This summer I had the opportunity to attend a two-week writing workshop called Taos Toolbox in New Mexico.
This is the longest I’ve ever been away from my family — I think the previous record was four days when I attended a mandatory yoga training — and it wouldn’t have been possible without several factors. First, my grandmother moved in with my parents a few months ago. She paid for my trip as a combined Christmas/Birthday gift. Second, my children are older now. They still need to be driven to their activities and their own camps, to have food prepared, etc., but they are old enough to be okay without me. Third, my beloved niece was home from college AND, because of her own summer commitments, hadn’t taken a job. So she stayed at my house while I was gone, my sister checked in, and my partner…well, of course it turned out that he had to go to France for work during the first week that I was gone.
So, I was not only very excited to attend this workshop, but I was also determined not to squander the opportunity. I think it went very well. I studied with science fiction masters Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress. They arranged for guest speakers such as Carrie Vaughn, Emily Mah Tippetts, and this guy that you might have heard of…he’s done this little thing called GAME OF THRONES.
The workshop was exciting, exhausting, and ultimately inspiring. I had the first 15,000 words of my next book (Misbegotten #2) critiqued and came home with a lot of ideas.
I also made friends. This is not the easiest thing for me, but I had three exceptional roommates: Kelli Fitzpatrick, Amanda Helms, and Gabrielle Harbowy. I’m writing their names because these women…wow, they are amazing authors. I promise that you will see their names all over short stories and novels in the next couple years.
My FRIENDS and I drove to Santa Fe over the weekend to explore Meow Wolf. It’s….an interactive exhibit with a speculative storyline inside of a bowling alley repurposed by a team of about 400 artists. Not that it will make it any clearer, but here’s some pictures:
I flew home at the beginning of July and immediately had to play catch up with work and with the critters and with my kids who were a little angry I’d been gone. And, I’m glad to be home. I missed them all very much, but I’d go so far as to say that Taos Toolbox was a life-changing time for me. I got to be an adult, saturated in reading and critiquing 17 other manuscripts TWICE in two weeks, reading and dissecting published works, dining with guest authors, and being an adult.
I’m going to be pulling on that well of creative energy because my novel WALKING THROUGH FIRE releases on September 4th. Here are some ways that you can help, if you want.
- If you’ve considered buying the book, pre-orders REALLY help an author to ensure there will be a second book. Amazon
- Adding the book on Goodreads.
- Leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads
- Asking your library if they have a copy of the book.
My next task is marketing. This is very much outside my wheelhouse, but I’ll keep you posted.