Friday, April 07, 2006
From Mount Hermon--Part I
So here I sit in the lounge at Mount Hermon with BG Becky. Who, in case you’re wondering, is absolutely no help in writing a post. To her credit, she was diligently waiting for me to show, having promised to help me post.
“So, do ya got any ideas?” She looks up at me with a blank look.
“Who, me? You’re the one who supposed to have the idea.”
BG Becky—the fantasy writer—who’s supposed to possess an imagination extraordinaire, is rather ordinaire tonight.
So here’s the scoop on Mount Hermon. Four hundred attendees, including 70 faculty. Lots of fiction editors, nonfiction editors, magazine-type folks, and agents. For those of you (and I know Becky is one of them) who are Dave Long groupies, I want you to know I actually got close to the guy, talked to him and touched him. It was an experience right up there with touching Jon Bon Jovi a month ago at his concert. I told Dave I had to do it tonight, because after everyone else arrives tomorrow, I’ll never get close to him again the entire conference. Becky says to tell you he’s a lot cuter in person than on the blog.
I arrived to get my stack of manuscript excerpts to critique. And I’ll be teaching one of the three fiction clinics that start Saturday morning. Tomorrow morning I’ll be critiquing by manuscripts.
Gotta tell ya the funny scene in the lounge. Here sit Julee Schwarzburg from Multnomah, next to Karen Ball from Zondervan, next to Jeff Gerke from NavPress, next to Randy Ingermanson of Randy Ingermanson fame, next to Steve Laube. All of whom are sitting on the couches, looking at their own laptops. Talk about an antisocial bunch. Sheesh, before wireless was brought into the lounge, we actually used to talk to each other. And behind this bunch is Wendy Lawton, agent with Books and Such. Karen and Steve, sitting across from each other on couches, were e-mailing back and forth. Karen started it by sending one to Steve—“Hi, isn’t this cool!” Steve wrote back, “Dang it, you were too fast for me; I just sent one off to you.”
Steve Laube says to you BGs, “ You should be at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers conference. It’s the finest general conference in the country.” Now you see why. It’s the erudite faculty members.
The faculty is now arguing which is better, Macs or PCs. Okay, too late. Now they’re arguing whether King Kong was a great movie or not. Topic switch again. Now they’re talking about the infamous Steve Laube scam three years ago. Randy I. in a dress and a red wig, putting one over on Steve. Randy is happy to note that The Scam has gone down in the annals of Mount Hermon history. As Randy says, “Every author wants to cross over.”
Now that Julee Schwarzburg is just sitting over there quietly and doing her work, totally ignoring the other airheads around her. Jeff Gerke is holding his own pretty well, too. He informs he’s reading work e-mails and “copy packs”—catalog and back cover copy for books. You might know that NavPress has a pretty new fiction line. They want to put out about 15 novels a year. Quite a fast build-up for such a new line. Jeff says they’re looking for all genres.
Becky (she’s still sitting beside me) informs me that I write “very long posts.” Hm. I’m wonderin’ exactly what she means by this. She is quick to add, “No, no, no, I love them. They’re just . . . long.”
Is this a compliment? Please tell me how I should take this.
Check back Monday for much more news from Mount Hermon. We’ll have lots more BGs here. Most conferees show up tomorrow.
Becky says over and out. (And is thanking her lucky stars that this post isn’t going on any longer.”