Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

This week, we’ve got a brand new author on the show. Her name is Amanda Madala. She is a UArizona graduate. She’s traveled the world, and she’s now written a book geared towards children, helping them find their place in this world In the midst of a pandemic.

Today is September 4th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org– we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Papi Charro and Kid Taro, “Saguaro View.”

Transcript

Tom Heath
Good morning. It’s another beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo, and you’re listening to KTDT Tucson. Thank you for spending part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored Rock n Roll radio station.

Tom Heath
This week, we’ve got a brand new author on the show. Her name is Amanda Madala. She is a UArizona graduate. She’s traveled the world, and she’s now written a book geared towards children, helping them find their place in this world In the midst of a pandemic.

Tom Heath
Today is September 5th My name is Tom Heath, and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar H Every Sunday. Our focus is on social, cultural and economic impacts. In Tucson’s Urban corn. We shed light on hidden gems Everyone should know about from a mountain to you, Arizona and all stops in between. You get the inside Track right here on 991 FM Streaming on Downtown Radio dot org, Also available on your iPhone or Android with our very own Downtown Radio Tucson app. And if you want to get us here on the show, Our

Tom Heath
email address is contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org. You can interact with us on Facebook, or on Instagram. Our podcast is about anywhere you can find podcasts, and you can catch all of them on our website, Life along the streetcar dot-org.

Tom Heath
And I wanted to share a little bit of book news today, since we’re talking to an author a little bit later on. The Tucson Festival of books has announced and confirmed their 2022 dates. It will be on the University of Arizona campus that has as it has been since 2009 and it will be March 12th and 13th 2022. So Mark those calendars, And we’re going to go out to the you of a mole and Celebrate literacy. And remember, This is a free events. We’ve done a few shows in this in the past, You can check them out on lifelong streetcar dot-org. You can just Google Festival of books. There were search it in that and in our search bar there, and it’s a free event with through sponsorships and Merchants and vendors. They raise some money and have donated over two million dollars, two million dollars to local literacy efforts. And that’s since they launched in 2000 In 19

Tom Heath
Well, speaking of books, we have Amanda Madala on the show today. We interviewed her just a few days ago about an event she’s got coming up. It’s a community art event to celebrate her new book. And we were excited to chat with her and help her broadcast the news about her upcoming “Saguaro Stillness.” It’ll be out very soon, and how she’s tied it into the community and gotten everyone involved is pretty exciting. So I wanted to share her news with you.

Amanda Madala
My name is Amanda medulla, and I went to the U of A here Back in the day. Got my psych degree. I was my major, and I minored in religious studies. And I was here for four years, moved away to Boulder. Colorado went to grad school at naropa University. So at my masters in also counseling. And then I traveled around. I traveled to India, Nepal, Tibet, Kyle. And so I’m very grateful to have that Experience. And then after five months in India, I found myself back here in Tucson. I was really drawn back to the desert. And I worked on the Tohono Awesome reservation for 10 years In a behavioral health setting. I work for a nonprofit called Intermountain centers for human development.

Tom Heath
What it was it just a calling to get back to Tucson. Or was there something specific that brought you back?

Amanda Madala
I think it was the desert. I have a grandmother here who Still lives here. She’s a snowbird. But growing up, I was born in Wisconsin. So growing up, right around Easter, When it was like, went through the long Winters in Wisconsin near Lake Michigan, We would come out here, and it was beautiful weather. The birds were chirping the desert. It was just such a stark contrast from, you know, the winter there in Wisconsin. So I just fell in love with Arizona and the Sonoran Desert every year coming out. So when I was in India, In coffee shops, I found the job announcements I was looking for a job I knew after, you know, I graduated and after I did my whirlwind trip that I would have to settle down and get a job. So I found that job posting while I was still in India. And then just who I was I was I knew I would get the job, or just kind of an intuitive knowing, you know, a feeling that I knew I would come back here. And, you know, so grateful that I was able to work on the reservation for ten

Amanda Madala
years.

Tom Heath
So you had the entire world to choose From, and you chose to son. Yes, That is a that is a good Testament. We have to get that into our visit, Tucson marketing. So tour, the travel the

Amanda Madala
world and come back.

