Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ category

Watch “Tony Hillerman Writers Conference 2014 – Felicia Lujan” on YouTube

December 28, 2018

Missing this conference…

My Lil Hillerman Interview

September 19, 2015

————————————–
This interview is from the 2014 conference. It just went up on the Wordharvest channel on YouTube this week, so I wanted to share it. I’m honored to have my interview footage alongside those of several famous and infamous authors. Unfortunately, the sun was in my eyes, so I’m squinting through the whole thing!

Coincidentally, the video footage was edited by a guy from my gym. He recognized me and told my boss he knew me. He knows me from a very different world LoL. He was proly like… “is this the same gal? Hummm?” I never knew he did stuff like this. I guess you never know what iron lovers do on their spare time eh?

I’m looking forward to the 2015 conference. The author of Longmire will be there to talk about the move to NetFlix, which is awesome!!! I loved meeting him even though I don’t love any cowboys. Maybe I’ll ask him if he killed off Chase since I’ve only watched the first episode. I thought it was kinda symbolic in my real world.

Self-mastery of Words

April 14, 2015
image

•My son and I at the Santa Fe Public Library (Southside) on 4.12.2015•

Becoming anything you want is easy in a library. Libraries are mystical places. Stories spur our imaginations. Words can transport us into a galaxy unknown… into a sea of love or a world of pain… through a temporary rainbow so we can breathe the colors and into another body or mind with ease. For a reader, this can be achieved if the magic and words are right. It is a harmony of poetic description. For a writer, this type of out of body/mind experience is a must. Disconnection from what is becomes essential to the creative process.

I have been writing poetry since I was a child. No instruction. No degrees. No literary tools. No clue. Just feelings and words. (Read the first poem I wrote at 8yrs old in My Love Affair with Writing) My heart was meant to leave remnants of emotion. Those remnants are sparkly and dark, beautiful and ugly. They are erotically unbound words. My writing defines my soul. My poetry is filled with my words. The words have been etched into me with an acid that only metallic hearts will understand. Only creative machines can be permanently marked by words.

On Sunday I spent the afternoon with my son in the library. It felt so good to see light in his eyes for so long. Taking time to foster a love of words in our children is of the utmost importance. How can I teach him the power of letters and words? Maybe I should read him my poetry? Looking back decades ago, this appreciation came to me in a flood of emotions time and time again. It is feelings not creativity, which first prompt meaningful writing. Good and bad experiences draw out our feelings. We are then inspired and creativity is born.

image

•A sign I love in the Santa Fe Public Library (Southside)•

I am sitting in the wind right now. I’m writing. I’m thinking. I’m feeling. My heart is low. I hear a crow in the distance. Children are laughing. The trees are casting shadows on me. People are walking fast. Cars are passing slow. I am feeling this very moment. My best poetry always comes from this place. It is the place of complete surrender to a moment. The ability to feel a moment and then recreate the moment with words is the most important tool a writer has.

Becoming anything I want is easy. There is actually a mystical library within me. This Sunday I realized that. All of my books are there. They have always been there. Everyday I add new books or develop new chapters. Sometimes I read my old books again. These stories spur my imagination and transport me to other places. My harmony of poetic description and creative process is in constant motion. I have become an expert when it comes to harnessing moments and emotions that fill my books with words.

I don’t know that I will ever be a poet laureate? I don’t know that I’ll ever win a Pulitzer Prize or a Congressional gold medal for poetry like Robert Frost? I’m actually more than alright with that. Money and fame mean nothing to me. The ability to freely express myself is my prize. I am a real winner if I can get my son to love words as much as I do. If I never publish any books, I know that I have self-mastered the art of my words.

In the end, the audience of one who feels, the audience of one who listens, the audience of one who really matters is me.

Tangled Hair and Gritty Teeth

April 13, 2015

I love the smell of fresh dirt. The wind whips through my long ponytail. My blonde, tangled locks seem misplaced against the vibrant New Mexican sky. Blue sky, red Earth, the great wide open, barren plateaus, dancing Cholla, and stories of those who came before, give me reasons to adore this place. This is the place that I call my own. I was born and raised in a place which embodies the beauty of dirt.

