Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Striking Gold at the Colorado Gold Conference

What a fun weekend at the Colorado Gold conference! I arrived at the hotel late Thursday afternoon, checked in and freshened up, then drove to RMFW President Linda Hill's lovely home for a dinner for conference volunteers. Serious schmoozing with other authors, invited agents & editors, and fellow volunteers commenced. I snuck out around 8 PM to catch the tail end of a SWAT team presentation to the Rocky Mountain chapter of MWA at the Denver Press Club.

Then, I returned to my hotel room, sat on the end of one of the beds to remove my shoes, and Bam!, the bed collapsed. The cross-frame at the foot of the bed was no longer attached to the rest of the frame. I slept in the other bed that night and called the desk the next morning to ask them to fix the bed or get me moved before noon. Then I spent a pleasant 90 minutes in the exercise facility chatting with Jeff Shelby while on the elliptical machine, lifting weights, swimming a few laps in the outdoor pool, and "hanging" in the hot tub with other conference attendees. I returned to the room to find the bed still broken. After numerous phone calls, I was moved to another room, just in time for my incoming roommate, Ann Parker, to find a horizontal bed waiting for her vs one sloped at an angle.

After a couple of Friday afternoon sessions, I was one of the helpers who assisted Pam & Laura of the Author, Author! bookstore make the mad-rush move to transfer books to the back of the ballroom and set up signing tables for all the authors in attendance. Dinner and an inspiring kick-off speech by C.J. Lyons was followed by the mass signing. I had good results at the signing and sold 9 books. Then the Five Star gang met with acquisition editor John Helfers in the bar. He told me that my To Hell in a Handbasket manuscript was in the acquisition process for first quarter 2009 (he passed it on to Deni Dietz, who edited the first, for her opinion) and I should hear from him within a few weeks. I've got my fingers crossed that a contract will arrive in the mail soon. Time to celebrate--off to the hospitality suite I went!

Saturday morning I pitched to agent Natanya Wheeler, and she requested a partial submittal of my Wicked Whitewater manuscript. For the lunch break, my roomie and I took a half-hour stroll to get some fresh air, then dined at Panera Bread with Pat Stoltey and her critique group. After some more sessions, two of which I moderated, and schmoozing, Ann and I got dolled-up for the banquet and cheered for the writing contest winners. Unfortunately, I didn't win the simile contest. My entry was probably too gross to read-aloud at the banquet. :) I really enjoyed Bob Mayer's speech comparing a writing career to a Special Forces jumpmaster getting his team ready to parachute out of a low-flying airplane on a night mission. Then it was off to the hospitality suite again, but I didn't indulge in alcohol that night since I was presenting an early morning workshop the next day.

Amazingly, 15 people made it to my 8:30 AM Sunday morning workshop on tools for getting to know your characters and gave me good feedback. Then Ann and I checked out of our room--she was a lovely roommate! Worn out with sessions, I chatted with folks in the lobby, then helped Pam & Laura breakdown the bookstore. After lunch and a rousing go-forth-and-write speech by Joan Johnston, I climbed into the car for the drive back to Colorado Springs. Soon after carting my bags inside the house, I was snoozing in the Lazy-boy.

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