Friday, July 31, 2009

Oregon Writers Conference & Back Again: A Dwarf's Video Journal

I'm back! And oh so glad I went. I've learned so much, and I'm itching to apply it. My manuscript is lacking right now, but I feel that I now have the knowledge to make it publish-worthy. I've also developed a stronger appreciation for the potential power of the written word, and how much of that I have yet to tap.

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.

17 comments:

Nathan Petrie said...

Great video...glad you had a good time! Wish I could ahve come lol
How did bringing the chain saw go? lol

All in all I found that very funny to watch and it makes me want to head out to one of those conferences ;)

The Shield of Faith is very good...Mr. Reinhold gave it to me a little ways back...great book :D

Now...how 'bout you and me both heading to Florida? lol

Nathan Petrie said...

I'm also a fan of show don't tell :D
Reading through the beginning of your stuff (which I still haven't finished and I may be confusing it with something else) you did a good job at that lol

R.P.H said...

I'm so glad you had an awesome time, thanks for sharing all about it :)

B. D. Eastman said...

Awesome glad you had fun. Remind me to send you a signed copy of a book! LOL.

Robert Treskillard said...

Glad you enjoyed the conference!

I met with Jeff at the ACFW conference last fall and he really helped me a lot with my writing!

Isirian said...

Happy the confrence went well for you. It sounds like you learned a lot.

Chris said...

Awesome! I mean really, very cool. I'm in a crit group with Jill, her feedback on my writing has been absolutely invaluable. Plus By Darkness Hid was just so darn cool, how could I not like her?? :)
Jeff Gerke is amazing too. I'm saving up for his editorial services. lol
I was just on Randy's site the other day reading about his "Snowflake Method" to writing a novel. Very cool stuff. You know he's the one who disproved the Jesus Tomb theory, right?
Anyway, I wish I lived closer to Oregon. I'm glad you had such a great time!

Chris

Araken said...

That is so cool! Are you going to go to the Florida conference come 2010?

Nathan Petrie said...

Araken, glad to see you! lol
I don't think Jacbo's going...but I'm planning to lol

Brandon said...

Hey, I'd like to meet all those people! Jeff Gerke would be real fun to meet.

Sounds like it was a huge blessing.

Cloe said...

I liked the movie. I am glad you had a good time.

Memzie Latham said...

What an awesome adventure you got to have! Thank you for sharing your 'unforgettable experience'.
I have read samples of your book and I believe you will go some where. It was very interesting and caught my attention. I especially loved the individuality of your characters and the mysteries in their backgrounds.
I pray you go far.

Ivorydancer said...

Sounds like it was lots of fun! I am looking into going to the one in Florida...

Jacob R Parker said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. I can't believe so many of you were willing to watch a 10 minute video!

Chris: That's a good plan. After meeting him I think you'd find it well worth the money.

Araken: It seems like everyone's going to the Florida Conference! You can't get much farther from Florida and stay in the states than me, but stranger things have happened! :)

Memzie: Thanks so much for the compliment and I value your prayers.

Ivorydancer: Another Florida conference goer! I may have to go to it just to meet all my blog friends!

tinydancer said...

i am very jealous... it sounds like you had a great time!

Ivorydancer said...

That would be funny

Evergreena said...

Hey, I finally lassoed a computer to watch this video. I'm glad it was a good experience for you, and now I'm looking forward to attending my first writers conference next winter. You guessed it... the Florida Christian Writers Conference! Woot!