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•Diablo Canyon in Santa Fe, New Mexico•

If you didn’t know, 4-wheeling in not the Land of Enchantment, but this enchanted land is special. Those wheels afford you an unsoiled, yet soiled glimpse through natures looking glass. The ghosts of Diablo Canyon cast hazy red shadows when the sun sets. Then there are the stories. Today the canyon is used by thrill seekers to evoke hellish feelings. The jump is far. The climb is steep. These thrills aren’t for the weak.

Our ride on Sunday through Caja del Rio, past Diablo Canyon, to the Rio Grande River was beautiful. How quickly we forget the childhood feelings tied to our land and nature. When I was a young girl, I spent all my time on a 3-wheeler. My brother, sister and I explored together. Looking back, we learned together. While my brother and I sat along the bank of the Rio Grande on Sunday, we talked about those priceless days. (Read: Eat My Dust)

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•Rio Grande River off Old Buckman Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico•

There is nothing like the smell of fresh dirt. I would never replace the feel of grit in teeth. The simplest of things can confirm you are home. I don’t mind when the New Mexico wind whips through my hair. It makes me feel alive. I was born and raised in a place which embodies the beauty of dirty skin and sacred land. It is here where I shall remain.

Study Me ~★~

April 30, 2014

image

Bit by bit. Learn me numb.
Take your time and read my body.
Word by word. String a phrase.
Use your mind and study me.
Page by page. Highlight my heart.
Bookmark heaven’s iron gate.
Bit by bit. Learn my innermost.
Take your time and read my soul.
…..
by Felicia Lujan
4.30.2014

When Lightning Breaks

July 14, 2013

It’s funny how things happen. If we are in just the right place at just the right time, we can be struck. Maybe broken? Maybe electrified? Lightning has a way of breaking the strongest things. Pieces of a once sturdy tree will be strewn about like remnants of nothing. It’s funny how things happen. When we are least expecting it, we can be struck. Probably broken and electrified. Lightning does have a way of breaking the strongest things.

~~~•» Felicia Lujan
~~~•» 7.14.2013

~Today a tree was struck by lightning in Santa Fe right by where my aunt, brother and sister live.~

~Today a tree was struck by lightning in Santa Fe right by where my aunt, brother and sister live.~

Taste Fire

May 2, 2013


With your mouth…
~~>feel flames.
With your heart…
~~>see destiny.
With your eyes…
~~>taste fire.

Felicia Lujan
5.2.2013

Unpredictable

March 8, 2013
•Friday Night Storm Clouds•
........................................by Felicia Lujan

•Friday Night Storm Clouds•
………………………………….by Felicia Lujan

What is it about the weather? It’s so unpredictable. Elements are cutting. Illusions of summer entertain a frigid antagonist. I shiver. I sink and wait for a reluctant warmth. What is it about the weather in New Mexico? Clouds go and come just to bring the rain. I shimmer. I float and wait for the winds of change. What is it about the weather? It is always unpredictable. Elements are piercing. The illusion of a ray of light is quickly swept away with storms.

by Felicia Lujan
3.8.2013

Acknowledged by a Poet•Writer•Sommelier

February 28, 2013

It’s always awesome to hear that someone interesting has been able to connect to me. Today I was told that “a creative writer” who “pursues her passion for the vinous” mentioned me on her web site.

Tonight I took a peek and discovered a lovely site being managed by a woman named Erin Brooks. Her web site is called “brooksonwine” and you should make time for a visit there.

I would like to meet Ms. Brooks, because we seem to have some things in common. She lives in New Mexico and works in Santa Fe. She went to CSF, and she is a writer who dabbles in creative writing and poetry.

I am honored to have a food piece I wrote in 2008 picked up by Ms. Brooks. Even more so now that I know she works for “Geronimo, New Mexico’s only four-star, four-diamond  restaurant” as a resident expert of the spirits. She has been a “bartender, bar manager and sommelier” who dreams of being a Master of Wine one day.

I love this woman. She is an educated writer~ she is creative~ and she is giving me credit for some good food! Ms. Brooks said “here’s my favorite recipe for posole, which I found in an article titled “Tamales” by Felicia Lujan in Edible Santa Fe’s Winter 2008 issue.”

