Category Archives: Art

Super Moon

supermoon

Supermoons and Eclipses are beautiful and inspiring in the night sky. A blood moon on top of it is even more impressive. The writer in me is drowning in story ideas these last few days. The question: Was it the Moon or the Magick? Me, I think was both. The moon inspires some of the greatest legends and story of our times. Take the Lycan, commonly known as a werewolf, every full moon the human loses control and goes back to its animalistic ways and wanders the countryside as a wolf wreaking havoc on the villagers. Years ago instead of being mentally ill, you were a lunatic. The word lunatic derives from Lunaticus meaning “Moonstruck”.

Before electricity people only traveled at night during the full moon because there was light. They created Grimm Fairy Tales to teach children about the dangers of the dark. These fairy tales gave rise to the belief in evil wolves and witches prowling the countryside looking for tasty snacks. There were even points in our history where farmers and villagers would go to sleep at dusk and wake around midnight and socialize for a few hours while the moon was high in the sky. They would then return to bed and rise with the sun.

Of course, you can’t forget the effect the moon has on the tides. “High tides and low tides are caused by the moon. The moon’s gravitational pull generates something called the tidal force”- SciJinks. Without the moon the Earth would not exist as we have come to know, we might not even be the creatures we are now. Scientists agree on the tides but people argue that the moon doesn’t have an effect on people. Now, remember you are 70% water.

Do you feel like the moon phases have an impact on your creative life? Are they positive or negative?

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Doggies Treats

“Son of a bitch. It’s bad enough your God damn dog tore up my prize tomatoes but now he killed my chicken too.” Jon stood clenching his fist. His face the color of his prize tomatoes that were strewed about the yard.
“Dude you need to chill. He just animal and that’s what they do man” the young man said from the other side of the fence his eyes match the color of Jon’s face.
“If I catch that damn animal-“ Jon shook his fist in the air and stomped across his yard slamming the sliding glass hard enough to make it rattle. A few beers and some football later Jon woke up on the couch to the sound of dog, howling. Armed with the shotgun he kept by the door for an emergency, he stormed out the door to find the dog digging up all his potatoes. In the silence of the night, Jon grabbed the barrel of the gun and swung it over his shoulder like a bat and crept towards the dog. “Gotcha” he whispered.
***
“Hey man, I’m making some burgers. What do you say I make you one and we bury the hatched,” Jon waved at his neighbor over the fence whistling has he flip the sizzling meat patties.He through one on a bun with fresh topping. “When until you taste what fresh lettuce can add to a burger.”
“Hey man, thanks. Have you seen my dog?” the young man walked up to the fence and shook hands with Jon.
“No, I’m sure he’ll be along.”
“Yeah man,” He took a huge bite of the burger and pointed at his mouth smiling and nodding.
“Special recipe for special occasions,” Jon said with a smile. “I’ll get you another to go.”

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Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

This year’s Santa Fe Independent Film Festival kicked off Oct 15-19 all around the city. Being a working Albuquerquean, I didn’t leave myself time to attend the full event. In fact, I didn’t leave myself time to attend any of the event. After all, we had a festival here in town that I attended, so there was no need to haul up to Santa Fe for theirs.

It happens that on Friday I was on my way up to Santa Fe to go the Artisan Art Expo to pick up some discount art supplies, but that’s another story. While I was up there, I decided to check out the DIY Filmmaking workshop with Laura Terruso. It was an eye-opening experience. I arrived early, I always mis-calculate driving time when the plaza is involved. I got a wonderful tour of the Santa Fe Contemporary Art Musuem’s theater set up. They have a small black box theater where the lecture was and a beautiful redone main theater. Being a completely independent entity, they are able to showcase a wide variety of movies, more then many of the other theaters in New Mexico.

The workshop itself feature two Indie movies that Laura Terruso had made in her home base of New York City. She talked about her feature films “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” and “The Foxy Merkins”. She went into detail about how to turn your weakness into strengths. By not having a budget to shoot with in NYC she was able to use the city as the background in both movies. But she cautions, “When your asking people to donate their time to a project, feed them. Feed them well.” Both of these movies were made with below minimal budgets and came out beautifully. Those of you with a Netflix account can check out “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”.

