Last day of the workshop. Well, yesterday was really our last day, because today is just parting ways and heading home. I left Angel Fire at 8 AM and carpooled with Brian L, Emily W, and Kent back to the airport in Albuquerque. We followed along the Rio Grande during most of our trip.

At a gift shop in the airport, I made impulse buys: an ocarina with a wolf painted on it, and a little book on Native American animal stories with gorgeous artwork. Emily’s flight was later, so we went through security together and she hung out with me up until I had to board my plane. As soon as I arrived in Houston, I satisfied my craving for Vietnamese food with a hot bowl of pho tai.

It’s been an amazing two weeks. The workshop includes Toolbox in its name for good reason. I came away with a much more solid grasp on craft, a bunch of signed books, and a bunch of new friends whose careers I’ll watch with great interest. Everyone’s prospects seem promising, and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the wild someday. Post-workshop depression will hit me hard. Keeping in touch with my classmates on Slack will alleviate that, hopefully.

Welp, I didn’t see any bears, but that’s probably best because I’d rather come back home in one piece.

I want to write more sci-fi short stories, so this is what I’ll do to reach that goal and get better acquainted with the genre: read more science articles through resubscription to Science News magazine, read “How To Build A Planet” per Nancy’s recommendation, subscribe to Asimov and Analog, look to my more sci-fi savvy classmates for support and advice.

Below are mementos from Walter and Nancy, who are treasure troves of great feedback, advice, and funny true stories.

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