Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Writer's Conference in San Diego

This weekend I took a vacation from the writer's life and escaped to the Southern California Writer's Conference in San Diego, which is a total misnomer because I didn't see a thing of San Diego. The entire weekend I was holed up in a hotel with single-minded, wide-eyed, sleepless writers; none of whom minded my lack of business cards or loud laugh because they were too consumed talking about writers, rights and writing. It. Was. Heaven!

Some highlights included seeing my friend and mystery writer Gayle Carline. She likes to laugh so there's no mystery why I like her.

Hearing science fiction writer David Brin give an inspiring--and funny--keynote speech. News flash: Science fiction writers can be smart and funny. Double threat!

Hearing writer Greg Gutierrez talk about this short story collection Zen and the Art of Surfing while looking at his oil paintings. What a cool dude.

Buying books! After hearing Janice Steinberg speak of her process I'm looking forward to reading her novel The Tin Horse. It was inspired by Raymond Chandler's detective novel The Big Sleep with Philip Marlowe, which is an excellent pedigree for fiction. I also met Mary Vensel White, author of The Qualities of Wood.  If her book is half a good as she is nice it's going to be a thrill to read. I can't wait to crack it open!

 Meeting new friends--sweet children's book author Sheri Fink;

And gregarious writer Kimberly Robeson.

The final highlight; hanging with old friends Dale and Gayle Carline.

It was a dynamic, mind-opening, glorious weekend! It was so stimulating to be among all those writers I felt like I could write a book, screenplay and a 14 volume poetry collection in iambic pentameter--all before lunch.  

However in its aftermath, the hardest part is sitting alone--again--and writing--again. I know, I know, this is the writer's life I signed up for. I look at the blinking cursor on my white computer screen. Despite my best efforts, the screen remains blank.

So... when's the next writer's conference?