Portland Writer’s Workshop

On February 20th I attended the Portland Writing Workshop, hosted by Chuck Sambuchino. Mr. Sambuchino is the author of a handful of non-fiction books about the nuts and bolts of finding an agent and preparing a manuscript for submission. He’s also the author of “How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack.” I’ll leave it to you to determine which genre that one belongs to.

The information on self vs. traditional publishing, how to write a query letter, marketing yourself and your book (Mr. Sambuchino calls all of this your Platform) was all stuff that could be found on line for free, but the concise, entertaining, and digestible way Mr. Sambuchino presented everything made it worth the inexpensive tuition alone. One aspect of Mr. Sambuchino’s presentation that stood out (and was impressive) is the way he handled some pretty off the wall questions. It would have been easy to be dismissive, yet he answered everyone thoughtfully while still keeping his lecture on track.

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Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Apollo and Daphne by  Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1625. Galleria Borghese, Rome
Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1625. Galleria Borghese, Rome

Another piece of artwork that inspired The Hound of Anerin is “Apollo and Daphne” by the great Gian Lorenzo Bernini. I discovered this one from watching Simon Schama’s The Power of Art, which is on YouTube these days.

Artistic Influences

“Rosita,” photograph by Lee Marmon

Albuquerque photographer Lee Marmon’s amazing portrait “Rosita” inspired the description of The Grandmother, a very important character in “The Hound of Aneirin.” Check out the link to his web site, it’s great stuff.

Artistic Influences

Still from "The Passion of Joan of Arc."
Still from “The Passion of Joan of Arc.”

I’m not sure I’m obsessed with this movie, but I’ve watched it multiple times over the last 10 years. It was the foundation of one of my Photography 1 assignments, a fact that (most likely) over half of the classes resented to one degree or another. But I love it. The story, the cinematography, Richard Einhorn’s accompaniment — it’s an amazing collaborative work of art.



I grew up hiking in the Sandia Mountains, and I also grew up imagining stories that could take place in my favorite hiking spots. I still do, only now I’m actually writing the stories down.