PPWC Additional photos

Continuing the earlier report on the Writers Conference, I wanted to share some photographs I forgot to include in the last post. The costume party had some wild costumes, so just to ease you into the madness I would first like you to meet two wonderful gentlemen: Thriller writer Robert Crais, and sci-fi writer Kevin J. Anderson.

Crais is on the left, and Anderson is on the right. Believe me when I tell you they are two of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

This was at a thoroughly agreeable booksigning on Thursday night.

Then the Friday night costume party started up, and that’s when Pikes Peak Writers did the closest thing to Cinco de Mayo that was allowed in the Marriott.

Witches…

…zombies…

…and nuns, oh my!

Good times were had by all. I had a Samwise costume that looked nothing like Samwise. I’m planning on Hellboy next year. More recognizable, that way. 🙂

Right to left: Dick Tracy, Lara Croft, and a logline. Look at his shirt. You’ll get it.

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Conference Report 2012

Last weekend took a lot out of me. Fortunately, I gained so much more for the experience. Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2012 was my first official writing conference, and seems to be the start of my official career as a writer. And I couldn’t be happier with the results. No wonder its attendees and faculty speak so highly of it.

Jeffrey Deaver, one of the keynote speakers, in his finest James Bond costume.

Aaron Ritchey, author of "The Never Prayer" and an awesome guy all around. Crazy in the best and most enthusiastic way possible.

Thursday consisted of all-day workshops for topics like “So you have an idea for a book,” “Writing for young adults,” and a seminar based on Donald Maass’s “Writing the Breakout Novel” (the one I attended). Friday began the conference proper, with more workshops all day, and a costume party at night.

My friend Patty, looking positively resplendent.

Lara Croft dropped by for a visit.

Can't have Bond without a lovely Bond Girl!

Saturday had more workshops, and pitch appointments. I pitched my manuscript to an agent, and she requested the full manuscript. That is something to celebrate right there – most writers, even at those rare instances when they can pitch in person, usually get turned down, or are asked for a synopsis or the first three chapters, so a full manuscript request is a big deal. It’s a big step forward, but I’ve also got about a month before it needs to be emailed to the agent, and it still needs some good old-fashioned revising. To the revisionmobile! (Cue the Batman theme)

And Sunday had even more workshops, with reluctant farewells to the wonderful human beings I met over three days.

And I got to see my first ladybug of the year as I left the Marriott on Sunday. Honestly, can you have a better denouement than this?

Yeah, this was totally worth it. Barring the zombie apocalypse, I am absolutely going back next year. Later today, I will deliver a recap of Donald Maass’s amazing keynote address, and some of my thoughts on it. If you can get a recording of that speech, it should be required listening for every fiction writer.

Aimless Reflections on a New Beginning

The last week or so has been an interesting one. My brother and I spent the weekend with some family in Arizona, so it was good to reconnect with them. That was a weekend well-spent. And on the way back, I managed to catch the beautiful Rocky Mountains at sunset! It was hardly the most expansive view, since I was looking from an aisle seat, but it was a gratifying sight all the same.

This is why everyone loves Colorado.

With 2012 already here, barging into my living room and making itself at home, there is a sobering reminder of how quickly time passes. Money can always be replenished, and you can catch up with friends and family, but seconds and days and years pass by unheeded.

As the new year strides onward, questions related to that passage of time begin to crop up. What have you wanted to do, but never found the willpower or the energy to carry it out? Will your New Years resolutions stick? Are there any bad habits you can give up? How can you improve your relationships with others until the next glowing ball drops in Times Square?

For now, it’s probably best if I leave those questions alone, and you can answer them for yourself. At present, I still have no idea of the direction my life ought to go in, still don’t have much to say, and am still worried about (and paralyzed by) the sheer volume of tasks that I have to carry out. But for now, all I can do is lean on God’s grace, plunge ahead in spite of my fears, and hope for a bright ending to this next year.

Talk to you soon, everyone!