Before reading on, be sure to stop in again on October 6th for award winning author Susan Wingate’s guest blog.

Here’s Bob’s news:

Life is a constant process of reinventing oneself, or at least replenishing and repairing oneself. Last winter in Southern Idaho was a roller coaster ride, with periods of nice weather and then weeks of road-closing storms. We escaped in late February (barely, nearly getting snowed-in at La Grande, Oregon) for a trip that began with a writer’s workshop in Lincoln City, Oregon. An editorial panel of Denise Little, John Helfer, Dean Smith and Kris Rusch read and evaluated two stories each from about thirty writers for consideration in a pair of anthologies under proposal by Denise and John at Tekno Books. I was lucky enough to get the nod from Denise and John on a story I wrote called “Don’t Fortget” for the dystopic anthology “From the Ashes.​”

Alas, in June Martin Greenberg the president of Tekno Books died, and Denise Little and John Helfer have left Tekno, so the tentative sale is likely kaput… or better said, back at market. We all mourn Martin Greenberg’s loss. He was a giant in the field of Anthologies. Yet, despite the downside, I was uplifted by the offer and have high hopes for the story in other venues.

We meandered back to Idaho via the California wine country and a few days in Death Valley. Once home I wrote three new stories for the July Odyssey alumni workshop, called TNEO (The Never Ending Odyssey), held at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.

Workshops have a way of focusing me and upping my productivity; While there I also wrote a humorous “slam” piece given at the annual TNEO reading at the Manchester Barnes and Noble. Jeanne Cavelos also had me prepare a lecture on fantasy and science fictional world building. That pushed me to read a half dozen books for the Powerpoint I prepared. It needs a major editing but I hope to put it on the Life to Write website eventually. I also submitted a synopsis of my novel-in-progress “Via Sin Dios,​” about a band of atheist Earth refugees fleeing the influence of religion. This novel is one of three I’ve been plodding at for some time now. I got a real shot in the arm from my synopsis critique group and have been making progress again after many months in the doldrums.

We traveled for three weeks in May, first stopping in Florida to attend a dear friend’s wedding, and view the final Shuttle launch as well. From Florida it was on to two weeks in Spain, touring the medieval pilgrimage trail of Santiago de Compostella. It was a marvelous experience, staying in monasteries, and witnessing how much Spain has modernized since we were there last in 1997.

In July I headed off to TNEO to catch up with writer friends and make many new ones… the majority keep getting younger, except my roommate, Dave Stier, who seems to be pacing me in the time machine! I had a great post-workshop visit with Bob Cutchin and wife Susan. They taught me all about preparing lobster for lunch and where to find the best ice cream in America in Jaffey, NH.

On August 10th I arrived at a long anticipated speed bump (some of us call them life rolls). My nearly unserviceable right shoulder (critical to everything I do, including typing) went into the shop for rotator cuff repair and reattachment of a partially detached tendon. Anyone who says that orthoscopic surgery is a walk in the park must be referring to Death Valley in August. The five little holes, and the first few days of total immobility, nicely toned down with pure product Hydrocodone almost had me believing. Then the bandages came off, and the meds changed, and the pain and stiffness arrived. Oh boy. I’ve been in physical therapy for about three weeks now, and am happy to say that the med dependency is finally easing up, and the stiffness is retreating, but the entire experience really slowed down or halted almost everything else.

Since after this surgery you get a lot of practice sitting, we decided to do the sitting in front of some fine theater at the Ashland, OR Shakespeare festival in mid September. We saw eleven plays in six days and loved nearly every minute of it. The long drive to Ashland was bookended with visits to Washington where we went for a wonderful excursion on Seattle’s Lake Washington with Idaho friends Chuck and Carolyn Coiner and visited our daughter who lives in a houseboat near a troll under a bridge (honest!​).

Another really big piece of news (for me, at least) came in September, with the acceptance of my short story “Dirt Poor” in an anthology to be called “Elemental,​” which is being edited by award winning author, Susan Wingate. You’ll hear more about this in coming weeks.

A wonderful outfall of the sale was the chance to have Susan do a guest blog here at Life to Write. Her blog will appear October 6th. I hope you stop back for a look.



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