In addition to Rio Hondo being full of wonderful people, amazing food, snowy mountains, great writing and goofy Japanese movies, I spent my last extra day in the Southwest at Melinda Snodgrass's jaw-droppingly gorgeous house, eating Mexican food I had forgotten I loved so much, talking about folklore and family and screenwriting (and oddly saying "Hey, wouldn't it be great if RTD quit and gave the series to Moffat?" Here's to everything else we said coming true!)
The Rio Hondo kids fixed my book. No joke. (Which book? Check icon.) I went from deeply depressed about it to deeply excited. And as if a fabulous, productive critique by people at the top of their game wasn't enough, Melinda and bram452 (a god among men, who has such a precise way of talking everything that I could listen to him for hours) and I broke down the plot into itty-bitty glittery pieces and built it up again at a cafe before my flight, and it rocks so hard now it could cut glass.
It's almost enough to make me move there--I never knew how great it could be to hang out with other awesome writers, to work on snarly things together, without ego or competitiveness, just the desire for great books to be in the world. Too bad about the total lack of water.
*wheels about and squees*