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Happenstance

June 15, 2013

Magazine

El Campesino, by Peter Lopez, carved from a tree in Plaza Park, Las Vegas, N.M. 2013, the work is dedicated to San Isidro and the Tri-Country Framer’s Market.


June 15, 2013, Page 2

Happenstance Magazine

Next issue: On or about July 1, 2013 Submission deadline, Wednesday, June 27, 2013 No exceptions Creative Prompt: Summer Celebrations

Writers’ Block featuring Elizabeth Barlow Rogers Rogers has written a beautiful book about Las Vegas, N.M., or rather about the concept of place within the context of a small northern New Mexico town. The book does an admirable jobs of exploring what makes a place distinctive.

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Happenstance June 15, 2013 Happenstance Publishing Sharon Vander Meer For permission to use content contact:

sharon@vandermeerbooks.com

Cover image: El Campesino Carving by Peter Lopez Photo: Sharon Vander Meer Some interior images may be from clipart.com

Page 3 • Move it, move it! Page 4 • Writers’ Block Elizabeth Barlow Rogers Page 5 • Entrepreneur Neita Fran Ward Page 6

Entrepreneur Spotlight Neita Fran Ward This entrepreneur continues to innovate, create and add to the eclectic selections in WarDancer and DreamSpirits. She is embarking on an impressive online presence to keep up with the times. This Q&A gives insight into her journey and passion.

In this issue:

A Manual of Proper Conduct for Gentlefolk: Lesson 27 - Virtues A Must Read

• A Manual of Proper Conduct for Gentlefolk By Niki Sebastian

Page 7 • Jewish Funeral Traditions By Gail Rubin

Page 8 • Thunder Prime: Hunter’s Light Episode 11 Sharon Vander Meer Page 12 • Raining Sunshine By Peter Linder

By Niki Sebastian

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Subscription: $12 annually Mail check to Sharon Vander Meer Happenstance Publishing PO Box 187 Las Vegas, NM 87701 Subscribe online at Happenstance Magazine All rights reserved by Happenstance Publishing in Las Vegas, N.M. Reproduction of contents in any fashion without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Happenstance Publishing is not responsible or liable for the loss of any unsolicited materials or incorrect dates or incorrect information in articles. Opinions expressed within the pages (or web posting) of Happenstance Magazine do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the magazine. Bylined articles and editorial content represent the views of their authors. For permission to reprint any part of a bylined article, contact the author. www.vandermeerbooks.com Copyright 2013


June 15, 2013, Page 3

Happenstance Magazine

Move it, move it! Submissions Welcome These prompts are suggestions, not fences to corral the writing muse. July: Summer Celebrations August: School Days September: Autumn Leaves October: Spirits and Ghosties November: Fabulous Food December: Winter Celebrations Submission deadlines: One week prior to the publication date, which is typically on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

Writer’s Guidelines: 1. Must be original work. 2. Grammar, punctuation and spelling must be correct. 3. Maximum length 1,500 words. 4. Acceptable genres and styles: poetry, humor, essay, memoir, short story, photo essay, feature articles, travel, social commentary, food, wine and dining, book reviews, fiction, nonfiction, mystery, romance and sci-fi/fantasy. 5. Submission does not guarantee publication. 6. Submit work to: sharon@vandermeerbooks.com. If you have specific questions about the submission process, please e-mail sharon@vandermeerbooks.com Compensation not paid at this time.

