Archive for the ‘New Connections’ category

The Bug Life Chose Me

June 4, 2016


Well… it’s official now. I have two new friends and I’m quasi-famous in my domain!! Today Paul Rudd and his trainer, Brendan Johnston were hitting it at Mandrill’s again. These boys seem to be serious. I guess movie stars need to stay in shape ha?

The moment I walked in, they were both waving away at me and told me hi. I was like…. Whaaaaa? Today they got to see me bench too. They bailed before my heaviest sets, but they made sure to go out of their way to tell me bye. Who woulda thought ha?

For anyone interested, I’ll be signing autographs in blood, sweat and tears in the gym this week. Hahahaaaa… the bug life chose me.

Read this to catch up: My Accidental Meeting with Ant-Man

Intellectuals Love Pop Culture

February 14, 2016

I had a great learning experience at the 2016 Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) Conference thanks to scholarship funds. If I can’t find outside funds to attend this conference again next year, I would gladly pay my own way. I thought ARMA San Diego was the best conference I had been to until SWPACA. I love being around like minded intellectuals. There is really nothing like it. I do want a PhD someday.

I made it a point to keyword search the program (which was close to 150 pages) for the words archive(s), culture, history, and New Mexico. I focused my time at the conference on those sessions for the greater good. I love learning things to benefit both my knowledge and my agency. Everytime I could, I supported New Mexico professors and students by attending their presentations. There was so much great research presented during this conference. I also made a presentation there.

I did attend a small handful of sessions that were chosen because of personal interest. One was a session titled “Myth and Metaphor in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien,” which happened to be delivered by a University of New Mexico (UNM) professor. Another awesome presentation gave an analysis of “Penny Dreadful,” which I love, by a teacher from Texas. That session featured another presentation on the research of a UNM professor and student on violent video games and children. There was one on how Batman’s suit employs STEM!! Then there was one on fetishism and the villainess. You know I went to that one!!

The mission of SWPACA is “to promote an innovative and nontraditional academic movement in Humanities and Social Sciences and to celebrate America’s cultural heritages. To provide an outlet for scholars, writers, and others interested in popular/American culture, to share ideas in a professional atmosphere, and to increase awareness and improve public perceptions of America’s cultural traditions and diverse populations.”



ARMA and the 2015 Legislative Session

August 13, 2015


This year (and probably next) I took off from work for the day to promote my local ARMA chapter. We set up a booth during the 2015 Legislative Session. The chapter is slowly growing and that’s good to see. We had a recent change in leadership, so we will see how that goes. I was nominated for President and Secretary, but decided I couldn’t swing that right now. At present, I’m the Director of Outreach.

I did a lot of networking (both personal and professional) during the session this year. I got to see my friend Linda who was working for Senator Michael Sanchez of Belen at the time. I visited with an old friend, Representative Jim Trujillo of Santa Fe (and Pojoaque~ my home town). We talked about when he coached baseball back in the day for “the twins” (my brother and sister). I even got to chat with Diane Kinderwater that day. She is the Director of Communications for the State Senate. I knew her from years ago when we both worked for a former gov.

The best person I networked with and who I am still in contact with was Dr. Meredith Machen. She is the current President of the League of Women Voters, founder of the Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe and former Vice President of the Santa Fe Community College. She invites me to all sorts of events for writers now. I am so glad I met her. She is well connected in the world of writers (including poets). We know many of the same people, but had never met.

Since I was a young girl, I have loved people. Networking is a necessary part of personal and professional development. Even if people tried, they couldn’t take the networker out if me! It comes natural to me and I love that. My sister always teases me because I know people everywhere we go. She always says “you should run for governor lol.” Maybe I should.

Visiting BizMix 2015

July 17, 2015



•••♥ed the digital setup to take trippy selfiez there!! Here is my BizMIX self portrait!•••

Railyard Fitness hosted a MIXoff competition on Thursday night between 15 of this year’s young entrepreneurs. We were there to support my friend Meghan and her husband Andrew. They are finalists this year which is exciting! Meghan has mastered “the pitch” for Pedal Speed Bags.


