Minnesota has more youth, high school, college, and pro hockey players than anywhere in the United States. For all that pedigree, and despite fifty years in the NHL, it still waits for a Stanley Cup championship team. This is the improbable tale of when the self-professed State of Hockey came closest to that title with the Minnesota North Stars. Through most of the 1990-91 schedule, the team was among the worst in the NHL on the ice, and dead last at the turnstiles. But in February and March, the North Stars began to win a little more. Future Hall of Famer, Mike Modano, and a cast of characters ranging from better-than-average to journeymen played some of the best hockey of their lives behind a homegrown goalie who made everyone believe in fairy tales, for a while. This is the story of the team with the worst regular-season record in any of the major North American sports leagues to play for a modern championship. The second half of Mirage of Destiny relates the exhilaration, heartbreak, and the real lives of all those players, coaches and staff who came so close to being part of something historic thirty years ago.
The first volume in the Stories of My Horses trilogy.
Beautiful and hilarious, tearful and rambunctious, very real, ironic and magic-filled, Martín Prechtel’s new book The Mare and the Mouse is a series of lyrical sagas in tribute to each of the native New Mexican horses that carried him through his youth on the reservation, and then again during the difficult times following his return home after over a decade in the Mayan Highlands of Guatemala.
Meant to be read aloud to crowds around campfires, especially to people who are mistaken that only rich people or rednecks ride horses, Prechtel credits both his own physical and spiritual survival in “modernity’s mad rush to nowhere” with the sanity of riding and living with his natural-born Southwestern horses. Not raised for show, performance, status, or money, these little horses allowed a way of living that took him flying over ravines into deep-mountain Holy places, backwards over streams, and in general keeping alive a sparkier, older spirit in an age where horses have been grossly de-natured and sadly removed from our own everyday lives after three millennia as the closest companions of our ancestors’ dreams and mythologies.
But, Prechtel says, he wrote this book “specially for people to be inspired to live magically and in depth with animals, and to give people to understand that it’s never too late to start living in a more tangible, dusty way—maybe even flying over the ground on the back of a big furry animal—in a way that inspires life. If you want to have good memory, you have to do things that are worth remembering. Time to get busy!”
“On the Res none of us were horse trainers and nobody I knew really whispered to their horses, some people yelled at them, but we did know that neither whispering nor yelling did much good, unless you could keep a peaceful image in your head that you wanted the horse to absorb into theirs. In any case what horses fear the most is human cowardice, so we had to have the courage to think a thought beyond what we wanted the horse to do, we had to think a thought a horse would think, which mostly has to do with looking really cool in a herd of other magnificent horses, then in a trance grazing beautiful, short wild grasses on the sides of magnificent, mica-covered, red ochre hills, and then being scared of nothing and running like hell to the next equivalent grazing heaven. If you could keep that in your heart, your knees, your hands, your eyes, keeping all the human noise out of your head, then whether you whispered or croaked like a toad, the horse would follow that thought to whatever you thought the two of you should do! Of course you had to be able to laugh at yourself if it didn’t work, because good horses also respect a person who is courageous enough to fail and who can laugh at himself for even thinking a horse should do a person’s will.”
--from The Mare and the Mouse
Available for preorder now! The book will be released on April 5th.
“Carrying on from The Mare and the Mouse, this series, The Stories of My Horses, is not just a compendium of imaginative romantic narratives written to casually entertain the horse loving public.
As romantically remembered as they might seem to be, they are actually straightforward historical accounts of what happens when a life-loving fool like me, a native of that beautiful land-locked, cultural island called Northern New Mexico, who in the latter half of the 20th century, decides he must live his everyday life in direct defiance of the soul-shrinking threat of modernity’s earth-wrecking ugliness and mediocre existence, by keeping some modicum of the bright shine and outrageous living passion of our real souls alive by flying free and beautiful on the backs of flesh and blood horses over a live unpeopled, unmanicured land…
I’ll admit I’m a romantic and heroic. But to be honest, it’s not my fault: it’s the fault of all the horses I’ve ever known. For horses since forever, real horses I mean, have always been romantic, noble and heroic by definition of their very existence, and to be with them well, you too have to develop a soul that corresponds!
In my romantic struggle for beauty in an unromantic mechanical age, my horses, simply by how they were, and how we looked, and how we were together, although no more than a tiny broadside against the ghost ship of mediocrity of this crazy age was some kind of victory just by the fact that we still existed. Horses inspire courage against hopeless odds just by their courage and beauty.”
–from the Introduction to The Wild Rose
The Canyon Wren is the continuation and beautiful punchline of the full tale of Martin Prechtel's Trilogy: The Story of My Horses, and picks up right where The Wild Rose leaves off.
The Wild Rose ends with the dramatic Barn Fire Incident in which the author and his steady new young Barb stallion, Punk, pull a flame stunned mare out of a burning barn just seconds before the whole burning structure collapses, then together they both drive straight out of that book into a new life in the next book.
This third book in the trilogy brings the story far away from all those troubled times, ins and outs, hardships and betrayals, involved in the author's effort to gather up again those old style Indian Ponies of his youth, and heads us back out into the wild land and the beauty of ranchito New Mexico, where as an integral part of the lives of his new family, their family herd of rare Spanish/Native New Mexico horses play out a series of unexpected peculiarities and surprising horse antics that push the envelope of what mainstream culture has come to assume defines horses and the people that have them.
If the first book, The Mare and the Mouse, is like finding a closed treasure chest, and the second book The Wild Rose is the retrieval of the lost keys to that chest, then The Canyon Wren is the treasure itself.
"If this book doesn't make you want to ride, talk to animals, eat well, and close the angry, slack-jaw and shamelessly jump up and try to kiss the sky, then I've failed, but I will always try again. Everyone wants life to be simple, but a simple life cannot be lived in a simple way: it takes a lot of simple skills. To see the humor and beauty in the world is one of those skills."
The vision in this book is simply beautiful.
“Underlying is her knowledge of spells... Burns, seethes, gives birth in heat/heart to create a city of flames.”
“Fallen Angels is Terry Hauptman’s pandemic lament. Twining pain, revelation, and hope, these poems chant their blessings and prayers in the larger chiaroscuro of Kabbalah and the Holocaust, invoking Hauptman’s tutelary spirits, Neruda, Kahlo, Celan, Max Jacob, Darwish, Coltrane. The reigning image may the “blood moon of Baal,” but Hauptman also summons agates, winter bees, and the ruby-throated hummingbird to remind us what beauty can be saved from ruin.”
By Michael Prelee
Kelly Dolan has been missing for nine years. The college graduate was preparing to start her life with a new job in a new city when she vanished over Labor Day Weekend. For almost a decade, her sister Quinn and private detective Paulie Carmichael have been searching for her. After an armed robbery at a lakeside store turns to murder, they become convinced a serial killer is targeting the small town of Hogan but can't convince the police.