call for Taos!
Quotation guru Terri Guillemets said, “If I fall asleep
with a pen in my hand, don't remove it — I might be writing in my
Why don’t you and your keyboard join us for writing your dreams? We’re
not lying when we say this is one of the best things you can do for your
writing life and yes, class size is limited for this six-day intensive
writing program in Taos, New Mexico, July 12-17.
Sign up now. May 12 is the deadline for enrollment.
Here’s our twelve-step program and promise to you.
Step 1: Dedicated writing time that eludes you in
your everyday life.
Step 2: Creative inspiration. It’s in the air that surrounds
the campus located at a cool 7,000 feet, on edge of the Carson National
Step 3: No worries about when, where or what to eat. We’ll
feed you healthy meals and snacks multiple times a day plus s’mores
around the campfire. Adult beverages allowed.
Step 4: Professional critique and encouragement. In
addition to the faculty you know and love from Dallas, we’re bringing
in BK Loren, top notch writing instructor and author, to teach a master’s
class and provide motivation for all students.
Step 5: An easy commute. Ride a bike to class (5 minutes). Walk
the wooded trail across a stream (12 minutes, tops). It’s all free
and leaves no carbon footprint.
Step 6: A comfortable place to stay. Casita-style accommodations
that offer an undistracted place (yes, that means no TV) to live the writer’s
Step 7: A community of determined authors who like you want
to be recognized for their efforts and critiqued
Step 8: An opportunity to step out under the stars and
actually see them.
Step 9: Readings by published authors at the renowned Taos Writer’s
Conference. Readings by your fellow writers under the trees outside
the campus dining hall.
Step 10: Morning stretch classes; the option to sleep in.
Step 11: Permission to shut off the smart phone. No, make
that we insist you shut off your smart phone. No one (not your spouse,
your boss or your whoever) needs to know the remote
campus comes with a tech consultant.
Step 12: A resident ghost who is worthy of your best short
BONUS: A class for spouses, to help them understand
you creatively and to let them explore creativity
alum and author
An alum of NY and a dedicated writing student, after fifteen years of
effort Ron Roy has published his first book, Passing Time, with local
small press Blue Cubicle. "I’ve learned that miracles do happen," Roy
In the fifteen-year process, two things held him
up. "I didn’t have a good habit. It wasn’t
steady work. My kids would visit in the summer – I wouldn’t
work for three months." He found his publisher after searching on
the web. It was a press that did chap books and magazines dedicated to
work and workers. They had never done a book. Ron queried the publisher,
who read the manuscript and said, "I've been looking for a novel
for a long time. This is it."
In the editorial process, Roy changed the point of
view from first person to third. "When I changed it to third, it
became more immediate. After that, nothing important was changed. Of course,
they dropped some of my faves, cut back prologue," he said. And Roy
had cut the first 200 pages on his own. "(They) just had to go away."
Roy's experience has been "pretty exciting. Two months ago it
was only ten people in the world who could discuss it." He said he
returned to his alma mater in Vermont and all three literature professors
were discussing the story. "Just to have people talk about it like
it’s a book. The cover, title, ISBN are nice …but to talk
to people about the book — I love the (promotional) appearances
for that reason."
Roy had the added good fortune that the first case of novels landed
on his front doorstep the same day he was meeting with a group of writers
in Northern New Hampshire, where he now lives. It was an inaugural
meeting, so the director of the state organization was there. "Everyone
was as happy as I was. Perfect timing." This meeting led to Roy being
invited to several local book workshops and festivals this summer.
The key to his writing, Roy said, is to start with
autobiography and then ask: if I changed this here, what would have been
different? Passing Time began as a story about his own experience working
in the paper mill in his hometown. "It was almost a memoir.
But I took it to a different level. I was a fly on the wall, just
an observer. But I needed to have someone involved in the story." That's
why his character Gene becomes so involved in the lives and adventures
of his fellow millworkers.
Roy has written three manuscripts since he finished Passing Time. "Write
in a notebook. Start early, revise in the computer. I put in what I wrote
the day before and then start (that day's work). Things do progress. You
can think about things … but only when you start to put on paper
does it go. Every day have a problem, solve it and find another. Keep
the momentum going."
The best lesson he got from the experience is to
have a habit. "It is true: you have to work every day. Find your
process." He also attributes grit to his success. "I have a certain
stubbornness. I wanted to tell this story. Kept trying until I got it
right. There's not a lot of blue collar stories. I just wouldn’t
give up." He said everyone needs "something that’s yours.