•••Meghan giving "the pitch" 😁 to Rachel, Mike, Gail and Laura•••

There was a DJ and the food and drinks were provided by Boxcar, which is the Railyard’s newest bar/restaurant. BizMIX provides a way for people to network and collaborate with other inspiring, creative people. “MIX provides a mechanism for the development of ideas, businesses, and projects with corollary opportunities for promotion, recognition and start-up funding.”


•••Me, Laura (my adorable and funny friend on a visit from El Paso), and Rach•••

Each competitor carried a balloon through the music laced crowd and pitched their project for votes. The finalists are “vying for massive amounts of money, marketing and mentorship.” Of course we all voted for Meghan and Andrew. She is so inspirational. Later that night she texted to say thanks for going and I told her I loved to see a strong, smart, creative woman in her element!

Fingers crossed for Pedal Speed Bags!! Meghan and Andrew deserve to win!

Crime Writing: Here is to a Killer Future

June 19, 2015


Yeah… I would say crime writing is a viable option for me. I knew that before I worked and attended day one of “Finding Your Inner Sleuth.” It was a great day. I love learning and with every bit of knowledge I get, I feel more and more empowered. I want to be both a physical and intellectual monster! I’ll be Queen of Iron and Ink!!!

All of the presenters did a great job today! I had such a good day. My bosses keep pushing me to write a book, and I’m getting closer to jumping. I love that I have found my place in the world of writers. I fit in there like hand-n-glove. I learned some interesting things from Detective Mark Manary, Christine Barber, Dr. Irene Blea, Laura Sanchez, and Don Bullis.


I’m looking forward to working in Albuquerque again tomorrow! I wanted to share some of the photos from today and a few of the more interesting things I learned. Here is to a killer future of crime writing!!!


Interesting things about Detective Mark Manary:

å He went into homicide work because he is the survivor of an unsolved cold case. In 1989, his father was murdered.

å His career in law enforcement started as a military cop with the Air Force.

√• He went to a Handwriting Analysis School, where he “learned so much about writing and the use of words.” 💜’ed that!!

å He is President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP- Albuquerque Lodge#1).

å He had to read and look at data for six months straight to get up to speed on the West Mesa murder cases.

√• His first step as lead in the 118th West Mesa Murders Task Force was to secure the records room. He allowed only two keys. 💜’ed that!!!


Interesting things about Author Christine Barber:

√• She is an amazingly smart woman, former journalist/editor, and friend who I have known for years. 💜 her!!!

å She took the show hands down today!!!

å Her current research into the West Mesa murders will likely give Detective Mark Manary great tips.

√• She is working with an anthropologist who is using scientific techniques to conduct soil analysis for potential West Mesa murder burial sites. 💜’ed that!!!

√• As part of her research for her new book “Rules of Survival,” she has completely emerged herself into the world of sex workers in Albuquerque.

√• She is now publishing the “Bad Guy List.” It is a freaky scary, but informative printout which highlights Albuquerque’s criminal activity.

√• She knows a lot more than anyone I know about serial killers, sex acts, what they cost, who is involved, and the dark fate of Albuquerque’s sex workers.

√• I met Christine years ago… not as an archivist, but as a writer. I invited her to the archives to conduct research for her book “When the Devil Doesn’t Show.” That book is about David Parker Ray, the “Toy-Box Killer” from Mountainair, New Mexico. He was a suspected serial killer. Though no bodies have ever been found, Ray is said to have murdered at least 60 people between Arizona and New Mexico. Together, Christine and I uncovered possible burial locations on mining property owned by Ray.

Presenting for the Homeland

March 1, 2015

•••On the 19th I made a presentation on behalf of ARMA. The presentation was given to staff members from the NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management during a "brown bag noon hour." It was fun. I had a tour of the facilities and networked with some interesting people. One of the men in the audience was getting flack for eating chicken for "breakfast, lunch and dinner." He shrugged off the comments from his coworkers and freaked out when I asked "what are you training today?"•••

A Celebration of Literature

February 8, 2015


I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Meridith Machen. When I met her, we spent a good amount of time talking about writing. We knew many of the same people, though we had never met. Machen has Ph.D. in English from UNM. She is also the founder of Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (LVSF), and is the former Assistant Vice President of the Santa Fe Community College. She had many good contacts and ideas to share with me. I’m not sure how she finds time to be the President of the League of Women Voters? She’s a great role model and as it turns out, a wonderful woman to network with.