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umba. The word alone makes you start tapping your toes. I’m taking part in a Zumba Gold class lead by my friend Juli Salman. Gold indicates it’s for the more mature participant, paced for bodacious behinds and potty bellies, (speaking entirely for myself here). If my knees hold out, I’ll keep at it. That’s up for question. The music is punchy and upbeat, there are definite dance steps, and keeping up is kind of important. At first I thought I was the only one not getting it, but when the first couple of sessions were over and everyone else was also wrung out, I decided maybe I wouldn’t give up, if my knees hold out. When I’m not sweating buckets, I have fun, even though my total lack of rhythm, and a complete lack of musical sense means I mostly stumble through the routines. I keep thinking I’ll improve. So far that hasn’t been the case. There is this one routine where you start with your arms in the air, over your head, and then you step one foot forward while at the same time you bring your arms down and back, and then you put your arms back up and put your other foot out. Now it sounds easy and from what I gather watching everyone else, it is easy, but I CAN’T DO IT! Drives me to distraction. Another routine has a salsa step. Not getting it. Why am I doing this? For the exercise, because even though I don’t have the dance steps down right, I am moving around. My work keeps me in front of a computer way too many hours out of the day. Walking twice a week for three miles and three hour-long sessions of Zumba a week keep me in shape. No, wait, not in shape, but headed in that direction. The other part of it is the social interaction. The walking group is always the same and I’ve developed friendships with my fellow walkers. The Zumba group is a changing landscape with people coming and going, but I’ve seen folks I hadn’t talked to in more than a year, and met new people. If you’ve been down in the doldrums and you’re looking for something to do to help you build stamina and improve your health, get out and move around. Try Zumba, walk, cycle, anything active. Mornings are great because it’s still cool. If you walk later in the day, wear a hat and carry a bottle of water. It can get darned hot. There are other activities available, no matter where you live. The important thing it to get out and move around. Most towns have a recreation center with a pool and a variety of walking and other types of machines. Like everything in life, your health is up to you. What are you going to do about it? Move it! Move it! –Sharon


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Happenstance Magazine

It’s All About Place Learning Las Vegas, Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place By Elizabeth Barlow Rogers Publisher: Museum of NM Press $39.95

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n her book, “Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History,” Elizabeth Barlow Rogers wrote, “Throughout the ages landscapes have reflected cosmological notions underlying one of humanity’s great imponderables: Where are we? How was the world created, and what is the place and fate of human beings within the context of space and time?” As the author of several works about the subject, Rogers is well prepared to delve into what makes a place distinctive. Rogers, who has a background in art history and city planning is the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. A native of San Antonio, Texas, she has lived since 1964 in New York City, N.Y. and has received many accolades for her work and dedication. Among her many accomplishments, she is a writer and photographer. For people from a small town in northern New Mexico how she writes about place tells a story about life, culture and history. Why did she choose the small town as the subject of her book, “Learning Las Vegas, Portrait of a Northern Mew Mexican Place?” “I wanted to look at the subject of place in a unique and special place. In Las Vegas people have strong feelings about their town. As a part time resident of Santa Fe and a photographer and writer, it seemed ideal for what I wanted to do. It was an assignment I gave myself. I took photos of things that go on, and I began talking to people. I realized the best way to write the book was through their voices.” Rogers began taking photos and collecting information in 2007. What she found was a town in transition, past its glory days, and living in the struggle that comes when a local economy can’t sustain the next generation. “I learned about the glory days by researching historical documents. At one time Las Vegas, with its vibrant economy, was one of the most important cities in the West,” she said. “I learned about Las Vegas today by talking to people.” Rogers said that discovering the layers of identity for Las Vegas are like peeling an onion. “One person led me to another person, and that person led me to someone else. It helped me build the story over time. It needed that multi-year perspective to get a sense of how this place became what it is today.” She had no outline to work from at the beginning, letting the book shape itself as she went along. The book is beautifully constructed, with evocative photos

and elegant prose, lots of white space, fonts slightly suggestive of another era. Rogers said she was deeply involved in the design and selection of photographs. “I brought the book to the Museum of New Mexico Press because I know they have great production values and I have a lot of respect for David Skolkin. I worked closely with the editor and David as the book developed.” In her selection of content, Rogers said she wanted most to convey the notion of what makes a place unique historically, geographically, and culturally. “I would say the book has an anthropological slant,” she said. Given her concentration on the origin, historical behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of the area, this is a fitting statement. Rogers said that the principal theme of the book is the meaning of place. She sought long and hard to understand Las Vegas as a place whose identity has developed and changed over time. Focusing her discerning photographer’s eye on the local scene and the architecture and people of Las Vegas helped her determine the shape the book would take. The chapters are defined along thematic lines, but within each you learn a lot more than the headings would imply. The book’s narrative structure came only after Rogers had spent hundreds of hours talking to Las Vegans from all walks of life. “After talking to Jesus (Lopez, local attorney), and listening to the things he told me, I have a degree of insight into the way the city runs itself, the way Hispanics have felt disenfranchised, and how that has informed later history and the way (some) people continue to think and behave.” Rogers has a way of writing, allowing the subject of the chapter to speak for him or herself, or in the case of actual place, itself, without injecting her own spin. All of her books are written with detail and poetic imagery, enhanced by striking photos. I asked her if her writing is influenced by her photographic art. “The writing has to stand on its own, but I love the image itself. I want the writing and the photos to complement each other. I didn’t actually need them, and I wanted the text to independently tell the story. But I love photography, and feel that words and images together capture the essence of place better than either would alone.” She said her biggest challenge in the whole project, was cutting out so many pictures. Of the several thousand she took, Rogers, her editor, and the book designer selected photos that most closely conveyed the special aspects of her story about Las Vegas as place. Not surprisingly, many of these were shot in the plaza when she attended fiestas, motorcycle rallies, weddings, and Fridays al Fresco and spent hours watching all the impromptu things that go on at the bandstand gazebo. –Continued on page 10–


