Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference Day One

I’m going to admit I hit drained pretty early yesterday. I don’t know whether it’s the change in the altitude, or my own shift from my regular schedule to… uhm… normal human being hours and then on to mountain time. Or… quite frankly… the fact of being surrounded by people wearing my allergens (perfume, cologne, and—horrors—fabric softeners.) I do much better with those when I’m moving around than when I’m sitting still.

I skipped out on the last session yesterday, and also wound up ditching the costume party. I was down to the last dregs, by then. And not really meeting anybody because I was afraid I’d either throw up on someone or go full-on bitch.

I got out of the crowd, and had a snack out here:

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If you’re noticing the solitude, that’s because it was 43 degrees at the time, and even smokers didn’t want to be out there.

Still, the best I’d felt all day.

The best presentation was the one I almost didn’t go to. Something about freeing your inner extrovert. (I also hit my limit on presentations about building characters). The presenter was David R. Slayton. (The R is important–it’s what gets you the writer on a Google search.) There was a lot of audience participation–of a meet your neighbors variety–and I met my neighbors. Who were a lot of fun. And… most of them are writing sci-fi or fantasy.

Also, for the record… it is snowing here. I woke up to this, this morning.

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That’s the view from my discount-dive motel, not from the Marriot. (Sorry, but I’m getting motel room for basically half the price, and it’s a bargain, if you’re willing to do a little driving.) 7.5 inches predicted for the weekend, and absolutely tragic, if I get snowed in.

I will point out that Colorado Springs combines the worst of the city (tangled, looping freeways) with the worst of the country. Look out! A deer! but it’s a beautiful place, so when I do die my fiery death, at least it’ll be in the shadow of snow-peaked mountains.

For those of you from Holly’s website, the highlight so far has been meeting Carol and Josh Englehaupt and Bill Bush and his daughter (I think she’s still a minor, so no link or name mentions yet. I’ll owe her one.)

I may have been spoiled by ballroom events, but I think it’s safe to say that the food here is… well, edible. The brownies we had for snacks were actually very good. The chicken on my salad? Well, I could have used a sharper knife. My expectations were definitely a little too high. Uhr… a lot too high.

I got a fast-food cheeseburger for dinner. (I’m not sure what the dinner at the conference would have been, but it involved the word “chicken” again…)

Winter Fun: Snow, Sleds, and Decapitation

It is snowing, again. The kind of white on gray snow that only shows up after everyone’s already sick of the rain.  And the sleet. It’s going to be pretty slick, under that top layer of fluff.

This would be the time of year when Midwesterners tell their kids about their pioneer ancestors, and all those poor children who froze to death in a late snow storm, back in 1890 something. Be sure to take a coat. Because the weather is never guaranteed until at least June, and then, it’s winter again.

I am looking forward to spring. Or the next mini-spring, whichever comes first.**pops another vitamin D pill**

So, in general… the winter around here isn’t long and dreary. Just long and cold. We have storms, the sun comes out, the sky is blue, and the snow is breathtakingly bright. I’ve lived in places where winter is just gray and muddy for months at a time, so I appreciate blue.

This is not ski country. Not enough hills and not enough snow. But once upon a time, my friend’s dad hooked up a sled to the back of his snow mobile, and off we went, zipping through the pastures.

I’m fairly sure that Mr. _________ was not what you’d refer to as a responsible parent. Swinging a couple of un-seatbelted, un-helmeted children from a rope off the back of basically a motorcycle on skis while you do figure eights past trees and barbed wire doesn’t seem like responsible parent behavior.

I’m also quite certain I knew that at the time, and didn’t care.

I’d be horrified, now. I’d probably be calling Child Protective Services.

Or at least yelling at the top of my lungs. You tied those kids to your what?!!

But nobody ever did get hurt. Not badly, anyway.

And it’s still the most fun you can have that close to decapitation.