Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin stands next to Tony Vogt

When I was a bright-eyed 25-year-old I rode nearly 6 hours in a car from Portland, Oregon, with Ursula Le Guin to the Winter Fishtrap Gathering in Enterprise, Oregon. We stopped to eat lunch at a casino on her request because she had never been in one. At the end of the conference, when we said goodbye, she called me “sweetie.” Sweetie only feels good from someone grandmotherly and it felt good.

I’m so glad I got to meet her and have so much of an imagination debt to her. I’ll miss knowing she’s still out there dreaming up amazing unknown worlds.

This post for Visitant remembers what I learned from her at the 2010 winter gathering.

“Move away from speaking and writing in a way that champions violence. Rather than struggle against, work through. Don’t conquer, fix.”

(If I were to rewrite this, I would discuss her use of the word “transvestite” where she’s feeling frustrated about having to pretend to be a male author or only write about men.)