Happenstance Magazine

June 15, 2013, Page 5

Entrepreneur Spotlight: WarDancer Designs and Gallery and DreamSpirits on the Plaza

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NF: Selections are about detailed decisions. Is it unique? Is it well designed or well crafted? Does it fit into our overall store theme? H: What will customers find in your stores? NF: Unique gift items. Custom designed and locally made jewelry, “Made in America” and locally made items. We also have quality antiques displayed attractively, and original art by local artists. H: I know you also do interior design. Talk about that and what inspires your work. NF: As a young child, I played decorating rooms and creating H: Tell readers a little about house plans. Using the elements yourself. and principals of design, I apply my NF: I am a grandmother of artistic and creative skills in a room 12 who loves and lives for her that becomes my canvas. Working family and friends. I have an MFA with an owner to help them create and MLS, and plan to work until I their own special space fulfills me die being creative and innovative. as a artist. H: How long has WarDancer H: Talk about the antiques. Neita Fran Ward with a piece of jewelry she designed, which was created by Native American craftsman and silverbeen in business in Las Vegas? What types of items do you have? smith Brian Billie. NF: I opened the first store NF: Our antiques are confront in 2004. signed to us by past owners who H: How did the idea of WarDno longer have space or the kind of ancer come about? home that accommodates antiques. Some of the items are brought NF: I followed my husband to traditional archery tournato us from inheritances. We accept the items on an individual ments for years and watched other women with nothing to do. I piece basis with consideration of quality, cleanliness and marketdecided to give them a bit of shopping opportunity. ability. We live in a town that has a large array of Victorian homes H: What do you like most about having a shop of this type? that call for beautiful antiques. We decided to give them another NF: Making someone pleased at finding what they wanted or market. didn't even know they wanted until they saw it. H: Who are the associates who work with you. H: The sister store, DreamSpirits, just opened within the last NH: In DreamSpirits, Linda Smith is my business partner. In year. How has this been of benefit to the business community and WarDancer, Karoline Swan and I have been associated since I first customers? opened in 2004 offering her selection of Pendleton. Gay Veit is the NF: It’s another store that offers an alternative to “made in gallery manager and an associate who plies her art in framing and China.” It has a beautiful atmosphere that inspires a person to jewelry repair. Gene Gurule is a retired educator who has made reach within themselves to live more creatively. his tinsmith reputation in the traditional Spanish Art Market of H: What would you like people to know about your business Santa Fe. they may not know? After finally realizing that on-line shopping is not a fad or NF: We strive to make every customer feel very special each trend but a reality that has changed the way people are shopping, time they enter the store. we are now marketing through Constant Contact and are building H: You have items on consignment from artists as well as ina fabulous website that will include the marketing tools of social ventory you’ve stocked. In a tough market, how do you decide what media. We've decided that although we are all retired and multito carry? grandparents, we can “join ‘em” - so HERE WE COME! eita Fran Ward is a familiar figure in Las Vegas. Her regular KFUN radio program featuring the arts is just one of the ways she does her part in stimulating economic activity in Las Vegas and the area. She continues to be involved in Las Vegas Independent Business Alliance and through her shops on the Plaza encourages and inspires creative endeavors, and supports artists and other entrepreneurs. In her Q&A interview Neita Fran talks about how she got started and where she is today.