Tom Heath
And I apologize, How long have you back at been back in Tucson?

Amanda Madala
I have been back in Tucson. I want to say, 16

Tom Heath
years. Okay, so just a short

Amanda Madala
while, Yep, raised raised three boys here And now I work for a banner as a long-term care case manager. So I serve the sickest of the sick and the poorest of the poor. And that’s really my life of service Like it’s always where I come from just wanting to support and serve and help, Because I feel like I’ve been blessed with so much.

Tom Heath
Well, let’s we don’t normally talk too much about families, but it’s gonna be kind of pertinent to our story, I think, can you? Can you tell us a lot about the age of your boys?

Amanda Madala
Sure, I have a six-year-old 10 year old and an 18 year old.

Tom Heath
Okay. And they obviously, the pandemic has disrupted classrooms as to disrupted School social settings. And you, you kind of latched onto this as you watched what your boys and, and ended up writing a book about

Amanda Madala
it. Absolutely last summer, My, My son was 9 and he was absolutely thriving prior to the pandemic, academically and socially. And last summer, He was out in the backyard, and just started crying and told me, he just feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. And he’s never seen me cry with him. So I started crying and was trying to dig a little bit and said, what about your family were your family? And he said he didn’t feel like he belonged in its family, and I just really broke My heart. I felt like I there was something that I needed to do to take action and to support all the children that were really struggling, Because, you know, so sad, we would go to the park, and they would have the caution tape on the ramadas, The caution tape on the playgrounds, children’s birthday parties were drive by my my other son had to do his pre-school graduation over Zoom. It’s just sad. And I heard Somewhere that the virus, it really thrives off like the thing that us humans crave the most, which is human

Amanda Madala
connection. And that really rang true for me. So in this book, it has some tools and help to support, to really come back to remember who we are to find the Stillness. You know, the it’s easy for us to forget that the Stillness is always available to us. If we just quiet our mind and really go within, especially in the desert, the beauty of the desert Hearing the sound, seeing the sights. It really helps us create that space, you know, dive more into our heart and come out of our head a little bit, because there is so much external stimuli going on all around us, especially right now,

Tom Heath
in the name of the book, you’ve kind of hinted at it, but the name of the book,

Amanda Madala
Saguaro

Tom Heath
Stillness. And and there’s is this your first attempt at writing a review written other

Amanda Madala
books. It is. This is my first attempt, and I didn’t know what I was Is doing. I first try to Google like, okay, what, what age group and how do you hit? And then I just said, you know what? I’m just going to let this thing come through me, kind of get out of all of that. And it’s a really cute rhyming book. There’s poetry in it.

Amanda Madala
I just think the children are going to love it. So the basic premise is it’s from the perspective of the Saguaro. A child comes into the desert. The child very upset out of sorts, and the soils are talking to the child saying you, He’s like, you’re not doing too well there. And the Saguaro leads this child through a meditation Using the five senses of all the desert sounds and sights and feelings and smell And helps the child come to Stillness, like the Saguaro. So I was, are amazing at being still, and its really assisting the child and remembering what beauty is around, What What beauty is within, and just kind of remembering who we are. We are made of Stardust. We are so blessed to be in this moment to be here now.

Tom Heath
So after you, as you said, kind of got out of the way. And let the words come, have you have? You can serve targeted The right age of someone that should be reading this.

Amanda Madala
Yeah, I’m thinking three to ten years old, but really adults, any of us could find, you know, find appreciation in this story. And it actually is a Trilogy. So playing on The S has this first book Is Saguaro Stillness. The second book which I wrote is called Saguaro speaks. And that one is from my time on the nation that was targeted for a little bit older teen age. And I already have an illustrator for that book. And that one is really powerful about a native child. It doesn’t feel connected to their Roots. Their native ways Also doesn’t feel connected to the white man’s world. And then the last one that I Still in the middle of writing is called Saguaro surrenders. And this one came to me since all of our reins and monsoons have hit us. It just came to me at night where it’s going to be about a saguaro that’s afraid of the monsoon storms that come. And the suffering is in that resistance and the fear. So once the Saguaro just let’s go surrenders to what is isn’t locked into that Sphere.