I walked out of the 90 minutes lectures feeling inspired to take on the world of film. It was a good thing too, because that night I jumped into my first 48-hour movie challenge. Now that I have recovered from it, and gone over my notes from Laura’s lecture, I feel ready to turn my weaknesses into strengths and go make a movie.

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Behind a 48 film

Bombing down I25, my eyes barely open, gripping my coffee, I ask myself,  “Why are you out of bed before 7am on a Saturday – willingly?” The answer to that? I wanted to see how to make a movie. Not a feature film, mind you, but a 48 Hour film festival film. New Mexico’s own Friends of Film has invited me on set to see what goes into the making of a film. This will be all new to me. I have never been on a film set before and I can’t wait to see what happens.

A little background on The 48 Hour Film Festival.  This festival began in 2001 in Washington DC. The brain child of Mark Ruppert and his filmmaking partner Liz Langston, who now reside in Albuquerque, the goal was to push creativity to the extreme. The participants are given a genre, a prop, a line and a character that they have to work into a script. They don’t just have to write a screenplay in that time-frame, they have to write, shoot, and edit the footage over one weekend. The drawing happens about 7:00pm on Friday night and the writers jump into action, putting together a script, and have it sent out hopefully by 5:00am the next morning. Then the crew will spend 12 hours or so shooting, another 12 hours or so editing, handing in the completed work by Sunday at 7.  Each group can choose how they want to work and can secure the cast’s shooting location and equipment in advance of the contest.

Back to the morning, I’m late, of course, for call time, but I get here in time to hear the pep talk. This group will wrap shooting in 12 hours, no matter what. Safety first, followed by fun, and hopefully it will translate into a great short film, between 4½ and 7 minutes long. Like a full-length feature, they have actors and actress in costuming and make-up and a full crew.  Everyone breaks from the huddle to get their area up and running. This gives me a chance to talk with the writers and find out what it’s like to write a movie overnight. Jaqueline Loring and Cliff Gravel are on hand since they wear multiple hats in the production. Kathleen Gonzales, the third writer, has gone home to get some sleep, but will be back later. Jacqueline and Cliff walk me through the night. First the phone call about what genre was drawn and then a brain-storming session with the cast and crew about how the movie should progress. By 9:00pm, it’s left to the writers to brainstorm and write together. By 1:00am, they are laughing so hard that they know they’re on to something. Somewhere between 2:00am and 3:00am, the script is written, edited, and then sent out around 3:30am to the cast and crew to begin prep work for the 7:00am call.  “It’s unusual to have time to edit when working like this.” says Loring.

Friends of Film, Video and Arts Albuquerque is a cooperative that is run by its members since 2004. The group not only sponsors a 48 hour film crew, but participates and helps in many film endeavors in New Mexico. Anyone of any background can join, as long as you have a strong love for making a film. Throughout the year, FoFVA holds monthly meetings, workshops, and helps members get in touch with one another. Look them up on Facebook and try out one of their meetings.

In the 48 Hour group, sponsored by FoFVA, anyone can volunteer to be on the crew. No one is paid, but it’s a great opportunity to try something different. On this film, the Director, Michael Miller, has worked in many areas of filming before.  He and his Assistant Director (AD), Carmen Tsabetsaye, who keeps things on track, have done worked together before. Many of the other members of the crew are also experienced, but are trying out new areas. Director of Photography and camera operator, Elizabeth Waites, has worked on set before, but this will be her first time behind the lens for a film. Local actors hone their skills working on these demanding projects. “It’s not about winning,” shares Miller. “It’s about being safe, learning, and having fun.”

The editors of the film go to work, as soon as the first scene is shot and sound splicing begins. There is no time for being ideal on a shoot like this. Shooting wraps about 7:00pm Saturday and full-on editing takes place. “It takes about twice as long to edit a film, then the shoot time,” says Sheryl Brown.

Lacking in time, the movie is edited quickly, with the hopes of winning, but also knowing they can go back and clean it up –  enter it into other film festivals around the world. Sunday night, the movies are handed in at Tractor Brewing Company. The following Thursday and Friday, the Kimo will show all the competitors, even the ones that don’t qualify, for the official contest. From the groups shown, the best will go on to the final showing Friday night at the Kimo. There is a lot of competition out there with great crews filming and working all over New Mexico trying to win. Over 120 cities across the country hold a 48 Hours competition and there are nations competing all over the world. This project, Sir Acheron’s Party by FoFVA, won for sexiest use of prop in the end. If you want to know how check out the 48 Hours Film Festival and find out more.

