Life at 10,000 Feet

Hey everyone. I’m waaaayyyy up here at the ski lodge above Taos. The view outside my room is just like Hikone valley–the spine of a dragon covered by the fur of fir trees. It’s cool, not what you’d expect in June, but what you’d expect from the mountains. And we pretty much are in the middle of no where.

Getting here was a struggle. Delta had changed my flight plans about a month ago, and the night before, they changed my flight plans again. Luckily, Aric and Kim were down visiting, and so I could avoid missing every potential flight to get here in the afternoon by driving up to Minneapolis directly and catching a plane. That was great. If I couldn’t have gotten in until the evening, there would have been a domino effect of travel awfulness. But hey, I am luckier than the Australians, who got in during the wee hours of Monday morning, or Sandra Wickham, whose luggage waited to show up until yesterday evening. I just got up at 3 am, drove 4 hours, caught a flight, arrived in Albuquerque, and drove another 3 hours. Yup. A rockin’ way to spend the old birthday.

I’m 47 now. How’s about that?


But what you really want to know is how is Taos Toolbox, am I right? The workshop is great so far. Walter James Williams and Nancy Kress really are pretty good at the teaching gig. I’m impressed with the lectures thus far. I mean some of it I’ve heard before, but I took a lot of good things away from class yesterday. I’ve got to put together another piece for next week, so I’ve started thinking about that. I can’t tell you anything about my critique at all yet. I am dead last on Friday. Well. Someone had to be.

As for facilities, I am in the Catherine room (the two Catherines are rooming together. I suppose that’s double the bang for your buck in name calling if you’re someone else). The room is faux-rustic, and it’s a bit run down in some spots. In other ways, (kitchenette, individual rest rooms) it’s great. We aren’t having too much trouble getting something to eat–mostly sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, and a catered in hot meal for supper. Not for the foodie, but maybe Weight Watchers will like me better when I get back. 🙂

I am running into some cluster headache difficulties. I have been hydrating A LOT, and popping pain relievers, and resting when I’m tired, per instructions. But each night thus far, I’ve woken up, dried out like a river bed in drought with a headache behind my right eye. So, I suck down more water, pop more pain relievers, put a cloth over my eye, and wear sunglasses when I can. I hope that this is part of the acclimatization game, and that I won’t be spending the whole workshop with a low level headache. There have been some periods of relief, but mostly, ow.

So. I’ll try to get back to you all as soon as I can. Meanwhile, here’s a post from Elizabeth Bear about her writing process, coming right up.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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