Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Writer Hooked by Charise Simpson

The 2011 Pikes Peak Writers Conference was an eye opening experience for this recovering information technology executive. After getting over the initial shock of being at a conference with more than five token females, and speaking with people who actually enjoyed conversing, I knew I was in for something new.  I found myself in a place where creativity was the star rather than a bad word or an odd concept.  Bumping elbows with these people called writers was just the creative transfusion I needed.

I regret I didn’t get the chance to go to each and every session and spend more time with the people I met.  But for those speakers whose sessions I did attend, here’s a little more feedback for you.

Debra Dixon, thank you for enticing me to journal and analyze the Goal, Conflict and Motivation of the movies I watch.  It’s like I have a fun, new game.  No one in my family will know how to play it and that will make me feel secretive and smart.  Also, I am synchronized with your oration on goal setting.  I concur with your advice, your propeller-highness.

Karen Albright Lin, thanks for giving me permission to write about my life.  So how’s this for High Concept:  My novel is about an IT chick who goes to a PPWC conference and learns to love writing.  Or is that a log line?  Anyway, my favorite title of the conference is “The Importance of a Penis.”

Linda Rohrbough, I am now much more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Thank you.  Also, do you think Middle Age Career Crisis is a selling genre?

Jodi Anderson, I’m looking forward to using your Scene & Sequel concepts in my own writing and also when I’m micromanaging the creative writing homework of my own juvenile Zombie Monkeys.

Aaron Ritchey, thank you for your hilarity during the napping-window time of day.  I now have a better understanding of the importance of self-pity in the submission / rejection process.  And, I promise to always be gracious to my critique group even if they say they don’t like the way I use the word “the.”

Deb Courtney, like you, I also love to capture the interesting things people say.  However, I will be careful when I’m around you next time, lest you include my geek-speak in your next blog.  Oh yeah, I probably don’t have to worry about that since I’m sure you include only interesting dialogue.  J

Sue Mitchell, I like your attitude.  Dream crushing is a waste of time.  Every morning from now on I will fold into my regular lotus pose, form my hands in the mudra of universal knowledge and chant the following with peaceful intention:  “There is a home for all good writing, there is a home for all good writing.”

Beth Kendrick, I really appreciate your advice on lowering my expectations with regard to housekeeping. I will spend more time writing and less time feeling guilty about my domestic disabilities.  I have an action item for you though.  I think it would help if we could come up with a way to get our mothers and mothers-in-law to lower their expectations of our housekeeping.  We’ve got to give it a try, if not for us, then for our daughters.  

To the Nonfiction Platform panel, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Becky Clark and Ron Cree spar like an old married couple while Karen Albright Lin and Eden Lane mediated.  It was a little like watching “Everybody Loves Raymond.”  Seriously though, it was as informative as it was entertaining.  BTW - Eden, I am so going to buy a pair of vegan character shoes, just like yours.  Don’t worry.  We don’t work together so we don’t have to worry about being twinsies.

Fleur Bradley, I had lots of fun learning more about the Middle Grade genre, especially since I read Mary Downing Hahn with my daughter every night.  I liked your comment about sex and transportation.  I was thinking of writing about an IT geek who rides his bike to work and is too shy for women.  Oh yeah, that’s The 40 Year Old Virgin.  But, we could make it about an adolescent riding his bike through the graveyard to the computer lab where ghosts help him control all the social networking sites on the Internet. It could work, maybe?  I’ll get back to you on that one.

And finally, Becky (Cha-Ching) Clark, thank you for sharing your wisdom on finding fame and fortune through article syndication.  Even if fame and fortune elude me, I’m sure the journey will be the pot of gold. I’m also adding the following to my morning mantra:  “Give people info they need and they will follow you.”

So that was my first PPW conference in a nutshell. Frankly, I found it all so exhilarating that by the Sunday Grab-n-Go lunch I could barely keep myself from reaching for the sky and swaying back and forth while belting out “Kumbaya.”  

To all my new friends at PPW, I’m so glad you had room for one more.  I had a wonderful “inciting incident” of a time.  I think I’ll pull up a chair and stay a while.

Charise is currently indulging in the fun side of writing after spending fifteen years writing functional specifications and user manuals for customized software applications. She has written humorous pieces for local clubs and is also a published cartoonist.  She is currently writing a memoir as well as humorous short stories.  She loves spending time with her husband and two children in their Colorado home,  and on the slopes of Mary Jane.  


  1. WOW-A! You inspire me Charise!! Great job thinking outside the box and finding something you truly enjoy. (second to sewing) I love you so much and can not wait to read all the little things you have stored in your head. If I am a cartoon character that inspires you, I want to be hot! Much love,

  2. Hey, i've heard about this conference. It sounds like you had a great time.


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