Portales native returns for writer’s retreat

Editor’s note: The Portales News-Tribune will follow one writer through their journey and participation in the Eastern New Mexico University Writer’s Retreat.

By Rae Arnett
Staff Writer
rarnett@pntonline.com

Daphne Underwood comes from a family of storytellers. Most notorious was her Uncle Bill.

Underwood said how great his stories could grow in only a few years.

“They were always based in truth but they grew more exaggerated as the years went by,” Underwood said.

This love for story telling led Underwood to begin her writing career. The 35-year-old mom is hoping to get feedback on her novel through her participation in the Eastern New Mexico University Writer’s Retreat. Underwood is one of 14 people attending this year.

The Writer’s Retreat is a two-week event that is comprised of a series workshops, readings, music and field trips that help participants work with writing fiction as well as poetry.

Underwood was born in Portales and attended school in Dora and Hobbs, where she lives. Underwood has a daughter, Paige, and many pets. She is a student at ENMU and hopes to graduate in December.

The retreat opened Monday afternoon. Underwood boasted how talented her peers were and how great it was to have feedback from them about her writing.

“Everyone has been so vocal,” said Underwood.

She discussed learning about emphasizing characters, how to give characters better background, and how to create a better flow.

“I would love to work with these people for the rest of my life,” Underwood said.

Underwood was inspired to attend the Writer’s Retreat because she wants to continually improve her writing.

“When I first came to ENMU, I thought I was a great writer, but three weeks in I realized that I had a lot of room for improvement. I poured my heart and soul into this novel and to be able to bring it here and get feedback from people outside my genre expands my ability as a writer” said Underwood.