Writing from the Ashes

One of the favorite motifs of fiction is resurrection. Characters redeem themselves (or try to), the past catches up for better or worse, and there are phoenixes everywhere ascending from ashes. My own book is called Revived. History itself is given a legacy of resurrection, thanks to Christ rising from His grave.

Resurrection was also the theme of the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Even better than last year’s event, this was an unforgettable time to make new friends and meet with old ones.

To wit:

To the right is DeAnna Knippling, critiquing guru and author. On the left is Amber Benson, who played Tara from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and is a novelist as well. Both of these ladies are AWESOME human beings! And lots of fun to hang out with.

To the right is DeAnna Knippling, critiquing guru and author. On the left is Amber Benson, who played Tara on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and is a novelist as well. Both of these ladies are AWESOME human beings! Lots of fun to hang out with.

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Libba Bray, being her crazy self. Hilarious, friendly, and just plain likable.

My friend Joseph Smits. I can't think of many writers who make me laugh as hard as this gentleman. And Amber photobombs like a pro!

My friend Joseph Smits. I can’t think of many writers who make me laugh as hard as this gentleman. And Amber photobombs like a pro!

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My good friend Rob Killam. Did I mention he writes zombies like no one else? This guy’s gonna go far someday. Guaranteed.

And here's a picture of some chicken. Marriott staff took very good care of us. Which is good, since we writers are high-maintenance.

And here’s a picture of some chicken. Marriott staff took very good care of us. Which is good, since we writers are high-maintenance.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, Libba Bray, and Amber Benson led the way with keynote speeches. Inspiration filled the air like an inviting perfume. I got the sense of openness and fellowship that I’ve been missing for so long in my writing life.

Oh, and I should mention I pitched the fantasy novel, and the agent requested 20 pages. That’s always good news! [But I did realize I played up the sci-fi aspect of it like the book was a half-and-half blend of fantasy and sci-fi, when it’s more like 2% sci-fi and 98% straight up fantasy. So I almost screwed up the pitch unnecessarily. Oh well. 20 pages is still good! :)]

Thanks for your time, everyone! I’ve got a sequel to my sci-fi Kindle story to work on, and twenty pages to prepare for official submission. Carry on, and remember: It’s never too late to rise from the ashes.

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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.

Colorado’s Ideal Coffee Shop; An Editor for Your Manuscript; the PPWC

Well, here’s an odd little post. Two slightly-related-but-not-really subjects. Think of them as a bit of local advertising, related to two of the most essential things of life: writing and coffee.

If you’re ever in the region of Black Forest CO, and need some coffee served with a smile, look no further than R&R Coffee and Cafe.

http://www.rnrcoffeecafe.com/

One of the friendliest businesses you’ll ever know. [[I’ll post pictures of the place when I can.]] I’ve been on very good terms with the family that owns it for a couple of years, and they’re kind enough to let me write for long periods of time whenever I can visit.

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As for editing, you need look no further than Bree Ervin. I will be hiring her to look over my own novel once it is finished. With sharp wit, experience, and incredible professionalism, she has quickly established herself as a great consultant-for-hire for writers. In addition to being an editor, she also acts as a publicist, marketer, blogger, and a lover of twisted fairy tales and writer of zombie flash fiction. I recommend her blog, if you want to see her at work:

http://thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress.com/

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Either one would be terrific if you plan on attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2012. Creativity and the whispers of a reinvigorated muse will find you in the friendly atmosphere of Black Forest and R&R (just half an hour’s drive away from the Marriott where the PPWC will take place), and you can experience Ervin’s humor and charm personally at the conference, where she will be teaching a workshop and offering all kinds of advice.

Hope you all have a pleasant day!