For the past three years, I have looked forward to an event created by and for writers. Writers in the Field (WITF) is an opportunity for writers to get inside the head of experts in all manner of disciplines without kidnapping, torture, and self-incrimination. Many of these experts are also writers (or are related to writers) so they understand the strange browser histories which put writers on various watch lists.
The first year was at the tail end of a true Texas summer–hotter than your oven on broil. Last year’s event is fondly referred to as Writers in the Flood or Writers in the Mud since Mother Nature decided to dump a load on our heads, complete with tornado. But still we slugged our way to the experts as they did for us. A few didn’t make it, including the food truck, but those that did were rewarded with fond memories of slogging through the muck, ruining our shoes, and going mudding in our cars (that was fun).
This year, Momma Nature made up for the first two years. For the past two days, the weather gave us lovely fall-like temperatures (which only last about 5 minutes in Texas). The rain came in early, leaving the ground only slightly squishing in certain places. Life is good.
So, off I went (with mi espouso and Myrtle the Younger in tow) with a clean notepad to attend WITF, intent on meeting like-minded people and experts, to discuss methods of murder and mayhem without threat of suspicious eyes and ears wondering just what the hell was going on out there. There sword fights, loin-girding, Renaissance dancing, lock-picking, blade-smithing, weavers, and dyers (to name a few) mix with experts from the FBI, Secret Service, police, and bomb squad to answer ALL our questions and insane ideas for our story lines. They offer suggestions on how to make our life–I mean writing–more interesting and realistic, while suggesting (gently) that perhaps that plot twist might now work the way we think it will (sigh).
So, why am I blue? Well…I dyed.
I know, it’s shocking, but after years of vague ideas on how to make a tie-dyed shirt, I participated in several dying sessions and dyed my very own mustardy yellow-y handkerchief. Over 2 days and under the watchful eye of Willoc the Dyer, six of us helped to dye a length of hand-woven, wool fabric a deep, rich blue-y purple or purple-y blue. I had the task of being under the wet cloth, dipping the cloth in the dye, ensuring it didn’t get tangled on the turning dowel, and basically getting dripped on. One day one, my hands were red. Today, I was blue.
Very blue. As in Smurfette blue. And it DOESN’T COME OFF! (Pics on Instagram)