for the day.

I’m a person who believes that if you haven’t looked for or used something in three years, you probably don’t need it. Toss it out or see if the Salvation Army Thrift Store can make a little money by selling it.

Once a upon a time I was a Mary Kay Cosmetics rep. I wasn’t very good at it, but I learned this – and should apply it more often – act on it, file it or throw it away. Mary Kay was talking about paperwork, but it applies to a lot of things. How many cords to something do you have in your house but you’re not sure what the something is the cord belongs to? My husband is a pen and paper clip hoarder. Today – without his knowledge (tee hee hee) I threw a slug of them out – only the ones that didn’t work… mostly – and there’s still a bunch left!

So before your dungeon ­– oops, excuse me – storage closet turns into what feels like an insurmountable task, try the five declutter tricks below to bring calm out of chaos.

  1. Mary Kay was right. When it comes to paperwork deal with it immediately – act on it, file it or throw it away.
  2. That magazine you are going to read “later” might still be there three months from now. Consider carefully what you subscribe to so you don’t accumulate stacks of reading material so high the thought of reading it makes your head spin. Recycle by taking to nursing homes, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or preschools and day care centers to be used in crafts. Call ahead to make sure your donation will be accepted and useful.
  3. Take on decluttering one room (maybe one space in a room!) at a time. I’ve been cleaning my office for three days. Yes, it was that bad. Trying to do too much all at once will wear you out and discourage you from moving forward.
  4. Tomorrow isn’t a good day to declutter. Today is. Even if you tidy up your desk or the junk drawer in the kitchen, you will feel so good once it’s done, you’ll be inspired to take on something else… maybe tomorrow.
  5. Be ready for a journey of discovery. Go through everything carefully, you don’t know what you might find. I discovered photos of Bob’s grandparents in a double frame, the Optic announcing when I moved up from society editor to managing editor in June 1993, an Optic photo of me when I worked as a new accounts rep at First Federal, a carved elephant (quartz I think) and an article about Bob and Orville Hughes (prof at Highlands back in the day) announcing a Rotary fund raiser!

So, I’m done for today, even though there are still two boxes to go and a lot of shelf organizing to do, and yes, it was tiring, but it was also fun. More important, I can get into the closet without seventeen things falling out of boxes when I open the door!

Check out Tiny Tome #1.

Tiny Tome #1

Yellow Tulip

cover 6x9I write daily devotionals; it is part of my faith practice. The resulting brief essays are part meditation and part writing exercise. I have quite an accumulation and decided to select 31 for my first tiny tome digital book, Joy in the Morning, Words of Hope and Encouragement. Some are in prose form, some are written as poems.

The books will only be available on this site and in e-format. I hope you are inspired by Joy in the Morning, Words of Hope and Encouragement. Below is a sample.


Day 25
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Temptation is a beast. Not always a ravening beast, one that is evident and huge, jerking you around with relish; sometimes it is far more subtle, a gentle nudge here and there to compromise your values and your morals. C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters pointed out the gradual slide into sin. “You are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness,” Screwtape says to Wormwood. “It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing… Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one.”

God’s promise is the trump card. When we know the beast is at our doors, we know God is there ahead of it, ready to stand with us to overcome.


I will appreciate you downloading Joy in the Morning, Words of Hope and Encouragement, and tell me what you think of it. The next tiny tome will be a collection of short stories.

The revision of Future Imperfect, a story of the apocalyptic consequences of manipulating nature, will begin posting soon.


Las Vegas, NM Book

Las Vegas, NM

Now Available

Las Vegas, NM Pages

It has been a long time in the making, but Las Vegas, NM, 1835 – 1935 is now out and ready for purchase. The price, $39.95, and well worth the investment. It began as the germ of an idea and transformed into a gem of a book. More than 150 pages packed with historical photos, essays, maps and images.

On the flyleaf, Friends of the Museum supporter and bibliophile Nancy Colalillo writes, “… here is our origin story, the birth of Las Vegas, NM. The original Las Vegas as most residents will tell you. Within these pages are the answers to who, why, and how.”

Who were the early leaders, movers and shakers of Las Vegas? Why did development progress in the way it did? How did multicultural influences come together to create the Las Vegas of today? You can find the answers in this beautifully constructed book that covers 100 years of Las Vegas, NM.

This ll” x ll” publication might be looked upon as a coffee table book, interesting to look at and a bit of a conversation starter, but it is also an historical record that is enlightening and entertaining.

“It’s all here: The Spanish explorers and pioneers, the wagon trains, the Rough Riders, the Harvey Girls, the outlaws and desperadoes and ranching legends,” wrote Hampton Sides, best selling author of Blood and Thunder. His review is one of several by noted historians cited on the book’s back cover.

In her summary statement about the book, editor Edwina Portelle Romero writes that Las Vegas, NM, 1835 – 1935 is a snapshot of the 100-year period covered by the book. “…revealed through photographs, each capturing a single moment in time, frozen and selected by a human being… All photographs were selected by Las Vegans of today looking back, reflecting, making sense of the past and its people.”

How the book came together through the agency of a committee peopled by different volunteers over a span of time is a testament to the dedication of the Friends to make sure this story was told in this way. It is a book worth buying. Currently it is available at the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection gift shop.


Boat Lift – 9/11


I posted this sometime ago, but feel it is worth repeating. This is who we are as Americans. When the worst happens, we stand together and help where we can.

BoatsThere are many inspiring stories that have been told about the amazing feats of bravery and compassion on 9/11. I have never seen or heard about this one. I was looking for something inspiring to post today. This is a story that transcends any one event. It is about the best of who we are. Click on the link below. It runs a little longer than the usual quick clips you see, but it’s worth watching.

Boat Lift – 9/11

“A hero is a man who does what he can.” Romain Rolland


This site is the work of Sharon Vander Meer, unless otherwise noted. Please subscribe to this blog to receive future posts. Thank you for “liking” and “sharing”.

My latest book, Blind Curve, is available at, in e-book and soft cover formats. You may get the e-book version of my novel, Finding Family, through Xlibris and other online book sellers. Purchase the e-book here at Xlibris.

Getting healthy

Weight Loss

I hope…

Weight Loss

When I was young, I weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. And then I got married and rocketed up to 153. I took control of my weight and successfully used the Atkins diet, now referred to more commonly at the ketogenic diet. This high protein/low carb eating plan worked. Lots of meat, no potatoes.

Back in the day, Atkins was THE THING for serious dieters. I went from 153 to 120 over a three-month period, and kept the weight off for several years. It slowly crept back and nothing I did seemed to make a difference. I hovered around 140. Not the best weight for someone who is 5’1” (now 4’11”). Yes, I am shrinking vertically; horizontally, not so much.

