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Missives from New Mexico

A few months ago, Graham got in touch with the folks over at Boomtown Fair, a music festival in the U.K. to see about getting on the lineup.  That particular festival has different districts dedicated to differing musical themes, and one of them, Mayfair Avenue, is focused on electro swing and live swing bands.  Within a few weeks of getting in contact, Graham was on the lineup.  He has three short sets on a huge stage on Friday night, and he has a longer set in a smaller venue on Saturday, with the possibility of another set on Sunday in the Latin district.  He also has a gig, ironically enough, in my old haunting grounds of Oxford on Thursday night at the invitation of Dutty Moonshine.  I used to go to the club he's performing at when I was a student there in 1994-95.  It's actually the same ownership/name as the club he performed in when we were in London last year.  He's on a plane as I type, and he will spend two days in London before he goes on his tour.  He'll have a great time; when he's in the U.K. he tends to blend in.

At any rate, for a variety of reasons, it didn't make as much sense for me to go on tour with him this time around. But I didn't want to stay home while he was having a blast, either. So, I called my mom to make sure the house was available, and I made arrangements at work to take off this week.  And on Friday, after work, the puppies and I kissed Graham and wished him the best time ever, and drove to Rhome, Texas where we stayed at a Motel 6.   Saturday, we woke up early, got in the car for ten hours, making friends with motorcycle gangs along the way, and arrived in Taos in time for a quick grocery store run and a lot of running around in the cool(er) mountain air.

If Graham blends in London, I blend in Taos.  I have somewhat hippie sensibilities, along with a practical streak.  I found myself not the only one in a prairie skirt and Birkenstocks at the grocery store the other day.  It's a town that I could live in easily if I could figure out how to pay the bills.  I always feel a sense of belonging here, and every ounce of stress that I'm carrying seems to melt off my body.

I have no real goals while I'm here.  I made a vow to myself that I would not play any computer games while here.  I want to take the puppies up to the mountain to go hiking one day. And I want to take myself to the spa at Ojo Caliente for some TLC.  I sort of promised myself that I'd try to make a yoga class once a day, but I'll be ok if I miss a yoga class for something else.  I want to take the puppies on longish walks while we're here, even if we don't make it to the mountain. There's a farmer's market on Wednesday at the pueblo, I'm told. And I want to go to the flea market in Santa Fe on Friday. I saw a sign for a craft fair on Saturday in the plaza.  Though there are some awesome restaurants here, I'd rather cook more than go out.

And I want to write.  Last fall, I took a fiction class at Inprint, and I found that I wasn't really horrible at it. I didn't have time in the spring, with classes at the School of Public Health, to keep writing as I would have liked, and this summer, I've been more preoccupied on other things. But, I knew that creative writing was something that I wanted to explore a little more seriously with a little more discipline.  A week to myself in one of the environments where I'm most comfortable in the world with nothing else to do seems like a good a place as any to impose that discipline.

So far? Not as successful as I would like, but I'm going in the right directions. Yesterday, I was pretty beat up by the travel and the altitude. (I almost always get headaches the first day I'm here, but this trip has been fairly decent.)  So I took it easy.  I finished a book that I'd been reading. I cooked some delicious salmon and couscous and spinach.  I drank a half a bottle of wine. (I'm finishing it now.) I walked the puppies to the square and back.  I did some straightening up around the house.  I settled into my home for the week.

Today has been a little more successful. I went to a yoga class, which I was a little nervous about. I think it's been about five years since I've been in one, and I was afraid I was going to make many mistakes. But the instructor and my classmates were great, and I felt very welcomed and I remembered what it was that I liked about yoga.  That I'm pretty flexible helps.  I also went to the hardware store to pick up some annuals and a hand weeder to get rid of some dandelions.  The annuals won't last that much longer, but they're on sale, and the two pots on the deck were barren.  My parents will be up here in two weeks, and I wanted it to look nice for them.  Fusilli helped me get rid of some of the dandelions, and Celosa supervised.   I caught up on some reading.  Later, I walked to one of the grocery stores for some ingredients for my Thai green curry chicken. And even later, the puppies and I saddled up for a longer walk. We would have been out even more, but a nasty cloud looked to be coming our way, and I didn't want to get caught in the rain with them.  We cooked dinner, and we were pretty happy with our efforts.  I'm sort of focusing on foods I like to cook, but Graham doesn't really like.

And now, I'm sitting down to write.  And I've written quite a bit. More than I've written in awhile.  It feels good to put my thoughts down, and I wish I had more confidence about this whole process.  I suppose most "writers" don't. And the ones that can make themselves go through it to the other side are the ones that get to take the quotes off the title.

We'll see if this week helps me do that a bit.      


( 2 comments — Say something )
Aug. 6th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
while i don't know what your more "writer-y" writing is like...

your livejournal posts are WONDERFFUL. they come alive, they're painted across the computer with bright adjectives that show exactly what you're trying to say. i can see the dogs "helping" you with the dandelions, and feel your sense of amusement at not being in birkenstocks and a prairie skirt.

i like reading what you've written, and like seeing your posts pop up on my f-list!
Aug. 7th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
On writing
This -- though long -- is worth reading on William Gibson's creative process and his insecurities towards his writings:

( 2 comments — Say something )