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May. 23rd, 2005 @ 09:52 pm Rio Hondo writing workshop
Back from New Mexico, where the land is beautiful, the discussion is writerly and the food is pretty damn good. The workshop was held, for the second time, at a lodge called Snowbear. We are treated like royalty there. It's the off season and I believe if we were all murdered nobody would know until about October, when they started to gear up for the ski season again, but it means the the Snowbear is mighty glad to get some business.

When we got there, the snowline was still below the lodge. Astonishing to drive up through snow in May, and the afternoon we got there we had rain mixed with snow. But the storm blew through in tweny minutes and the sun came out and we could wander around in shirt sleeves. I was worried about being at 10,000 feet with no red blood cells but I didn't seem to have terrifically more difficulty with the stairs than anyone else. Okay, Mike Bateman and Carrie Vaughn bounded around like rabbits, but most of the rest of us paused at the top to catch our breath.

Howard Waldrop was there for the second year. Oh my God. Every critique, Howard would say something astonishing. For a historical piece he said something like, 'Kudzu was introduced to the United States in 1876 but it didn't really get started until they decided to raise it as a cash crop in the twenties, know what I mean?' Or 'It takes thirty miles of atmoshpere for a meteor to burst into flame...' I mean, this stuff isn't astonishing until you realize, Howard doesn't google. Howard uses a typewriter. He just carries stuff like this around in his brain.

Walter Jon Williams, founder and Commandant, cooked a lot--including the obligatory black roux gumbo. (If he doesn't cook it I whine like crazy.) And the traditional bananas foster. I cooked some, including the obligatory leg of lamb. Walter will undoubtably post the amazing Taos menu. People seemed to like my story AND they fixed my plot holes. Mostly it was the week of incredibly well-written YA stories. Walter did great for a guy who nearly died eight weeks ago. And Taos did its healing magic for Walter and me.
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Smith!
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From:anton_p_nym
Date:May 24th, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
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Sounds like a great time, and productive too. And I'm green with envy at the assembled talent there.

It looks to be a good-news day in the little part of the blogosphere I'm watching... which is great too!

-- Steve's glad to hear you're doing well, and isn't sure whether he really wants to know what happened to WJW.
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From:maureenmcq
Date:May 24th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
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Steve, Walter's appendix ruptured and he drove himself to the ER. He did the whole peritonitis thing and is still recovering.
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From:anton_p_nym
Date:May 24th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
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Eek! Well, three cheers for antibiotics and anesthesia then. And motor transport and telecommunications, for that matter. Dang, technology's grand.

Good to hear that he's back up so soon. Writing and cooking means reasonably healthy, right? I just hope everything goes smoothly from here on.

-- Steve's going to be nervous the next time indigestion strikes, tha hypochondriac.

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From:kijjohnson
Date:May 24th, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
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Sounds splendid and very constructive.
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From:marykaykare
Date:May 24th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
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I've been transcribing Howard's delightfully indiosyncratic columns for The Infinite Matrix. I've been assuming he looks up all that cool stuff in books as he writes, but maybe not. Judging by the stories he tells of his childhood her certainly has an excellent memory.

MKK
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From:casacorona
Date:May 24th, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC)
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Wah! You had the black roux gumbo of Chef Françoise and I didn't! I must set aside a couple days and make some. "first, you make the stock..."

It sounds like a wonderful time. I'm glad Walter is doing well, and that you are feeling good.
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From:maureenmcq
Date:May 24th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
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Better and better, healthwise. Still easily tired, and still some neuropathy, but I have started a less-than-rigorous plan of better eating and light exercise.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 24th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
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It was a great week, Maureen. Great food! And I'm glad both you and Walter got so much more out of it. Looking forward to seeing your story in print soon :-)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 24th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
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That was me, Tobias, btw
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From:holyoutlaw
Date:May 25th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)
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Two friends of mine attended a Clarion West Howard taught at, and they were particularly impressed with "...know what I mean?" Yeah!