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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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Filed under Albuquerque, Art, Entertainment, Flash Fiction, Television, Uncategorized, writing

Where’s Norma Now?

Where’s Norma Now? That is the question everyone in Albuquerque will soon be asking. Armed with nothing but two GoPro cameras, and some wicked imaginations, three local ladies, with a great crew, have created the latest hotness, “Where’s Norma Now?” Sheryl Brown, Terry Hicks, Nina Knapp are the screenwriting – directing – producing power team behind this show, starring Teresa Longo and Cheryl Hooks.

The idea? A life long desk jockey, Norma Esperanzo, is given a GoPro camera at her retirement party. With time on her hands, Norma, now retired and widowed, has to face the question so many do. What comes next?  Norma hopes to answer that question throughout the first season of the show, while learning just what it means to live a life of adventure.

The team of Sheryl, Terry, and Nina came about this idea when Nina got a GoPro camera for fun. The struggle to get it out of the box alone was enough to spark ideas and hours of banter between these funny ladies. With a mostly female film crew and a high action shooting style, “Where’s Norman Now?” is a comedy about coming of age the second time around. The ladies on Team Norma has started a grassroots movement using social media to bring this web show to life around the world. So, along with Norma learning her new life, the team behind this movie is learning, too.

Social media, GoPro Camera, and web shorts are just part of the learning curve for experienced filmmakers to overcome. Luckily for us, the team is taking us along on the journey with them. Check out and see what the new face of retirement looks like.

For more on What’s going on in New Mexico check out New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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Stranger Factory

2014-01-10 18.14.26By Winter Flack

Just off Central on Carlisle is a small art gallery named Stranger Factory. You have to keep an eye out as you drive by or you might miss it. It is far from a typical Albuquerque or Santa Fe art gallery. Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas operate Stranger Factory. It’s part of a group of artists that formed Circus Posterus. This collective of fine artists, illustrators, gallery curators and collaborators is bringing the strange back to art in New Mexico. Every month, the gallery offers a new show with a new-featured artist. The artists range from painters to sculptures, all with their own characters.

If that was all Stranger Factory offered, it should already be a monthly destination of yours, but it’s not. With most new exhibitions, the artists come in opening weekend to give a workshop on his or her expertise. The workshops run from two to four hours and are usually on a Sunday afternoon. They are very affordable, and, if you pay really close attention, you will learn things you’d never thought possible in a very short period of time.

I have taken a number of workshops from Stranger Factory. The most recent on Character Development. It was an eye opening look at how animators, illustrators, and people like me can now build a character that really relates to the audience. The hardest workshop I took was one by Travis Louie. He taught a workshop on rending to make graphite drawings look like black and white photos. I’m going to be honest, I hated the workshop, not because he wasn’t a good teacher, he was, but because I could NOT do it at all, not even a little bit. Over the next few months – ok more like twelve – I worked on the techniques when I could, until one day, it just clicked. I’m not good at it, not by any means, but now I understand it and have used it to improve other areas of my art. If you give these artists a chance, they will open your eyes to worlds you didn’t even know existed.

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Comedy night at Sandia Bowl

People will tell you that Albuquerque lacks a lot of things that other cities have and it’s true, but Sandia Bowl is stepping in to fill one of those needs. They are hosting a comedy night right here in town, every other Saturday night. Walking in the staff was great possibly a bit over whelmed. The small bar in Sandia Bowl filled up quickly for the comedy night featuring numerous local comedians and a first time Host.

Everybody was funny but if your easily offended or have tender ears stay out in the bowling area. Offensive subject matter, cuss words, and the possibility of being the butt of the joke were served up on the menu along with cold beer and drinks. The only thing missing was the stench of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. Come to think of it I really didn’t miss that part at all. The comedians were given a short amount of time to impress the crowd and they al lived up to the challenge. Even when the jokes were slow or the timing was off a recovery was always made. This was a promising start to many humorous Saturdays to come.