Amanda Madala
That’s where the freedom and the power and the beauty can

Tom Heath
rise. So a year ago, you were not an author. And now you’re working on your third book. That’s a pretty sure, pretty prolific amount of writing in a year’s

Amanda Madala
time. It’s a Trilogy. Yeah. And the books just start writing me. You know, I wake up at 5:00 in the morning. Still have a sweet. My brains not completely online. I just had to get out of my own way, and it just starts coming through. Yeah.

Tom Heath
So, our Stillness, that’s that’s done, that’s published. That’s out if that’s available for people to read. Now,

Amanda Madala
So, yro Stillness, I’m going to have children illustrate for this book on Saturday, The 18th of September. And they there are four times thoughts available. This event is going to be at Ground Works, which is at 236 South Tucson Boulevard. Everything’s all the covid protocols are in place. I’m having 15 seats available for each time. The ten o’clock time is all booked up. So we have the eight o’clock 1 pm And 3 pm Available, So the parents can go on Google forms sign The releases, sign up their child to secure a space They’re going to bring the children in. I will read the book out loud. All the art supplies will be given paper chalk, colored pencils, crayons. They will have just heard the book for the first time, illustrate their favorite part, and they will be able to take all the art supplies home with them. And then I’m going to choose 30 of the illustrations created on that day as the main spread for Each page of the book. And then the other 30, they’re going to be smaller illustrations

Amanda Madala
in the back of the book. So all the children, all the illustrations created on the 18th will be in the book. The book will be published this year, and I am really excited. It’s going to be a really positive event. All children are welcome. Everyone’s welcome ages 3 to

Tom Heath
10. How do people find out more than how do they handle a register for that? The email you, or is our site website?

Amanda Madala
I just created a Facebook event group. So if they put in Facebook events sketching Saguaro Stillness, there will be a link there to the Google forms the sign up, or if they can’t find it, I can give out my phone number. I’m happy to text you or email you. The you know, Google form. My phone number is area code 303 5 7 9 0 3 0

Tom Heath
5 We are speaking with Amanda medulla about her new book called Saguaro Stillness. And you’re going to want to tune in here and stay tuned in for the break. Because when we get back, she’s going to read a couple of passages. You’re listening to Life along the streetcar downtown radio and 891 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org.

Tom Heath
We are back with Amanda Madala. We’re going to find out about her event coming up here, and she’s going to read a little bit from her book, Saguaro Stillness And our the So at this event, you’ve got 15 kids and four sessions You’ll have 60. Yeah. Illustrations. Yep, Are Are there. There’s no ground rules. It’s your listen to the book. And then are you given a specific task as to what you’re supposed to draw? Or is it just,

Amanda Madala
Yeah, Yeah. So I thought about that. And that was the challenge of my God. I don’t want every child to draw up a snake in the story. So what’s actually going to happen is Nature. And I want to put music to this. So mystery nature and I are collaborating this Saturday. We’re going to go on the desert under a saguaro. We’re going to videotape As I read the story, he’s going to put some music to it. So during the event, the children will see a video of mr. Nature And I with the actual book. The whole thing will be read through, and then for I’m going to cut it into quarters. So for the eight o’clock, I’m going to have them illustrate them to read it out loud. That first quarter of the book, You see what I’m saying. So that so that it kind of gets chopped. So I’m going to ask them for that quarter of it to illustrate something their favorite part, whatever they Envision, Imagine from that that first piece. So that’s how I’m going to break it up. It’s like a community art event. So I’m looking

Amanda Madala
for people that like businesses and people do assist me, because this is this is not going to be cheap for me to like rent, the space. So I wanted to kind of Give us Thank you to the businesses that have donated at least a gift card.

