Saturday, June 19, 2010

Taos Report 2

So it's about eleven right now and my flight leaves at two. So I figure I may as well put up a new blog post... Right now I'm in fine spirits and yet feel vaguely as though I'd been ate by a coyote and crapped off a cliff. It has been a time, and the nature of that time has been swell.

I'm a stronger writer than I was when I came. I'm still gonna be wrestling with plot and storytelling, but they're within my grasp. I wasn't expecting to sharpen my prose -- I am, he said modestly, a damned good prose stylist (that's right, folks, the Oaf acknowledged that he isn't a steaming pile of shit in all regards) -- but that Nancy Kress had some thoughts and specifics that will prove useful in the future.

I also had the privilege to meet a collection of anthropoids of a particularly fine quality. If these are my colleagues, then I"m in the right business. There is no doubt in my mind that I'll be seeing some of these names, quite possibly all of them, on book covers in the foreseeable future.

(The orange security alert was just announced. If you read this, you may well have some idea of my thoughts on politics, national security and so on. I need not describe the mingled amusement and disgust that announcement inspired.)

This really felt like a necessary and natural follow-up to Viable Paradise. I learned a hell of a lot at VP, but the most valuable thing I came away with was a sense that I am a real writer. That was one of the many factors that led to this last winter, which I spent in hell. I wasn't ready to know that -- but if I had showed up at Taos Toolbox without that self-knowledge, I would have been crushed by the excellent criticisms I recieved. As it was, I took them in with pleasure and confidence, and the results are already being felt. I'm feeling confident and capable, and I'm regarding the future with pleasure rather than fear. It's been a long time sense I had this basic sense of well-being, and I owe it all to the people around me.

In other words, I fucking well needed this. May I extend my thanks to the woman who made this possible? Karen, I love you.

And I can hardly wait until tomorrow so I can get to work. I hope you all are feeling as good as I am. If not, lemme know and I'll try and do something about it.



robp said...

Welcome back, Sean. You have been missed. Glad to hear Taos treated you well. You are also a damned fine editor, and I have missed you in that regard as well as personally.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, although I must say my scotch did not survive your absence. Perhaps more can be found somewhere. Cheers.

Glendon Mellow said...

You're one of my favourite creators to watch. Each time You report back on new learnin' and self-discovery, I rub my hands together and cackle with glee.

earthling said...

This is the post I was waiting for. I almost wish I had done an independent workshop before this... I think I feel much as you did, post-VP.

I'm very much looking forward to the next challenge, and to seeing you in NorCal!

Sean Craven said...

Thank you, thank you, gentlemen.

Rob, I swear to god I won't be bad anymore.

Glendon, thank you very much. I feel privileged to have such colleagues as you. Let us all enjoy the current period of fervid activity!

robp said...

I would neither wish to imply that you were bad nor to extract a promise from you that you would cease to be. Stay in my world and we're good.

Sean Craven said...

Hey, Danielle!

Hah! That's why I went to TT -- to get someone to read the damned blog.

Yeah, isn't it interesting to find oneself involved in this whole new world?