I did try Weight Watchers, and I must say, it was helpful, but I hated going to all those meetings! Yeah, I know, you can do it online now, but there’s too much of a disconnect when it comes to accountability. What worked with the going-to-meetings thing was an element of competition. Every week I wanted to be the one who lost the most weight.

Anyway, my next major weight loss was the divorce diet. I don’t recommend it. Months of stress, not eating and generally feeling like shit. I went from 140 to 104 in four weeks. No lie. That weight I kept off for quite a while.

Life took a happy turn when I married a wonderful man. I sort of managed my weight without really trying until I quit working full time. And then it packed on. I have no interest in being svelte; I just want to be healthy. So, I thought I’d once again try the Atkins (ketogenic) approach. Turns out, I don’t really like meat all that much, no matter what form or what animal it comes from. I am now embarking on a mission to reduce carbs, eat healthy and avoid meat, especially red meat. Aging doesn’t help, of course. Losing weight in my mid-70s is proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.

I would like some helpful feedback from readers, and tasty recipes (which I will be happy to share with permission), on this blog. You can e-mail recipes directly to me at, or post in the comments below.

Here’s a favorite frittata recipe you might enjoy. Serves two.

Egg and Broccoli Frittata

Flash boil 1 cup of broccoli for 60 to 90 seconds. Drain and set aside
Beat four large eggs with a tablespoon of milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

¼ cup each, chopped red and green bell peppers, sautéed
Chop cooled broccoli and add to bell peppers and continue to sauté.
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup +/- cheddar cheese

Spray pie plate with salad oil. Sprinkle feta cheese over the bottom. Layer the broccoli/pepper mix evenly. Pour egg mixture over everything. Bake in 375-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Cut like a pizza and serve. Note: you can substitute or add green chile. As a side, I marinate chopped tomatoes and avocado in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. Very tasty and it all fits into the ketogenic diet!

There are lots of resources online and I’m checking them out. My arbitrary restrictions are tofu, eggplant and Portobello mushrooms. Sorry, but the texture of those foods makes me want to retch up every cookie I ever ate.

I wish I was one of those people who post photos of themselves to show the “before” and “after” of a weight loss plan, but I’m not. So, I’ll simply say I am beginning today – Thursday, August 30, 2018, at 153.4 pounds – on a mostly vegetarian quest to lose sensibly with the intent of being healthy, not skinny. I left skinny in the dust decades ago.

Here are five healthy body affirmations to keep me motivated. If you have some you would like to share, send them to me!

  • Nothing tastes as good and being healthy feels.
  • Healthy body, healthy spirit.
  • Saying no to carbs means saying yes to the dress.
  • I will eat to live, not live to eat.
  • Being active strengthens body, soul, mind and spirit.

Why am I doing this and sharing it with readers? Health, pure and simple. I can’t walk a block without breathing hard. I can’t climb stairs easily. There’s more, but you have better things to do than listen to me whine. I’m making a personal contract to make this work. Goal? Good health!

Lift a little prayer for me to stick with it. If you feel like joining me on this quest, please let me know about your progress and your struggles. Perhaps we can encourage each other.

Please like, comment and share.


Worth repeating!

Viva Las Vegas! Sign at Charlie's

Bids Accepted

Online auctions are a way to make money, but they’re more than that. These creative fund-raising websites introduce participants to a worldwide marketplace of buyers and collectors. invites you to sign up and bid for a number of items from its selection of art and other services.

Below is a Q&A with Linda Anderle, project coordinator and owner of 2 Ten, a Galeria of Art and Treasures.

ORP: What is the genesis of the online auction?
Linda: I am quite sure the idea was from Wid Slick. He has wanted to do an online auction for some time and felt some frustration with the pencil and paper silent auctions. A business or artist donates goods, and maybe they sell, but well below fair market value. Wid is so very supportive of the local area artists and had felt an online auction was a way to showcase them to a much larger audience, which will advance their presence and market their work. He came to me in March, to research how we could put on such an auction in conjunction with MainStreet’s annual membership dinner. It grew and grew from there, and became it’s own event with tie-ins to the Castaneda Under the Stars event in September.

ORP: Who are the primary beneficiaries of funds raised?
Linda: First, in the art category, the artists. IF a work is sold, the artist will be paid a commission as a gallery would pay. The remainder of the funds on art sales will go to Las Vegas Arts Council. The council is supporting and cooperating with MainStreet in this first ever endeavor, as is the Las Vegas San Miguel Chamber of Commerce.

The travel/adventure and memorabilia categories have packages donated and all the funds generated from those sales will go to MainStreet to support its programs.

ORP: Explain how the auction works.
Linda: Anyone with access to a phone, computer or tablet can go to the Las Vegas New Mexico Renaissance auction via this link:, a direct link to our auction through Charity Auctions Today.

TO BID, one must register on the site. This involves registering with a valid credit card, for use in a purchase. To merely see the items offered, one does not need to register.

Easy. Scroll through the items we have listed. There are more than 70 items from which to choose. Most items have 2-5 photos of the object or package and a description. We have more than 25 area artists represented. Bidding takes place, is tracked to the individual, text messages are sent out to keep bidders informed. The ‘bell’ rings and the winner is declared. The site invoices the winner and charges the card on file. A winner in New York will then be contacted for shipping and those charges will be added.

ORP: There are three dates. What is the significance of that?
Linda: The auction goes live August 1 at 12 p.m. It continues to run until 9 p.m., Sunday, September 30 via 3 time blocks.

August 1, 12 p.m. – August 19, p.m.
August 20, 12 p.m. – September 9, 9 p.m.
September 10, 12 p.m. – September 30, 9 p.m.

We have the 3 blocks to start and stop at different times in order to engage people over a period of time.

ORP: How many potential donors/buyers will be reached and how are they targeted?
Linda: Actually we tie into a full page ad that was purchased by the city in Amtrak’s The National. This is the passenger publication that is on every train coast to coast and the coastline of California. The ad runs August and September. The auction is the bottom quarter of the ad that highlights Heritage Week and Places with a Past tour. The readership of this magazine is reported as 5 million. I’m not involved with the publicity team, but I understand there is to be radio/TV, newspaper, print advertisement and articles as well as billboards and reader/digital boards, estimated to reach over 1 million additionally in Albuquerque and rural New Mexico.

The auction also ties in with MainStreet’s annual membership event advertisements and web-site. This year it is Castaneda Under the Stars on Sept. 22 in the Castaneda courtyard. See for information on the membership drive and the “Hard Hat Tours” of Castaneda on Sept. 22 and 23.

We are using the social media of Facebook to post to related pages dealing with MainStreets, arts & culture, historic preservation, Fred Harvey and Mary Colter, the Harvey Girls, train enthusiasts. This campaign should reach several thousand. Each of the artists, committee members, friends and family have been given the link and asked to SHARE SHARE SHARE. It is possible to share an individual item that is offered on the auction also. Look at the site and see how easy it is to view and share.

