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The Last Word

For people who read, for people who write, for people who want to publish, or for people who are just curious…What do writers think? What do writers really do?
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Jul 23, 2021

A fascinating glimpse into our brains with Albuquerque-based neuropsychologist Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin author of How My Brain Works: A Guide to Understanding It Better and Keeping It Healthy.  How does the work of a neuropsychologist differ from other mental health professionals and what happens during a cognitive evaluation ? How can a neuropsychologist help someone with traumatic brain injury, ADHD or apparent decline during aging ?   Dr. Koltuska’s book is an International Book Awards finalist, a short, concise and easy-to-read volume packed with clear information.  A delightful surprise in her book and during this interview is how Dr. Koltuska complements her years of clinical work with her joy of gardening and the wealth of knowledge she’s gleaned about herbs and nutrition that help to support brain health throughout our lives. www.drkoltuska.com

Jul 9, 2021

A former Catholic priest, Tom has always wished he could speak directly to Jesus about the deep, disturbing questions he has about faith, religion, guilt and sexuality.  After leaving the Church and marrying a wonderful woman, he became friends with writer Mercedes Kirkel who has been blessed with a gift of inner listening and contact with the spirits of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.   In this soul-searching interview for her new book, “Dialogues with Yeshua and Mary Magdalene : The Journey to Love,” Mercedes explains in a down-to-earth way what is meant by “channeling” and offers a glimpse of the conversation between Tom and Yeshua (Jesus’s Aramaic name) and his most devoted disciple Mary Magdalene, revealing simple wisdom.  www.mercedeskirkel.com

 

Jul 2, 2021

A critical and timely interview with best-selling author Marianne Larned on her inspiring new book, Stone Soup for A Sustainable World:  Life-Changing Stories of Young Heroes featuring the trailblazing work of 100 young, courageous pioneers all over the globe. Marianne, founder of The Stone Soup Leadership Institute, covers the initiatives of youth in environmental justice, climate change, green invention, education, sustainable business, politics and much more.  This is a book that should be in every classroom ! We encourage listeners to order and buy books featured here from local, independent bookstores whenever possible.  Sustainabilityisfun.org  stonesoupleadership.org/book

Jun 18, 2021
Jessica O’Dwyer takes us to Guatemala in her heartwarming and heartrending novel, Mother Mother, to adopt an orphaned indigenous Ixil Maya baby.  An adoptive mother herself of two teens born in Guatemala, Jessica unfolds a story that reveals the truth of the genocide that tore through Guatemala for decades, and a glimpse through the eyes of its beautiful Mayan people into the corruption behind the adoption system. A sensitive interview that by its nature helps us better understand and respect today’s immigrant families from Central America desperate to give their children a safer life.  jessicaodwyer.com
Jun 4, 2021
Award-winning author, Judie Fein, and her husband, award-winning photo journalist, Paul Ross take us on a journey beyond their book, Life Is A Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel.  In this intriguing and often humorous interview the itinerant global travel journalists reveal their radical approach to travel as we emerge from the pandemic.  Is there somewhere you’ve never been close to your very own back yard ?  Judie and Paul literally stick pins in a map of New Mexico, pack a picnic lunch, double-tie their shoelaces and pull out of their driveway.  Some days they don’t even need to buy gas !  
globaladventures.us and livetoleave.com
 
 
Jun 1, 2021

An important conversation with Certified Dementia Practitioner and community educator, Ruth Dennis, on her book Mindful Dementia Care: Lost and Found in The Alzheimer’s Forest co-authored with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab.   Ruth has worked for over two decades in every aspect of dementia care and emphasizes perhaps the most needed element of care at every stage, kindness   An essential interview for listeners caring for loved ones at home, for professional caregivers and anyone curious or concerned.   vistalivingcare.com

May 21, 2021

How do we speak to and listen to our children ?  Wade Bergner discovered a shocking statistic that children hear the word “Don’t” about 150,000 times by the time they’re 18 years old but only hear about 2,000 words of encouragement.   Prompted by that, his own sons’ growing into young men, and his personal midlife reassessment, he wrote The Bird Ride, a sweet and literally eye opening beautifully illustrated children’s book.  Listen and learn from this first-time writer on his first ever interview.  He’s doing well !   The Bird Ride published by Winds of Change Press.  bergnerbooks.com

May 14, 2021

We explore the art of screenwriting with filmmaker Arthur Kanegis, writer, editor and producer of The World is My Country currently airing on many PBS stations. Arthur discovered and chronicled the fascinating, almost-lost story of fearless “world citizen #1“ Garry Davis who gave up his American citizenship and passport after World War II to pursue a world without boundaries.  Davis gained enormous support including from Albert Einstein and especially Eleanor Roosevelt who challenged him to help create The Universal Declaration of Human Rights theworldismycountry.com/trailer  futurewave.org
Peoplepoweredplanet.com