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Panic sets in

So it just hit me today that I have a pitch set up for April with a literary agent for a book that isn’t done yet. Well now that that’s off my chest I feel even worse. I have a 12 chapter book and 3 chapters are done. I’ve been coming up with ideas for weeks straight and they disappear as soon as I sit down. Ugh! So today is the day I sit down and stay there until something appears on the screen. Even if it’s dribble it will be a start. I wrote the book in no time of course, but now that I’m on to the editing process and it’s slow and hard.

I have a ton of ideas for other books including the next one in this series but I have to complete the first one and figure out how I am going to get it out into the world. Deep breath, I will complete this project it is important. 

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50th Anniversary Doctor Who

I’ll try to keep spoilers at bay in this post but I have to talk about the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor. Just watched the global broadcast. First let me say it so didn’t go where I thought it would. It included David Tennant, Matt Smith, John Hurt, and a walk on by Tom Baker (only a slight spoiler). The story, pre the norm, was intriguing in the way it changed the entire premise of the show without of course changing a thing.

It was one of the fastest moving hundred and twenty minutes I’ve ever spent glued to the edge of my couch. War, England, a quickie marriage everything you could ever want, with nothing you were expecting. The Doctor’s circle story line can sometimes be confusing to follow but it always comes together in the end. This end in particular was the end of an era for the Doctor with an amazing new one to begin. 

I was surprised by how much I had missed David has The Doctor, having grown use to Matt over the last few seasons, it was refreshing to see the long coat running about again. The two characters for being the same man are extremely different when you see them side-by-side. David’s doctor believe it or not is a much more smart-ass of the two even when being weighed down by regret. The only downside I can note about the whole week long marathon of Doctor Who was the pre-show. It stayed very focused on the current doctor with minimum time spent on the previous doctor. I would have like to see then discuss other episodes and  other doctors since this was the 50th anniversary, this of course is just a personal preference. I have soft spots for quite a few different doctors having watched the show over the last thirty some odd years of my life.

 A hundred and twenty minutes of being moved to tears then laugher and back to tears. It is only one of the many reasons to love this show. The story ideas reach out and pull you in every time. The dynamics between the Doctors was amazing with little jabs snuck in by each of the Doctors. They did the doctor proud no matter which doctor is your chosen one. If you haven’t yet watched An Adventure in Time and Space I highly recommend you check it out. It gives a look at how hard it was to get the idea of a timey whimey time traveler off the ground. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes in the show as the Doctor marches on and to watching to 50th episode again to see what I missed the first time.

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A kinky way to break writer’s block

Ever had writer’s block or for that fact of the matter any kind of block in your way of getting the job done. That immense wall that, that stops you in your tracks, keeps you pacing for hours, racking your brain trying to get the inspiration needed to get started. Well my only solution for that kind of block is to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. So the other night I did just that.

Step one I went to Self Serve’s website to see what was on their calendar this month for workshops, and one just happened to catch my eye, Writing Erotica with Rachel Kramer Bussel. Writing, check one that’s what I do. Erotica, check two everybody as experienced it once in their life. Something new, check three I have never done check one and check two together before. So I called the store and signed up for class. Then I sat around waiting and pacing for the new activity to blow my mind. Luckily it was a short wait. I got to class early and was greeted by the wonderful friendly staff at Self Serve before making myself comfortable in the circle of chairs that were set up for the workshop.

Rachel opened the workshop with introduction and sample readings to put the apprehensive audience at ease. Once the ice was broken we moved in to writing lesson to further loosen everyone up and teach people to see everyday things in a new light. The workshop closed with a discussion and the highs and lows of getting published. Overall the night was eye opening, comfortable, and informative. I loved the class the experience was amazing and I will be trying another of the many interesting workshops offered at Self Serve. Please check out their calendar and pick your next great experience.

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Sideline from the NaNoWriMo marathon but not out

Ok so just over a week into NaNoWriMo and I have been sidelined with a migraine. I however am still writing this blog and do you know why? Because I have to sit down and attempt to write something so I don’t lose my motivation. I’m currently ahead in my word count slated to finish on the 15th of the month so missing a day of writing isn’t the end of the world. It’s not really even putting behind. So I should just relax in a dark room and figure out how to remove my head for the next few hours until this passes right?