ORP: What is the track record of auctions of this type?
Linda: MainStreet’s being a winner in a national online contest that granted the $150,000 grant for E. Romero Fire & Hose building restoration via a Facebook campaign, gave us hope we can reach out to people across the U.S. and beyond to support our local causes.

As far as online auctions, in my research, they can be quite successful if everyone involved stays pledged to the cause and continues to involve others. We are offering a variety of price points and a selection of different mediums in the art works. Schools and organizations use this type of fundraising and within their immediate arena, do well. We are going well beyond our immediate radius. At least those who take a peek at the site will see for a brief shining moment: The Original Las Vegas.

The plan is to do this type of fundraising auction for three years. I’d be happy to share the track record in October of 2020!

ORP: May artists and other providers still get in on the auction?
Linda: Yes, due to the three time blocks. It is only hours until we start Block 1, so to think in terms of a deadline to submit-now until August 18 or September 9. Please contact us via for entries. There is no fee to enter.

ORP: What do you say to encourage vendors/businesses to provide art work or services for future auctions.
Linda: This is a three-year effort. We will need donors for 2019 and 2020 auctions. We are thinking and planning ahead to continue proactive approaches to fundraising and promoting our community.

We appreciate all the support and encouragement received to date. We are grateful to all that have worked on all the committees for the auction and the Castaneda event. Go online, view all the wonderful items, register and bid, buy buy buy and share share share.

For more information contact:
Linda Anderle

NOTE: This a repeat of a previously posted article. Please pass this on to your network! Thanks



Helping out

This infographic comes from, a design site that gives your creativity a kick in the backside and inspires you to new heights of mind-expanding ways to get your message across. Best part? It’s mostly free. You may – from time-to-time – be asked to pay a small fee for a template ($1 to $3), but they have so many free templates, it’s mind boggling.

I flat-out copied this directly from Canva because it’s great information and applies to donating even if there isn’t a disaster. Samaritan House and other agencies can always use a little help.



Donating your time is a tried and true way to make a difference, one small act at a time. Several worthy organizations in Las Vegas will welcome you as a volunteer. If you aren’t a joiner, take individual action by being a one-person clean up crew in your neighborhood. Maybe you will inspire others to pitch in.

Clean underwear is a need year around for agencies like the local Samaritan House, 1000 Mills Ave. But don’t just assume that’s their primary need. Drop by the office and ask what types of clothing or other help would be most useful.

Space may be a concern when it comes to housing and providing food for people in need locally, but in what ways and to what degree? Is Samaritan House – and other agencies – more in need of funds to support their missions? Chances are the answer is, yes. Find out how you can donate money and what it will be used for.

Laundry service is probably not something you think about when donating. I can’t even imagine the logistics of this particular concern. Does someone take care of this for the homeless? What about the family who isn’t homeless, but has limited funds? I suspect cash donations could help out here.

Cleaning supplies are something we buy at the store when we go shopping. If your income limits you to buying food, cleaning supplies likely aren’t at the top of the list. We regularly donate to food drives. Has anyone thought of a cleaning supplies drive?

Sunscreen was never on my family’s list of priorities and I have lots of age spots (sun damage) to show for it! This is an item that could be helpful to low income families and homeless folks.

Money is likely the most helpful donation you can make. Cash gives the assisting agency discretion in purchasing those items most needed.

This infographic was created as a demonstration of how Canva can be used, but it also makes us think in the broader sense about how we can make a difference by doing what we can, where we can, when we can.

Sharon Vander Meer is a writing entrepreneur and author.
(NOTE: I am in no way compensated by Canva for this endorsement of their product.)


Text two-step

>I know you said not to text you, but we need to talk. Meet me for lunch, Packer’s.

apple applications apps cell phone

Alice frowned. She’d never told Elise, her BFF, not to text her. What was that all about? And then she realized the phone in her hand wasn’t hers; it was Joe’s, her loving husband of twenty-five years.

A ball of ice formed in her chest. Her guts went watery.

The car behind her honked, joined like a flock of irritated geese by several others.

Alice swallowed the peach pit sized ball of alarm in her throat and accelerated through the light. Why would Elise be texting Joe? And why would they need to talk? Talk about what?

Alice was tempted to pull over and go through Joe’s text history and see if there were more messages to her husband from her long-time friend, but traffic was heavy, she was already late and she had a presentation to give at ten o’clock.

That’s what she should be thinking about, the presentation. She ran nervous fingers through her carefully arranged hair. Damn! The engagement ring from her wedding set got caught in a tangle. Driving one-handed, she tugged and tugged but could only manage to free her finger from the ring leaving it stuck in her hair. Crap, crap, crap, carp, crap!

Alice clutched the steering wheel with white-knuckled determination. Focus! This was her chance at a major promotion. She’d been working toward this for three months, since the V-P of marketing announced her plan to retire.

Maybe that’s why Joe was talking to Elise? Maybe he felt like Alice had left him out, not been paying enough attention to him? But he said he understood. He knew how important the promotion was to Alice; he’d said so many times. But did he mean it, or was it a cover for chasing after someone more attentive, more available?

The message revolved around in her head, stealing away her concentration on the upcoming presentation.

Elise and Champ were going through a nasty divorce. Maybe Elise was using Joe as a shoulder to cry on? That kinda made sense. With her all-out effort to get the V-P job, Alice hadn’t been available to Elise at a time when her friend needed her. But Elise had said she understood. “You can’t do anything but listen to me bitch,” Elise had said, when Alice apologized for being so busy. “And I’m trying to save all my rage for that asshole I was married to.” She had laughed bitterly. “Don’t worry about me. You do what you must do. You’re the right person for that job.”

Her husband and her friend were so supportive! And now this? But what was this, or was it anything at all?

Alice wrangled her car through the parking garage and pulled into a space without hitting anything or running over anyone, which was a mercy given how rattled she was. This was not a time to be distracted! Something slid against her cheek and she almost jumped out of her skin before she remembered the ring tangled in her hair. She jammed it into a clump of curls and breathed in a calming breath. She would untangle it when she reached her office.

Winded and anxious – despite using her time on the elevator to regulate her breathing and reach deep for the last shred of calm she could find – Alice stepped into the lobby of Able Analytics with a smile and cheery hello for the receptionist.

“Good morning, Alice,” Sally said, and tipped her head in that bird-like way she had. “Are you okay? You look a bit frazzled.”

Leave it to Sally to see beneath the pasted-on grin.

“I’m fine. Bit nervous about my presentation.”

“Well, you never mind about that! You have the veep job in the bag.” She winked and answered the gentle tinkle that indicated an incoming phone call.

