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“I’ve done my best writing work while traveling alone. At the end of a long day, you’ve got no one to talk to but the page,” said Kate McCahill.

The assistant professor of creative writing at Santa Fe Community College is the author of Patagonian Road, a nonfiction account of McCahill’s year of solo travels though Central and South America. It was published in 2017 by Santa Fe Writers Project, a local independent press that operates a quarterly journal and holds an annual national book contest. McCahill joins the editor of the SFWP Quarterly, Monica Prince, and two other Santa Fe Writers Project authors, Wendy J. Fox and Elizabeth Geoghegan, to discuss the pleasures of solo travel and its beneficial influences on their writing at Garcia Street Books on Saturday, June 22.

“I’ve always considered the setting to be a protagonist in my work, but it was traveling solo that finally kicked my fiction into high gear, allowing me to riff on my own experiences as a woman alone in the world. There is nothing like travel for creating narrative tension,” Geoghegan said. In her new novel, eightball, the restless female characters find themselves in far-flung places.

Fox’s new novel from Santa Fe Writers Project is If the Ice Had Held, a dramatic story about family secrets set in the Rocky Mountains. “There is something about traveling alone that echoes the act of writing, which is also often solitary,” she said. “In both, you have to trust that you are making the right decisions and that you have the opportunity to make your own path.”

A panel discussion, “Flying Solo: How Traveling Alone Influences Writing,” is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at Garcia Street Books (376 Garcia St.). Admission is free. For more information, call 505-986-0151 or go to garciastreetbooks.com

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