Friday, March 12, 2010

Taos Toolbox

Further Painter experimentation. Well, I've managed to totally ditch the curse of the computer-generated gradient, and yes, this is going to be total van art. Maybe that should be my name -- van Art. (Someone must be using that one already...)

So a few posts back I mentioned that I was being tempted by the Taos Toolbox workshop. (Go on, click the link. Feel the temptation.) Thing is, is that I'm currently mega-broke. My financial situation is brutal and grim. No way I could afford to go. But my experiences at Viable Paradise had been so good in so many ways (in addition to what you'd expect, there was everything from a major emotional breakthrough to a new community to publication) that I wanted more.

Well, Taos Toolbox did not look like it would be the same experience as Viable Paradise. It's longer, there are fewer instructors, and it looks as though much more time would be spent actually writing. It's for people who have more writing experience, or who have been through a writer's workshop already. It looked like a good next step -- if VP opened up the hood and gave me a working description of the engine, it looked like Taos Toolbox would have me get into things with a wrench.

One evening soon after I made that post I was mooching around the house, pacing irritably and picking at the bookshelves as though they were big rectangular scabs.

"What's wrong with you?" the missus asked. Well, that's a hell of a question, but this time I had a fairly brief answer.

"I want to go and learn plotting from Walter Jon Williams," I said. "I can't freaking afford it, but you've seen me have weird luck with money before. I mean, it's not literally impossible that I could get the cash together."

She perked up a little, showed some interest. She's read her share of Williams, and she knew what I meant about plotting. "Who else is going to be teaching?"

"Nancy Kress and Carrie Vaughn."

"Nancy Kress?" (The missus is a big Nancy Kress reader. She's got some Kress in hardback, if you take my point.)

"Nancy Kress."

"Well, go apply then."

So I applied. And I got in. And the missus said, "We'll figure the money out. Go."

See the kind of gal I've got? That kind of thing is swell on so many levels -- she supports me because she believes in me and loves me. Sometimes I'm jealous of me.

So I'm going to New Mexico this summer, where I will acquire what the kids call 'mad skilz.' And it looks like I'll have to work hard if I want to avoid having a general good time.

As Firkin the Cat would say, "Stop licking your asses and attend to me." If you want to be a better writer, and if you want to establish yourself in a supportive writing community, workshops can be very useful. This I know. Right now there is still time to apply to both Viable Paradise and Taos Toolbox.

Come on, folks. I don't wanna do this by myself. Let's pack Taos Toolbox with VP vets. It'll be a blast!


CoreKnell said...

Hey, if I buy a van will you do it up for me? Congrats on Taos! Though you need to bring something to top your chilidog casserole.

Lisa said...

Congratulations on Taos! I really wanted to apply this year, but two weeks off work just wasn't in the cards. Have a fabulous time!

Sean Craven said...

Hey, Chris, I will totally do your van. I will do it for beer. And man, if I can't find something better to eat in New Mexico than chili dog casserole, then I'm a total loser.

Once had a friend who had traveled all over the world. I asked him where the best food was. His answer?

"New Mexico. I went into this greasy spoon and ordered a hamburger. They asked me if I wanted it with red or green chili..."

Lisa, sorry to hear you can't rationalize making a tragic life decision. Oh, well, I guess someone has to have some degree of common sense.

Lara said...

Well, I applied. I don't know about getting in or any of that stuff. But it sure would be funny if a bunch of 13'ers were there.

Sean Craven said...

Not just members of the Fighting Thirteenth, but the Windblown Alliance. That's just crazy!