Alice hurried to her office. “Hold my calls, Scott,” she said to her admin as she sailed by. “I want to go over my presentation one more time.”

Scott raised an eloquent eyebrow. “Are you all right? You seem a bit…”

“I’m fine!”

She fished Joe’s phone out of her handbag. “Run this up to Joe. He’s probably going nutso without it. And see if he has mine. I think we accidentally switched this morning.” She was babbling and knew it. Normally Alice didn’t ask Scott to run non-job related errands, but Joe was partner in a venture capital company that occupied a suite of offices on the top floor of the building, so it wasn’t a big deal and wouldn’t take long. She wanted to make sure her husband got his phone. He had to see the message.

Inside her office, she dumped her briefcase and purse in the middle of her desk and pulled a mirror out of a drawer.

Shesh! No wonder everyone asked if she was okay. Her face was flushed. Her hair looked like she’d been tackled by a tornado. There was a definite ‘v’ between her eyebrows that indicated she was mad, worried or thinking. She drew in a breath and relaxed her face. The ‘v’ smoothed out. Light flashed off the diamond ring caught in her hair. She began untangling it hoping she wouldn’t have to resort to scissors.

A plan had been hatching in her head. She wanted Joe to get Elise’s text message. It was the only way for her to find out what he would do. Meet her BFF – Alice stuck her finger in her mouth and made fake gagging noises – and – and what? She didn’t know, but she was for damned sure going to be there!

Right now, she had a hair emergency to resolve and a presentation to make.

Alice was a serious contender for the V-P position because of her ability to focus and perform under pressure. By ten she was ready. At ten forty-five she walked out of the meeting with a lock on her dream job, which gave her plenty of time to get ready to spy on her husband (maybe not for long), and her best friend (gag, gag).

She was in a hurry to leave, but a bit disappointed there were no well-wishers waiting in her office to toast and roast her. Everyone had been so supportive. Where were they now? She shook her head. She needed to leave anyway. The phone on her desk buzzed.

“Hunky husband on line one,” Scott said.

Damn! He would want to know the outcome of the meeting. How thoughtful. Unclenching her teeth, she picked up the phone.

“I hear celebration is in order. Congratulations!”

“Yes, well, it’s a good thing in more ways than one.” Did she sound a bit bitchy? Yeah, probably, but if she found out he was cheating on her…

“Hugs and kisses ‘til this evening. We’ll go out to celebrate!”

Sure, Joe, you bet, depending on what happens at Packer’s!

She told Scott she had an appointment she’d forgotten about and left with her gym bag over her shoulder. In the lobby, she ducked into the public restroom where she changed into workout clothes she kept at the office for those times when she actually went to the gym. Something she hadn’t done in months, so fortunately they didn’t stink. She jammed her hair under a cap and donned a pair of sunglasses. Nobody would give her a second look.

“Have a nice day, Mrs. Foster,” the security attendant said as she scurried by.

Three more people said, “Hi, Alice,” as she emerged from the building, which she managed to pretend she didn’t hear, and another said, “Have a good work out, Alice. See you at the gym!”

So much for nobody giving her a second look.

Her cellphone sang her daughter’s ringtone as she power-walked with her head down. Yes, Scott had made the switch. She had wanted to ask if Joe acted nervous or strange when the switch happened, but that would seem strange, wouldn’t it?

“Hey, beautiful girl!” she said to her daughter.

“Mom? Are you okay? You sound a bit, I don’t know, winded, like you’re running or something.”

“Oh, uh, no, no, I decided to work off my excitement with a walk. I got the job!”

“Amazing! I knew you were a shoo-in. Listen, I was wondering if we could meet for lunch. I know it’s short notice, but I was in the area and wanted to see how things went and maybe celebrate with you.”

Alice bit her lip. “Uh, well,” she stuttered. “I, mmmm, have an appointment, uh. I’m running late. We’ll talk later, okay? Bye.”

A boatload of guilt washed down on her when she broke the connection. She was the absolute worst liar!

She sped up. She had to arrive in time to get seated before noon, hopefully in a strategically located spot, a vantage point from which she could watch the door.

She arrived at eleven forty-five. Packer’s was already busy, not unusual for mid-day in an area surrounded by offices and retail shops.

She took a quick look around to see if she saw Joe or Elise, but there were too many people milling around waiting to be seated, many of them from her office. Several waved.

This wasn’t going to work. What a stupid place to have a secret meeting or to spy on people having a secret meeting.

Right. A very stupid place. If this was an assignation… a rendezvous… a romantic hook up… Aaaargh! Nothing she could think of fit. Her husband with another woman? Her BFF with her husband? It didn’t add up. What was she thinking? Noon on a workday at Packer’s was the least likely place for them to meet privately. The chances of the two being seen together was astronomically high. Then why didn’t they say anything? Why hush hush?

“How many?” the hostess asked, jerking Alice’s attention back to the moment.

“Uh, I, one.”


Alice blinked. “Miller. Sally Miller.”

Shit! What if Sally decided to come for lunch here? Worse, what if Alice didn’t get seated before Joe and Elise showed up? What if she was seated somewhere at the back where she couldn’t see anything?

Alice searched frantically for a place to wait inconspicuously. She sidled over to stand behind a spreading fichus and felt like an idiot. She should leave. Instead she sat on a cushioned bench next to a hyper toddler whose mother looked ready to fall off her seat from exhaustion. Those were the days. Alice thought back when the kids were small. Marissa three, Caleb four and baby Andrea, eight months – Andy Pandy, they called her, waiting to be seated at an Applebee’s. Alice had just wanted to go home and sleep for a week. And then suddenly, they were teenagers and didn’t need her as much. That’s when she got the part time job at Able Analytics in the public relations and marketing department.

The mom and her toddler left to be seated. Alice, head down and trying to avoid making eye contact with anyone she knew, scooted over to make room for a woman wearing spectacular Jimmy Choo’s. Hmmmm. Did they look familiar? The shoes made her ratty trainers look even more grotty. A man sat on the other side, his grey slacks sharply creased, his black brogans polished to a high shine. This was not possible. Not friggin’ possible!

She bit her lip and ducked her head lower.

“Alice Foster, party of thirty-six,” the hostess said.


The familiar scent of citrus and the unique smell of her man assailed Alice’s nostrils as Joe whispered in her ear, “Gotha!”

The tinkling laugh that was signature Elise washed over her from the Jimmy Choo’s – or at least the woman wearing them.

“We decided the only way to surprise you was to get you here under false pretenses. I knew you couldn’t ignore the possibility handsome here was seeing me behind your back.” She giggled and winked. Alice wanted to slug her. Instead, she embraced them and cried, grateful they had gone to such lengths to make her day even better. Now that she was looking up and not down, she saw all three of her children, her co-workers, people from Joe’s office, her parents, Joe’s parents and several friends. If the hostess was right, thirty-six people all gathered to celebrate her promotion.

