Pens and Keyboards Transport Us into the Courage of Our Predictions: “Experience-Near” Reflections on Writing
By Leona Stucky
We sapiens tell stories to make sense of ourselves and the world we live in. We may tell them only to ourselves, but we create them and willingly let them carry us into narratives where meaning is made. While no particular diagnosis can stereotype writers, we can articulate a few characteristics that many writers share. We might ask why writing is therapeutic and what we manufacture for ourselves by being concrete creators of story, of knowledge, of meaning; why we define what it means to be human. Why we need to contact expansiveness and yet be contained by reality, if not in fact, then at least in metaphor.
Raw courage—is how I characterize 12 years of writing one story. It’s an experience I do not want to double and yet I would not trade it. Nor would I trade the challenges it has provoked in my daily schedule after the writing is done, if it can ever be done. Future chapters may be written without words.
Bio for Leona Stucky LeonaStucky@gmail.com, 505-820-2433
A psychotherapist for more than thirty years, UU community minister, post-graduate teacher, clinical supervisor, and AAPC Diplomate, Rev. Dr. Leona Stucky recently became an author by turning the mirror inward to reveal her own personal story in a gripping and morally unflinching memoir, which has received acclaim from Ms. magazine and won other awards. In her professional life as well as her memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, Leona plumbed the depths of faith and justice contradictions, speaking what we seldom say out loud. In her life and writing she provokes new discussions with heart-wrenching, vital stories. Her own journey includes trauma and terror, and a resilient drive that brought her into the professional world where she has made numerous contributions.
By Jessie Emerson
Shel Neymark gave a short talk at our Luncheon when the legislature was in session. We were encouraged to contact our representatives about the Rural Library Endowment. This would give the state’s libraries about $45,000 per year. He just reported that the bill passed unanimously in the House and was signed by the governor. Unfortunately it was only for $1 million instead of $50 million. Each library in the state will receive $900 per year. Shel thinks the prospects are good to get a significant amount added to it this year and thanks the New Mexico Book Association for its support. We can still support this worthy project by contacting our representatives and the governor. We learned at our May luncheon how far behind the other states we are in reading. As writers and publishers, we need readers! If our state is to progress, we need to increase literacy. If any one has any questions for Shel, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some hands were wringing as NMBA approached our 25th Anniversary Gala in June. What about directions to Linda Durham's home, refreshments, and parking spaces for fifty-plus members?
No worries! Everything turned out wonderfully as we gathered at Linda Durham and Francois Marie Patorni’s gracious home in Las Campanas on the evening of Saturday, June 8. Jessie Emerson spoke with heart about NMBA's fine and multi-faceted history serving New Mexico book people of all kinds through our first quarter century of service. Publishers, authors, editors, book designers, printers, booksellers, and readers of every kind have been served in so many ways through those 25 years, and it continues. Our NMBA “road” includes Libro Nuevo, book catalogs, three editions of New Mexico's Book World, the New Mexico Book Views review journal, our New Mexico Book Design and Production Awards, and much more.
It was fun to learn about our beginning, when New Mexico was named the featured “country” for the renowned Guadalajara Book Fair of 1994. NMBA has been an active presence at local and national book festivals ever since, presenting authors and their books to booksellers of all kinds. Victor di Suvero was at our beginnings and it was so delightful to see him again at the Gala. Elaine Coleman, Robyn Covelli Hunt, Delany, Jim Mafchir, Sally Blakemore, Fern Drucker, Jeanie Williams...and many more devoted “from the beginning” book people were right there with warm smiles at our Gala! For me, it was those personal contacts that made the evening so very memorable and that made me proud of our NMBA people.
Jared Gann and Sandi Wright guided us all through the evening, announcing and honoring the winners and finalists of the 2019 Southwest Book Design Awards. Barbara Beasley Murphy was recognized as a Lifetime Honorary Member of our NMBA Board. Barbara has served NMBA continuously from our beginnings in 1995. She was our treasurer during most of those 24 years and frequently hosted us for events at her Santa Fe home on Circle Drive.
Our first monthly Friday Networking Luncheon took place in Santa Fe in 1995. New Mexico continues to grow as a national center for writing and publishing. Today I found this interesting tidbit: NMBA annual membership dues are still just $50 per year —same as they were a quarter century ago!
Longtime NMBA Board Member (who most enjoyed writing for and producing Libro Book News for many seasons and offering your books to buyers at dozens of shows here and across the country)
Click here to view the winners of the 2018 Southwest Book Design Awards.
Farmers Market has established new rules for Guest Vendors that began in May 2019. Participation, which used to be free, is now $150 for Homegrown Authors. Because it would be difficult to divide this cost among users all summer long, authors who became regulars last year agreed to pay a share of the cost in exchange for a permanent seat at the table this summer. To allow other members of NMBA to participate for the remainder of the season, we are taking requests for a place at the table for each day one of the regular owners of the site cannot be present. If interested, please contact the owner listed below.
1. The market opens at 7:00 a.m., so sellers must arrive at 6:30 a.m.
2. Each person is responsible for his/her own parking fees.
3. The good news is that the fee of 5% of our sales at the end of the day is no longer charged. Instead, a fee of $15 for the site is divided between chairs at our table, requiring each person to pay only $3.75. (Most sellers at the market, including the coffee and snack bar, sell their wares at a discount to each other, so we can take advantage of that.)
If you belong to NMBA and would like to sell your own book(s) at the Homegrown Authors table, please contact Barbara Ruther for the use of her chair while she is away. Please follow the above rules.
September 3, or Sept. 24: contact Barbara Ruther (email@example.com)
For further information, contact Maxine Davenport (firstname.lastname@example.org).
