Posting later today. Bryon and I have been escaping the oven that is our house (environmentally conscientious Stumps only have a unit AC that they run some nights) by doing intellectual things, like seeing Madagascar 3 (circus! afro! circus! afro!) I have to tell you, it's the best animated Cirque de Soleil show you'll ever see.
So, here's a link that my friend Eric Kelly sent me from Kristine Katherine Rusch, which sort of takes another interesting look at critiques and effectiveness. What I like about this particular link is that it doesn't forget that writing should be fun for both the writer and reader. Go on. Read it. These photos will be here when you get back.
Wow. New Mexico. I've never been anywhere like that. For example:
This is the Taos Pueblo where writer friends and fellow workshoppers Fran Wilde and Lis Bass and I went the weekend between workshops. The heat waves flickered off the dusty pueblo. It's a good thing we had hats and sun screen, because we're talking some serious desert. We saw...sagebrush! And Lauren Teffeau, native of New Mexico and workshop participant swears there are actually tumbleweeds. So not like Iowa, this place where they put Christmas chili and beans on almost everything. I bet there's a restaurant out there where they put it on cornflakes.
Well, anyway, more pictures of that ilk here.
At the same time, where we spent the majority of our time, Snow Bear Lodge, we were definitely in the mountains:
Surrounded by coniferous trees, no real oxygen to speak of, definitely a place to commune with nature. And write. And read a lot.
If you're thinking about Taos Toolbox, Snow Bear is comfortable, if a bit isolated. Some people had more trouble with their rooms than others, but Catherine and I (yes, my roommate was also named Catherine) had pretty nice rooms. We did share them with some wild life (bugs mostly), but on the whole, I was happy with our accommodations. Others, however, were attacked by their fireplaces. And the town of Taos Ski Valley inadvertently cut our power one night for a couple of hours. Which is an adventure feature, I think, rather than a major detriment.
Other handy tips...laundry is free, but prepare to have that dormitory/apartment house vibe of fighting for the machines. The grocery folks will get you anything you want to buy, so you might put in a request for alternative materials early for lunch, so you aren't tired of sandwiches by day 7. The evening meals are catered and were, on the whole, very good. Our vegetarian and gluten free workshoppers needed to do a lot of personal shopping. You may wish to do that when you get in on Sunday, before you come up, or bring some stuff along. Do bring laundry soap, dryer sheets, and personal grooming products. Bring some kleenex. Maybe some sinus irrigation equipment. Definitely aspirin. Walter will give you instructions on hydration and bears.
Anyway, more gorgeous landscaping about the lodge...
Next up--either a post on Digger, or a conversation about the educational component of Taos Toolbox. Be there or be a rectangular thing.