Title: When Crystal Came To Town / The Outlawaccompanied on song by Thomas Hjorth.
Cooper was raised in the wettest parts of the Pacific Northwest. She escaped to California as soon as she was able and was overjoyed to discover the sun actually exists. It was when she landed in Landers, CA, however, that she knew she had found her forever home. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from UC Riverside-Palm Desert and is writing a memoir about her life in rock’n’roll. GXRL, the literary journal she founded, is dedicated to amplifying women’s stories. She is also host of the Becoming Infinite podcast, which is devoted to modern spirituality and mysticism. When she’s not writing or podcasting, she’s playing bass and singing in the dreampop band LANDROID, which is named after the part of the desert the group calls home.
Title: Bombay Beach Rides Again
Laura Hauther moved to the desert from L.A. where she worked as a social worker, journalist, and activist for over 20 years. She now is a freelance journalist and writer focusing on social and economic justice issues.
Photos by Greg Deponte.
Title: My Ode To Hal / Tired
Will Kelly is a Navy veteran, licensed clinical social worker, and singer/songwriter in San Diego, CA. His last duty station in the Navy before separating in 2015 was Naval Hospital 29 Palms within the Marine Corps base there. Will’s motivation to inspire others through music began in the High Desert. He quickly participated in the local Open Mics in Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Pioneertown and performed with many of the amazing artists in the area.
Title: Green Guy In A Tan World
Ted Meyer, Los Angeles Ted Meyer is a nationally recognized artist, curator and patient advocate, who through artistic expression, chronicles the courage of people living with a variety of medical conditions. Born with Gaucher disease, Ted’s personal experiences with the condition has served as his artistic motivation – uniquely blending medicine and stories of healing and survival. Ted’s artistry has been featured in the New York Times and The Huffington Post, NPR and has been a TED main-stage speaker highlighting his work on the importance of communicating patients' stories through art and how it can help healthcare providers gain an understanding of their patients' experiences.
Title: Dreamscapes and Doorways
Sarah Nocktonick is a Citizen Band Potawatomi, a professional massage Therapist, plant enthusiast, and amateur mixologist. Her love of creative writing and poetry began at age nine when she wrote her first haiku about a bee visiting a flower. She has a degree in East Asian Languages and Culture from the University of Kansas and spent her early twenties living and working in Japan, learning Ohara branch Ikebana(flower arrangement), Fujiwara Branch Japanese dance, and traveling the countryside by train. The rest of her youth was spent in San Francisco where she became a massage therapist, spent a lot of time with drag performers, artists, DJs, burlesque dancers and other creative souls. She moved to the desert in 2013 with her husband, Abe, their geriatric Siamese cat, Clarence, and Chance, their Chiweenie where the sun shines 350 days a year and the best things in life are free.
Title: Desert Alchemy
At 18, while learning to frame houses and build decks, Mia Torres helped create The Big Sur Players. At the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Mia worked with many incredible acts including The Royal Shakespeare Company, which was a revelation. For 20 years, Mia was Technical Director for The LA Women’s Shakespeare Company. For 7 years, she taught set design, construction, and scenic painting at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. Mia toured extensively with The Actors’ Gang as Production Manager/Technical Director. Before settling in Joshua Tree in 2017, she was a traveling carpenter, helping friends across the country.
Title: One of the Lucky Ones
Mike Vail is a novelist, short story author and poet. His second book, High Desert Elegy: Stories & Poems, was just published. The Salvation of San Juan Cajon, his novel about the desperate struggle to construct a new high school in a poverty-stricken urban community, was published in 2018. Mike is also one of the nation’s leading school facility builders, having planned, financed and constructed over one billion dollars worth of projects during his career. A California native, Mike divides his time between San Clemente and a former homestead cabin in the Mojave Desert.