Thanks for the props Ms. Brooks. Maybe we will meet soon over a glass of your goods and a bowl of mine!

My First Issue

December 20, 2012

My 1st Issue of “Poets & Writers” Magazine (Volume 4, Issue 1, Jan/Feb 2013)

When I got home today, I was so excited to see that my very first issue of Poets & Writers magazine arrived by mail! This may be the best news I have had all week. Awesome~ awesome~ just plain awesome!

The first time I discovered the magazine, I was eating at Flying Star Cafe. Out of hundreds of magazines I was instantaneously drawn to this one. It was meant to be. It was time I discovered this publication. The resource and classified sections are so amazing!

The magazine has a wide range of writing news and trends. The pieces are geared toward a variety of writing styles and personalities. This issue has a special section titled Inspiration: New Literary, Emotional, and Scientific Approaches to the Imaginative Power Inside Us All.

Some of the articles in this issue include: Why We Write; The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives; The Inspired Reader; The Secret Lives of Songs; The Inspired Mind: A Window Into the Writer’s Brain; The Time is Now: Writing Prompts for the New Year; The Heart and the Eye: How Description Can Access Emotion. I am going to love~ love~ just plain love this getting this magazine! 🙂

~~Weight of My Heart~~

November 26, 2012
~~Weight of My Heart~~
Digital composite by Felicia Lujan


~~Weight of My Heart~~

My heart is heavy.
It is gilded for the
deepest warfare.
Only I can offer
the purest carats~
untouched by falsity.
This weight can crush
the strong and weak
while platinum strings
are tugged so carelessly.
This heart of hearts~
impenetrable~
still penetrated
time and time again.
My heart is heavy.
This weightiness
a blessing~
at times a curse.
In the end I can only
hope that the scale
offers proof to
Gods and Men.

by Felicia Lujan
November 26, 2012

¤ A Broken Bone ¤

November 20, 2012
~~The Wishbone~~

~~The Wishbone~~

¤¤¤¤¤

A wish for just one bottled
flame capped with hope and
sorcery.

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

Though the glass will break,
I’ll try again. Just leave one
wish for me.

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

A wish for moonlight and
the smell of rain so I could
lock the memory.

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

Though the clouds move in
and drops don’t fall, just
leave one wish for me.

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

A wish for five more words
from you before you break
eternity.

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

Though the wishbone is
broken, I’ll ask again. Just
leave one wish for me.

¤¤¤¤¤

by Felicia Lujan
11.20.2012

~A French Tongue on The Weeknd~

November 19, 2012

~My new three disc “Trilogy” by The Weeknd~

I locked down the three disc “Trilogy” by The Weeknd this weekend. The compilation features remastered versions of three of the mixtapes already released by The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) who is a Canadian from Ontario. The album is all black and was released under Universal Republic Records, and The Weeknd’s very own label XO. His label so deserves to be called XO! Maybe it should even be called XOXO? Even though I had most of the tracks already, I had to support this amazing singer/songwriter. Not only did he get noticed by releasing his songs under his pen name on YouTube, but on one song that I had not heard (“Montreal”) he seductively sings in French. So awesome with lyrics to die for.

 

A Rough Diamond

November 14, 2012
~Earrings I purchased from a woman in need of warmth on 11.11.12~

~Earrings I purchased from a woman in need of warmth on 11.11.12~

The wind was blowing hard on Sunday. I could feel the icy fingertips of old man winter clawing on my back. It was just another day. Another day to tread the cracked pavement of old parking lots. Another day to push my heavy basket of groceries up that same steep slope. Just another day to walk fast looking blindly on to my next task~ and then I saw her.

She was walking from person to person in the blistering cold. Her box of trinkets was wrapped tightly in her arms. I noticed her from a distance. She has a kind face. Under the dirt and tangled hair, there is beauty. Even with her best smile she was getting a solid “NO” from each person she asked.

The woman has approached me a few times over the last year. She carries a fancy little leather box filled with handmade jewelry she declares as her own. I have turned her down a few times under the summer sun. Sunday was different because I felt bad for her. She is likely addicted to drugs and homeless. I could have sworn I saw track marks once, but self induced paranoia can get the best of us. It was just so cold that day and it will only get colder.

