Lit Salon celebrates writing

ToolsLas Vegas Literary Salon hosted its first event Sunday, July 12, thanks to the Las Vegas Arts Council and the Las Vegas NM Community Foundation. A special thanks to Susie Tsyitee who walked us through the Zoom technology and acted as host for the event. Below is a video about the event we hope you will watch. It features Patti Romero and me talking about Las Vegas Literary Salon in a broad sense and giving our thoughts on this premier event. Please note that this is a first “video interview” either of us has done and I was at the tech wheel, which in and of itself speaks of disaster! But, all things considered it gets our message across.

And what is our message? Writing is an art. We want to encourage emerging, young, established, genre, literary, nontraditional, fiction, nonfiction, poetry – basically writers and writing across the spectrum. We will do this through workshops, events like the Zoom Writers Roundtable, book fairs, tapping into the skills of experts in areas related to getting the book, essay, memoir, novel, whatever it is, from your brain to the page.

This is not for everyone. Some writers want solitude and choose not to network with other writers. I get that. But for those who do want to be part of a learning and networking community, come on board! And we want readers as well. You are important to the process. You consume our words and make them a part of your story from the time you start reading until you reach the end, and sometimes beyond. Along the way, we hope we’ve made you laugh or cry, pissed you off or lifted you up, perhaps even broadened your horizons.

The Sunday event was a success largely because of our five readers: Joy Alesdatter, Kathleen Lujan, Ray John de Aragon, Tim Hagaman, and Beth Urech. We thank them for the time and effort they put into preparing for their readings.

What’s next? We will be scheduling an event with former Las Vegan, Vera Jo Bustos in the near future. Look for details to be released soon.

We have a lot of ideas, and now we need bodies to help implement them, and come up with more. Join us! Fill in the form below the video and let us know if you’re ready to join, or whether you need more information. Also consider donating to one or both of the organizations working through the pandemic to figure out ways to keep the arts alive and thriving!

Las Vegas Arts Council
Las Vegas NM Community Foundation

Patti and Sharon talk about LV Lit Salon #1

zoom_0 from Sharon Vander Meer on Vimeo.

Please sign up below to join Las Vegas Literary Salon or to find out more.


 

Light

Hope

Whenever I’m afraid, I put my trust in you… Psalm 56:3

When fear becomes a driving force
I sometimes seek dark places
and avoid the Light,
places where it is close, confining.
Places where the voices I hear
are the voices of

Gloom.

Doom.

There is Light all around,
but fear hustles me
into that dark space.
There I will be hidden,

safe.

It is the great deceit.
In that dark space,
the voice of fear gets louder,
faith gets smaller.
Only in the Light
can the deceiver be exposed;
only in the Light can I find
hope and healing, faith and renewal.


I am an indie author of six books and two chap books of poetry. Check the BOOKS tab to find out more. Follow me at www.vandermeerbooks.com, https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks, Amazon Author Central. Please like, share, or comment – or all three!


 

Andy Trujillo: Calm in the COVID-19 Storm

Andy Trujillo

Massage therapist Andy Trujillo is a native Las Vegan, although he didn’t grow up here. He was born in one of the small buildings on the Plaza, but never thought he would return after his family moved to Albuquerque. His story is in his calming nature and you can hear it as Andy recounts how he grew into his profession.

“I feel like I have been doing massage most of my life. I have memories of massaging my father’s back and shoulders by walking on his back as a small child. I also remember doing the same for my uncles and somehow knowing where and how hard to press. As a pre-teen or a teenager, I remember my relatives bringing babies to me if they were fussy or crying a lot and I would know how to quiet them down very quickly and put them to sleep. Sometimes rubbing their tummies or just knowing why they were crying.

“My work was never truly satisfying until after I was injured in a car accident in 1990 and underwent regular massage therapy in my recovery. I knew in my heart that I could help people through massage and decided then to pursue my Massage Therapist education and license. I have been licensed as a massage therapist since 1992.”

Andy has owned his business for the entire 28 years of his career, and prides himself in providing a therapeutic, but gentle massage. He specializes in pain relief and practices on all ages.

“My youngest client was an infant and my oldest client was my 99 year-old grandmother. In my practice, I offer a combination of different types of massage to fit the client’s individual needs, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Polarity and Reflexology.”

Andy said COVID-19 down time was used to complete the the process of moving his office.

“When the health and safety restrictions were instituted, my wife and I decided to renovate a part of our home and create a new office during the time I was unable to work. The loss of income was worth it for me to allow me the time to rethink my business and how I would operate moving forward,” he said.

For Andy, the good that came out of temporary closure  was a renewed emphasis on continuing to provide a safe environment for customers.

“Massage therapy is truly an individual session, in close quarters to the client, so I now conduct my business with even closer attention to infection control practices,” Andy said.

His practice if fully reopened. He controls the number of clients he sees each week, which takes care of social distancing, but Andy also follows mandated restrictions set forth by health officials to protect his clients and himself.