Happenstance Magazine

June 15, 2013, Page 6

A Manual of Proper Conduct for Gentlefolk: Lesson 27 - Virtues By Niki Sebastian

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atience is not just a virtue (virtue being a grace and Grace being a little girl with a dirty face) - it also is a necessity for success in affairs of the heart. Along with hope, and a dose of charity, patience will sustain you. If the light of your life casts eyes elsewhere, do not be disheartened. It may not be a matter of her own choosing. Learn from the example in this story. Gentlemistress Greta Doughman, descendent of a long line of Teutonic aristocrats and by no means lacking in elegance herself, reached the age of commitment during a particularly lovely April when the jonquils bounced yellow in a freshly-scented breeze. Enamored of a proud local lad, Gentleone Thor Crabtree, she made known her desire to be joined with him - but permission was refused. “Nothing fundamentally wrong with the lad, but he’s not… well, he’s not our kind, you see.” Woefully, Gentlemistress Greta reported this state of affairs to her beloved, adding that since she could not be his, she would have to restrict their interactions, else her heart could never mend. He would be forever her first love, but she would have to keep her distance now, to enable her to follow the dictates of those who controlled her fortunes and fate. Gentleone Thor acquiesced, although it pained him deeply. For more than a week he sat by the window, staring toward the Doughman freehold, hanging onto hope that he might glimpse his sweetheart. Instead he was tormented with the sight of a suitor arriving, staying a day or two, leaving, and then returning again for another short visit. As weeks became a month, this pattern of coming and going repeated no less than four times, convincing the grieving young swain that his beloved was now irrevocably committed to another. How could she so easily abandon him? Thor tried to find charity in his heart. Undoubtedly Mistress Greta’s new suitor - from his looks at least - was of a similar lineage to hers, and therefore perhaps more suitable as a partner. But could she have given her affections so quickly to another? Thor knew himself to be one to make permanent commitments. He did not want to believe he had been mistaken about the inherent qualities of the one whom he wished to make his lifetime mate. He consoled himself by recalling her words of affection, her statement that he would remain ever in her heart. Thor determined not to lose hope. As yet another week passed, Gentleone Thor

went about his daily routine, patiently keeping an eye on the entrance to his beloved’s homestead. Thus he was the first to notice Top Master Doughman coming down the lane toward the Crabtree cottage. Quickly he scooted inside, so as not to miss any detail of the visit. “We have been singularly unsuccessful,” the Top Master reported. “And our beloved Greta has suffered indignities we could not have anticipated. We were wrong, we admit. If young Thor wishes, he may come pay court to our Greta.” Dancing with excitement, grinning from ear to cocked ear, Thor rushed to the river to bathe. Oh, what a beautiful spring day it was! How blue the stream’s water against the fresh green grasses. How lovely the scents of flowering hyacinth, how happy the shining sun! Cleaned and groomed, every hair neatly in place, Gentleone Thor presented himself at the Doughman front door, to be happily welcomed by Gentlemistress Greta. In no time at all they were mated - and an appropriate time later they were fond and proud parents. Devotedly, following in the steps of his parents and their parents backwards to the dim distant origins of his ancestors, Thor assisted in the care of his offspring. He reveled in their tumbling proof of the virtues of patience, of charity, and of hope. Thor tried valiantly not to show favoritism, but was unable to hide from himself that he was most interested in his little son, who looked so much like his ebony-coated wolf-cross self, and thus received the name of Junior. Thor began at once to teach Junior proper respect and care for his three virtuous sisters, who all shared the grace and elegance of their German Shepherd mother. “You can’t imagine how hard it was to endure his pawing,” Greta tried to explain. “That, that… I don’t know a word strong enough… for all his pedigrees he couldn’t perform at all. He made me feel so lowly!” “I’m so sorry for that dearest,” Thor soothed. “It was hard on us both, but hush now, it is behind us. Look at the rewards we have gained. Not just handsome Junior, but our dearest Hope, Patience and Charity.” And so, Gentleones, practice the virtues, scrub your faces, be prepared, and be sure to study next week’s Lesson 28: Courtly Behavior with attentive care. – This was originally published in a Chicken River Writers book. Niki Sebastian currently writes a blog at 1eclecticwriter.


Happenstance Magazine

June 15, 2013, Page 7

Top Tips About Jewish Funeral Traditions By Gail Ruben s the Doyenne of Death® and VicePresident of the JewishChristian Dialogue of New Mexico, I help explain Jewish traditions to our Christian brethren. Here are a few key things to know about Jewish funerals.

