I know, big deal, right? I mean, I’ve stopped and started this blog more times than Brett Farve has unretired….
OK, maybe comparisons to 43 year old, slightly disgraced quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap in 3 years isn’t quite the most relevant metaphor, but you get the point. I’m inconsistent. I can’t make up my mind. And I have a bad habit of sending pictures of my junk to New York Jets sportscasters.
I’ve had a whirlwind four months, since that last post. Large portions of Casa KnippKnopp were gutted and rebuilt, I discovered that painting walls and ceilings for 12 hours a day is much more difficult (and painful) then I could ever imagine, and I became a grandfather (more on that coming soon.)
I also attended my third Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and I like to think this post isn’t late….it’s strategically timed for maximum effect.
I attended this year’s conference with a much different perspective. It was my first as a board member, and it was definitely a different experience. While it meant I couldn’t attend many workshops, it also meant I was closer to both attendees and presenters and that was worth its weight in gold.
The conference, I’m happy to say, was a resounding success. We had the highest attendance count in years, some great positive feedback from participants and workshop leaders. I unfortunately missed Ed Rendell’s opening speech, but had the privilege of hearing George Anastasia talk about the writing world of yesterday and today. I met exciting new horror novelist, Brian Francis and got to share a few words with both my writerly man-crush Jonathan Maberry AND my writerly lady-crush Kelly Simmons.
I also led my first “rap session”, and was lucky enough to recruit both Don Lafferty and Suzanne Kuhn, who runs the full service author promotion firm, SuzyQ. 2012 PWC Horror contest winnerVincent Shuta, Jr. also chipped in.
I got to spend a lot of time with Philadelphia Stories’ Carla Spataro, met fabulous Young Adult author Catherine Stine, whose “Ruby’s Fire” was released just before the conference. Nelson Erlick, author of “The Xeno Solution” led a thrilling Thriller Workshop; and the ever-charismatic Solomon Jones won his usual rave reviews for an excellent Novel:Focus on Character workshop. Keith Strunk’s Master Screenwriters class was so popular, we had to add seats.
One of the benefits to being registrar was simply having the opportunity to sit at the front and meet people, to hear their conversations as they walked past and see their excitement as they came in or moved from class to class. The chance to work with fellow board members, including Christine Weiser, David Bernstein, David Wilson, Joanne Leva, and il Presidente, Eileen D’Angelo towards making sure the conference was successful was truly an honor. All in all, despite the lack of sleep and general exhaustion, and what sometimes seemed like twice the work of my day job, I gotta say, one of the best experiences of my life.
And I already can’t wait ’til next year.