I just returned yesterday from our week long workshop. Kathy Fish and I led an Exploratory Fiction workshop: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice. It was held at the venerable Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. There are so many favorite moments, captured in snapshots from the entire, phenomenal week. I will include them in this post when possible.
Len Kuntz and I arrived a day early, and toured Bandolier National Monument:
The day was perfect, and I hadn’t been there since 1987. Quite amazing memories, and new ones, also.
Our workshop participants arrived all day on Saturday, and we began the event after dinner. All week, our focus was on creative, generative writing time, supported by contemporary writing examples of exploratory fiction we all read together each morning (e.g. Lucia Berlin, Lydia Copeland, Yennie Cheung, DJ Berndt, Eileen Merriman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Aubrey Hirsch and Casey Hannon).
Above is Juniper Hall, where we experienced some stimulating discussions about flash fiction. Also, we had terrific fiction exercises that we used in class or as possible prompts all week for the workshop participants to pursue.
Top (L to R): Len Kuntz outside Big House; Levi Andrew Noe on Patio
Middle (L to R): Jonathan Cardew in Gazebo; Katherine Seluja in Big House
Bottom: Meg Tuite in Room 1 of Juniper House
We also held roundtables from 3-5 pm every day. The two groups would meet with either Kathy Fish, or me. Each writer would take a turn reading her/his new story aloud, then receive insightful comments. It was truly inspiring, both to hear the new work, and the amount of distance each writer traveled in terms of risk, support, adventure, and willingness to play at 100%.
The meals were terrific: ’nuff said. All three, every single day. The staff: beyond the best!
Workshop participants on L
Mabel Dodge Luhan Kitchen staff on R.
In addition, we held a panel discussion Tuesday night about publishing with independent presses:
(L to R): Len Kuntz, Kathy Fish, Meg Tuite, Robert Vaughan.
And on Wednesday afternoon, we had a docent tour of the Big House, which is exquisite:
Left: Bathroom windows painted by D.H. Lawrence! Right: Painted stairs to Mabel and Tony’s rooms.
“Salon Talk” in Mabel’s room, Robert Vaughan and Katherine Seluja!
Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite and Len Kuntz on Tony Luhan’s original sleeping couch!
Our last evening in Taos, Thursday, we held a reading, hosted by Meg Tuite…all ten participants shared a new work that they’d crafted during the workshop. Also, Kathy Fish and I did. My story was called “Speed Trap.”
None of this would have happened without my partner and cohort, the uber-talented Kathy Fish. Thanks for everything you did (and have done), to make this all a realized dream:
And here’s the good news: we are already making plans for a 2018 return to Mabel Dodge Luhan House. In the meantime, visit Kathy’s site at www.kathy-fish.com. And I’ll be adding my teaching dates for 2017 very soon! Taos, we miss you so very much. Endless great memories made during our Exploratory Fiction: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice workshop: