Winner of The Jim Duggins'
Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist award, 2008
SASFEST New Orleans
(May 2, 2013) We are now thoroughly ensconced in Mesiilla, New
Mexico, in a house that was built when this part of the
country belonged to Mexico—1853. In 1854, the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo was signed right here on the Mesilla plaza, and our house and
much of the West became a territory of the United States. This was pre
Civil War, and out here the wild west was still a few years off, if we
say it began with the westward movement of the soldiers of the Civil
War, creating the "old west" that has been portrayed in books and film,
but mainly about the 1860s through the end of the 19th Century. And
yep, Billy the Kid roamed the dirt streets of Mesilla, was even jailed
here, and no doubt passed by our house. We call it the Guadalupe House,
but the historic plaque beside the front door says it was built by Don
Rafael Bermúdez, who was a prominent Chihuahua personality and very
It's made of two-foot-thick adobe walls, inside and out, and the
ceilings still have the vigas and latillas, followed by native
cat-tails, further insulated with about a foot of dirt, and on top of
that is the modern roof. The floors began as dirt floors, soaked in
bull's blood to give it a rock-hard surface. Over the years, these were
built up and now, in most rooms we have shiny hardwood floors. Some
rooms have tile and others are laid with brick.
now, it's our home. The entry way that goes from our front door to the
courtyard in the middle of our house is call a zaguan. My husband
assures me that this will be the last place we live—unless a rich Texan
comes to town slinging lots of money and wants to buy it. I therefore
plan to grow old in this house and to give up the ghost living here. I
have my space, what we both affectionately call the "Monk's Chamber,"
where I continue to write, edit, and otherwise run my little publishing
company. And here are a couple of pictures of our newly renovated courtyard, which is actuall the center of life here.
that only two walls of the courtyard are golden yellow. The other two
walls are fuchsia and blue. The artist mixed the pigments himself and
they reflect true Chihuahuan, Mexico colors. No sedate browns for us.
As is evident, while we live in a small village that requires adherence
to earth tones and whites, what the village leaders don't see is that
we have a totally enclosed living space that is dedicated to color and
(we think) beauty. Chihuahuan courtyards might be similarly colored,
because we live in a desert, where lush greenery and blooming flowers
are not readily available, so we have to bring color into our lives
through the building itself.
Currently, seven of my novels are available on the Amazon Kindle e-reader...
The Blind Season
The Salvation Mongers
All Over Him
The Thinking Man—Blog
been working on a blog for a few years, but I've never done anything to
show it to the world. So, here it is. It's called "The Thinking Man,"
and in it, I write about subjects that strike me as interesting. I
invite comments, and I have no idea if the thing allows me to
censor/filter/or even respond to the comments. Here's the link: http://thinkingman-ron.blogspot.com/
in the Life
• A Summer's Change
The Journals of