Sunday, May 24, 2009

Conference notes . . .

Last week, I attended the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference in Estes Park, CO. It was the third one I've attended and I've noticed some patterns.

(Btw, I do recommend this conference. The beautiful setting and relaxed atmosphere make for a more personal experience than the others I've attended.)

The authors and organizers are the real friends of the pre-pubbed writers. They are selfless and eager to help the un-pubbed get pubbed.

On the other hand, the editors and agents put up walls. They are stand off-ish and seem to try their best to avoid everyone except their colleagues. It's hard not to blame them. They know everyone there wants something from them so it's a different relational dynamic. I'm sure there is a small percentage of pre-pubbed writers who have acted in a way to cause this jadedness, but I wish there was some way to reverse it. Even if you don't want to pitch to one of them, it's hard to have a conversation because they are so on guard. But most seem to enjoy it, albeit uncomfortably, and contribute valuable info.

But there is a couple of them don't even seem to enjoy it. I wonder why they are even there. They either don't take appointments are announce they are not looking for anything. They then sit on a panel or two and then go home. I guess a free trip they can write off is incentive enough. Then again, I don't really know what their motivation is.

The classes are good, but it's information that can be easily acquired in a few hours perusing the internet. I am always shocked by how much my fellow conferees don't know. Not all of them mind you, I don't want to insult anyone. Just enough to make me wonder.

The critiques are always great. Anytime you can have successful authors read your work and give you feedback is a good thing. Even if you don't agree with everything they say, they know what they're doing and can contribute something to the whole of your knowledge.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Notes from the road - the wierd.

Courtesy of my local library, I listened to a couple of Audio books while driving the 65+ hours during my vacation.

One of those books was Dekker's Boneman's Daughters. In the book, the killer likes to murder his victims by breaking their bones without breaking their skin-while they're awake. As I passed through southern and southwest Texas, where the story was set, I noticed a trend. The narrator would mention a location and then I'd see it. Now I'm not one given to be irrationally afraid, but driving alone on deserted highways can play its tricks.

I kept half-expecting the lunatic from No Country for Old Men to show up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Notes from the road . . .

Here's my thoughts from 8 days on the road:

Texas is BIG. I mean it's like a whole other country.

I thought west Texas and Arizona were flat. They are not. I'm stunned by how little water there is. Almost every river and creek I crossed from San Antonio through New Mexico to Arizona to Utah to Colorado to Kansas was dry.

It was 104 in Phoenix. Hot right? Not really. I mean it's hot, but it ain't South Louisiana humid hot. It felt like maybe 91. If you don't believe me, come down here in August.

A word about the Grand Canyon: Wow!

Utah is beautiful and the food is surprisingly good.

I love Americans of Mexican heritage. The people of Vail, Colorado could learn a lot from them. It's the rudest, least friendliest place I've ever been.

Woke up Saturday at 6:30 am, attended conference until 2:30 pm, then drove straight to my sister's house -- 24 hr drive. Picked up my dog, drove home, Fell asleep at 10:45 pm. Awake for 40 hours straight. Now I know what it's like to be drunk. At least I think it felt the same. I've never been drunk. Okay, once when I was 15. But that was peach schnapps and orange juice and I just got sick.

Next post: conference notes.