Carpenter in the Clouds [LINK] and Built to Last [LINK]
A Londoner, Tania Casselle fell in love on a road trip in New Mexico—first with the land, then with a man. She married both and now lives in Taos, where she works as a writer, editor, writing coach, and retreat leader. She often writes about homes, including two wildly different ones for this issue. “I was especially struck by how these houses express the character, spirit, and vision of their owners in a truly soulful way,” she says. Casselle’s books include Insider’s Guide to Albuquerque (Globe Pequot, 2011). Learn more about her at tcwriter.com.
LUKE. E. MONTAVON
Carpenter in the Clouds [LINK]
A documentary photographer and educator, Luke E. Montavon finds inspiration in the impact that individuals make in their communities. “I stumbled upon Isabro Ortega and his home, and I’d never seen anything like it,” he says. “Then again, I don’t think he had, either, but he has a gift, and he’s open to sharing it.” Montavon graduated from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and now runs the digital lab for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. When he isn’t teaching, he freelances for publications here and abroad and is always on the hunt for the next great story.
MICHAEL E. SPRENGELMEYER
Side Kicks [LINK]
Here’s how you parlay New Mexico roots into a journalistic odyssey. After writing for the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Tribune, and Santa Fe Reporter, Michael E. Sprengelmeyer got his big break as a Washington, D.C., correspondent for Denver’s Rocky Mountain News. He reported from the Pentagon after the terrorist attacks of September 11 and wrote from the battlefields of Iraq. After the Rocky closed in 2009, Sprengelmeyer ripped up his résumé and bought his own small-town newspaper, the Communicator, in Santa Rosa. It became the most interesting, exciting, and rewarding thing he had ever done. “I absolutely fell in love with this little dot on the map,” he says. “I swam at the Blue Hole every week of the year.” Family duties recently pulled him out of the state, but, he says, “I still dream about the place.”