I just realized that it was exactly seven years ago today that I joined the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group as a paying member. That set me on the path I’m still walking today.
I wish I had kept track of the number of words I had written since then. I can take a guess at it, and the number probably sits right around 400,000 words.
It’s been quite a ride since then, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future!
As most of you may know by now, I’m the new vice president of the Pikes Peak Writers. This has been in the works for a little over a month, which is one of the reasons I chose to not run again as president of the CSFWG. Things went as I had hoped because it was time for me to move on from the CSFWG. I’d done all I could as president of that organization, and I wish the new president, Andy Burns, all the best as he builds his own legacy in the group.
As for my role in the PPW, I’ll be backing up the new president, Laura Hayden. She’s a little remote from the organization, being in Alabama, but she’s a wonderful leader and a pleasure to work with. With the Internet shrinking the world, I’m sure we won’t have any issues with communication and collaboration. I’m really looking forward to working with Laura and the rest of the board members to guide the PPW into the future.
Yesterday morning the annual elections for the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group were held. Until that time, I’d been a volunteer/leader of the organization for five years. The first year was as Saturday Officer (called Saturday VP at the time), and the past four years was as president of the organization. When the elections for 2013 rolled around, I decided I’d put in my time and done good things during that time. I chose not to run for reelection as president and secretary this year.
To go a step further, I also resigned my membership in the group. I’m setting myself up for bigger and better things, so I needed the extra time to focus on those bigger/better items on the horizon. More details will come about those things in the near future as they develop. Now, don’t read too much into this. I’m not saying the CSFWG is a bad organization. Quite the opposite. It’s a great group of people, but it’s time for me to move on to different things in my writing life.
As for what I accomplished as president, I’m quite proud of the following list of items:
- Grew the membership from 16 people to 43 people.
- Grew the group count from 2 critique groups to 4 critique groups. Honestly, it should 5, but the hiving to the fifth group will have to be the responsibility of the new board of directors.
- Started hosting workshops for the members. This wasn’t my idea, but through my leadership, it’s been going strong.
- Started an annual retreat for the members. This wasn’t my idea either, but I assisted in getting it off the ground and helped keep it going.
- Presented 5 out of the 10 workshops.
- Presented (or co-presented) 8 out of the 14 retreat workshop sessions.
- Established the CSFWG as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit.
- Lead the way, kept the group on track, assisted in editing and contributed a story to the CSFWG’s first anthology!
- Helped dozens of people improve their craft of writing and assisted them in understanding the business of writing.
- Along this journey, I also improved my own writing skills and have a much deeper understanding of how things work outside my words on the page.
- Lastly, I made a ton of friends and connections in the writing world. There are many I’ll miss seeing every month.
I wish the CSFWG and its members the best of luck and the greatest success in their efforts!
PS: Stay tuned in the next day or five for more life-changing announcements. Yeah. I’m a tease that way.
Patrick Hester shot us an email a few days ago and asked if he could interview Mike and me over the process that was involved with the development of the CSFWG‘s anthology entitled, “An Uncommon Collection.”
Mike was game to do it and so was I. After exchanging some emails over the course of a day or two, the finalized interview landed on SF Signal!
You can read more about it here.
What a great day for the CSFWG! After almost two years of work, sweat, tears, and maybe a little blood, we’ve finally managed to publish an anthology! You can now find “An Uncommon Collection” on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions! Inside, you’ll find fifteen fantastic stories! Here’s what the table of contents looks like:
If Wishes Were Horses by Hollie Snider.
Pinwheel by Melissa R. Kary.
Mutiny in the Marketplace by Todd A. Walls.
Shards of Reality by Sangita Kalarickal.
Accidental Opportunity by Kari J. Wolfe.
A Dragon’s Tome by A.M. Burns.
For Hates Sake by Larry J. Cope.
Charisma by Patrick Hester.
A Poor Fellow Soldier by J.T. Evans.
Thief of Dreams by Frances Burke.
Jack English, M.D., Dragonslayer by Richard E. Collette.