Sometimes I wonder how we can stay warm when it is cold if we continue to cherish stone hearts? I lied to her at first. I told her the same story I tell all the others~ that I had paid with a check inside. She smiled at me politely, said thanks and walked away. When she was walking away, I noticed how red her face was. It was tarnished by the wind. She held on to her fancy fur hat when a gust almost snagged it away.

At that moment I realized I could afford to help her out even if it was just this once. I didn’t care what she would really use the money for. All I knew was that I was acting in good faith with a warm heart. Quickly rolling down my window I called to her. She came back and opened her case for me. I paid for a set of earrings that I didn’t need, but it made me feel good.

She was probably someone once~ yet she is still someone’s daughter and she may be someone’s mother. Now she has slipped into the shadows. It can be cold there~ but I must have faith that one day she will feel the warmth on her face again.

Hillerman Conference Afterthoughts

November 13, 2012

~Betsy and Felicia~

Saturday night I attended the final event of the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. There was a closing dinner with an awards ceremony. The conference was wonderful. If there are any writers out there who are looking for new venues to network, develop skills, and explore creativity, I would highly recommend this conference. I kept thinking that some of my friends should really be there. This year the conference was held from November 8-10. It was indeed awesome. As always, I learned so much. The conference secured attendance from 10 states and 25 towns. There were also two people here from Canada. I was amazed because one of the attendees from Canada must have purchased at least 50 books during the course of the conference!

~Felicia Lujan and
Author Rob Kresge
(Former CIA Analyst)~

This year I really had the chance to get to know more about some people I met last year. I did enjoy learning more about Jean Schaumberg, Laureen Pepersack, Jenn, and George Watson. I worked closely with all of them over the course of the conference. I also spent some quality chat time with: Betsy Randolph (author, state trooper/spokeswoman of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol); Rob Kresge (award-winning author, former CIA analyst); Wolf Schneider (movie unit publicist and writer/editor); and David Morrell (award-winning author, co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization). I learned something special from all of these people.

~Author/State Trooper/Spokeswoman of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Betsy Randolph talks about her new book Tokens of the Liars. Her mother Joyce is listening proudly.~

~Author Peter Joseph of New York
and his new book Boozy Brunch~

There was a vast amount of information covered each day. My writing is improving every year because of this conference. Following are some quotes, and interesting or useful things I learned this year.

~~~ David Morrell revealed that Marilyn Monroe was indeed a very smart woman. He has studied her as a “cultural icon.” I learned that she was “somewhat of a poet.” I didn’t know that. Now I want to track down her poetry. He told me that she was an orphan at an early age (which I knew). I wondered if this may be why he is interested in her? Morrell was also an orphan.

~~~Rob Kresge told me that he and any other person who has worked or works for the CIA has to run any manuscripts by the CIA Publications Review Board. This has to be done prior to publishing anything if the story is set anytime after 1947 (the year the CIA was born). Apparently this is to make sure no “secrets” get out.

~~~Anne Hillerman delivered a touching presentation about her father titled Adventures with Tony Hillerman. There were two quotes I really liked. Anne said “writing is like love~ don’t hold anything back.” She also said “don’t trust anyone who doesn’t watch the sunset.”

~~~Bill O’Hanlon delivered a presentation on e-books and e-publishing. He is a psychotherapist who has been featured on Oprah. From O’Hanlon I learned that there are over 1 billion Kindle devices in reader’s hands. He said that the Hunger Games book sold at a 4 to 1 ratio e-book/print, and that e-book readers read and buy more books. These two statistics were interesting~ in 2010 there was not one self-published e-book in the Kindle/Amazon.com top 100 list and in 2011 there were 18 self-published e-books on that list.

~~~Peter Joseph delivered a presentation on traditional publishing. When I saw the “sample author questionnaire” he passed out I just about fainted. Some questions on the sample included: citizenship; hobbies; most unusual job you have ever had; website/blog URLs and traffic numbers; information about how you are inspired; and the names and/or occupations of family members, if newsworthy or relevant.

It was a great conference. Hopefully I will be able to participate from here on out. I do hope that this one will stay running strong.


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