Apr 30, 2021

A joy to interview past Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon with her powerful new collection Back to The Light.  Teacher and author of more than 40 books for adults and children, George Ella takes us back to her own childhood and the people, perceptions, insights and healing that has brought her safely and gently to this time of reconciliation and beauty in her life.  Published by University of Kentucky Press.  georgeellalyon.com

Apr 25, 2021

Religious Studies Professor Vanessa R. Sasson finally brings a feminine voice to the timeless story of The Buddha, first made famous to non Buddhists by Herman Hesse. Vanessa tells the story from the point of view and aching heart of Prince Siddhartha’s wife, Yasodhara, in her richly reimagined first novel Yasodhara and The Buddha, a beautiful telling steeped in the fragrance, tastes and colors of northern India.  Published by Bloomsbury vanessarsasson.com

Apr 8, 2021

Financial wellness expert Jennifer Barrett is a contributor to Forbes, The New York Times and The Washington Post among other trusted forums, and brings her wisdom to The Last Word with her brand new book Think Like A Breadwinner: A Wealth-Building Manifesto for Women Who Want to Earn More and Worry Less.  In this fast-paced interview Jennifer debunks common myths and habits that often sabotage our best efforts to earn more, save more and invest wisely.  Why do we let emotions rule our financial well being and how can we once and for all put our financial fears to rest ? Think Like A Breadwinner published by G.P. Putnam  jenniferbarrett.com

Apr 2, 2021

Santa Fe based writer, educator and former business administrator Kay Sellers reads from three collections of luminous prose poetry, Outlier, Constructions and Optics inspired by his sojourns in the Pacific Northwest and South America as well as the American Southwest.  Kay shares with listeners how a writer can shift from the practical, day-to-day world of work to the creative, sometimes atmospheric consciousness that writing poetry calls forth.  How does a poet turn visual perception and imagery into an award-winning piece of writing ?   Sellers is a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur Award for Outlier. His books are available at amazon.com and as always we encourage listeners to order books featured on The Last Word directly from local Santa Fe bookstores.  Follow Kay at the blog  kaysellers.org

 

Mar 26, 2021

Travel to northeast India to the tea growing District of Assam with environmental scientist Janie Chodosh to meet India’s most revered veterinarian, Dr. K. K. Sarma.   Janie’s latest book, The Elephant Doctor of India, tells Dr. Sarma’s inspiring story from his childhood dreams to present day with delightful and sometimes hair raising stories of his work to save elephants both domesticated and wild.  Janie Chodosh is based in Santa Fe and her book is available at local bookstores and through her website at janiechodosh.com

Mar 19, 2021

Ten years ago Linda Durham closed her internationally acclaimed art gallery in Santa Fe after 33 extraordinary years, propelling her from the highest echelon of glamorous inner circles into an ocean of bewilderment and loss of perceived identity.  In this intimate chat Linda talks about how being shaken to her roots helped her find herself again.  And again.  What is our identity ?  Do we actually need one ?  Linda Durham’s fascinating memoir Still Moving answers some questions and asks more, available from local bookstores, online and from Linda herself  www.lindadurham.us

 

Mar 12, 2021

America’s beloved “dog doc” Dr. Marty Goldstein, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine for over 40 years informs and delights pet-loving listeners with his new book The Spirit of Animal Healing: An Integrative Medicine Guide to a Higher State of Well Being.   We discuss the importance of knowing what’s in your pet’s food and why diseases in animals have skyrocketed over the last few decades.  Did you know that your dear dog or cat may have a spiritual life and certainly an emotional life often in tune with your own ?   
Published by St. Martin’s Publishing Group.   drmarty.com   drmartypets.com  dogdogthefilm.com

Mar 5, 2021
Writer, poet, psychotherapist and writing coach Ya’el Chaikind reads from her newest book Revelations of The Heart and explains how she follows the ancient Hebrew tradition of Counting The Omer each spring to immerse in the qualities of lovingkindness, strength, harmony, endurance, awe, foundation and dignity. The 50th Day is known as the day of revelation.   yaelchaikind.com
Feb 19, 2021

A powerful and sometimes uncomfortable interview with journalist, award-winning author and writing coach Marcia Meier about her newly-published memoir, Face.  At 5 years old Marcia was hit by a car on a crosswalk while riding her bicycle and dragged underneath for 200 yds. leaving her horribly disfigured and in indescribable pain.  Face: A Memoir chronicles her 20 surgeries and a childhood haunted by traumatic scars both physical and emotional.  Why did it take half a lifetime for Marcia to complete this book and how has she forgiven those who hurt her, or has she ?  Published by Saddle Road Press  marciameier.com plus resources including the Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Foundation cptsdfoundation.org and the Facebook group Beyond Childhood Trauma

