Toolbox Turnout

by wjw on July 8, 2020

Wysman07_zI’m delighted to report two new novels by graduates of Taos Toolbox, The Wysman by Dorothy A. Windsor, who was at the very first Toolbox in 2007, and Bad Parts by Brandon McNulty, who attended much more recently than 2007, though I cannot recall the exact year.

The Wysman is a YA fantasy, and you can read more about it here.

Bad Parts is a supernatural thriller, “a page-turning tale of Faustian bargains.”  More information right here.badparts

Happy reading!



by wjw on July 6, 2020

One thing that lockdown permits is time for a lot of big projects, provided that the projects can be carried out at home.   So right now I’m involved in boxing up a lot of original manuscripts, which I’m donating to the archives at Texas A&M, where they will spend eternity in a climate-controlled bunker, just a shelf or two away from George RR Martin’s huge archive, which includes (among other things) his Greek fisherman’s cap.  (I wore one before he did, but had to give it up when he got famous.)

Going through the files I discovered that I had a lot more unsold material than I remembered, and that much of it exists only as single typewritten manuscripts.  (If there were ever carbons or xeroxes, they’re gone now.)  I’m going to have to scan those before I send them on, just so that I can access them without a trip to Bryan/College Station.

Once the manuscripts are sent away, I’ll be sending books, literary contracts, games, toys, and any other damn thing I feel like sending.

I’m a little conflicted about the juvenilia.  Does anyone really want to read the terrible fantasy novel I wrote when I was 13, which was not only derivative, but derivative of what I was reading that particular day.  (I think you can go through it and chant: “Kipling, Kipling, Tolkien, Talbot Mundy, Moorcock,  some damn article about ninja, and more Moorcock.”)

I wrote more or less constantly from a very early age, and I hope it shows more promise than I think it does.

I have to wonder who exactly will travel to College Station to view my literary remains, let alone hang out there for months to troll through the archives searching for insight as to my process.  But then that’s TAMU’s problem now, isn’t it?

I’ve been sent Fed Ex mailing labels to put on the boxes, which I have done, but I can’t seem to get Federal Express to schedule a pickup.  Their web site didn’t remember my account, which always happens— I think I’ve got three by now— so I got a new one, but it wouldn’t accept some of my data, so I spent 50 minutes on the phone with customer assistance until I got my new account, and now that won’t work, either.  I anticipate more time on the phone to schedule the pickup, and hope the accompanying increase in my blood pressure doesn’t send the top of my skull rocketing toward the ceiling.

But anyway, soon there will be shelves of Me in Abundance, for whoever cares to travel there and admire them.



by wjw on July 4, 2020

brisketWe decided to do a big Fourth of July celebration, just the two of us, in part because we need cheering up.  So I put on a patriotic aloha shirt, with US Navy ships on it, then made some lovely, tender sous vide ribs, collard greens, and sweet corn, and there will be ice cream for dessert as soon as there is room in our stomachs.

And we’re watching Hamilton, which is overwhelming even on the small screen.

Have a good, safe Independence Day, friends, and watch the fireworks from a distance.

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by wjw on July 2, 2020

The Coode Street Podcast usually does lengthy interviews with writers, but has responded to the COVID by doing short ten-minute interviews in which we talk about what we’re reading in lockdown.

So here I am, along with my reading.


No Two Alike!

by wjw on June 26, 2020

I’ve been spending recent days signing my name over and over again, signature sheets for the forthcoming Best of Walter Jon Williams from Subterranean Press.  It’s an edition of 1000, but I have to sign something like 1500 sheets, because mistakes can happen in production and sometimes my signature sucks a lot more than usual.

Though it has to be said that even my best signatures suck.  Penmanship was always my worst subject in grade school, and I learned to type when I was eight or nine, and from that point my handwriting got worse and worse, simply because I never had to write anything by hand.

Now, signing over and over, I’ve given up on legibility and I’m just trying to make the squiggles seem interesting.

They aren’t even consistent.  Each signature is a unique piece of visual art, unlike any other signature I’ve ever signed.  If you invest in this limited-edition hardback, you’ll get something that’s totally unlike any other thing.

And when will the book be available?  I don’t actually know, but probably when there are bookstores again, and book dealers, and conventions.

At least we might hope such a day might come.


Taos Toolbox 2021

June 25, 2020

I’m very sad to announce that Taos Toolbox 2020, which had moved from June to September due to the dangers of Covid 19, has now been moved to summer of 2021. Those accepted for this year have the option of coming next year instead, or getting a tuition refund. The coronavirus doesn’t look as if […]

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Terran Prize Awarded

June 18, 2020

The Terran Prize for 2020, consisting of a scholarship provided by George R.R. Martin for the Taos Toolbox writing workshop, has been won by Maurice Haeems of Mumbai, India. Taos Toolbox was forced by the Covid pandemic to move from its original June dates to September 6-19, in Angel Fire, New Mexico.  The workshop will […]

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From Our Beleaguered Agents . . .

June 15, 2020

A group of literary agents have released a plea to the public to “stop sending us your Covid novels!” Turns out that there’s not a lot of drama inherent in a story where people stay at home, watch a lot of TV, and never meet anyone else.

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Month Nine

June 11, 2020

It’s been nine months since my hip replacement surgery, and I haven’t done an update since November 25.  (Here’s the last one.) I haven’t done an update because (1) it’s a depressing topic, and (2) nothing much has changed.  But it may serve as an illustration of medical services in the age of Covid, so […]

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First Things First

June 4, 2020

I’m isolated in my rural paradise, but it’s not like I don’t read the news.  Ten days of protest in major cities, property destruction (a certain percentage at the hands of police provocateurs), police in one place sitting down with protestors for a productive dialogue, police in another charging peaceful protestors for no conceivable reason. […]

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