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.