Feb 12, 2021

Santa Fe award-winning author and playwright, Rosemary Zibart joins me to discuss her latest book, Beatrice on Her Own, the second in her Far and Away series for young people, the first being True Brit.   Both books are based on real accounts of World War II and tell the story of a young girl who flees London during the blitz to find safety with a stranger, a courageous pubic health nurse hosting her in far away Santa Fe.  Beatrice grows up fast in the land of enchantment and Rosemary does not shy away from the difficulties of life in the pueblos in the years before running water and antibiotics. Through Beatrice’s eyes and heart we learn truth about the Japanese Internment Camp as well as picture Santa Fe’s bustling plaza in the days of Zook’s Soda Fountain and grocery stores.  kinkajoupress.com   rosemaryzibart.com

Jan 22, 2021

New Mexico’s celebrated author and writing teacher Natalie Goldberg reads from her newest book, Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku.  This elegant book is a reverent journey into the beauty, fragrance and joy of following in the footsteps of Japan’s Haiku masters.  Listen with delight as Natalie takes us with her and rediscover how reading three simple lines can “make the mind leap” and open up a spaciousness in our souls.  nataliegoldberg.com

Jan 15, 2021

Plastic pollution activist and educator Sandra Ann Harris helps to set an intent for this new year to minimize our use of single-use plastic products which are cluttering and destroying the world’s oceans and jeopardizing our own health and that of our children.  Founder of EcoLunchboxes and author of Say Goodbye to Plastic: a Survival Guide to Plastic-free Living Sandra suggests an easy-to-follow guide that takes us through each room in our homes to see where we can make changes.  Even one small change can make a difference.  More about Sandra at ecolunchboxes.com    Say Goodbye to Plastic published by Penguin Random House available from ecolunchboxes.com

Jan 8, 2021

Perhaps the first form of news reporting and education, storytelling is as ancient as humanity itself.  Along with his wife, Liz Mangual, Bob Kanegis has inspired and entertained throughout New Mexico for decades in schools, conferences, gatherings and currently online for everyone to enjoy.  This fun interview gives a taste of Bob’s tales that can inform and guide us through this new year. Bob and Liz can be found anytime at  storyconnection.com

Dec 11, 2020

Ann Todhunter Brode has been a respected bodywork therapist, consultant and writer in the healthcare field for over 40 years. Over decades she has observed time and again how our minds and bodies interact and has published her findings in A Guide to Body Wisdom: What Your Mind Needs to Know About Your Body.  In this interview Ann cites just a few of hundreds of examples which will likely have you nodding in agreement and perhaps generate an “aha” moment or two.  A well resourced addition to literature about how mindfulness may help to offer a fresh perspective on our health.  Published by Llewelyn.com   bodywisdomforlife.com  anntodhunterbrode.com

Dec 4, 2020

This week’s interview honors the life and legacy of fine artist Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris, who’s last wish was to see her almost completed book, A Generous Spirit, brought to publication.  Kathy, herself an artist and gifted photographer, compiled Sarah’s book and Judy was the final editor and publishing support.  Illustrated in full color, A Generous Spirit brings Sarah’s values, beauty, fearless skill and soaring imagination to all.  Her blog artcalling.wordpress.com has been recently updated to offer insights, wisdom and Sarah’s gift for capturing nature and form in glorious detail.  A Generous Spirit: Exploring New Directions for The Arts published by Kaminn Media.

Nov 24, 2020

Hersch Wilson is a 30-year veteran volunteer firefighter and EMT with Santa Fe County’s Hondo Fire Department.  Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times brings the reader into the front lines with Hersch and his teams and offers succinct field notes for those of us on the somewhat less dramatic sidelines.  How do firefighters keep calm in the midst of chaos ?  How do they process the grief and sometimes anger they feel with passion ?  How do they summon grit and courage in the face of monstrous tragedy ?   Be brave, be kind, fight fires.
Interviewing Hersch was enormous fun despite the subject matter, and these 23 minutes are dedicated to all the brave and dedicated firefighters in our County and in our country.  

Nov 16, 2020

Discover “The Wonder-Full World of The Home” with Timothy Hass.  Timothy’s compact book is filled with examples and simple exercises to help us bring our homes to vibrant life in “collaboration” with unseen beings that cohabit with us, just like faeries and nature spirits may help our gardens !   Open your mind to the possibilities of techno-elementals, underbuddies and even electro-elementals who might just help to fix our devices and gadgets.  Timothy, also works with the Wild Foundation and tells a remarkable true story of how “underbuddies” saved the day in a potentially volatile situation at a Wild Congress in Mexico City.  Published by Lorian Press. thass7@icloud.com or wild.org for more info about the Wild Foundation.  

 
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