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My Writer's Journal

Teaching in Taos

This Sunday I begin a week at the Taos Summer Writers Conference. Nine participants in my group, Writing for Young Adults, including me. I hope I can keep them engaged for 3 hrs a day for 5 days. I'm not really a teacher, just a writer who sometimes fakes it. The good thing is that I've been writing for a very long time and can draw on a lot of experience. The bad thing is that I've been writing for a very long time. Who knows if 40+ years of doing it is relevant to anyone but me? There will be a lot of other things going on, though, the inn is old and funky, Taos is great in the summer. They'll have a good time.

I first came to an artists' colony in Taos in 1978. It was my first time in the southwest, New Mexico was a whole new world, and I never wanted to go back to the old, familiar, East Coast life. So I stayed--several months in Taos, and then five years in Santa Fe before I eventually found my way to Albuquerque. I worked on a novel that summer; it was never published--for good reason: it was terrible! I think I've improved over the years. I'm still in touch with people I met in Taos in '78--Richard, a writer in Pittsburgh, and Ruth, a composer in Boston. We've all accomplished a lot since then. I wonder what's happened to the others.

I'll be working on BEAUTY'S DAUGHTER during my free time in Taos, and thinking about a new idea. One thing I know: I could never have attempted either of these projects 34 years ago. It took me a long time to get to this place.  Read More 
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Recovering Writing Addict

I'm still not managing a post a week, but things have gotten better. Much better.

My two days at the zoo turned out to be a lot of fun. The group was very small the first week, so I had a chance to figure out what worked and what didn't by the time 22 kids showed up the following Tuesday. The ABQ Zoo is terrific, and the kids were really into it, although the animals could have been more cooperative.

The launch of THE WILD QUEEN turned out well. I had a good turnout, thanks to friends, fellow writers, and a bunch from a local book club with the great name of "Reading Between the Wines." I felt good about the talk I'd put together, and Alamosa Books served scones (very Scottish!) and a ginger tea.

I've heard from all the members of the writing workshop I'll be working with in Taos, and I'm relieved to find that they're not all writing about zombies. Their preliminary work shows a wide range of interests, and I think we're going to have a good and very productive time.

After a week's family vacation in Colorado, I came home to find the copyedited manuscript of VICTORIA REBELS. It was a mess--the formatting of the electronic version I'd submitted had completely vanished; no italics, no underlining, no indents of paragraphs--and the copyeditor had no idea that I had attempted to incorporate Victoria's unique diary style. Three days to straighten that out.

So now I can focus again on my work-in-progress, BEAUTY'S DAUGHTER, for which I have now figured out an ending! Yay! All I have to do is WRITE IT. (And I got a postponement of my deadline to August 1st. Yay!)  Read More 
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