The speed, creativity, and technical know-how that go into producing a film of any kind is mind-boggling to say the least. For every minute you see on your large or small scene, there was approximately an hour of filming to bring it to you. So, the next time your watching your favorite movie, remember to give thanks for all the knowledgeable hard-working people that put it together for your viewing pleasure.

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The Hillerman Legacy Continues

911860.spiderwomansdaughterJournalist, turned novelist, Anne Hillerman has been writing from an early age, following in her father’s footsteps. From article writing to editing and now restaurant reviews, Hillerman ran the gambit in the newspaper world. Back in 2004, for she began the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in honor of her father, and now has written her first novel picking up the series her dad left behind.

Anne began her career over twenty years ago, starting out as a copy editor, and then moving into reporting. She started at the Santa Fe New Mexican and then moved on to work for the Albuquerque Journal. Moving into reporting was a learning experience that Hillerman wouldn’t trade for the world. It helped her learnto write against deadlines, hone her skills to word counts, and gave her confidence in her writing abilities. Fact sorting was the most relevant skill she learned for her later career as a fiction writer. There are so many facts and details that a writer can add to a story or an article. It takes discernment to know which of these facts or details is going to impact the reader. It’s a skill that most writers spend lifetime learning. Hillerman states, “Being a reporter introduced me to some many different kinds of people and gave me a lot of confidence.” Taking on the role of editor allowed her to work with some talented writers. While helping other writers tighten their work and create stronger prose, Hillerman learned to refine her own writing.

Hillerman and her husband, Don, worked together to produce many books on New Mexico including: Santa Fe Flavors: Best Restaurants and Recipes (winner of the 2009 New Mexico Book Award), The Insider’s Guide to Santa Fe, and many other titles, none of which were novels. After her father, Tony HIllerman’s, death in 2008, she decided to write the next book in the series that her father had created. Hillerman wrote Spider Woman’s Daughter in 2013, partly cathartic, partly to honor her father’s memory, and, of course, to pay homage to the characters. The story, number 19 in the series, picks up with Leaphorn, Bernie, and Chee, with the addition of some new characters. Staying true to the main characters in the story, she gave her own twist to the new mystery and allowed all the characters to grow in the addition. Devote readers maybe be surprised who solves what in this installment of the series, but it will keep you guessing right up until the end. She is in the process of completing number twenty and signing a book deal for three more installments. These characters will be around to save New Mexico from the criminal elements for years to come. “I loved his stories,” Hillerman shares. “I love his characters… his setting.”

Wordharvest, founded in 2002 by Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg, supports the art of writing. They began the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in 2004, now celebrating its tenth year, Tony participated in the inaugural conference that was focused for mystery writers. Originally intended to be a one time event, the conference went over so well that it became an annual event. It was opened up to create a space where writers of all genres could come to learn and share experiences in the 2010 Writers Conference. The event is three days long and held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Day one consist of hands on writing workshops, day two the craft of writing, and day three the business of writing. The conference days are packed with speakers, special guests, and panels to give new and seasoned writers information on writing from all angles. Along with the conference, they run a contest for new mystery writers every year. “We thought it would be fun to shine the light on the wonderful talent that New Mexico has in terms of writers,” says HIllerman. Writers who have not published a mystery before can submit their mystery novel for a chance to win a $10,000 advance. Submission deadline is June 1st, and it must take place in the Southwest. Please visit www.wordharvest.com for details.

Anne Hillerman – talented writer, inspiring editor, and community involvement keep her busy and traveling all over New Mexico. She still finds time to do restaurant reviews during her travels. If you’re a mystery reader, or a writer, Anne Hillerman should be on your list of people to follow. She is doing amazing in the writing world and you can be a part of her journey.

