Trekking Through the Rockies

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.ย  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

Mad Ship

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.




Filed under YA lit

9 responses to “Trekking Through the Rockies

  1. ACK! I forgot you were heading out here! It would have been nice to meet up while you were here! I hope that the altitude didn’t dampen you too much.

    Yeah, Vail is fun. Hopefully the construction didn’t hurt your directions either. It’s been awhile since I was up there, but I know we’re doing a lot of work up there right now.

    Anyway, it sounded like you had fun! So, YEA!!!


    • rachelhestondavis

      Frankie, I forgot that you live in CO! How silly of me! Oh well…I was so busy, it might have been pretty tricky to find a time to meet up with you. And no, the altitude didn’t get to me–too much! ๐Ÿ™‚ I did spend an evening stretched out on a couch in my room, feeling like I was melting, but after that I was right as rain again.

  2. What a blast. I wish I could have gone, and I don’t even write fantasy. Colorado sounds beautiful.

  3. Fishy

    This is one thing I wish I could have joined you for. Maybe next year ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Fishy

    And by one thing, I mean the conference. I don’t really want to crash your family vacations ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Rachel,
    Just wanted to pop in and say hello and how great it was to meet you at Sirens!! I owe you a longer email and trust me that you’ll get it! (Just maybe after all this crazy wedding hoopla… omg… 9 days!) Looking forward to chatting with you more about books and writing and would love having your eyes on some of my musings ๐Ÿ˜‰ Which *cough* my have a bit of Hobb influence…
    Talk to you soon,

    • rachelhestondavis

      Thanks for coming to the blog Manda! I finished Mad Ship (in a very Mad Dash of reading which lasted several hours) and hope to start on Ship of Destiny soon. BTW, did I mention at the conference how much I hate Kennit? Yeah. You can triple that now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sounds as though you’ve had a very productive time, Rachel. I’ve never had the opportunity to attend anything of this nature.. And to received tips from a well known author…Wow!

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