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The 24-Hour Rule The Jewish tradition of burying a body within 24 hours has Biblical as well as practical roots. Practically the religion started in a hot desert culture, before the advent of modern refrigeration or embalming techniques. In fact, many aspects of Jewish funerals are echoed in Muslim funeral traditions. Decomposition sets in within 24 hours without refrigeration or embalming, so burying quickly became a hallmark of Jewish funerals. The rules dictated in the Bible come from Deuteronomy 21:23: “Thou shalt bury him the same day,” and “His body shall not remain all night.” Jewish Burial Equals Green Burial Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: Traditionally, Jews avoid embalming, as the blood is considered a part of the body, which is to be kept as intact as possible. The body is dressed in white cotton or linen clothing or shrouds. The casket is made of soft wood such as pine or poplar, meant to biodegrade in contact with the earth. The body, clothing and wood all decompose at about the same rate. No Flowers The custom of sending fragrant flowers to funerals originated in part to cover the smell of a decomposing body. Because of the promptness of Jewish burial, flowers are unnecessary.

Memorial donations to a worthy cause supported by the deceased are the preferred way to show your sympathy. No Viewing Jews generally avoid viewing the body at a funeral, as it’s considered disrespectful of the earthly vessel that once held the human spirit. However, the body is traditionally watched over prior to the funeral by a shomer (translated as observer or watchman) who recites prayers for the deceased. This has a practical basis going back to the desert culture origin, to keep wild animals from eating the body before burial. Community Support After the Funeral One of the biggest differences between Christians and Jews in funerals is when the family receives the support of their community. Christians may spend several days in visitation and viewings leading up to the funeral. Jews bury quickly and the family spends time after the funeral receiving the support of their community during the seven-day period of mourning known as shiva (translated as seven). For more information about the many traditions related to Jewish funerals and mourning, check out www.ShivaConnect.com. It is a great resource that also offers a free service to help families coordinate communications and food following a funeral. –Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, is author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and host of the new television interview series, A Good Goodbye TV. She speaks regularly to Jewish and Christian groups and helps start funeral planning conversations. Her website is www.AGoodGoodbye.com.


Happenstance Magazine

June 15, 2013, Page 8

Thunder Prime: Hunter’s Light

Episode 11 Pella and Bart are on the Launch Alpha platform. Having received a secured launch time they have one other contact to make. Is the contact to be trusted, or is it a trap?

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he Brolotagan, a knapsack over his shoulder, jostled his way through the crowd using his vestigial wings to propel him forward. We hurried after him, even though the creature seemed the most unlikely of contacts. Brolotagans didn’t blend in the way many off worlders could. His short stature, red skin, feathers and yellow hair – common traits among the species – couldn’t be easily disguised. Most of them eschewed clothing because it got in the way of using their wings as a mechanism for speed, relying on physiology and feathers to hide what was private. He stopped at a door and hesitated before pushing it open and entering. He’d hesitated for good reason. A discreet sign noted the room was reserved for a Telling scheduled to start in less than an hour. Bart quirked an eyebrow at me. I shrugged. We pushed our way in and the Brolotagan motioned us through a second door, into what turned out to be a sanitary with three stalls. “Mussssst hurrrrrrry.” I raised my hand. “We can save time if you speak in your language. I will understand.” “But I won’t,” Bart said. “No time to argue,” the Brolotagan said gently, which I interpreted for Bart, not so gently. At his frown I said with more impatience than was warranted, “I’ll fill you in later.” Bart wasn’t happy about it, but our scheduled launch wasn’t far off and neither one of us wanted to foul up the timing. “I am Fitz, by trade a healer. I am med tech on Raptor.” I backed toward the door. Bart followed my cue and drew his stunner, not because he’d understood Fitz, but he did understand my immediate reaction to the Brolotagan’s words. Fitz raised a placating hand. “Hear me out. This is information you should know. I’m not here to take you or create problems for you.” He looked toward the closed door. “Time is short. I do not sense I am being followed, but I must return to Raptor soon or Ardis Durec will become suspicious. Pella Soames, you are on a collision course with forces beyond your ken. Durec will not give up. She has been paid a high price for you and will do anything to get you back.” “I don’t understand…” “Listen, please. I do not know why Bannock Chandor Warren wants you, but he does.” I swallowed. The most powerful Chandorian in the galaxy wanted me? For what? I shuddered at the idea the aging Chandorian would want me as a breeder. “The genetic Chandorian line is weakening. More drubs are being born than Chandorians.” “Drubs?” “Huqzzls and qzzls from Chandorian male and fem coupling.” “What does that have to do with me?”