She’d known all along that the very idea of Joe and Elise together was ridiculous. Wasn’t it? Alice slipped a possessive arm around Joe’s neck and gave him a thorough kiss, which – after a few seconds of surprise – he returned enthusiastically.

“Eeew!”Marissa said. “Save it for later!”

With that they filed into Packer’s events’ room to the sound of popping corks, laughter and Cyndi Lauper belting out Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Image: Tracy LeBlanc on



Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (The Daily Life Bible)

adult alone anxious black and whiteWhat makes you anxious? Try to concentrate on the thing that’s eating you up over which you have some degree of control. Forget the world condition; as angst-ridden as it may be, you probably can’t do anything to effect decisions made outside your direct influence.

Think instead about the thing, person or situation that has your heart racing or your head pounding. Right now, today – for me – it’s a dead rat just outside the garage. My husband killed it and tried to convince me the droppings I’d found in the garage were lizard leavings, but I knew better.

I have a rat and mouse phobia. It nearly renders me catatonic. I want and need to scour the garage and make sure no taint of that rat is still there, but I’m afraid I’ll stir up a rat cousin.

This is the anxiety I’m having a tough time overcoming right this minute. It helps me breathe to write about it, but it’s still there, a vise at the back on my head squeezing out rational thought.

So, I call on the God of all things, large and small, to relieve my anxiety and help me put this in perspective. I have two choices: believe this rat was the only one and go on with my day, or think there may be others but somehow overcome my fears and get on with my day. The washer and dryer are in the garage and its laundry day. I have no choice but to suck it up.

Thank you, Lord of all, for courage to overcome something that in the greater scheme of life is nothing. And, please, keep the critters in the great outdoors where they belong!

Photo by Kat Jayne on

Peace like a river

A new day

God made the earth by his might, it is said,
he shaped the world by his wisdom,
crafted the skies by his knowledge.

God made all there is, was, or ever will be.
Be sure of his love and presence, guidance and mercy.
He knew, and knows us.
A confusing concept to our way of thinking,
God knowing the outcome of our lives before they’ve begun.
Am I – are you – predestined to be good or bad?
Does it matter?
We are given this day.
What will we do with it?
How will we treat others?
Those are the questions we answer
by the choices we make every day.

Lord, help me make good and right choices.

Whatever you do, whether in speech or action,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus;
give thanks to God the Father through him.

Will this thing I’m doing please God?
Will my life choices make God smile?
Anger, fear, frustration, greed–
none of these emotions serve God or human kind.
Are we held captive by the actions
of ego-driven manipulators?
God is in charge, our great hope, believe it;
out of madness God brings courage.
Posing and posturing will not bring resolution;
banding together for peace will turn the tide.

Pray for our world and its leaders.

And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.

To be forgiven, you must first forgive.
God is a loving God. He is ready to forgive.
Am I?
Can I drop the bag of rocks that is resentment, discontent, and anger
by forgiving my enemy?
Can I untether myself from yesterday?
I can.
I must.
Forgiveness is the gift of grace.

Thank God for His amazing grace and forgiveness.

NOTE: Reflections on Jeremiah 10:12, Colossians 3:17, and Mark 11:25 from (The Daily Life Bible



Monday Musing

Easter MorningGenerous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 (The Daily Life Bible)

The world is a complex place and the demands are many. What can I do today, that will make life better for someone else today? A minister we had several years ago said that it wasn’t up to him to decide how a beggar would use the money he gave him; his calling was to recognize a need, and fill it. That’s the gift, not the money or food or clothes or any other material contribution; the gift is a spirit of compassion and generosity. What am I doing – what have I done – what will I do, to make life better for someone else, not just in the family, but in the community and in the world? The teacher who knew she was dying of cancer, asked that instead of flowers at her funeral, mourners donate backpacks full of supplies to be given to students. That act of compassion and generosity will make a difference for many students in ways she could never have imagined. Thank you, Tammy Waddell, for your powerful gifts of teaching and compassion.


The right words

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)

sunset beach people sunrise
Photo by Pixabay on

Simple and direct, that’s the best way. When you say thank you, I love you, good job, keep the faith, you’re beautiful, you’re smarter than you think you are, I’m sorry, I forgive you… these are simple phrases that go a long way toward healing, restoration, joy, laughter and smiles. It doesn’t take a tome to express heartfelt words; it merely takes the right words at the right time.


Finding Family

Finding FamilyMy name is Lilly Irish. “Finding Family” is my story. Now I don’t want to get into detail, you need to buy the book for that, but I can tell you there was no bigger surprise to me than having my dead sister’s daughter call me up out of the blue. Like I needed that complication in my life, right? I mean, I’m a widow. What am I supposed to do with this girl I haven’t seen in years and years? And – get this – she’s bringing her three little ones with her. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I lead a quiet life, and that’s the way I like it. Still I can’t say no to her. I guess I’ll take it one day at a time. What else can I do?


Lilly Irish’s quiet life is interrupted when her estranged niece arrives on her doorstep with three children and a dog of questionable breeding in tow. From the moment they blow into her life on a windy fall night and Krank the dog pees on her carpet, Lilly Irish begins a life-changing journey. Available in paperback and as an e-book.

Order now from Amazon

The best dad

Father's Day
Father's Day
My dad was wonderful. There were times growing up when I didn’t think so. He embarrassed me more than once, and his groaner jokes were the worst, but he loved our mother and he loved us. He would do anything for us, and when times were tough, he did. When we were little, he worked in the oil fields all week and in the cotton fields on the weekend. Yes, in Hobbs, NM, there were both.

Dad was deeply spiritual, like a kid at Christmas when he was happy, and lived for most of his life with bouts of depression. He was a complex man who seemed like a good old boy with nothing on his mind but getting through the day. He was an artist who never explored his talent. He loved to sing, and was better than I ever gave him credit for. He never wanted to hurt anyone in thought, word or deed. He served his country with pride as a seaman who saw the aftermath of war on beaches where nothing was left behind but the honored dead. I loved him with all my heart and miss him every day.

Remember this, when it comes to showing love for Dads and Moms in this life, no gesture is too small or too large. You will never regret the things you did to let your parents know you love them.

For those of you who didn’t have the gift of a great father think on this: you learned from all the men you’ve respected over the years who have come to mean more to you than someone who donated sperm and was never there. And, in ways you can never know, I imagine you’ve been a role model – a dad – to others.

Happy Father’s Day


Gerbera Daisy


yellow gerbera
daisy basking in warm sun
beaming happy light.

