This weekend, I am—once again—attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, also known as the PPWC. It started in 1993, founded by Jimmie H. Butler, and I’ve only missed two, I think. Maybe three? Have to check that. My wife and I talked about this a week or so ago, but I owe a lot to the PPWC. Much of what I know about writing and those whom I know in the writing world I have met through this conference. My agent is from this conference. Granted, I’ve read a fair amount of craft and writing Zen, have met others from another conference, an out-of-town writer group, but I’ve attended this conference for some 20 years. I’ve learned a lot about not only the writing of fiction, but the marketing and promotion of writing. Studied screenplays and even adapted my supernatural murder mystery into a screenplay. I’ve met a lot of great people, including many well-known authors (have sat by and talked-up Bob Crais [many times, and one of THE COOLEST guys I’ve ever met in the industry, très unassuming], Jeffery Deaver [once], David Morrell, and Joe R. Lansdale [talked with him and drove him to the airport], just off the top of my head). Talking with authors, editors and agents also gives you a feel for who and what these people are. Could you work with them? Do you clash? Sometimes, you’d be surprised at your reactions, your discoveries.
I’ve also presented and helped out at the conferences.
Moderated sessions (am moderating two this year).
Run Gopher…drove people to and from airports…given them tours of the local area…set up and torn down sessions and rooms. Addressed the conference with Jimmie Butler on the passing of a good friend of ours (Moe Morris). Moe and I used to meet at a Village Inn and talk writing. Comment on each other’s work. He was a great guy who actually has an Antarctic glacier named after him (Morris Glacier, which is just below the Queen Alexandria Range, in south central Antarctica, flowing down into the Ross Sea; see photo, below). Moe always joked about having a glacier named after him, because, well, he “wasn’t important enough” for a mountain. He used to be a Navy pilot and flew to Antarctica a lot. He was married to his wife, Virginia, of 57 years, who preceded him in death by only 18 days.
So, this year, I am again going. I am moderating some sessions, but, not driving people around. I plan on just taking it all in. Getting lost in the writing world, again, for a weekend, meet all my writing friends face-to-face, and once again…dream like crazy. It’s a fun world. Hope to post about it afterwards.
Hope to see you there.