Literally, this is the only place I don’t care what someone thinks.
On a whirlwind book tour through Dallas, Roy revisited
the people and places he called home for twenty-five years. A medical
professional, he returned to the hospital where he worked, saw the people
who'd known him as he was writing. And writing. "People really do
like success. They said, ‘you got it done!’”
He got it done! Get it at www.bluecubiclepress.com
An excerpt from Passing Time:
Eugene (“Gene”) Wheeler always wanted to be an engineer,
but after failing math, he drops out of college and takes a job in his
hometown paper mill. He hopes the dead-end job will allow him to be a
robot—go through the motions—as he considers his options for
the future. From his first day on the job, however, he finds himself caught
between two groups of men, each devoted to the job in their own way and
determined to include him in their ranks. Gene discovers the job is not
the smooth ride he envisioned and soon realizes there are no time outs
Congratulations to Amanda Arista (NY '09) on her Nine
e-book deal with Avon Impulse (a subsidiary of HarperCollins) Publication
dates: June 27, 2011 and December 2011.
Congratulations to Kay Honeyman (NY '09) on her contract with Scholastic
(Arthur Levine). Publication date: spring 2013.
Thanks to our web-savvy instructors and contacts! You can learn from
them in and OUT of the classroom! Follow, follow!
on the House
Entangled Publishing (where
I am marketing director)
The Naked Hero
Twitter: @misaramirez, @entangledpub, @booksonthehouse, @thenakedhero,
Daniel J. Hale
David Hale Smith (local agent)
Blip.FM (for any music fans out there)
Program Director’s Note
A writer remembers her (his) writer’s life as a series of
I remember doing biographical research on one of
my characters for my first book (literally, thumbing through books) while
channel surfing and I looked up and he was THERE. Onscreen. In period
dress. Moving, speaking, and fully Cheftu.
Later, on the same project, I’d been seized by a new character and
was writing along madly, squished between the second-floor landing and
a half-closed door, my laptop on my knees and this “mentor’ character
said something -- my body broke into goosebumps: the character, in dialogue,
had connected two pieces I’d put in the story, but hadn’t
used. They dovetailed, (and answered a few major questions) perfectly.
Other books have had other moments and my publishing
career has had its own set of pivots.
The only common factor I can see in them is: I was there. Present and
willing. Open and eager.
While I wrote my first book, I was a birthparent
liaison and the PR face for an adoption agency. I transported babies,
tracked down FOBs (father-of-baby) and did educational inservices for
everyone from DISD to the doc-in-the-box. I had a 45-minute commute each
way. Every week I taught Sunday school to squirmy 3rd and 4th graders.
I totally did not have time to write a book; but I couldn’t NOT
The passion for the story drove me. Being present helped me recognize
and use pivotal moments.
Now, I had the great advantage of a journalism background,
a voracious life-long reading habit and was one of the fastest typists
you’ve ever seen.
But if I hadn’t been there, at my keyboard, or with my notebook,
it wouldn’t have mattered. Those moments, those pivotal moments,
are like double rainbows: glimpsed, then gone.
You’ve got the passion – or you wouldn’t be in our program – but
are you putting yourself in the place to experience your pivotal moments?
Are you showing up?
Are you open?
Are you ready?
This program exists for one reason and one reason
only: to help adults write books. We stretch to find teachers who not
only know, but DO, to share with you their expertise and experience. Each
teacher stretches personally – staying abreast of the market, of
methods, always on the lookout for what should be added/subtracted so
that you, our student, is helped to write your book.
Every anecdote shared in class has an end lesson. Every exercise has
Summer is the final push for many of you to be ready for NY. We’re
offering all our classes, at least once. We’re bringing in a paradigm-shifting
instructor for our advanced/post-NY students – BK Loren.
Summer is either a break in the frenzy of your life,
or an escalation. As you consider how you are spending this time, think
on these things:
Am I passionate about this project?
Am I showing up?
Am I open?
Then decide where you are carving out the time to show up. Early in your
Or do you need a time and space to fall in love with your story? Become
reacquainted with it? Can you do that here, in our summer offerings of
Story, Plot, Chapters, Revision? Should you escape to the beach? Should
you join us in Taos?
Ultimately, you have three months. How are you going
to help yourself show up and seize those pivotal moments? How are you
going you help YOU write your book?