Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Apricot Year

Martha's New Novel!


Luli Russell never imagines the hurricanes, figurative and real, that will roar through her life when she turns fifty. A traditional Green Bay housewife, she has buried her artistic talent under the demands of family. For her birthday, her husband Herb and their four children give her a trip to Santa Fe on her own, a month of painting lessons, and an enviable set of watercolors.

A hysterical call from her teenage daughter turns her dream trip into a nightmare. Minutes later, still in shock, Luli finds a bleeding man lying helpless in a parking lot. Her call for help is answered by Adán Alire, a former medic in Vietnam. He knows how to rescue the old man, and his kindhearted wife, Rosealba, knows how to help Luli rescue herself.An Apricot Year throws together a quartet of dissimilar people who find their common humanity outweighs their differences as they meet in the shade of a bountiful apricot tree.

Martha's New Tree!

Just as Papalote Press released my new novel, An Apricot Year, Santa Fe's apricots burst into bloom. I promise we didn't plan it that way–honest! We had a wonderful week of spring weather, all the other fruit trees got into the blooming act, and then ... we had a snowstorm that dumped about four inches of snow on everything. And the next day, another couple of inches. I went outside and took photos of my newest little apricot, bursting with snowy blooms. 

Then the sun came out. The blossoms seem quite fine. Will it still be an apricot year? We can only hope.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cheesehead Solidarity


Yesterday, February 26, 2011, over a thousand of us cranks gathered in front of the Roundhouse, New Mexico's capitol building in Santa Fe, to demonstrate solidarity with Wisconsin's public employees. Carol and I sported cheeseheads! But we weren't the only ones. One New Mexican had a block of green foam on her head, proclaiming herself a green chile cheesehead! Others wore U Wisconsin red and white clothes, union jackets, and maybe because it was a little chilly, union suits as well. It was a mixed crowd–people of all ages and backgrounds, kids, people with walkers, and, being Santa Fe, a number of politically active dogs. It wasn't terribly well organized, but in a way, I think that made it an even more genuine outpouring of support for Wisconsin's public employees–and a protest against conservatives' wave of middle-class bashing all over the country.

Some readers may be in agreement with the Republican governor's union-busting agenda, but ... what can I say ... we're a democracy, not (yet) an oligarchy or corporatocracy–officially, anyway. School teachers, union members, and immigrants haven't caused our budget crises. Rather, the country's financial problems are the result of hideously costly, unnecessary wars; a "defense" department that spends more on armaments and military personnel than all other nations combined; failure of the federal government to regulate the banking industry and financial institutions; and in our state at least, state government's allowing multinational corporations like Intel, Walmart, GE, etc. operating here to take their profits out of state. Many internet companies doing business here–Amazon, for example–don't pay sales taxes or employ local people–as do small business owners like moi. Moreover, the superwealthy don't pay their fair share of taxes, unlike salaried workers.


Love 2 All!!

Tortilla Marta

Photos by: Johnny Lorenzo

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Super Bowl at Casa Arango


Angie painted Gabby's (11) and Grace's (7) fingernails green and gold. They were cute in their pink Packer shirts, number 80 (Donald Driver). Mary, their chiwiener (Chihuahua-dachshund cross) wore her Packer shirt, and everyone else was appropriately decked out in green and gold. I dusted off my two cheeseheads, and made Carol wear one, along with the Packer beads she got in Green Bay in August at a pre-season game in Lambeau Field. Dave, born in Pittsburgh and wearing a Steelers shirt, was relegated to a corner of the big-screen room by his wife Angie, who'd never watched a football game before. She really got into it, yelling as loud as the rest of us. I'm sure you heard us, Josie, all the way in Hawai'i!

The food was great. Bratwurst (of course), potato salad, guacamole, green salad, chocolate cake, chips, salsa, and the main course, beer.

It was fun. Even Nick watched, although as a Redskins fan (he's Apache), he can't bring himself to cheer for the Packers. I channeled Polly. She would be sooooo thrilled, after all her years of loyally supporting the team when they were lousy. It would have been so much fun to be in Green Bay last night. The town was surely jumping and pumping.

Now... football withdrawl for another seven months. Time to do something other than loll on a couch in front of a TV on those beautiful New Mexican Sunday afternoons. Hope you all bet on the Packers and won big bucks!