            Wrong. I made a promised to myself I would write everyday regardless of anything. Even if it is just 15mins somewhere between getting out of bed and the world crashing down around me for the third time that day. I know my writing is not up to par today (and that par can be set pretty low some days) but I have to do it. Or it will be come ok to miss for a good reason and certainly fine to miss for a better reason and then acceptable to miss for no reason at all. I refuse to be the reason why I miss out on a goal I set for myself. I may not make the word count I was hoping for today, but I will make a word count. So please if you take anything away from this piece of barely readable, migraine afflicted pile of words take this. The promises you make to yourself are the most important to keep.

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Design by Wine

If you have a free night and have always wanted to hang your own beautiful piece of artwork on your wall, then you should check out Design by Wine.  Kelly Jo Designs, Inc. in Los Ranchos, New Mexico offers multiple classes a month for painting your own masterpiece. On the weekend, they have family-friendly afternoon classes and adult evening classes. Check out their calendar to choose your  favorite piece of art and the perfect day.

            Design by Wine asks you to arrive 30 minutes before the class starts.  I would suggest you leave yourself a little more time than that. When you arrive at the studio, the front is filled with amazing pottery, paintings, and jewelry. Once you make it through to the back, you sign in for your class and are escorted to your seat where your easel and canvas await. Paints, aprons, and multiple-sized brushes are all supplied for you.

            After you have your workstation set up the way you like, you can then move on to the wine station. Yes, you read that right. Here you can sample some of the many wines they have on hand for each class. The selections do change so make sure you check the menu. You can purchase your wine by the glass or the bottle. For non-drinking attendees, they also have sodas and water.  

            When everyone is settled back in, the instructor demonstrates how to recreate the painting for the night. She gives clear advice starting with how to mix colors and moving on to what size brush to use. The instructions are broken into small pieces, in between which energetic music is turned up while the class paints. I would highly recommend during one of these periods that you take a walk around the group and see what everybody is doing. The classes are about three hours long, but Kelly Jo and her friendly staff don’t rush anybody in the process of creating their masterpiece. While there is no food served, you can bring snacks for yourself or the whole class.

            The only disappointing part of the class is when it ends. Thank goodness they have many different pictures to choose from and the choices are always changing.  Thanks to Design by Wine, there are no longer any excuses for not having art on your walls.

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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SouthWest Writers and NaNoWriMo

Have you ever wanted to write a book? How about a poem or maybe a magazine article? Well, this is the month to get motivated. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This online community helps both struggling and published writers set down 50,000 words in one month by sending out pep talks, guidelines, and other motivators to get the job done.

            If you are looking for something more up close and personal or a way to keep the motivation going all year around, we have the local group you have been looking for.  SouthWest Writers meets the first Saturday and the third Tuesday of every month with a local focus on NaNoWriMo during the month of November. They meet in Albuquerque at New Life Presbyterian Church (5540 Eubank NE).

            Each meeting consists of business at hand, a meet and greet, and a speaker for the day. The speakers are there to share their experiences in the world of writing. They are open about their successes and failures and want the people attending the meetings to learn from their mistakes so they can avoid making the same ones. The environment is supportive, encouraging, and everyone there is friendly.  You will find that conversation is easy to have, regardless of whether you’re a newbie who hasn’t written a word or a published author with twenty books under your belt.

            SouthWest Writers also offers four to six week classes and day-long workshops covering a variety of subjects all related to writing. Members always receive discounts and access to their newsletter, SouthWest Sage, a monthly publication that will inform you of events in town such as local author book signings and writing groups for the genre of your choosing.

            If you want to write, now is the time to start with NANoWriMo.  You can visit them online or at local meetups around your area. In December, SouthWest Writers will be there to guide you through your next steps. If you don’t make your word count this month, don’t worry – SouthWest Writers has classes and workshops in January to help you plot out your project and see it through to completion.  Find them online at SouthWest Writers

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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