By Rayna Dineen, Executive Director of Reading Quest
Did you know that 72% of Santa Fe students are not able to read proficiently at grade level? Reading Quest began in 2012 when Governor Martinez wanted to hold back all third graders who were not reading at grade level. My middle school students at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences started a citywide literacy campaign called Hooked on Books that focused on teens encouraging and inspiring young kids to get hooked on reading. We created exciting, creative literacy contests for all Santa Fe students and placed free bookshelves filled with children’s books all over town in places where low-income families have to wait for long periods of time.
When we saw the kind of books that older students were reading, and read their contest entries, we decided we needed to offer an intensive summer reading program, which we called Reading is Magic. This summer will be the eighth year of Reading is Magic camp, and we will be offering eight weeks of camp this year. For the past eight summers, our campers have made, on average, slightly more than one year’s growth in reading in just two weeks.
We then expanded Hooked on Books into a full-time, year-round nonprofit called Reading Quest. We provide high-quality, professional, free, and affordable tutoring, using phonics, songs, games, and American Sign Language for 270 students each week. 95% of our students receive our services free of charge, and many are homeless or experiencing trauma at home. We focus on serving students who struggle with learning how to read and are one or more grade levels behind their grade. Many have learning disabilities and about 80% speak Spanish as their native language. We tutor in school, after school, and Saturdays. We also coach and train SFPS teachers and tutors from local nonprofits and collaborate with Communities in Schools and Adelante and other groups that work with children in need. We have an amazing team of adult and teen tutors who empower our students to believe in themselves and reach for their dreams.
Thank you so much to Camila Kattell for donating her beautiful children’s books and Don Willerton who also just donated his wonderful young adult books to Reading Quest! It was such a wonderful surprise to receive these books so soon after meeting all of you!
It was a pleasure to meet your wonderful association of writers! Reading Quest is always thrilled to receive new or used children’s books and are deeply appreciative of monetary donations, which allow us to continue to serve all children who need reading support. Feel free to visit our website at readingquestcenter.org or email me at email@example.com or call 920- 9709 if you have any questions.
We have more than 35 beautiful book submissions in our possession. Thank you to those who have already submitted. If you haven’t, now is the time to find a place for your book in our 14 categories and submit your entries. The winners will be recognized at our 25th Anniversary Annual Gala on June 8, so don’t forget to save the date! Click here to learn more and submit your books.
SIGN UP NOW FOR OUR APRIL WORKSHOP WITH CAROLYN ROARK: “THE WRITE STEPS: CHOOSING YOUR BEST PATH FROM IDEATION TO PUBLICATION”
In this workshop for both new and experienced authors, ghostwriter Carolyn Roark lays out the steps to making the right choices for yourself and your manuscript, including:
1. How do I get this manuscript out of my head and onto the page?
2. Should I work with a professional ghostwriter or editor? How do I find one?
3. Do I need an agent?
4. Is self-publishing right for me?
5. Should I seek a contract with a traditional press?
6. How do I avoid predatory publishers and con artists in the industry?
7. What the heck is a platform, and do I have to have one?
...and many more!
Carolyn’s bio: Dr. Carolyn Roark helps accomplished people build skill and confidence, create striking content, make the right publishing moves, and connect powerfully with their audiences through writing. Her clients include top Inc.com columnist Kevin Daum, Great Legal Marketing pro Ben Glass, the “professional imperfectionist” Stephen Guise, “rock star” speaker Marvelless Mark, and others. Read more of Carolyn’s bio.
We are “guest vendors” at the market, which means we operate under different rules than the farmers. This year the rules have changed, requiring guest vendors to pay $150 for the privilege of sharing a guaranteed space. That presented a problem for us since the guaranteed space might be occupied by different authors each week. To solve the problem, we agreed that the four authors who shared the fee—due May 1—would be given a permanent place at the table, which each could either occupy or allow other NMBA members to take their place when they cannot be present. This allows the table to be filled by regulars who come because they are satisfied with the number of books they sell, and at the same time it allows newcomers to come when the regular member cannot be present. The permanent owners of the space may choose to recover some of their $37.50 cost by renting it at their discretion. All visitors must abide by Homegrown Author rules in addition to the Farmers Market rules for vendors.
Additional fees and costs due by each seller include individual parking, 5% of sales to the Farmers Market, and a $1.25 tip for table and chair set-up.
NMBA members who have written a book they wish to sell and would like to sign up for a table when one of the permanent members is on vacation should contact Maxine Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-474-0979.
All members are urged to come by the table to say hello and to see our beautiful books!
CALL FOR SUBMISSION: WRITING CONTESTS FOR PUBLISHED NEW MEXICAN AUTHORS IN POETRY, AND FOR PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS IN FICTION AND NONFICTION
The Albuquerque Museum Foundation has announced writing contests open to both unpublished and published authors in fiction and nonfiction, and only to published authors in poetry. Open to all New Mexico residents. Deadlines differ for each category. Winners will be announced at the Albuquerque Museum Foundation’s A Celebration of Writing, on Friday, November 8, 2019, 3:30 p.m., at the Albuquerque Museum, 2000 Mountain Road NW. Full submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at albuquerquemuseum.org/writing. For further information, call the Albuquerque Museum Foundation at 505-842-0111, or email email@example.com.
May 22, 6 P.M., at La Montanita Co-op. Cost: $15 for NMBA members, $25 for nonmembers.
For anyone interested in publishing reviews, art essays, or artist books, navigating how to find and publish images from emerging and established artists can be a challenge. In this workshop, Alicia will talk about her experiences as an arts writer dealing with artists’ estates, copyright laws, and requests for images. She’ll offer a few anecdotes about the difficulties she’s met as well as a few tips for writers embarking on the process.
NMBA News, Opinion, and Articles are powered by members. To submit, please email your materials to firstname.lastname@example.org