Down From The Mountain

by wjw on June 19, 2006

I’ve been away. Now I’m back.

I was at Snow Bear, a ski lodge at 9800 feet in the Sangre de Cristo mountains above Taos, NM. Since it’s summer, there wasn’t any skiing going on. Instead we had the Rio Hondo Workshop, which I run most years, this time with the able assistance of Michaela Roessner.

We had some terrific writers, including Howard Waldrop, Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, Daniel Abraham, and Maureen McHugh. We had terrific food, featuring Maureen’s counterintuitive coconut-crusted tofu with mango salsa, Jay Lake’s Tibetan momos, Mikey’s chicken mole and chocolate ganache in cajeta sauce, and my own homemade pate de foies de volaille, handmade ravioli with herbed goat cheese, and black roux gumbo a la Chef Francoise le Vison (now a motel owner in Page, AZ. Go figure.).

We workshopped stories against a background of aspen, ponderosa, and mountain splendor. We saw hawks, deer, ravens, bunnies, and bear shit. We bounded up mountain paths like ancient, wheezing mountain goats.

My cold hung on through the workshop, so I was somewhat lacking in vim (not to mention intelligence), but once I catch up on my sleep and finally shake the cold, I expect to be highly energized and motivated.

Maureen says she was asked about the critiques once, and she said, “Walter always wants the writers to change everything. He thinks the stories should all be science fiction, and that’s not what the workshop is about.”

Actually I just want the stories to make sense, and SF is the tool I use for that. So there.

Here is a picture. Connect the dots.

Jay Lake June 20, 2006 at 12:49 pm

It was amazingly excellent, sir.

dubjay June 21, 2006 at 8:31 pm

Thanks! I quite liked your photos of Dawson, by the way. (

It’s one of the ghost towns I’ve always meant to visit and never got to.

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