 

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Kansas Bleeds

KansasBleedsFrntNew Mexico native Melody Groves has a deep love for anything cowboy and Old West. Winner of six first-place writing awards, Melody is a member of Western Writers of America, SouthWest Writers and New Mexico Press Women. She writes for Wild West, American Cowboy, True West, New Mexico Magazine and other regional publications. When not writing, she’s busy playing rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band. Kansas Bleeds is a coming of age story everyone can relate to. Hotheaded teenager, overbearing father, big brothers putting in their two cents and negative outside influences, except this story is set in the old west where shootouts replace arguments and teenagers are considered grown-ups. Luke, our hotheaded teenage antagonist, is married and himself a parent who is trying to break free of his father’s views. But, it’s not easy when your family is living in your parents’ house. The language and feel of the book transports the reader to 1862 Kansas, a place and time of hard living, and the polarizing effect of the war even in the territories trying to stay out of it. Through out the story you will spend as much time cheering for Luke as you do wanted to shake some sense into him. A reader, like myself, with limited interest in the Wild West the story kept me turning the page well after bedtime. The hard choices a family has to make and the tragedies that spur them on, will make you grateful and sad when you reach the end. The Wild West holds a special place in Melody’s heart and she invites you to show you what a wonderful and mysterious world it could be. Leave yourself plenty of time for reading because sleep won’t be coming any time soon. Checkout more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno was a young boy with an introverted personality and a speech impediment. He would read comic books from cover to cover, hoping some day to find a way to feel as good about himself as he did about the superheroes he adored. He life began to change in his early teen years and he went on to be the one of the people he admired the most.

At the early age of thirteen, Lou was looking for a someway to more confident in his own skin. One day at a friend’s house he saw some weights in the corner and tried to lift them. They were so large he couldn’t do it, yet. But, he knew then that someday he was going. “ One of them (his friends) flex their arm and he had a bicep, a small bicep like a baseball, I was like ‘Dang! I want be like that,’ and that is how it begun.”

Reading The Hulk® comics books for most of his life, he was ready when the audition opportunity came up. “I had been the Hulk my whole life,” said Ferrigno. He went in without preparing – knowing they would give him the role. After a short time of doing some pantomiming for the camera, he was given the role and began to film the next day. The Hulk was a great role that helped Lou break into the Hollywood scene.

Ferrigno stayed in the limelight of film for almost ten years before going back to weight-lifting. At forty-two, he went back to the competition circuit to finish the sport. At his age, with a wife and three kids, weight-lifting bought new challenges. “It’s a very narcissistic sport,” says Ferrigno. “You have no social life, your dieting and training, and you have to conserve all your energy for competing.” With his family’s support, he competed again, placing respectively at Mr. Olympia and Masters Oympia, and closed the book on his competitive weight-lifting career.

The movie role that stands out most to Lou was a documentary of a documentary he worked on called David and Goliath. The actor who was playing David kept trying to antagonizing Lou on set, which made him uncomfortable. It took him everything he had not to squeeze the life out of the actor. On the Celebrity Apprentice, the other members of the cast truly underestimated Lou. “They expected the Hulk to show up,” shared Ferrigno. When he got to the boardroom he was very outspoken and surprised everyone. “Luckily I learned a lot about branding and raised a hundred thousand dollars for my charity ALS”. No matter what role Lou has played in his life, he has taken a lesson from it.

One of Ferrigno’s newest ventures, Ferrigno Fit, by no surprise, is a fitness company that the whole family is involved with. “I don’t believe in dieting,” says Ferrigno. He wants to teach people how to adjust their eating habits for a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are the only way to really improve your life and health. Ferrigno’s latest project is presenting a body building show, FerringoFit.com, that he hopes one day will turn into a health expo, including fitness chiropractors and others. His kids all started out over-weight and they each made their own decision to get into shape and become personal trainers. With his whole family backing him, he has already proved he can do anything he puts his mind to. With his sons in mind, when it came to asking what his advice would be for the youth of today, those who look up to him, Ferrigno says, “Be passionate about what you do, and don’t compete or compare yourself to other people. Everyone has a different genetic make-up. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and negative people.”

Ferrigno is a lover of comic convention. They are a great way for people to come and meet their favorite characters, and be themselves for a day, without fear. It’s great to be able to emerge yourself in pop-culture. He hopes to leave a legacy behind of him of being in good shape and being healthy.
From introverted child to the Incredible Hulk, Ferrigno has proved to himself and the world that he has a lot to offer society as a whole. Expanding every year with new ideas and new endeavors, he will be in our hearts and mind for years to come as a hero in so many different ways.

