Jose Vasquez was the winner of the first Writers’ Block writing contest with his entry about the first snow of the year. The wonderful surprise for me in our interview was to learn he has done quite a bit of writing, including music composition and lyrics, and he can sing.
And the man is a ham. Something I never knew about him, but then I haven’t known him all that long. When he learned he'd won the contest he was in San Francisco getting ready to perform at an open mike night.
Jose and his siblings grew up in an environment where learning and applying what you learned was a way of life. He wrote in a recent blog about the Paths that influence and sustain him. It was a reminder of what is important, like his connection to family. Jose and other family members spent the last several months being present for their aging and ailing father, J.D. Vasquez, a well known and well respected educator who passed away at home surrounded by those who loved him most.
Jose had written a chap book about his dad’s life, a wonderful memorial to J.D. and a gift to the family that will be treasured.
Jose also read his wonderful children’s story, The King Who Wanted to be a Jester. As with most children's literature, it is a charming story with a strong message.
Although retired, he spends much of his time writing a blog for Barnabas Institute, the Center for Christian Community, in Santa Fe, and supporting its initiatives. According to the website, The Barnabas Institute is a nondenominational ministry of encouragement that provides inspiration and practical help for people who want to live Christian lives. Jose can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Tierno, my call-in guest has created a monumental 13-book epic sci-fi/fantasy novel. Maldene sweeps across the galaxy full of bizarre characters, an evil being whose motives are unfathomable, and a world where the one thing you can expect is the unexpected.
Tierno uses his physics and math background to lend credibility to the strange environment he has created and uses his skill with words to bring to life a myriad of characters.
From the Maldene website: Picture a planet, giant Earth-swallowing sphere, swaddled green with the color of life, the glare of its giant blue star glistening off its atmosphere in colorful, almost aurora-like, bursts of light. Picture three moons in an eternal cosmic dance around this large orb, the smallest colored the blue of Earth’s sky, the next the green of deepest seas, and the largest the yellow of your own home star. Picture the swoop and whirl of these satellites as they leave no part of that orb with a moonless night, yet also none with the multiple romance of more than one. Picture a planet all filled with magic, mystery, and utter strangeness.
Tune in Tuesday, Feb. 14, for a visit with Tome on the Range manager, Michael Siewert. We’ll be exploring books, books, books, maybe a few about romance, sweethearts and Valentine’s Day.
Also on the air with me will be call-in guest Anne Hosansky. Anne has a new book out entitled Ten Women of Valor, about Biblical heroines from a feminist view. The women speak in their own voices about how they managed to triumph in a male-dominated world. Ranging from Sarah to Esther the women confide feelings of ambition, passion and sibling rivalry — and emerge as women coping with many of the same issues faced by women today. Anne has also written Turning Toward Tomorrow, Victories Over Loss and Widow’s Walk, One Woman's Spiritual and Emotional Journey To A New Life.