Viva New Mexico
I'm writing from New Mexico right now off my phone...
I know- my phone... but hey, write with what ya got, when ya got.
This week is the weekend of my 29th birthday (geeze, I know, right?).
It's been a time with family and reflection. And before I get too Hallmark and junk, I just wanted to write about how re-experiencing your roots helps you re-experience yourself.
But wait, what does this have to do with writing?
If you're never got a chance to experience New Mexico, do it.
Even with Albuquerque, each part of the city reflects a different facet of the same desert jewel. Breathe the different people in. Refuse chain stores and restaurants. Stick to the dives. Grab an Alibi newspaper (they're free), and hit the streets. Even to this day, with my older sister as my guide, I always see something new- someone new.
I went to middle school at Desert Ridge and high school at La Cueva
(both in the North East Heights). It's rich. Yuppies abound. It's where contractors, CEO's, and scientists live. And before you judge too much, understand they're people too. Without them, modern-day ABQ, let alone the state, would not be the same. - this environment is a part of me. When you visit, check out Santiago's restaurant at the base of the Sandia Mountains (at sunset- trust me).
If you want authentic nightlife, plunge into the neon glow of Nob Hill and
Down Town Central Ave (Aka Route 66). Culture practically oozes out of the bar windows. There, life doesn't really begin until at least 9p (just as it should). Go- wander- observe- meet strangers- pet the dogs wandering through the pet-friendly bars. Smell the lavender, local craft-beer, and high desert air. This too is a part of me. - when you go, be sure to hit up Anodyne (order the St Peter's Creme Stout).
During the days, there are untold numbers of incredible coffee shops, thrift stores, art studios, restaurants, museums, Their name is Legion, for they are many. Watch Indie commerce and artists happen- feel the world turn on the cutting edge of creative thinking... all over a chai. See Humble Coffee (order their latte with homemade vanilla).
Go to Santa Fe. Feel History. See the New West. Wander the streets and smell the pinion forests of the southern Rockies just beyond the ancient Church of Santa Fe. Watch hippies (old and new) mingle with artists making craft so expensive and exquisite, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Walk along the colonnaded Palace of the Governors, where modern day native New Mexicans sell handmade jewelry on homemade blankets (yes, you can haggle). When you go, see the miraculous staircase at the Loretto Chapel.
This has been my weekend (more or less). On the way back from Santa Fe yesterday, we took the long way home by the Ortiz mountains. Stop at Madrid- and message me when you do.
But what does this have to do with writing?
Hah- you're a pesky little bugger, aren't you?
Well, here's the thing. Writing is more than just a series of lists and advice. WHAT. YES. You can't just puruse the interwebs and eventually gleam what you need to be the GREATEST WRITER OF ALL TIME. (Dibs, btw).
You have to go live life. You have to thoughtlessly re-experience your roots- take that vibe- that spirit and run with it wherever you go. Good writing, ultimately, and in my not so humble opinion, means living a good, full, lively life. Good, fun, feel it in your heart and soul and spirit and page writing means leaking a full to bursting life onto pages as you go.
Now - "go and do likewise."
Tell me your own story
- I'd love to hear it.
Ryan P. Freeman is a fantasy author and desert wanderer. His two current books
(at the time of this post) include The Grey Isle Tale, and Rienspel. He also is a proud member of the St Louis Writers Guild. Ryan's always looking for new artists to feature on his ongoing series #WriFri. If you or someone know is addicted to art, please contact Ryan.
He wants to encourage and showcase their habit.