Photo: aryan tyagi on

Dear Mom

Yellow Rose

Mona Peralta ConkleMona Peralta Conkle

Dear Mom:

When you died in 1986 at the age of 62, it was a blow to all of us. Despite a diagnosis of cancer, we all kept hoping against hope you would pull through and get back to normal, to being Mom, the woman who had an answer for everything.

I remember the trip we took to visit your Concho, Ariz., roots in July 1969, which happened to coincide with Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. What I recall most about that trip was going to the adobe house you grew up in, a crumbling ruin that was hardly big enough to accommodate two people, yet you lived there with several siblings and your dad after your mother died. What remained were a few exterior walls with a yellow climbing rose growing up the side. A burbling stream meandered behind what was left of the house and enormous trees shaded the property as though keeping it safe for whoever would someday decide to build a life there. I’m sure that experience was colored by romanticism based on stories you told us about your childhood. I plucked a yellow rose from the vine and pressed it between the pages of my Bible. I kept the rose for many years until life intervened and I lost it somewhere along the way. I still feel the loss of that rose, as I feel the loss of you.

I’m sorry I never knew your mom and dad, Pete and Ruth Nunez Peralta, but as it turns out, you hardly knew them either. Grandmother Ruth died when you were barely four, and Grandpa Pete, nine years later. You were left to be raised by older siblings. Why did I never ask you how that affected you growing up?

Dad loved telling stories about your first year as a (very) young married couple. I especially liked the one about him “accidentally” dropping the casserole dish of macaroni, cheese and hamburger on the floor after having been served the same thing almost every night for the first month of your marriage. Dad never was a subtle kind of guy. You may not have started out as a great cook, but that changed by the time I was born. No one could cook like you.

You did not have it easy. When Dad was in the Navy you were a “Rosie the Riveter” until I was born, and then you moved with my older brother and me to live with Dad’s folks in Arizona until he came home from the service. When we were older, you worked at a number of low-paying jobs while Dad worked in the oilfields. Over the years, three more kiddos came along. I must say I was horribly embarrassed when at thirteen I learned you were PREGNANT! Let it be said that I didn’t exactly know what happened between moms and dads in their bedrooms, but what I did know sounded downright icky and I was sure my mother and father didn’t do those things. Until along came my baby sister.

Your beloved oldest child, my wonderful brother, Don, died of some horrifying version of cancer when he was twenty. It wounded us all to the heart, but especially you. He was so like you, more than the rest of us. He had tea-colored skin like yours, coal black hair like yours, warm chocolate brown eyes like yours, and innate charm, like you. A light went out in all our lives when he was gone.

You had plenty on your plate to keep you going. Your third child, my sweet, sweet sister Patty, was a fragile flower, a child whose mind never quite matured. You and Dad didn’t institutionalize her, as some might do, you kept her at home and loved her as deeply as you did the rest of us. Perhaps that is why you spent most of your professional career working with the mentally ill and others who needed treatment that combined understanding, compassion and firm boundaries. You were honored many times in your career by your peers and your patients. No one honored or held you in as high regard as did Don, Marc, Melissa, Patty who loved you with the brightness of a fallen star, and I. So many in our family are gone now, but I have no doubt they are dancing with you in heaven.

Your deep faith and your limitless love inspired me to be a better person. I confess I have not measured up in many ways, but I try.

I miss you, Mom. You packed a lot of living into your 62 years. You had a big laugh. You had a great capacity for love. Thanks you for the gift of your amazing self you shared with so many.

–Your daughter…


Starlight, star bright


It was a long way down. She stood on the very peak of her home, finding it not at all odd to be there. Inside, her parents, brothers and sisters slept while she rode the wind. It was wonderful. Beautiful.

The sky was dark indigo, dotted wildly with brilliant stars. Her father liked to count them, lying on his back in the yard, staring up: One, two, three, four, five, six…one thousand fourteen, one thousand fifteen…

“Daddy, how far away are the stars?”

She smiled in the darkness. Daddy. He was so funny. “Durn it!” he would say. “You kids made me lose my count! I gotta start all over!” He never would say how far away the stars were.

She felt no fear. There was so much more to feel, touch and smell. The warm breeze fluffed her hair. A kiss of fragrance came off the honeysuckle vine at the corner. The neighbor’s house, quiet, absent the din of arguments heard during the day.

“Pay them no mind,” her mother would say. “It’s not our business.”

Whose business is it, she would wonder, but not ask.

Here, in this moment, she was sun and moon, no one around to tell her what to do or how to do it or why to do it. She was the power of now, calm and assured, not at all like her real self, fear-filled, tender of heart, shy, leggy and thin, no one special among her cute-as-buttons sisters and handsome athletic brothers.

“Handy as a pocket on a shirt,” Daddy would say. She was so desperate to please, she did what she was told and more. She didn’t like that about herself, but she couldn’t help it. If she wasn’t useful how would they know she existed?

She set the thought aside. Let there be no intrusion.

Peace. Quiet.

Suddenly her heartbeat accelerated. What trigger brought about the change? She didn’t know, but it swept over her, stealing her victory over mediocrity, taking her serenity. Tranquility fled, replaced by a racing heart and moaning wind. Her hair whipped around her angular face, her gown pressed against her legs.

“Jump,” the wind said. “Jump!”

“I can’t!”

“Jump, jump, jump,” the wind wailed.

Her breath quickened and her belly churned. Could she? If she jumped what would happen?

“I can’t! I can’t!”

“You can, you must! You cannot know who you are until you try!”

She closed her eyes and drew in a deep long breath as if by doing so she could make herself lighter, more buoyant. She spread her arms wide, leaned forward and jumped. As she did so, she opened her eyes taking in the arc of the sky and the distant horizon. The wind caught the sleeves of her gown and seemed to lift her and soften her descent. In no time at all, she was safely on the ground, her feet wet from the damp grass.

She awoke from the dream, safely in her bed, with the words echoing in her mind: You cannot know who you are until you try. For the girl, it was the beginning of who she would become.

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Everything in its time

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1


I await Your timing, Lord,
but in the waiting, let me share,
gift by gift, day by day
so others know Your love and care.

In the labyrinth of my days
this moment is all I know,
Everything in its time
shapes my life’s ebb and flow.

Must I wait for You
to plant the garden now?
Must I wait for You
to show me how?

Everything will come to be
in Your time and by Your will
as I live each moment
my purpose to fulfill.

Lord, grant that every day,
I let You define the pace
for how I use my gifts
to make this world a better place.

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Flower Border

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)


When you are overwhelmed –
consumed by  temptation

depression –

the surprising, sometimes self-inflicted,
often unknowable events that cause you to ask,
“Why me? What did I do to deserve this?”

Pull the plug on that pool of negativity.
Drown the fire that would consume you
were it not for God’s incredible love,
evident in the empty cross,
the risen Christ.