Tom Heath
What are their names,

Amanda Madala
Bookmans, Children’s Museum, Sprouts, whole foods and Gentle? Ben’s have all given me at least gift cards to make the event more interactive. So like if the children are willing to like, speak in the microphone about their favorite part of the book or something, I’m going to be handing those out. But I’m still looking for donations for coffee And donuts. I want to keep those parents awake and keep the children happy. And then I want to provide water. So I would love for businesses or individuals to assist me. So I’m not shouldering all the costs on my own.

Tom Heath
It sounds like it’s a mental. Health book for a certain age group, But all of us are probably going to get something out of it by reading it.

Amanda Madala
Absolutely. You want me to read a couple lines of the book. I have it Here?

Tom Heath
I would absolutely love that.

Amanda Madala
Okay, Like I said, the book is told in the perspective of the Saguaro, And I’m going to read just a little bit from the beginning. Greetings, friends and welcome to this hot and dusty place. It looks desolate in brown, but is truly full of grace a saguaro, Czar, protective, resilient wise. And most of all, have hundreds of years Practicing Stillness while standing tall. We allow Birds to Nest enough and care for their young are fruit opens and provides a special treat to many of a tongue. Sit back and relax. As I recall of a Time Child approached me, not able to climb this child, walk into the desert, feeling blue, strolled up to me and ask, Well, how are you? I peered down and reported. I’m soaring high as a kite, But by the looks of you, you’re not feeling quite right. The best. Just a little little teaser there. That’s

Tom Heath
fantastic. So how have your, especially, your middle child of it, How, how they reacted to this, how they had a chance to hear you read it, or they read it.

Amanda Madala
Yes, He really likes it. And actually, he, he’s working on this project with me. He’s giving me so many great ideas. He’s one that said, mom, the other half of the children that illustrate their gonna feel bad. If they don’t get put in the book, Why don’t you put all of the Striations in the book? But maybe smaller? And in the back, I said, you know, I, you are brilliant. I’m gonna do that. That’s an amazing idea.

Tom Heath
Everybody’s a winner. Everybody’s a winner.

Amanda Madala
Absolutely

Tom Heath
absolutely has it Helped him feel. Does he start to get that sense of belonging that he was missing?

Amanda Madala
Yes, He’s not feeling that way anymore. So I think this book and going out into the desert and just finding quiet and Stillness and just observing the different Animals we see. And even in our yard, the caterpillar is the butterflies, these huge moth that come wouldn’t even know what kind of models they are. But just slowing down, Getting out of our head a little bit He has. He has found that sense of belonging. He is Okay. Now.

Tom Heath
Well, the event is September 18th There’s three available time slots of the for. We’ve got your phone number, and we’ll, we’re not going to post your phone number, And Facebook will definitely post the event page for Sketching Saguaro Stillness and make sure people have that, but they can. If they’re listening, they can call you at 3035 790 305 And to do that fairly soon, Because this is going to be airing on September 5th And you’re talking about just in a couple of weeks might have most of those slots filled up. Do you have a sense of when the book will actually be available for people to purchase and read

Amanda Madala
This year is my goal? I don’t, I don’t think that it will take very long. I’m working with a woman out of Prescott who’s going to do the design and production of the book. It will be available on Amazon.

Tom Heath
Fantastic. And I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, because I you’ve already read us a little passage. But could you, do you have anything else you could read for us as we as we exit the interview?

Amanda Madala
Absolutely

Amanda Madala
I will read the last piece. Here we go. Here’s the very end of it stopping long enough. So the Stillness thinks in reveals this hidden away sis as it’s always been I whispered through the wind Namaste. My child light in me sees the light in you. The child smiled. The child said, Namaste. And thank you. Wise one. I’ll surrender to Saguaro Stillness beneath the golden

Tom Heath
son That is Amanda, My dollar. She is a to you soon University of Arizona graduate a Tucson resident, traveled the world and has now a third one and about to be two more books. Absolutely amazing. And I really appreciate you spending some time with us here

Amanda Madala
today. Thank you so much, Tom. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Tom Heath
How cool is that? You may be the first to hear outside of her family and some select friends, at least on a public audience. I think we’re breaking news here in life, along the streetcar with author, Amanda Amidala, She has got her first book out, Saguaro Stillness two more in the trilogy to come and just excited to have her on the show and can’t wait to read the book. I know it’s not for me, I’m not her target audience, but I’m going to get something out of it. I’m sure My name is Tom Heath, and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar in Downtown Radio 991 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org.

