Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Stuff at PPWC

Okay, pay attention. I am going to lay out before you the three classes I will be teaching at the upcoming Pikes Peak Writers Conference, which by the way will be my 13th. Can you spell Triskaidekaphobia?
The Art of the Funny Bone

Do you like to laugh? Would you like to make other do the same? This is a class to give you some pointers in just how to do that. I will do my utmost to make you smile while teaching you the art - or is a science? - of taking others along for the ride. There will be jokes, so be prepared.

Writing the Amateur Sleuth

Here's the straight poop. I write mysteries where a math teacher solves murders. Of course, no self respecting math professor would be caught dead - dead, get it? - going anywhere near a murder, but there you have it. If you have aspirations of making your, pick one: Tattoo Artist, Zookeeper, Ice Cream Vendor, Curling Instructor, Massage Therapist poke his or her nose into homicide, then this is the class for you.

Author 101

This class I get to teach with the wonderful and totally fun Angel Smits. We will pass along the wisdom of the ages or at least some stuff that we have learned along the way. We'll talk about Agents and the Writing Life, Rejections and Indie Publishing. Truth is we hope to answer every one of your burning questions regarding Authoringoshipness (that's a word, I'm pretty sure). Now this one is on Thursday morning in the pre-conference classes, so look for it there. 

And if you see me at the conference please stop and say. Well, maybe not in the bathroom but just about anywhere else.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Read and Critique

Here's the deal. I am excited (that's spelled somewhat intimidated) to be the Read And Critique Coordinator for the 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference - in my opinion the finest, most useful, funnest (yeah, that's a word) writing conference in the solar system.

In aid of being more than just a pretty face, let me school you about Read and Critique sessions in general and the types of sessions in particular.

What the heck is a Read and Critique Appointment, you say? 
     - Are you proud of your work? Here is a chance to show it off!! 
   - Industry Professionals (Authors, Agents, Editors) will provide immediate, I'm talking on the spot, feedback concerning the beginning of your manuscript. And it doesn't have to be completed as of the conference.

What are the types of Read and Critique Sessions?

Read and Critique Author

Like the title suggests, you are with a published author. You read your opening two pages (Don't cheat. We're talking industry standard format). You are in a small intimate setting, just you, your author, and a few other participants. Author provides immediate feedback. Additional feedback from the other participants is encouraged.

Read and Critique 1,2,3

A staffer reads your first page, 16 lines (either chapter 1 or your prologue) aloud. You remain anonymous. A panel of one Author, one Agent, and one Editor listens then each provides insight and direction. These sessions are open to attendees to listen in and take notes. 

Read and Critique X

You read aloud your first page - again 16 lines - to an Agent or Editor. The coolness factor in this type of session is that every effort will be made to match you up with professionals who align with your genre. As in all Read and Critique sessions feedback will be immediate and one-on-one.

How might I avail myself of these wonderful opportunities to have my work evaluated?

Glad you asked!!

First be diligent. Decide what type of Read and Critique suits you. Research the conference faculty at the Pikes Peak Writers Website.

Next, request an appointment on your registration form.

Which brings us to registration. Register for the conference ASAP. The earlier you are ensconced in the conference the more likely you will receive the Read and Critique appointment of your choice. Be sure to provide your genre, since this will determine how you are assigned a session and who you will be with.

Oh yeah, one more thing. All Read and Critique sessions are at no extra charge.

If you have any additional questions I would advise a delightful excursion to the Pikes Peak Writers Website.     Write on.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year's Tradition Revisited

When I was first courting my wife, the wonderful and sexy Barbara Ebright, she was working at a now defunct restaurant La Petite Mason - she looked hot in her waitress uniform.

Several times I would come in for a cup of coffee and a creme brulee. Barbara would wait on me and I would make that desert and coffee last forever. When I was done I would tip her fifty dollars, thinking she would think me a spontaneous and lavish suitor. 

Anyway, the highlight of the year and for years to come (even after we were an official item, and later married) was News Years Eve. Barbara would invariably work, and I would dress up - it was a very fancy restaurant - and show up around 11:45. The owner knew me by now and plied me with specialty wines and deserts and I would sit at a table set aside for me. At midnight all the patrons would go outside to see the fireworks explode over Pikes Peak. I would hold Barbara's hand and at midnight we would share a New Year's kiss.


That restaurant is now gone, but last night Barbara -who has retired - and I decided to go back to stand outside that restaurant on Tenth and Colorado and and watch the fireworks explode over the peak. It was a bit on the cold side but it was worth it. I held her hand and she leaned her head on my shoulder. At midnight, as the rockets exploded over America's mountain, I held one very sexy ex-waitress and we kissed in the new year.

The Widow's Share

A skinflint minister died and left the following will:

$8000 is to be split among a minister's widow, his 5 sons, and his 4 daughters. Every son should receive three times as much as a daughter (the minister was a bit of a chauvinist). Every daughter should receive twice as much as their mother (he was also not too fond of his wife). 

What was the widow's share?