“I have been cautious as I reopen by screening my clients and taking temperatures before we start.”

Andy will continue to maintain high-level precautions by limiting the number of people he sees.

“By spreading my appointments out, I have time to disinfect my entire office, including not only my table, but all the furniture, lamps, down to the pens I have for clients to use. I wear a mask and have my clients wear a mask during the session. I ask a short series of screening questions and take the individual’s temperature before we start. My wife and I have both been tested and are negative right now for the virus.”

Andy loves his profession and is committed to the safety of clients, himself and family members.

“I will not compromise on that,” he said. “I will probably keep most of the new precautions in place in my business even after we have a safe way to live in the world with COVID-19 because they make sense and provide a much healthier way to serve the community.”

Few are prepared when something as devastating as a pandemic hits. Andy said he was fortunate his professional organization provided the guidance he needed as he prepared to reopen with safety in mind.

Moving forward, Andy shared a concern many small businesses owners have, that they, or their clients might become infected despite all the precautions. He will continue to operate under the new guidelines, now and into the future. For Andy, it is simply the right thing to do.

Andy Trujillo Massage Therapist is located at 2910 8th Street. The entrance is on Williams Drive.

“I work mostly Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but am available for weekends or later hours if needed.”

Contact information for the practice is 505 250-7928.

“Please leave a message if I do not answer. “I silence my phone and do not take calls when I am with my clients.”


NOTE: I am featuring local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations in this series of articles about how COVID-19 has affected our community . If you would like to participate, email fsharon@msn.com for more information.


I am an indie author of six books and two chap books of poetry. Check the BOOKS tab to find out more. Follow me at www.vandermeerbooks.com, https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks, Amazon Author Central. Please like, share, or comment – or all three!


 

TIME TWO

Time and Change

Time can build a mountain
or turn one into sand.
Time can take a small boy
and change him to a man.
Time can take a second
and end up with a day,
or take a week in January
and March it into May.
Time is always present;
it is here to stay.
Do all you can to make
the most of every day.


Follow Sharon at:
www.vandermeerbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks
Amazon Author Central


 

The customer connection at Bar Castaneda

In the kitchenWhen COVID-19 hit in New Mexico, restaurateurs had the choice of closing or doing curbside service. Chef Sean Sinclair at Bar Castañeda kept that all-important customer connection by offering curbside delivery and tasty treats, including his award-winning Smash Burger.

Currently, Bar Castañeda is offering its dinner menu from 3 to 8 p.m., six days a week, closed on Tuesdays. Opening of the fine-dining venue, Kin, has been delayed.

“We do not have an opening date for Kin, but we are keeping a close eye on the ever-evolving situation to make the best decision possible on when to debut the restaurant,” Chef Sinclair said.

Sean said that at first, the COVID-19 impact was scary.

“Luckily, we quickly got to work and made tough decisions and are now in a pretty decent spot, all things considered,” he said. “The big impact is not being able to open Kin yet.”

He said that doing curbside pickup from the beginning was a plus for his business.

“It was mentally helpful to have support from our community through the scariest (so far), part of this thing,” Sean said.

“Contact tracing is a completely voluntary admission process. We do have a sign-in sheet and sanitizer station at the front,” he said. “If guests would like to help us in contract tracing, they are welcome to do so. However, we are not requiring a sign-in for entry. We are requiring a mask to enter the premises. No dogs are allowed to join diners at this time, unless they are certified service animals.”

Sean said all tables, chairs, service ware, and all surfaces are sanitized before and after use.

On the padio“We are not seating guests inside at this time. We have a spacious patio and outdoor dining is much safer. All tables are generously spaced beyond any social distancing standards. Guests also must wear masks everywhere on the property except when seated and dining,” Sean said.

He said Bar Castañeda is back to normal, pre-covid hours. “Hopefully we will expand beyond that in the near future,” he said.

Recovering from a setback like a pandemic isn’t something you can prepare for. As Sean and Katey get back to normal they want their customers to know, they’re okay.

“We aren’t going anywhere and I am so grateful for everyone’s support through these increasingly difficult times. We are taking every precaution possible to keep everyone safe while dining in our establishment. We are thankful for everyone’s patience and help while patronizing our restaurant. We are doing our best to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 while still remaining open.”

Sean’s greatest concern currently is that most – if not all – data points regarding this current health climate are getting worse, not better.

“If we are forced to close again, it would be challenging. That being said, we would be more prepared for a second closure than we were for the first.

“Katey and I feel lucky to have opened our business in the wonderful city of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The local people have been so supportive of both our business and the mitigation of COVID-19. I have never lived in a city more united, or in a place I am more proud to call home. Stay strong everyone; we will get through this together.”

For more about Bar Castañeda and Kin go to kinlvnm.com


NOTE: I am featuring local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations in this series of articles about how COVID-19 has affected our community . If you would like to participate, email fsharon@msn.com for more information.


 

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