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Ronald L. Donaghe
Winner of The Jim Duggins'
Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist award, 2008
SASFEST New Orleans

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May 2013...

OurFrontDoorUPDATE (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 wealthy. 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.

ZaguanCourtyard1And 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.

Courtyard2courtyard3Note 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.


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Currently, seven of my novels are available on the Amazon Kindle e-reader...

CS
Common Sons
BS
The Blind Season
SM
The Salvation Mongers
TG

The Gathering

US

Uncle Sean

L

Lance

AOH

All Over Him

The Thinking Man—Blog

I've 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/

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