When I met Dr. Machen, she invited me to an anniversary celebration for the LVSF. That was just in conversation, but after asking for my contact information, she actually contacted me. She suggested I attend a Santa Fe Reads event and then she sent a separate message suggesting I contact an editor she knows to publish my poetry. I was surprised that such a busy woman made time for me. I actually felt honored. She is well known here. Her efforts with regard to education and helping illiterate people change their lives is widely respected.


••Email from Dr. Machen as she begins expanding my network.••

When I walked in, I immediately saw Dr. Machen and I apologized for being in gym attire. The first words out of her mouth were “did you know that E.A. Mares passed away?” I told her I had heard and that it was very sad. The man with unbelievable talents should have been around longer. It is always a sad time when a poetic soul is lost. E.A. Mares was known as “Tony.” He was a Professor Emeritus of English with UNM. I think the most touching moment of today was when another author (who I really like) read a Mares poem.

The full house was welcomed with a proclamation issued by Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales. Today was officially “Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe 30th Anniversary Day!” I was saddened to learn that almost 50% of New Mexico residents are illiterate. What? That was hard to believe, but this group would know the numbers because they are trying to change that.

The event sold out. Luckily, my ticket was on will call. Unfortunately, my boss Anne didn’t make it to the event, but her contribution was still publicly recognized. The other authors who offered readings and thoughts were Sallie Bingham, Natalie Goldberg, Valerie Plame Wilson (the former CIA agent), and John Nichols. The moderator was Mary Charlotte, host of Santa Fe Radio Café. This was an extraordinary panel of people. My two favorites…hands down were Nichols and Goldberg. They were both funny and witty. I discovered that Plame Wilson is still very green in the world of writing, though her career with the CIA is undoubtedly interesting. 

Today I had a well rounded look at how these people became writers. That was the best part of the panel discussion. The words and personalities of Nichols and Goldberg really resonated with me. As writers, they make a real difference out there. Following are a few quotes and thoughts I jotted down today.

“We [writers] are always at work.”
•••John Nichols

“Everything in life is interconnected.”
•••Natalie Goldberg

John Nichols talked about being in remedial reading as child. Now he is a famous author.

John Nichols honored a fellow writer when he talked about the loss of E.A. Mares. Nichols choked up when he read a poem about the death of Tony’s 20 year old daughter. I cried too. It was very touching.

John Nichols called New Mexico a “cultural mezcla.”

John Nichols talked about loving all genres of music and types of writing because Flaubert said a writer “should know everything.”

“First you read to them when they are one, and then two, and then three and four and… well then you just threaten them.”
•••John Nichols (giggling when talking about children reading books in a media saturated world)

Natalie Goldberg talked about the importance of penmanship, how it is disappearing from the curriculum, and teaching penmanship to young people.

Natalie talked about not having books in her house when she was little. She says this contributed to her need to express herself and eventually become a writer.

“Literature will prevail and it will make people hunger for it.”
•••Natalie Goldberg

Photo Journey: ARMA Live Conference 2014~ San Diego, CA

October 29, 2014














Brilliance and the F’bomb

October 12, 2014

I really can’t say that I didn’t love reading this f’bomb message from CB McKenzie. I was cc’ed on the message he sent Jean. He really liked the full page ad I designed. He liked it enough to ask if he could use it on his book tour. He also asked my boss if I would contact him directly. I did and it looks like I may have some new gigz after November. F’ing awesome indeed!!!


Professional Networking in San Diego

September 25, 2014

I received this email today
and I am looking forward to
networking with like-minded
professionals in San Diego in
October for the ARMA Live
Conference. I think that
networking is so important
to any profession. The more
people you know, the better!
I plan on making good,
professional connections
there and I will buy tickets
to this when I get to the
registration table! I gotta
enjoy California because
next year I’m likely headed

ICRM Business Meeting and Reception_San Diego_ARMA Conference_2015

Archivists Make It Last Longer

April 3, 2014


★•••Sticker on the desk drawer in my office.•••★

Today I attended day 1 of the 2014 Information Governance Conference sponsored by the Northern New Mexico Chapter of ARMA. I had a really good day. Got to spend time with people I’ve known for years and I also met some interesting people. It is always a great pleasure to be around others who genuinely care about what they do. I came away from day 1 confirming yet again that I love what I do.