“There is high demand for true earther fems to mate with.” I looked at Bart grateful he could not understand. He would have me on the fastest transport back to earth. In truth it was the smartest thing I could do, but Fitz’ next words sealed my future and that of everyone aboard the Hermes. It was up to me to make sure it was a future that didn’t include being an unwilling consort to a Chandorian. “I would tell you to return to earth and get on with your life,” Fitz said, “but everything in your character tells me you won’t give up until you find Trish Soames. She lives and is consort to Brutus Tauk.” For a flash of time I blanked out except for a buzzing in my head, a thousand and one questions begging to be asked. “Pella? Pella!” Bart’s sharp tone brought me out of my momentary shock. Confirmation of my mother’s existence filled me with a mix of emotions I couldn’t wrap my heart or head around. I licked my dry lips and nodded for Fitz to go on. I had to be careful about what I said and the information I shared with Bart. Nothing would keep me from Chandor now. “The only thing I can do is give you a name, someone who can get you a safesuit so you can get around on-planet once you reach Chandor, and a means by which you can make contact with true earthers. “In the holding of Brutus Tauk?” “No, getting to the Tauk holding will require ingenuity on your part.” Fitz glanced once again at the closed door before taking a small leather pouch from the knapsack. “This contains everything you need. Only you can access it. The code is the name of your friend.” “Bart?” The response was startled out of me and Bart looked at me questioningly. I shook my head. “Uh, never mind. Later. I’ll tell you later.” Fitz smiled and his sky-blue eyes twinkled. “Though you do not admit it, this one is more than a friend. I think you may trust him with your life.” Heat boiled into my face. Anger? Agreement? Embarrassment? Once again I was glad Bart did not understand the Brolotagan. “The one on earth you most consider a friend.” I puzzled through his words and then it dawned on me. Booder, the silly dragaun. “You mean…” He shook his head. “Some things are better left unspoken. Your friend in Safe Haven does not know the meaning of betrayal.” I nodded and hoped I was on the same wavelength at Fitz. I couldn’t help but wonder how he knew so much about me, and then it hit me. “Fitz,” I blinked back unexpected tears. “My father, Henry Kyper…” “Child…” A sound from the other room cut him off. “I must go.” He pulled a hooded cloak from the knapsack and slipped it over his head, its folds enveloped him as it settled around his rotund body. The hood effectively hid his yellow hair and drooped


Happenstance Magazine down putting his features in shadow. The voluminous folds draped over his wings and made him look bulky but not suspicious. Voices from the other room increased. More people were arriving. “Wait for a bit before you leave. It would not do for us to be seen together.” With that Fitz opened the door and hurried out. “What did he say?” Bart demanded as soon as the door closed. “Not now. We have to get out of here. How long do you think we should wait?” Bart eyed me with justifiable suspicion and then shrugged. “How should I know? You’re the one who talked to him, in Brolotagan, I might add. A fem of many talents.” His sarcasm rankled, but I shrugged it off, and looked away from his searching eyes. The need to be on our way sizzled through me. The launch time was still three hours off, but we had to get back to Hermes before the transport moved into position for the space jump. That didn’t leave a lot of time to dally. “Let’s go.” I slipped through the door hoping to escape notice, with Bart right behind me. I needn’t have worried. The place was packed and everyone present was focused of the beautiful woman seated at the front of the room. She was young, which was unusual. Tellers were generally older, conservative in their dress and unassuming. Most were male. This Teller sat with regal hauteur, dressed in a splendid crimson robe that clung in subtle ways to enhance a lush body. Her long dark hair was pulled back and up, held in place by a clasp sparkling with gemstones that could have been faceted glass or diamonds. I suspected the later. Her well-shaped hands rested easily on the arms of the plush chair. She had a well-modulated voice, captivating and hypnotic if you were into that sort of thing. I’d heard Tellers in nearly every part of the galaxy, spreading talk of the One. For the most part I ignored them. My father had professed to be a believer in the Way, and my mother regarded the Way as a journey. Both had disappeared from my life and left me lonely and angry. If there was One greater than the pain their absence had caused me, He or She had never been part of my experience. Our path to the exit was blocked by people standing in the aisle, those who had come too late to find a seat. Forcing my way through would draw attention I didn’t want. I folded my arms and waited for an opening. “Give thanks to the Prophet, for he is good. His love endures,” the Teller said. “Give thanks to the only Prophet. To him who alone does great wonders, who by his understanding made the heavens, who spread out the earth upon the waters, who made the sun to govern the day, and the moon to govern the night.” Something about her words struck an off note. Bart’s frown indicated he agreed, and he would know more about Tellings than I ever would.