Scales by Amity Green.
A Page Lost by Nicole Godfrey.
The Truth by Ben Roc.
The Door, the Lock, the Key by R. Michael Burns.
If you’re interested in my story about the Templars coming back into existence in the near future, check out “A Poor Fellow Solider.” It’s nestled in the book between a great story by Patrick Hester and a heartwarming tale by Frances Burke.
The CSFWG anthology, An Uncommon Collection, is nearing completion! I received the physical proof from CreateSpace last night. I immediately opened the package and tore through the book. I looked for missing headers, additional headers that didn’t need to be there, font issues, cover askew, etc..
I didn’t see a single thing wrong!
I’m meeting with Mike tonight to have him look at it as well. He’s the guy that started this whole process with a great idea for an anthology, and he did quite a bit of editing and all of the layout. I hope he’s as happy with the final product as I am.
When can you buy this wonderful book? Not sure yet. I hope to give CreateSpace the final approval tonight, and we’ll see how long it takes from there to be available online.
Check back here later for more updates. To ensure you don’t miss out on any news, you can add this web site to your RSS feed and get updates as I post them.
At the CSFWG, we’ve been working on putting out an anthology of members’ works. It’s been a long road and has involved tons of work thus far.
Thanks to Kimberly Evans’s photography and Mike Reid’s layout skills, we have a cover ready!
The anthology itself will be coming out near the end of November (exact date unsure at the moment), and when that date hits, I’ll be doing another post or two about it.
For now, I’m teasing you with the cover! Feel free to click-through the cover to view the larger version.
I know tons of people (contributors and otherwise) are eager to see this guy hit the shelves and e-markets. I’m right there with everyone else. We have some great stories in the book from some fantastic authors. I really can’t wait to hold the weight of the book in my hands. It’s going to be a great moment!
Look for more information from me in the near future about more firm dates about the anthology!
I just finished launched a YouTube channel for the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. The “only” thing up there is a series of videos that weigh in at 2 1/2 hours long. The topic matter is the Hero’s Journey. If you’re not familiar with this story structure, then you may want to check out the videos. It’s well worth it!
Enjoy the videos!
For those of you that don’t know, I’ve have a long drive (about 90 minutes with good traffic) to get from the garage in my house to the parking garage near work. I fill this time with podcasts like EscapePod, PodCastle and PseudoPod. However, they don’t nearly come close to filling up my drive time each week (3 hours a day x 5 days == 15 hours a week.) One of the members of the CSFWG is the Hugo nominated producer of SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester. I daresay that he’s more than just “a member” of my group, but also a good friend (and not just because he’s Hugo nominated, and I want some of that goodness to rub off on me.)
I’ve been listening to lots of SF Signal Podcast lately, and I have lots of backlog to listen to. Patrick just released episode 141, and I’m right in the middle of the fantastic episode 108. I must say that in the 4-ish hours that I’ve listened to SF Signal, I’ve learned quite a bit about writing, the current state of the publishing industry, the history of various genres and had quite a few laughs along with it.
While listening to EscapePod, PodCastle and PseudoPod, I can usually (but not always!) find a decent place to pause the podcast and get out of my car to go to work or stumble inside my house after a long day. This is not the case with SF Signal. I hate hitting pause while getting out of my care because someone is always in the middle of some great commentary, witty remark or producing some form of wonderful insight that I care about. This is not to say that the storytelling of EscapePod, PodCastle and PseudoPod are flawed. It’s just that I can pause a story at a logical point and remember what was going on when I pick it back up again a little while later. The problem with pausing SF Signal is that there is so much to learn and so much going on with the podcast that I’m afraid I’ll lose out on some wonderful tidbit.
Also, one last “complaint” about SF Signal (the website/blog and the podcast.) It’s adding tons of items to my backlog for my reading list. My bank account and time reserves are quickly being overwhelmed by the loads of fantastic recommendations from all different angles. If you’re in need of some good science fiction or fantasy, I highly recommend the website and podcast.
PS: If anyone has any recommendations on good podcasts, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.