I was meant to be where I am professionally, though I am itching for knowledge and growth again. I have close to two decades of experience managing records and at least a decade of digital experience. I also confirmed today that no matter what, experience trumps the best talkers. “Archivists make it last longer.” Yes we do! Love that sticker!!

Revving Up for the Conference

November 6, 2013

★Image from Craig Johnson's web site.★

It’s finally here!! I feel like I have been waiting all year for the gathering of creative spirits. I look forward to it each year. This year I will be working, learning from the best, and networking my little heart out at the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference.

I am really looking forward to the keynote speaker. On Saturday night, Craig Johnson, the infamous author who fabricated a fantastic “friendship” will speak. I will also learn from him in a teaching session. Johnson is the author behind Longmire, the hit A&E series. It will be exciting to meet Mr. Johnson! A look at his Twitter account this evening revealed that he was recently in Billings, Montana. Funny…I was actually doing genealogy for a family with ties to Billings the same day Johnson tweeted about being there. He posted a picture of the snow and it looked cold.

I have been feeling rather cold for the past two days as well. If there is one thing that never fails to bring back my smile, it’s writing! Some things don’t always turn out how we would like, but my writing always does! Hopefully revving up for the conference will help me perk up a bit and forget about things. I am really looking forward to it.


★Craig Johnson's FaceBook post about coming to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the conference.★

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 Special Delivery from New Zealand

July 15, 2012

One of the first wonderful writers I was exposed to when I started my web site was Maryanne Pale (Poetic Inspirations). She is a captivating woman from New Zealand. This woman is intrinsically and physically beautiful. She is a gifted writer who loves education. Maryanne is “of Tongan ethnicity with Samoan ancestral roots.” She “was born and raised in New Zealand,” and she is “in the process of completing post-graduate studies, full-time, at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.” Ms. Pale is part of a group of Pasifika and New Zealand Poets who fly by the name S.A.P.C., which stands for South Auckland Poets Collective. This poet collective is comprised of young Maori and Pasifika Poets from New Zealand.

Maryanne Pale and her Niece Bubba

Sometime back Maryanne said that she wanted to mail me some books about New Zealand. I was so excited by her offer because I am completely intrigued by the Maori. My package arrived on a day I needed a ray of sunshine, and I was so pleased with the special delivery. Maryanne even included a sweet bar of chocolate in her gift. When I emailed her to confirm that the package had arrived, I discovered that it is winter in New Zealand. She also learned that the United States (and particularly New Mexico) was experiencing weather in the 100º range- and I am very luck that the chocolate did not melt on the books Maryanne ;)!

When I told her I wanted to repay her she simply said for me to “pay it forward.” I have contemplated starting a “pay it forward” initiative. At some point I would like to invite other writers and artists to engage in educational sharing through the mail. With the increase in technology as a means of sharing and communication, it would be such a breath of fresh air. It could be an opportunity to learn things about far away places that we may never get the chance to visit. I have already learned so much!

Thanks again Maryanne for the thoughtful gifts.
You are a very special woman with a bright future!

Felicia Gets a Special Delivery from Maryanne Pale

Research Rocks: Combing the 1940 Census

June 5, 2012

*****1940 United States Census*****
Census Bureau Typing Pool
—–How Uniform??? All Virgos???—–
(NARA Image)

The census rolls for the 1940 United States Census of
New Mexico are now available in Southwest Collections!
Bless the National Archives and Records Administration
for all of their digitization efforts, but sometimes we still
need to feel (microfilm and books) right? I had a
heck of a time attempting to locate my family electronically
(and I am a CDIM). Unfortunately, the online database and
project still need some work, but until then- use the film!
I can’t wait to  check them out!! These rolls are hot off
processing, and cost thousands of dollars. Today marks
the first day the rolls are available in Southwest Collections.
There are 18 rolls for New Mexico. Yeaaaaah!

Happy researching rockers!!!!!

*****1940 United States Census*****
Enumeration District Map for San Miguel County
(NARA Image)

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I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

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