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Near Death in the Neon City

The thing about Vegas is that it’s not just one night; an eternity can pass between sunset and sunrise. I cannot tell say certainty that what I’m about to tell you is fact. I can only affirm it happened and let it serve as a warning to others who are foolish enough to venture into the night.
Seductive shimmering stars of neon light, up and down the boulevard drawing people into the boisterous opened mouthed casinos. Play Here, Win Big. Bewitching girls hint at untold hedonism to all who enter. The song of the slots a siren’s call, the scintillating color attracts the eye, a paradise or hell dependent on the roll of a single dice. Once inside, one of the menagerie of sensory stimulation a path twists through the vastness, never does it pass an exit.
Stale cigarette smoke permeates the low coin tables while the sweet cherry aroma of pipe tobacco separates the high limit tables. Angels in heels without wings rush by with plastic smiles, bringing nectars from the Gods to the brave seated at the tables. Large enforcers in suits watch over the room handpicking the visitors that will elevate to heaven or plunge down into the rings of hell.
Time does not pass here once you enter. No clocks to tick, no digital display, no windows to let you know the sun has risen to burn away your sins. Time passes differently in these walls than in the real world.
The masses that come here begging to have their everyday lives suspended for a few meager hours, will risk everything for the smallest of wins. Where else do people come and pay for the privilege of experiencing death, night after night, in all its stages. After the first big loss there is denial, the feeling of being alone and taken advantage of. Another roll of the dice brings on the anger at one’s self and the casino for tricking them into playing and losing. Another inferior hand and its time to make a deal with the Powers That Be. Another bad beat leads to depression and misery. Another pathetic hand and acceptance sinks in, with the idea to acquire more capital. But, in Vegas the final stage of death does not come, only the sun returns to save you from yourself.
In the night anything can happen, rising to the status of a God or sinking down to hell or falling further down where even the gut snakes and degenerates can no longer find you. If you’re lucky enough for the sun to rise and you are given a second chance, flee. Pack your bags and run because if night falls again you will never escape.

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ArtBar Albuquerque

Just south of Central Ave. on Gold Street sits ArtBar. A small unassuming place from the outside, ArtBar spacious layout and full stocked bar will make you glad you stopped in. It’s a members only club here in downtown Albuquerque. Before you let that turn you off there are some things you should know. The membership fee of $30 a year goes to a support art programs all over Albuquerque proper. They hope to expand that to helping communities in and area New Mexico. Once you’re a member you can bring up to ten guest with you at any time as long as you’re on site with them. It also gives you the ability to rent out ArtBar and hold your own art
openings or events on the premises.

The night I went, ArtBar was presenting comedians on a road trip from Seattle. The bartenders are friendly, attentive, and, most importantly, mix a great drink. The bar itself is a work art, from the hanging lights to the comfy couches set around the room. Aaron Kirby is on stage. Slipping around the curtain we fined seats on one of the leather couches by a window. I’m barely in my seat before I start laughing uncontrollably which continues until his set ends. Next up Derek Sheen. He truly looks like he is right out of Seattle circa 1992, with his flannel shirt and shorts. Microphone in hand e has the audience holding their sides within seconds. Now these guys are not for the light of heart or easily offended, but I imagine those people would know better the to go to comedy shows. Checkout ArtBar pay the membership fee it goes to a good cause and see what happening in the art world of downtown Albuquerque.

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Poor Peoples Flowers Irene Blea

bleacover (2)By Winter Flack

Irene Blea, New Mexico native who earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder, has released her second novel in the Suzanna series set in 1920’s New Mexico, “Poor Peoples’ Flowers”. The novel picks up with Suzanna, now an adult, husband returning after a two year absent. Suzanna runs away from her life and leaves her children behind in hope of finding a better life. Violence and loneliness permeates life for women in Northern New Mexico, with few options and even fewer ways to escape. The church was the only place to turn for help in those days, for anyone.

The language is authentic and beautifully crafted to fit the times. The description breathes life into the New Mexican countryside. The characters are richly emotional with diverse issues of their own. A Humanities scholar, Blea takes an in-depth look at what drives to make the sometimes-horrible decisions they have to make, and the guilt that comes with life choices. This novel is more then just a look into the past, it’s a message of why society needs the changes that were brought and we need to fight to keep improving the conditions people live in.

An emotionally raw look at abuse that until so recently was considered normal this profound novel will make you re-evaluate your life and that of those around you.

Read more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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