by wjw on May 31, 2022

So quite a number of plans have gang agley in the last days, so I’ve been putting out fires— nearly literal fires.

Taos Toolbox, the master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy, starts this weekend, and has been held at the Angel Fire resort for the last decade or more. It’s a deluxe place in a beautiful mountain setting, and unless there’s a mountain bike rally or something, it’s not too crowded or noisy and we can concentrate on our work.

Except this year we have the Hermit’s Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history, over 300,000 acres and currently only 60% contained. It’s ten miles from Angel Fire, and when it gets a wind behind it, a fire can race along at 5 miles per day. Angel Fire has been at the “prepare to evacuate” stage for weeks now.

I mean, the pandemic wasn’t enough?

Now the fire is 60% contained, and the odds are Angel Fire would have been fine, but I couldn’t guarantee that. I couldn’t absolutely promise that Hermit’s Peak wouldn’t blaze up again, or that we wouldn’t have to evacuate 20 people to lodging unknown. So I moved the workshop to the Sonesta ES suite hotel in Albuquerque, which is quite luxe, offers free breakfast, and has a fine view of the semi trucks running past on the freeway.

Angel Fire very kindly returned my deposit, which they didn’t have to do, but then we’ll be back there next year if the UFOs don’t land, so . . .

At least the Sonesta returned my phone calls. One of the things I’ve discovered running a workshop is the sheer number of people who can’t be arsed to take the money I wave in their faces. “Take this money!” I say. “All you have to do is your job!”


Well, we’ve got a nice place now, and I can guarantee 99.99% that it won’t burn down.

And today one of my run-flat tires went flat and stopped running, which is what it’s not supposed to do. And that tire model has been discontinued, and the Costco where I bought it couldn’t order a new one, which— since the WRX is all-wheel-drive— means I might have to buy a new set of four tires.

So I called around to Bridgestone dealers, and I found that the closest tire center to where I actually live knew where one of these tires was hiding, and would order it so that I’d get the new tire tomorrow.

Which is fine, except that the tire drama took most of the day, and it was a 90-degree day as well, and I was wrung out by the end of it.

The temptation to seek oblivion in a bottle is ongoing, but frankly I’ve got too much work to do.

John Appel June 2, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Ugh, what a fustercluck. Glad you’ve been able to find a contingency site, and that the resort returned the deposit. Hope the workshop goes swimmingly!

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