I'm back on Examiner.com writing about community issues in Alamogordo and the surrounding area. Come follow me!
As part of my continued effort to evolve professionally and academically, I am going to start offering consulting services. I've got a lot of experience in a lot of different areas that could really benefit businesses and organizations here. And while my priority is always SANE, this will allow me to explore my interests and hone my skills in politics, the law, business and other favorite past-times. Contact me if you think my expertise might fit your needs.
More information about consulting services can be found HERE.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is fast approaching, but there's no need to wait til April to start work on ending sexual violence in the community. Please read the call to action below and share with everyone you know. Together, we can make this community a safer and healthier place!
Holy moly....I was elected President of the Otero County Health Council today. Planning......
...Also, I completed my first exam, did media work for the Quality of Life tax issue on the ballot, worked on programs for the Friends of the Library and still managed to find time to actually work :)
I am reading Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists & Other Sex Offenders which is a memoir and cautionary tale told by Anna Salter PhD. This book will give you nightmares, but it is a fascinating study on sex offenders and how they think. Dr. Salter has compiled anecdotal evidence, as well as direct quotes from incarcerated sex offenders, that illustrates how alarmingly methodical and cunning offenders can be and how even the most expert professionals can be fooled time and time again. This book has a particular focus on sex offenders who pray on children and while it probably will make most parents a little bit paranoid, I think its worth a read-through and some frank community dialogues. Law enforcement professionals, prison staff and attorneys / legal staff would also benefit greatly from reading this book.
Note: This book is disturbing. It WILL affect you. I am not going to downplay this because I know that some people will have a hard time coping with the material. That said, I think that the way we, as a community, end sexual violence is to start an open dialogue even when the topics are uncomfortable. And I believe wholeheartedly that you can't read this book without talking about it.
Honestly, I can't say I ever expected to be writing about different blood spatter patterns, but I'm really digging this Forensic Law class. When I started college in 1996, I thought maybe I'd go to law school. Instead, I majored in Political Science and Philosophy, started my own business, had a family...you name it :) Now I'm starting to wonder if law school is in my future. I'm so excited by the material we're covering in class and I'm looking forward to throwing some Psychology into the mix next semester. Life is a funny thing.
It's been a wild and crazy year so far and I'm glad to find myself on the downward slope toward 2013. It's been a year of personal strife. A separation. Adapting to single motherhood. A new relationship. "The Crash" New job. Sale of my business. A new chapter. I'm feeling good about the future and hope that things will stay calm for a while.
Among other things, I'm starting work on my Master's in August. I've been looking for the right program and I think I've finally found it at Western New Mexico University. I'll be pursuing a Master's in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration on Political Science. First course - Forensic Law! I am so stinking excited. (don't you feel the same way - forensic law...tee hee).
So, at the end of that day, even though it seems like the busiest, craziest life ever...I am finding a balance between work and home life, love and serenity and things are falling into place.
I want to share a bit about a recent interview with author Michael McGarrity. Michael has very generously donated his time to many events in the Alamogordo area. He has authored 12 books, many of which are set in the Southwest and even the Tularosa Basin. I spoke with Michael a few months ago about his new book Hard Country (which was released today, May 10th!). As a result of that conversation, we scheduled an interview at a venue of his choosing - The New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, NM. The museum alone was worth the trip and if you've never been there, I suggest you make a trip with plenty of time to look around.
So back to Mr. McGarrity - Michael also had his publisher send me an advanced copy of the book. Being familiar with Michael's previous books, I was expecting something similar - a detective story set near the turn of the century...what I got was something very unexpected. Hard Country is a truly inspired work of historical fiction - a family saga that follows the ancestors of Kevin Kerney (McGarrity's famous detective) as they ranch their way from West Texas to the Tularosa Basin. I started reading and I just couldn't stop. The way that McGarrity weaves fiction and history is really quite brilliant. Famous characters from our area - Olive Lee, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Albert Fountain - are integrated into this fictional saga seamlessly.
Without having any knowledge of the history of the Tularosa Basin, this novel is engaging, interesting and well-developed. The characters are easy to love, hate and relate to - it sucks you in like a vacuum cleaner. With some historical background - and its hard to live here without having at least a little - it's impossible to put down. I was there the whole time - observing every single situation as if it were happening right in front of me. I am an avid reader. Hard Country is one of the best pieces of modern literature I've had the pleasure to sink my teeth into.
Bottom line: buy it, you'll like it. :)
Here's the interview with Michael McGarrity. Hard Country was released today. He'll be in Alamogordo twice in May promoting the book: the first appearance is at a Lunch & Learn at First National Bank, Alamogordo on May 24th (reservations required) and the second is a book signing at Hastings on May 27th at 3pm.
Starting April 15, I will be starting my journey as the interim program coordinator for the Otero / Lincoln County SANE Program. SANE = Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. SANE's are registered nurses and they perform rape exams, testify in court and raise awareness in the community in the hopes of ending sexual violence in our community. This isa n organization near and dear to my heart, and I am honored to be taking on this role.
I will also be doing marketing work for Hot Pink Perspective and managing Alamogordo Live, though I may not always be out and about with a camera for the next few months.
I am looking forward to this new challenge and I hope to continue contributing to the Alamogordo community in many ways. Change can do you good (or so Sheryl Crow has led me to believe).
AlamogordoLive.net has been redesigned. We're hoping the new look and feel will make the site a little bit easier to use and a little bit easier to manage. The new design was launched this evening, so it may take a day or two for everyone out there to see all the changes. But once you've taken a look, send us your feedback and please share with your friends and family!