"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pages of summer

In the heat and drought of summer, reading also suffers, for me. But  at the terrific downtown  Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Santa Fe, I found this book on the adobe churches of northern New Mexico, with photographs and guides. I've been to many of the 75 she lists, but I'll visit more. I'm disappointed she left several out that I have seen and want to know more about. So that's my task.

On the cover is "Las Trampas" on the high road to Taos. Completed in 1760, the church is still in use. Oh, the stories.

While in a local bookstore buying Writers Market for 2011--intending to increase my freelance writing, I found this  book on non-fiction writing. Most books on that subject are dry textbooks and pretty useless. I don't use textbooks in my writing class, but a collection of material I've built up over the years, and called "The Write Stuff." Students love it because it's only about $13.00.

But this book caught my eye--it is full of writing exercises for anyone, by accomplished writers. I bought in and have found lots of good ideas for my students, and myself. I'll probably require this--which means I highly recommend it, because most books are rip offs padded for profit and the expense of students--and it only costs $15.

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