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.