Here is the video as predicted. I got so caught up in the conference I didn't get a lot of footage of live events, but I did give some recaps and such. Talking to a camera is harder than I thought it would be. I was aiming for an amateurish look, but I think I leapfrogged that step and accomplished my goal in the previous post in making a fool of myself.
It was great to be in fellowship with so many like-minded Christians. Here is a sample of the exceptionally awesome people I got the chance to meet.
Miriam Cheney: Miriam was the manuscript coordinator for the conference; she received the conferee's mini-proposals, distributed them to editors and agents, then handed them back out to the conferees. When I walked up to the counter she said something like, "You're Jacob Parker?" (I was wearing a name tag) "You're awfully young to be writing such tight stuff." She went on to say that she didn't read all the proposals, but she likes fantasy/sci-fi and got sucked into mine. I got to talk quite a bit with her throughout the conference, and I enjoyed it. Look for a novel to be coming out with her name on it in the future.
Jeff Gerke: Among many other things, Jeff is the founder of wherethemapends.com, the home of Christian speculative fiction, as well as Marcher Lord Press, a publishing company dedicated to Christian speculative fiction. I sent him a mini-proposal for his feedback and I elected to sign up for his morning coaching sessions, and I'm extremely glad I did both. What I've learned from his coaching class and his feedback on my mini-proposal is going to make my novel a lot better. Plus he's just a cool guy.
Randy Ingermanson: Randy is the award-winning author of several novels. He read my mini-proposal and gave me great feedback as well. And I attended one of his "Writing the Perfect Scene" classes. Great stuff. One single piece of his insight has really stuck with me; he told me that the fantasy genre is probably the worst violator of the "show don't tell rule." Even great fantasy novels violate that rule, but it's a weakness, not a strength. In the past it has always thrown me when I see "show don't tell" in the writing books and then pick up some of my favorite fantasy novels and see what looks like violations of that rule. Now I understand that it was their mistake, and not one I should copy. Overall, Randy's entertaining and enlightening to listen to. One of the highlights of the conference for me was eating the last dinner at a table with all the teenagers (all four of us), Randy, and Jill Williamson. Which brings us to another ultra cool conference person...
Jill Williamson: Author of By Darkness Hid, a fantasy novel published by Marcher Lord Press. Jill is the person who convinced me to attend a writer's conference. I e-mailed her my prologue and first chapter. She told me I write well and that I should attend a writer's conference. The nearest conference happened to be one she served on the staff for. It was great getting to know her over the course of the conference. I bought a copy of her book (you should too) and she signed it for me--my first ever signed book.
Sue (don't remember her last name) offered me a ride to the transit center, which saved me a mile walk and afforded me the chance to get something to eat before the bus left. Right as we pulled into a parking spot her phone rang; it was her son, announcing the birth of her grandbaby! Imagine that :)
Overall, an unforgettable experience. Now I have to save up my money for next year, so I can see all these people and more again.