I feel as if my brain is exploding from all the new experiences that have been crammed into it over the last few weeks. In early March I set out for Texas to attend a LifeWriting workshop conducted by Susan Albert. I have two reasons for admiring Susan. She is the author of the widely acclaimed China Bayles Herbal Mysteries with the latest volume available this month, and she is also the author of (find) and founder of Story Circle Network. The workshop met and exceeded my expectations, and you’ll hear more about what I learned there in future blogs.
From there my husband and I went directly to Galveston where we spent five days participating in an Elderhostel conducted by acclaimed photographer Robert Mihovil, whose work has been published in all the big places like National Geographic, Texas Highways, and a long list of others. Robert took us to all sorts of great places, filling our heads with all sorts of fascinating facts about Galveston, but he did more than that. He wouldn’t let us leave a location until each of the two dozen of us had shown him a shot that showed we had mastered the lesson of the site.
The next stop was Austin for a visit with our daughter and her growing family. Our older son and his family arrived for a quick spring break visit while we were there, and what a delight it was to watch our older two grandchildren entertain their tiny cousin.
From there we headed further west to Fort Davis, Texas where we joined another Elderhostel group for a train ride through Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon. This was our first trip into Mexico beyond a few visits to border cities, and we loved every minute. The scenery was splendid, the accommodations amazing, the food terrific, our guide inspiring, and our fellow travelers delightful. Who could ask for more? Beyond that, I was flooded with memories of growing up in New Mexico as we rolled through dry pine forests. The terrain of the state of Chihuahua, especially in the mountains, is amazingly similar to New Mexico, right down to the ponderosa pines and rough-hewn canyons running between flat-top mesas.
Now, as we head east again, we’ll be visiting a few more locations that are going to bring back still more memories and stories. I already have a huge pile of index cards I’ve filled on this trip with both story ideas and fragments and fresh insights on the writing process. I’ll be posting more about this over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, I highly advise you to keep a few cards in your pocket or purse. Don’t let your memories and story ideas leak away!
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal