Few places I have visited are as pretty as the YMCA of the Rockies Conference Center. It is at Estes Park, Colorado. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains near the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park the scenery, wildlife and weather are spectacular.
Over the next four days I will work on my writing craft, spending time in prayer and worship as well as resting and relaxing. I hope to write a short daily weblog on my adventure.
The conference center was easy to find. Having never been here and not having any instructions on the registration process I looked for a building that said registration or administration. I found registration was divided into two parts. The easy part was checking into my room. The staff of the YMCA of the Rockies Conference Center has their act together. Boom, I was in and out in under five minutes. I am in room 3407 in Mt. Ypisoln Hall. I am one of the few attendees that has a private room – thank you God for presentation mode my day job that allows me to earn enough income to afford such a luxury – several men I talked with are staying four people to a room.
Next it was time to unload my car and get setup in my accommodations. I found get email and can surf the web. my cell phone has poor reception. I have WiFi in my room and all over the campus so I get Facebook, Twitter, and email without issue.
Conference registration check-in was next. I’ll be nice. It is staffed by volunteers. They were running late in getting things setup. The conference registration materials with my paid critiques, appointments with agents and publishers/editors were not off the press. They were still being printed. I was able to get my conference badge.
I went to the first time attendee orientation. Many people arrived late, some very late. The teacher did a lot of small talk for the first half of the scheduled time. The man beside me got up and left as he felt it was a waste of his time. He should have stayed. The teacher was Liz Cowman Furman. When the last of the stragglers arrived she shifted into presentation mode. She was wonderful. She explained how things worked, where things are, and what to expect. We had a big warning about altitude sickness and were given advice on avoiding it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 was the scripture for the session. We were reminded God is in control. We were reminded to be in right fellowship with God. We were also reminded that if we are going to write about God, don’t write or bring the focus to yourself.
After the session I went back to registration and my packet was ready. I walked back to my room and had one of the woman editors catch up with me. She initiated the conversation. We walked up the big hill to her car which was on the pathway to my room. We small talked and got to know each other. She thanked me for not trying to pitch something to her and I thanked her for being here. She will remember me in two days when I have an appointment and in the proper setting pitch my book to her.
I am going to rest and relax now. It is 45 minutes until the evening meal. After it we have a time of worship where the focus is on the ministry of writing. After that I will attend a half hour prayer session before retiring to my room.