His mercy is unfailing,
his presence absolute.

Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing. Contact Sharon by e-mail at

In all times

Above the storm

pexels-photo-236164.jpegCan all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27 NIV

Jesus wept, but he laughed, too. He went to parties. Visited with family. Saw the humor in the mundane. Welcomed friends. Understood the value of storytelling as an art form. Engaged his audience. Jesus’ life was filled with people of all kinds. Was he a worrier? I  think not. What did he say about the birds of the air and flowers of the fields? (Matthew 2:26) Faith is a builder; worry is a destroyer. Have faith.





Giving, loving, laughter
flip like a tarnished token
when resentment and
shattered trust are awoken.

Secrets of silence,
of words not spoken,
lie in veiled whispers,
promises broken.

Choose, you ask, hungering for
words best not spoken.
Have you someone new?
Am I a mere thought, a forgotten token?

This secret passion for truth
in your breast now awoken?
Too late, too late!
The present is withering; it’s broken.

Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing. Contact Sharon by e-mail at






Easter Sunday

He arose

Easter Morning

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 (NIV)

We have a long way to go if we want to “prove” God loves us. There is no formula for belief. It is based on trust and faith. It is understanding the Cross was not the easy way; it was the only way. It got the attention of early believers, and continues to do so. Our minister pointed out in a recent sermon that we learn from the painful Holy Week journey of Christ. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done,” he prayed (Luke 22:42 NIV). Jesus knew what he was getting into, but he did it anyway. For me. For you. This is not a message meant to bring us down, but to remind us that sometimes what we want most in life lies on the other side of pain, of discipline, of doing the hard thing. Resurrection Day is joy-filled and cause for celebration, but don’t forget what it took to get there. Love beyond reason, faith beyond fact. God never said, “Believe in me and everything in your life will be perfect.” He did say, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

I am a seeker, not a saint; a believer not a proselytizer. Your thoughtful comments are welcome.

Seen at Walmart


Somewhere in the world


Short short shorts with butt cheeks hanging out,
a man, wearing a dress, and it didn’t even look good on him.
There, see the man with a goatee dressed in bra and panties?
Does one fear for his mental health or take issue
with his obvious lack of good taste.
Perhaps the plumpish woman dressed in a tutu
and little else, is speaking her mind in a passive aggressive
departure from creativity. Women wear pants;
why can’t men wear bras and panties and dresses?
Perhaps these nonconformists are lonely, seeking attention,
afraid of not being noticed or remembered at all.
Is the man wearing nothing but a g-string
anti-establishment? Or is he angry but clueless
about how to change the world and reshape culture?
Are these fashion faux pas an expression of individuality,
or simply weird or defiant or maybe bizarre?

This is a writing exercise in which you create a poem and short story about something unusual seen or heard during the course of a day using 20 words you came up with based on what you heard or saw. A friend said he’d come across this link where you could see photos of people shopping in Walmart stores. It was a test of my mettle to get through this assignment (haven’t written the short story yet). What do you think? The 20 words are: bizzare, expression, weird, mental, health, taste, mind, creative, speak, aggressive, passive, man, woman, attention, lonely, afraid, anti-establishment, angry, clueless and culture.


Holy week prayer


pexels-photo-208315.jpegCome, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6

Great God of all, the beginning and the infinite, you who sent yourself into the world as a wee babe who grew up and traveled the world as a man, misunderstood by many, feared by the establishment, teacher of astounding wisdom, and bearer of transgressions and sins, we worship you and give you thanks. Holy week is lost in the secular whirlwind of the Easter bunny and chocolate, marshmallow treats, giant Easter baskets, and pretty dresses. The reality of Holy week is bleak and grim. When we stand at the foot of the cross and look up, we cannot comprehend the depth of Your suffering on our behalf. We simply cannot. We do know the cross was not the end of hope; it was the beginning of redemption. Only by the resurrection can we see how amazing you are, your grace washing out from that cruel cross and lifting all on the sea of your love. It is through that grace we can understand just a fraction of why you took this path. Just a fraction. And it is enough. Up from the grave he arose, a mighty triumph o’er his foes. (Robert Lowry, Christ Arose).

5 Awesome Reasons to try


belly-body-clothes-diet-53528.jpegWhat is It’s not just another weight loss program; it’s a FREE weight loss program that emphasizes healthy lifestyle, above all else. It has fitness tools, nutrition and fitness tracking, support through online resources, and a broad array of fitness videos with instructions on how to safely do the exercises in your home.

The site’s promo copy points out countless activities you can do to get healthy and reach your goals. Among those activities are:

  • Lose weight
  • Live a healthy lifestyle even if you don’t want to lose weight
  • Guides to nutrition, fitness, and motivation
  • Health and wellness information about conditions, treatments, and health news
  • SparkPeople experts
  • Recipes

Awesome Reason #1: It’s FREE: This is not a hook to get you started on a 10-day free trial with a fee kicking in after that. It is 100 percent FREE. Every resource is available to anyone who signs up. That isn’t to say there aren’t items available for sale, including a fee for direct coaching if you think you need it. You aren’t required to buy anything, however. Sign on and have immediate access to tools you can use.

Awesome Reason #2: You have access to SparkPeople newsletters with links to helpful articles. Do you want to know more about living a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies, and other wellness concerns? SparkPeople will have articles to answer your questions.

Awesome Reason #3: Goal setting. You can’t know where you’ve been until you know where you are going. How many times have you said, “I’m going to lose 25 pounds by my cousin’s wedding, or my class reunion (or whatever special date or time is out there).” That kind of thinking leads to yo-yo dieting. SparkPeople’s strategy is to spark participants to embed lifelong changes designed to ensure good health. By setting realistic goals. Set yourself up for success.

Awesome Reason #4: How many times have you read that keeping a “food journal” or an “exercise journal” is crucial to weight loss success? Have you tried that? Writing down every single thing you eat throughout the day? Writing down your physical activity? I’ve tried. I just can’t do it. SparkPeople has trackers. All you need do is search for a food or activity, select the measure and add it to your tracker. Not everything is there, so you may need to add something now and then, but it is, for the most part, easy to do. (I say “for the most part,” because there is a learning curve, but you can do it.)

Awesome Reason #5: This site has terrific articles and videos about health related subjects. And I cannot overstate this – it is all FREE. Select from nutrition, fitness, motivation, health and wellness, weight loss, instant motivation, Spark recipes, and more. You will find multiple articles on the subjects of interest to you.

There is more to the site. Explore. See if it will work for you.

One thing I don’t like about the site is the very reason it is free; it is loaded with ads, and the pop-ups are annoying. But I reiterate the site is free to you. SparkPeople developers learned early on that if you have a good idea you can make “passive” money by offering something everyone wants, and then charging advertisers to offset the cost of delivering that content to readers.

