I was born in the original Las Vegas, a small city in northern New Mexico. It has a rich history of old west outlaws whose legendary ghosts still haunt the city. It’s a town rich in atmosphere. Visitors and tourists are attracted to our landmarks. It’s also the location for tons of movies and its fair share of TV shows.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I live twenty miles north of Las Vegas, in a small valley which is part of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. My ancestors settled here in the 1500s when they came from Spain and Mexico, and I live on the land I inherited from the generations before me.
What turns you on creatively?
The initial spark of an idea coming to life and forming into a new project excites me. It means I have another story to tell, another piece of my culture or another nonfiction anecdote to share with readers. Marketing feeds my need for creativity too since I create my own promotional materials for my social media platforms.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
Discombobulated thoughts create chaos in my head or grateful contentment in my heart. It’s my choice which.
Discombobulated is a fun-sounding word, but it also reeks of unease, like a scene from a Poe story. It describes how I’ve felt this year and has taught me that my mind can make me prisoner or set me free.
What is your pet peeve?
What I call the de-evolution of our language is the worst. Teaching English was such a big part of my life for so long, and I learned to love words for what they can do to make language beautiful. It hurts me to see Bradbury’s fictional explanation for the deterioration of a language in “The Sound of Thunder” coming true.
What defines Carmen Baca?
Wordsmith, educator, animal lover and woman make me who I am. I love playing with words, but I still enjoy teaching or mentoring others. Animals hold a special place in my heart, which is why my husband and I care for feral cats and adopt many. Woman is an umbrella covering so much beneath: mother, wife, grandmother, friend, and more.
Carmen Baca taught a variety of English and history courses, mostly at the high school and college levels over the course of thirty-six years before retiring in 2014. Her command of both English and Spanish enables her to write with true story-telling talent. Her debut novel El Hermano, published in April of 2017 and became a finalist in the NM-AZ. She has also published 32 short works in online literary magazines, women’s blogs, and anthologies. She and her husband live a quiet life in the country caring for their animals and any stray that happens to come by.