NMSU English professor and former assistant basketball coach Rus Bradburd chatted with Lynn Moorer about his memoir, Paddy on the Hardwood: A Journey in Irish Hoops, which recounts his quest for an easy job in the Republic of Ireland coaching basketball while learning traditional Irish fiddle tunes and finishing a short story series. Coaching the Tralee Tigers, headquartered in a small town in southwestern Ireland, turned out to be an unexpected coaching challenge, not least because the Tigers didn’t have their own gym to train or play in, basketball had to compete with many more popular sports in Ireland, and his Irish players had other jobs while playing only for the love of the game and practicing only five hours a week. Instead of writing short stories, he found himself embracing his unique coaching challenge and creating an entertaining and, at times, riveting journal about his vivid experiences.
Award-winning poet, author, and rancher Deanna Dickinson McCall talked with Lynn Moorer about her book of poetry and short stories, Mustang Spring, which is populated with characters who are at once tough, disciplined, fallible, vulnerable, and lucky. Having ranched more than sixty years, beginning as a child with her family in California, then Nevada, Idaho, and New Mexico, McCall explained that her writing reflects the realities of women’s tenacity, endurance, and strength of character in ranching and their fight to preserve their livelihood which reveres land and livestock.
Eighth-grade English language arts teacher Lydia Udero-Vaughan chatted with Lynn Moorer about her debut book of fiction, As I Battle Your Demons: Book One: The Chosen, a young adult novel that traces the trials, tribulations, and paranormal experiences of Lee DelRay who, when thirteen years old, begins to endure terrifying nightmares that leave her physically wounded and her parents, who deny abuse or mistreatment, baffled. After she is committed to a mental hospital, Lee initially experiences hell on earth through overmedication and mistreatment while she fights demons in horrifying nightmares. After an angel comes to her and tells her she’s God’s warrior, she asks God for victory in battling demons and her life begins to improve. When she leaves the hospital after reaching age eighteen and having experienced a loving relationship with a kindly doctor and his family, she begins to build a happy life with new friends while also fighting demons encountered when awake. When traveling in Italy with a friend, then meeting an older brother she hasn’t seen for years, and finding a new love interest, an angel gives Lee a life-altering choice: join the battle against Lucifer and his army or live a normal life.
Prolific poet and retired NMSU English Professor Joseph Somoza visited with Lynn Moorer about his book of collected poems, As Far As I Know, describing his process in which he composes words quickly to capture the energy of his inspiration. Explaining that poetry writing for him is a contemplative endeavor in which he writes poetry to know himself, he said that he writes almost daily and, when he doesn’t, feels something is missing in him. Somoza read and discussed several poems from his book, then shared a poem he recently wrote that reflects on our shared experiences during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Retired NMSU Spanish professor Don Kurtz talked with Lynn Moorer about Churchgoers, his novel which is set in a midwestern university town and juxtaposes the leaders and parishioners of two very different congregations—a traditional mainline Protestant congregation and a small kingdom-based mission, Spirit Rising, that focuses on a healing ministry with a lot of slaying of the spirit—which are sharing the same Campus Church premises. Campus Church pastor Harry Applebee, who is decent and warm-hearted, becomes rejuvenated through his involvement with a university student group’s cause. Spirit Rising pastor Randy Overmeyer, a former rock-and-roll band singer who found God while overdosing, uses his talent for knowing who people are under the layers to save Mitchell Chandler, an eminent neurobiologist with a well-funded genetics lab at the university, when he starts having paranormal experiences and demonic possessive episodes. Randy’s wife Lee, who loves Randy but struggles to share in his ministry, has her faith challenged, then restored, but in the midst loses a friend.
Researcher Kate Null Asbill shared insights with Lynn Moorer from her book on proactive aging and intentional educational living, Start Dancin’ and Don’t Stop: Thrive, Don’t Just Survive, which focuses on developing techniques to help us age well and live better longer. The result of interviewing more than a hundred elders—many of whom live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, her book synthesizes myriad life lessons and sage advice for keeping going while enjoying wherever you are in your life stages, especially dancing, positive thinking, and positive speaking.
Astronomer and prolific science fiction writer David Lee Summers returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his book of fiction, Firebrandt’s Legacy. Captain Ellison Firebrandt, a space pirate who kills and steals but with a conscience, operates his space ship Legacy under a letter of marque from the Earth Alliance group of planets. Using computer viruses and hepler pistols, if necessary, Firebrandt and his crew dock with other space ships with or without their permission to confiscate cargo or search out treasure. When they find and help themselves to a highly valuable intrasystem jump machine which, exploiting concepts identified by Einstein eons earlier, allows star vessels to jump quickly to another location within their system, a more advanced species, the Alpha Centaurans, come looking for the machine on the Legacy. Suki Mori, a young woman with an exceptional mind who Firebrandt rescues from another planet but who isn't sure she trusts Firebrandt, figures out how to make the machine work, then creates a counterfeit machine to hide the genuine article.
Las Cruces pastor and Bible scholar Paul Duerksen returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his book of fiction, Indestructo! An Unlikely Hero, whose hero, pastor Jake Lawrence, is a modern-day Samson but without the betrayal, gore, and really long hair. Not long after Jake preaches a sermon on the strong, ferocious fighter and lover of women Samson from the Bible’s Book of Judges, lightning strikes Jake in a thunderstorm and a Voice tells him he has chosen him to do important work. He soon finds he can, with superhuman powers, undertake a series of amazing deeds by rescuing people, preventing crimes, neutralizing bad guys, and delivering them to the police, who are baffled and a bit disgruntled at this hero who runs like the wind away from each scene wearing his Indestructo suit and mask. When a newspaper reporter (and former lover) threatens to reveal his true identity, Jake employs remarkable powers of reasoning and persuasion to save his career as a church pastor.
Pushcart Prize nominee and New Mexico State University imminent MFA creative writing graduate Tyler Truman Julian chatted with Lynn Moorer about his debut book of poetry, Wyoming: The Next Question to Ask (to Answer). Featuring linked poetry which makes it read more like a story than traditional poetry, it presents a dichotomy of choice about essential matters: whether to leave his beloved Wyoming and his family to experience a wider and deeper world, whether to risk differently, whether to stay in Wyoming and die younger there, and whether his choice will become a legacy lost or gained.
Retired DEA agent and former Border Patrol agent Eric Norway returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his new book, A Warrior’s Betrayal: The Life and Death of Green Beret Chester Garrett. Co-authored with retired El Paso Sheriff’s Office detective Antonio Arias and retired DEA intelligence analyst Reynaldo Cervantes, Jr., Norway meticulously traces the leads, evidence, and investigation of a 29-year-old cold case involving the murder of Major Chester Garrett, a highly-decorated Green Beret who served with distinction, including three tours in Vietnam, and was stationed at Fort Bliss Army base at the time of his murder. Despite daunting challenges, including a missing case file, scattered and dead witnesses, and a chief witness who couldn’t tell a story the same way twice, Arias solved the case. This led to the conviction and current incarceration in Texas of Garrett’s two murderers.
Click here to find archived episodes of many of our music programs on Mixcloud.