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!
We've spent the month working on getting sponsors and advertisers for AlamogordoLive.net. It's been a slow process and we hope to continue working on it. In the meantime, there may be a few changes here and there in our programming and schedules so stay tuned. And if you're interested in keeping AlamogordoLive.net alive, please become a sponsor!
In the meantime, we've had some pretty amazing experiences this week. Our Friday episode of "On The Spot" featured some tidbits from Breakaway! The COPE Benefit. I filmed on Thursday during dress rehearsal and then attended Saturday on the arm of the very handsome President of the COPE board of directors. The concert as a whole was very good with some absolutely standout performances. My personal favorites included Luke West & Delaney Davis' duet of "She's Got Her Ticket," one of my very favorite Tracy Chapman songs. Their playing was fantastic and Delaney's voice is just breathtaking....definitely a must see duo. Mike Julian gave Andrea Bocelli a run for his money with an outstanding performance of "Time To Say Goodbye." Sheesh! That's all I can say really. No wait...I can say a lot more. Mike Julian...you have an absolutely dreamy voice. It is literally thrilling to listen to you sing. There. I said it.
The Academy of Ballet dancers added some flare to the event with some wonderful dance numbers including my personal favorite performed to Madonna's "Power of Goodbye." With their blue costumes, it reminded me of water...very beautiful. And, of course, I have to mention Anthony Kumpf's performance of "Bye Bye Bye," complete with back-up dancers. He's a very fun performer to watch, even if he is singing boy band pop :) Here's a link to our On The Spot show.
Tonight we held our March "In The House" featuring Egyptian dance...I can't wait to post video. Stay tuned! Hope everyone has a great week.
We decided this week that we would do some traveling - visiting nearby towns and interviewing business owners. So on Firday, Kari, Leona and I headed up to Ruidoso. Camera at the ready, we walked a few blocks of Sudderth Drive, visiting a handful of shops including Noisy Water Winery where you can sample some amazing New Mexico cheeses and wines. Watching Leona sample their Diablo cheese was just as amusing as I'd hoped it would be. The clip is live now - a special edition of On The Spot - so you can see what we did. Hoping to hit Cloudcroft, Tularosa and maybe even Las Cruces in the next few weeks.
Tonight, Kari, Grace and I went up to the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero to cover their first concert of 2012 - The Pointer Sisters. As we work on expanding coverage, we don't always know what to expect and, having never been to a concert at the Inn, this was no exception. We talked to dozens of people about their favorite songs and had a wonderful time. Kari got her first chance to be on air and Grace wowed the crowd with her dancing :) The Pointer Sisters were fantastic. Additions to the original group include nieces, daughters, granddaughters - and I tell you what, those ladies can sing!
Looking forward to many more great trips up to the Inn. We'll be covering the concert series all year long, along with other events. I love every second of my job :)
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.