Highlights again.

A path runs up the wooded hill almost from my cabin door.  I know there is magic up there, if I can just make that climb . . .

I found the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop in fantasy so very valuable for my first novel that I took my second novel to it in 2011.  The Changeling Chronicles benefitted greatly from working with mentor/teacher Anne Ursu and also from the critique of the entire Highlights 2011 group, a fine and supportive group of fellow-fantasy writers and fellow-mortals.


Participants of the 2011 Highlights Whole Novel Workshop - Fantasy

And here we are, explorers of the written word and the unwritten word, working intensely at the magic of story, full of the joy of creation.

Here we are, the intrepid Laura and Miriam, Rick, Ben, Priscilla, Karen, Kathryn and me, with our guides through the wilderness Anne Ursu, Laura Ruby and Chris Tepperman.  Who would think we are fine writers, but we are, and we’re working to be come finer–or more fine–whateverthe case may be.

Anne and Laura–aren’t they cute as lerprechauns?  You are sooo cute, I want to put you in my suitcase and take you home with me, and have you edit for me every day.  I would feed you.


The powers of the Universe made this magical place in the Pennsylvania Hills, and Kent Brown is the visionary mortal who has built this writer’s safe haven there, bless his soul.  He gave us a tour of the new workshop building, and one night he had dinner with us and told us stories of bygone publishing days.  Ah, the days when one’s editor really edited . . .

   Anyway, Kent showed us the new building, the wood from the property itself–I’d never seen black cherry before, and it is gorgeous wood–and so much of the building hand-crafted.  I wanted to steal the cherry wood doors, but they’re actually a little big to get on the plane.


So many treasures, and among them are the treasures we’ll take home with us–the ideas for our stories.





And remember that hill outside my cabin?  Well, I climbed it with the help of Anne and the others, and I found the magic at the top.



  1. Thank you, Claudia, for your kindness, insight, and inspiration. It truly was a magical experience. You are a treasure.


    • Oh, thank you, Rick. May the winds be at your back as you travel home, and may the inspiration you take from here be forever with you. Whatever the final form of your story, your daughter will treasure it one day as one of her most precious possessions. I know it will be a very fine story, indeed.

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