I just finished up my long trek to Colorado for the inaugural year of the Sirens conference, and boy oh boy was it a week of adventure! It was an exercise in socializing, networking, intellectualizing…and survival.
The altitude alone took some endurance. Crammed into the car with my husband and parents (our luggage practically spring-loaded the trunk), we made the ear-popping climb to Vail, CO, to be hit with thin air, altitude headaches, scaly lips and aching noses (from the dry air). The town roundabout nearly got the best of our online directions, but at last we found our lodge and settled in.
The conference itself was amazing. Everyone had one big thing in common–our love of female fantasy lit. We found a library book table to tempt us with fresh fantasy releases, and a myriad of classes, presentations and keynote speeches. The danger of the conference lay in the sheer enormity of the “To Be Read” list that every attendee inevitably went home with. And don’t forget the Night and Court Ball, at which everyone busted a move on the dance floor at least once. (Think a whole roomful of girls dancing to “Love Shack.” And singing it. Even the weird-voice-guy’s lines).
The highlight of my weekend was, of course, getting personal advice from author Sherwood Smith on writing war scenes in fantasy novels. I mean, how often do you get personal tips from a successful writer about the very thing you’re working on?
The rest of my trip has been…interesting. After the conference, we came to Estes Park for two days. Estes Park did not get the memo about fall lasting through October, so it skipped to winter instead. We did our hiking through snowstorms, narrowly avoiding hypothermia and starvation at every turn (we were on a trail for two hours with only granola bars. Oh the horror!). I have to admit, it was an incredible feeling to be literally in the middle of the wilderness during a snowstorm. Puts a whole new perspective on respecting mother nature.
I made it through the week without adding TOO many books to my ever-growing “to be read” pile. Not too many. I think.
The Prophecy of the Sisters
Ship of Destiny
Song of the Lioness (and following volumes)
This is my last night in Colorado. Tomorrow, we’ll do horseback riding and then head home. I love the mountains, but somehow I can’t wait to see flatlands again.