Monday, July 07, 2014

Meet the Taos Resident Award Winner: Kate Crawford

While working on her memoir about being sexy in one’s sixties, Kate Crawford, the winner of this year’s Taos Resident Award reminds herself to “start looking for all the things she can do, and stop looking for those she couldn’t.”

The list of what Kate has been able to do just in the past year is impressive:  besides entering and winning this contest, she has nearly completed building her house in Taos.   She spent the winter working on “Second Coming” a memoir of “creating a new paradigm for sexy sixties,” and is attending TSWC to “hone her descriptive and humor skills” towards finding an agent and a publisher for her book.   Kate has already put into practice the best this conference has to offer.  She used skills learned in Priscilla Long’s class last year to immediately query her memoir to Allison Hunter and Alexis Hurley, literary agents, during the weekend class that followed.

Kate credits writing with helping her to have a life despite struggling with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  She began writing professionally after winning a travel writing competition that earned her a trip around the world in 2002 and renewed respect from her doctor, who wondered “how she could go around the world when she couldn’t go around the block.” Kate’s stories have appeared in the “Boston Globe,” the “San Francisco Chronicle,” the “Washington Post,” and “The Best Travel Writing of 2012.”

 “Second Coming”—pun intended—will be a mixture of vignettes and fantasies of Kate’s hilarious and often tragicomic experiences as she conducts hands on research on her subject.  Besides reading on everything there is to know about sex at a certain age, and taking Flamenco, “to get life back in her,”  Kate has practiced research on related subjects, from Kegel exercises to sexy underwear and other intimate accessoires,  to employing the services of a dating advisor.   “You have to get used to being embarrassed,” she says, as when the unthinkable happened while she was laughing hard during her second date.

Kate’s scholarship winning story, Elephant Driving 101, takes place in Anantara, an elephant camp in Thailand where she learned to bathe, mount, ride, and control her sixty five year old elephant.  Her piece is worth reading just for the description of how one catapults oneself onto the back of the twelve foot tall creature.

Kate promises to “tell it like it is” in her memoir, while escorting readers on a trip to interesting locales that include her own journey:  “I am the protagonist, my illness and my age are the antagonist.”   Kate is excited about being in Taos for this new chapter of her writing career, stating, “I have a life, I have a passion in my life—and I take Cymbalta.”

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