SparkPeople hit the mother lode. It gets more than 100 million page views a month and has more than 15 million registered users. That’s a lot of potential buyers for advertisers. The ads are sometimes annoying, but not to the point of detracting from the mission of to provide tools for a healthy lifestyle, a service people want and are in need of… and it is FREE to the consumer. You can’t beat that.

You have the option of upgrading to premium ($4.99 a month), to avoid ads and receive additional benefits.

Note: I am not compensated in any way by SparkPeople.










Why the English language is hard to learn

Pen and Ink

Learning curveEditor’s Note: This came to me through Alan Guy, a frequent contributor when I had Happenstance, an online magazine. I Googled the content and found it in a couple of places, so as a disclaimer, neither Alan nor I wrote it, but it is worth looking at. These 21 reasons why English is hard to learn, also apply to writing. If you’re not on your toes you can easily misuse a word simply because your computer autocorrects what you’ve written, or you allowed spell check to make a decision for you. For instance – there, their and they’re are said in the same way, but have distinctive meanings. To, too and two? Same thing. There are lots of examples of words that sound alike but have different meanings. Read the list, and if you have time, in the comments section, send in your samples – in a sentence – of words that sound the same, but have different meanings, or sound the same, but are spelled differently, or can be used in different ways, or are spelled the same but sound different. Hmmm…. now I’m confused.

I’m not sure all the lines below are grammatically correct, but they are fun to read.

• The bandage was wound around the wound.
• The farm land was used to produce produce.
• The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
• We must polish the Polish furniture.
• He could lead if he would get the lead out.
• The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
• Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
• A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
• When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
• I did not object to the object.
• The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
• There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
• They were too close to the door to close it.
• The buck does funny things when the does are present.
• A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
• To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
• The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
• After a number of injections, my jaw got number.
• Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
• I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
• How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Now it’s your turn. Send in your sentences that contain homonyms, homophones, or homographs. And a bonus to the FIRST person who can tell me the difference between homonyms, homophones, and homographs :). The gift? Your choice of a subscription to Hunter’s Light, Pella’s Quest or a copy of my latest novel, Blind Curve.

Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing. Contact Sharon by e-mail at

Dream on


pexels-photo-279415.jpegI love to write, it’s what I do. As you know, Blind Curve is now available through this site and at Amazon. My concern is that I’m preaching to the same choir. Most of you have heard about my publishing journey in one form or another. I’m asking a huge favor. Share this post with your followers, friends and family. It will mean a lot to me.

The job of marketing one’s work is more angst ridden and time consuming by far than writing the book. Right now I’m working on my episodic novel, Hunter’s Light, Pella’s Quest (episodes posted every Friday), but it is a challenge to do that and work on getting attention for Blind Curve. I have marketing and advertising sales experience, but the focus has always been on something else or for someone else. This time the spotlight is on me, or at least on my books. My dream come true is to look at my royalty statement and see something other than zeros.

How can I be sure readers will notice my baby among the thousands of others on the shelves? Well, I can’t, that’s why, as a writer, I must hit the streets and get my message out there. I know my book is compelling and dramatic, a mystery wrapped up in a puzzle, and that the characters feel like people you know and want to root for. How do I let potential readers know? That is part of what I have learned on my writing and publishing journey, so far.

Writing is my dream job and I love it, even though I know the following applies to me and most writers:

  • Nobody knows or cares who you are as a writer, not even your family and friends. If you want to sell them a book, you have to ask if they want to buy it.
  • Writing is an isolating profession. You don’t write 2000 to 4000 words a day drinking coffee at the coffee shop, but it is also a business. If you don’t sell your book, you’re not valuing your work.
  • Writing is mentally and physically taxing. Writers like David Baldacci and Margaret Atwood continue to be successful because they are dedicated writers who devote their work time to writing, not sitting at the coffee shop.
  • Writers must be ready for criticism and be able to see their books for what they are: works in progress. Editing, revising, proofing, rewriting, tossing the whole damn thing out at times, that’s all part of writing. This is so hard, much more difficult than you can imagine. It’s work, not unlike the work you do.
  • When I think my book is just too precious for words, I know I’m probably on the wrong track. I’ve learned to put the work aside for awhile and then read it like a reader. Read it aloud. Hear how it sounds.
  • I’ve learned to trust my instincts. If something seems off kilter in the narrative, my readers will likely get the same vibe.
  • I’ve learned it is essential to be confident. If I don’t believe in my characters, no one else will. If I don’t believe in my concept I wander in a wilderness of wrong words.
  • Writing is like dreaming when you’re awake. You convert those dreams into stories and poems and songs. My hope is that what I write will ring a bell with readers and lead them to dream along with me.
  • Writing is a business. As a writer, I must keep that in mind.
  • Writing is an itch. The only way to scratch that itch is to sit down in front of a keyboard and slog it out. The itch is what keeps me at the computer.

Yes, writing is the itch that must be satisfied with words and the magic that happens when those words come together in a great story. The itch is why I never stop dreaming.

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Book Review: The Ballad of Huck and Miguel

Book Review

The Ballard of Huck and Miguel

Huck – yes that Huck – or a reasonable facsimile thereof, is back in all his boyish glory in this modern-day tale about a gutsy survivor. If you’ve read Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, you know Huck has experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, a violent drunk who Huck wants to believe has some good in him somewhere.

In this tale, Huck endures a journey across the country from Missouri to California, with Pap (Huck’s father), in search of fortune and the easy life; Huck in hopes of escape from relentless beatings when Pap is drunk, which seems to be most of the time.

In his attempts to evade Pap once they reach California, Huck encounters several people who in time prove to be better friends than he could have imagined. One of them is Miguel, a Mexican immigrant whose goals in life are to remain in the United Stated and reunite with his wife and daughter. When Pap’s evil plan to get Huck back results in two innocent women being attacked, Miguel fears he will be blamed and sent back to Mexico, leaving his wife and child behind.

Thus begins an adventure down a different kind of big river, the concrete sided river that runs through Los Angeles. At no time is Huck safe from Pap’s determination to visit bodily harm on him, maybe even death. Miguel and Huck encounter many interesting characters along the way.

The pace is fast, the characters engaging and the illustrations by Daniel Gonzales captivating. The book has received high acclaim for capturing the tone of a well-told tale from another era. It is a deceptively simple premise that explores what immigrants face in uncertain times and offers backwoods wisdom about complex social issues.

Huck and Miguel have quite an adventure and remind us what friendship is all about. I give it a hearty thumb’s up.

Title: The Ballad of Huck and Miguel
Author: Tim DeRoche
Illustrator: Daniel Gonzales
Publisher: Redtail Press
Price: Hardcover, $23.65