June 15, 2013, Page 9 “You who are seekers know the Prophet in his time struck down the firstborn of evil and brought the chosen people out from among those who would destroy them. This is the New Way. With a mighty hand and outstretched arm the Prophet divided the raging sea and brought the chosen people through the midst of it, but swept the evil one and his army into the deep waters. The Prophet returns and in New Way he will lead followers to honor, peace, and prosperity. In all of time when needed the Prophet comes to strike down great and unassailable rulers with greater power. His followers will reign throughout the galaxy.” From behind the Teller, unnoticed by the crowd until now, a man stepped forward with a creds reader. “Become a follower,” the Teller said. “Register your pledge to follow New Way.” “No!” I couldn’t believe the shout came from Bart’s lips. So much for not drawing attention. The Teller’s luminous eyes fastened on his. “An unbeliever in our midst?” All eyes were on Bart and there were a few murmurs of disapproval. “Only believers are welcome here,” somebody said from the crowd. “I, that is I, you... you...” “Well, kinder,” the Teller said, “what is it you mean to say, I or you?” Titters flew about the room. Bart’s face and neck flamed with the heat of embarrassment. Whether it was because the beautiful fem – clearly close to his own age – had called him kinder or for other reasons I couldn’t tell, all I knew is that it was time to leave. I pushed him toward the door, the way made clear as disgruntled New Way followers stepped aside to let us through, quite obviously of the opinion we did not belong there. We hurried toward the bay where our shuttle was docked. There was no time to waste, so when Bart stopped cold in the passage off the main throughway, I rounded on him ready to unload my annoyance. It only took a heartbeat to realize he was being held immobile by a stun device and there was no one around except us and three men who had more on their minds than friendly chatter. “Get her!” said the one holding Bart in stun. The longer Bart was in stun the greater the chances of permanent damage to his system. My choices were to give up, or come up with another alternative. I took the alternative and fled, hoping to find help. They were probably going to kill Bart anyway, but I had to try. Pounding footsteps echoed off the passageway walls as my attackers pursued me. Next issue: Episode 12 Will Pella find help or will she be taken? Can Bart survive the stun hold?


June 15, 2013, Page 10

Happenstance Magazine

Writers’ Block Continued from page 4– “In lots of ways you can consider the plaza to be the soul of the town,” she said. “Learning Las Vegas, Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place,” is considered to be a regional book. Rogers said she hopes it provides a sense of place compelling enough to interest the general reader outside of New Mexico. She also hopes its sociological and anthropological slant will increase its audience beyond the confines of landscape history, the field with which she has traditionally been associated. The cover photo is of Bridge Street, an iconic image of Las Vegas photographed by many. Why did that photo among the thousands she had available end up on the cover? “I thought the cover should be a West Las Vegas streetscape. In this particular photo the light was right, the composition was good, and to me it says a lot about Las Vegas as a place. So that’s the one we all agreed on.” When asked if there was anything she would like to have included but didn’t have room for, Rogers laughed. “Oh, yes, a lot of interesting things have happened since the book was finished. You might call me an Optic addict. Every time I read an interesting story and meet another interesting individual in its pages, I think to myself, “Darn! Why didn’t I get that in the book? But you have to stop somewhere.” Rogers will be featured in upcoming events at which she will talk about “Learning Las Vegas, Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place.” Look for her on Saturday, June 22, 2 p.m. at the New Mexico History Museum Auditorium where she will be participating in a panel discussion and book signing along with Elmo Baca, Frances Levine and Christopher Wilson. On Sunday, June 23 at 2 p.m., she will be at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, N.M. On Saturday, June 29 at 2 p.m. Rogers is scheduled to be at Tome on the Range, 158 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, N.M., immediately followed by a reception sponsored by the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation, at 116 Bridge Street.

Seeking authors, artists and business owners to feature in Happenstance Q&A Appropriate images will be used. To be a featured contact sharon@vandermeerbooks.com

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PHOTO: PETER LINDER

Raining Sunshine – Cooling off on a hot day, two-legged and four-legged friends stop by a trickling stream. Getting Fit Together die-hard walkers keep at it.


2013 june 15 happenstance