Tom Heath
This podcast is sponsored by the mortgage guidance group and Nova Home Loans. If you enjoyed this podcast, keep listening, or head over the Life along the streetcar dot org for all of our past episodes, current events and things to do While visiting Tucson, Tom Heath and Among Us number 182 420 Nova animal S number 308 7bk number 0 9 0 2 4 2 9 Equal Housing Opportunity.

Tom Heath
Wow, cool. The show was that I’ll tell you what if you want to meet some interesting people doing great things in our community, You should get a radio show, or maybe a podcast, because then you are attracted. All these people want to talk to you, because I don’t think about this podcast, Amanda, my dollar be calling me. I’m saying, Hey, let’s chat. She’s got too much on her plate, but it’s exciting to hear what she is doing in our community. It’s hard for me to think that a year ago, She had not written a book. Now She’s gotten one done. She’s in the midst of Second and has plans for her third already. And I think about what I did last year and makes me feel a little bit underwhelmed with my performance. That’s all right. There, Still time to have an impact. She did mention speaking of impact, that the she’s looking for sponsors and donations not to make a profit off of this event on the 18th but to help cover the costs and make sure it’s a pleasant experience for everybody. And she set

Tom Heath
up a go fund me site That is the Same same name as the Facebook event. So if you had to her to go fund me and you want to support Amanda mandalas efforts for this community art project to go along with her books or of Stillness, Go to go fund me and search out sketching Saguaro Stillness, and that’ll get you to her page there and make a little donation of sure. Every every little bit helps her accomplish her goals. And I do want to shout out to mr. Nature. He is our morning DJ answer Days from seven to nine. He’s got a very family friendly Show. A lot of his songs, You might think, are geared towards children, but adults enjoy them as well. Same music. But I think a little different experience based upon the number of years you have behind you. He was the one that introduced us to Amanda. And if you have a topic you would like us to cover, you can do it. Mr. Nature didn’t reach out to us by email, contact it Life along the streetcar dot-org. You can hit us up on Facebook. If you’re doing

Tom Heath
something in our community that you think is really cool, Or, you know, someone that does tag us in one of those posts, tagged them. And on our Facebook page, we will help share those hidden and gems. Lifelong streetcar is all about collaboration and sharing. We’ve called it a community conversation, And because we want to have a lot of voices on our show. You know, next week We have Cameron Taylor coming in to do an interview with us. He is the head of school at Imago Dei, and after our conversation with am and I reached out to him to talk a little bit about this concept of the Lost year and how kids are coping. The some of them are back in school now, and it’s a different experience after having that time off. There’s some formative years Happening at this age, and we wanted to get a little bit of perspective. And his thoughts in our conversation Mirrored A lot of what Amanda was saying that she saw within her family what led her to create her book? So our Stillness Cameron and his staff

Tom Heath
over at Imago Dei are, are dealing with that regularly. And you may you may remember that name. If you go to our life along the streetcar dot-org page. And the search bar put in Imago Dei, you will Find our interview we did with Cameron a few years ago about the success that school has had in the midst of a urban setting, their downtown on 6th Avenue right across from the Ronstadt Center having tremendous success. So we have our interview scheduled him, and hopefully are that next Sunday here on the 12th, I’ve got two more interviews lined up for September and excited to get into the fall weather and the fall events. And hopefully everything knock on wood comes off and we’re able to celebrate again. You’re in the Old Pueblo. Well, once again, my name is Tom Heath, You have been listening to Life along the streetcar as always, We appreciate your time. And in honor of Our Guest today’s creative Endeavor called a saguaro Stillness that we’re going to leave you with a little music from Papi

Tom Heath
churro and kid Taro. This is a A little song they put together called Saguaro view. I hope you have a great week into next Sunday for more Life along the streetcar.

This page provided by The Heath Team at Nova Home Loans®

Tom Heath - Senior Loan Officer with Nova Home Loans
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