Good morning, everyone. I’m still in Taos and won’t be returning to Oaxaca until just before Day of the Dead. So, far, it’s been a whirlwind of a summer. Hot, dry, filled with non-stop activities and I’m holed up now, taking it easy. I’ve hosted my son’s 50th birthday party, joined a reunion of Chiapas 2020 tour-goers for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, then did a presentation about Oaxaca and Chiapas textiles at the Kent State University WARP Conference in Ohio.
On Thursday, I’m heading off to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where I’ll meet up with dear friend Carol Estes for camping and relaxation with her family along the San Juan River. Carol and I met in Oaxaca about 10 years ago, when she decided to make Oaxaca City her home after retirement. Oaxaca has a way of making connections that are lifelong and important.
I joined SOMOS this year. This is the Taos literary society. An open mic is held on the third Thursday of every month and I’ve been participating since I returned from Oaxaca in April. In June, I read a new piece entitled Lipstick. The feedback was so positive that I decided to submit it to Minerva Rising Press to be judged for publication. Lo and behold, they accepted it, paid me a stipend, and published the piece. Very exciting. Here it is, in the event you’d like to read it. Please write me if you have comments or feedback. I’d love to hear from you.
Lipstick by Norma Schafer
The creative writing process is very energizing and gives me an opportunity to express thoughts and feelings with the written word. I don’t do it to get published. I do it for self-reflection, understanding, and observation. The process helps me know myself more fully as I reconcile past and navigate the future.
We will continue offering writing workshops in Oaxaca starting in 2024. The first up will be a Screenwriting for Film and Television with two-time Golden Globe winner Harry Werksman. Our Women’s Creative Writing Workshop Retreat will be back in early January 2025. Interested? Get on our list by writing Norma Schafer. We will hold these in Teotitlan del Valle, where we find inspiration in this small, amazing Zapotec rug weaving village where time moves slowly, and we can savor culture and community.
Yes, it’s HOT. I have a beautiful selection of clothing, light weight, gauzy, breathable, perfect for summer dressing, that I will offer for sale this week. The pieces are from Oaxaca and Chiapas, where weather drives comfort. Stay tuned.
Day of the Dead in Oaxaca is fast approaching. We still have spaces open on our village day tours during this magical time. Please forward this info to anyone who will be in Oaxaca to experience a more intimate view of this important celebration. 1) Day of the Dead on the Ocotlan Highway. 2) Day of the Dead in Teotitlan del Valle. 3) Day of the Dead in Mitla.
And, if you are thinking of coming with us to Original in Mexico City in November, we hope you will decide soon. There are only three spaces open. Same for Chiapas 2024. We are also committed to offering a winter 2025 trip to Guatemala, and we are in the planning stages now.
Eric and I are working behind the scenes to open an online gallery shop that features home goods, rugs, clothing and other art/design pieces from Mexico, especially Oaxaca and Chiapas. We are close to being ready to launch and we will let you know.
As an educational organization, we are dedicated to giving back to communities. We are exploring how we might establish a Oaxaca Cultural Navigator scholarship that will support students who want to complete their high school education and pursue university studies. A part of your registration fees will be dedicated to this endeavor.
And, there is a flock of baby quail trailing behind their mother on my patio at this moment. I couldn’t get a photo fast enough before they took flight. So, this one of Big Horn Sheep in my yard will have to do!
Please stay cool, hydrated and healthy.