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.”


Mary DeMuth said...

Hi Brandilyn,

Thanks so much for posting a pre-conference update. I'm a little sad here in France missing all the hubbub. I, for one, am thankful for the luxiously long post. It's like meeting all my friends again!

Have a great weekend!

Illuminating Fiction said...

Brandilyn, can you please tell Mr. Steve Laube that I would love to be there, but unfortunately it is a bit difficult to drive a car over thousands of kilometres of ocean.

Looking forward to hearing some more news from Mt. Hermon, the conference I dream about, but most probably will never attend.

Wandering Writer said...

I attended MH last year. For a Midwesterner, it was quite big deal. Not only did I travel across the continent but I got exposed to all the craziness that CA seems to instill in people. I have to tell you I felt a little lost. I'm glad to hear that there are mentors now for first-timers. I did have the privilege of attending one of your workshops, meeting Mary Demuth and Steve Laube and members of TWV. It was a great time and I hope to do it again when the piggy bank gets filled.

Cara Putman said...

Thanks for the snapshot! And after ACFW last year I can so see the picture of everyone sitting around nose to laptops typing back and forth. Why communicate verbally when you're fingers can do it for you :-) Have an awesome week and I have to say I love the posts at any length.

Unknown said...

Thanks Brandilyn, I feel like I'm there now! If you hear of any publishers looking for a novel about a female exorcist, let me know!

C.J. Darlington said...

Aw, cool. I'd love to meet everyone there ... waving at all from rainy Pennsylvania!

Stuart said...

Sounds like fun, wish I could be there. Oh well, tell everyone shnakvorum for me.

And your entry is over a foot long on my screen. That's almost as tall as Selae! Not that anyone knows who she is.... yet! ;)

And tell Becky I expect her to stop acting so ordinaire! We sci-f fantasy types have an image to maintain. ;)

Karen Eve said...

I can see the lounge now. MH was my first writers conference, and is still first in my heart (sorry ACFW). Felton was my favorite place in the world when I was growing up so MH is always a double treat for me as I retrace old paths. I'm praying for a year without rain for everyone there. God Bless and enjoy,

Anonymous said...

Brandilyn, if you do somehow get close to Dave Long again, try to get a lock of his hair. We'll auction it on eBay and give the proceeds to charity.

D. Gudger said...

I'll piggy-back CJ's rainy wave. It's raining here in Colorado - on my birthday nonetheless.

Someday I hope to get to MH and several other conferences, but the adoption agency called in the middle of the night 3 weeks ago and I'm a mommy! Have to put off going to the Colorado Christian Writers Convention in Estes Park this year... Ted Dekker and James Scott Bell will be there...

Anonymous said...

First I have to brag. Brandilyn Collins touched me. I mean literally. It was at the ACFW lunch last July in Denver. She arrived late, made the rounds, stopped behind me and...(gasp)...laid her hand right on my shoulder. When Brandilyn moved on I looked at the writer across from me, the one Brandilyn was actually talking to, and I said, "She touched me." The writer across from me rolled her eyes. Still, that shirt hangs unwashed in my closet. The shirt that Brandilyn touched.

In other news...congratulations, Darcie Gudger! I am a new dad by adoption as of March 21 myself. And my son, Colby, is the reason I canceled my Mt. Hermon registration. Hence I'm here in Florida (no rain, though we could use it) and not there in CA. Hey, Colby's worth it, no doubt. Still, I was sooo looking forward to the whole Mt. Hermon thing. Maybe next year. I have more shirts that need touching.

Unknown said...

I'll bid on the D.Long hair. I'm fashioning a voo doo doll just in case he rejects my ms and the instructions say you need either nail clippings or strands of hair to make it work right. :)


C.J. Darlington said...

Happy Birthday, Darcie! Didn't know it was today. And a public congrats to you and Randy on your recent adoptions! Congratulations new Mommy & Daddy!

Anonymous said...

BC, I hope you have a wonderful time at Mt. Hermon.

Darcie - I am thrilled for you. I'll miss seeing you at the CCW Conference in Estes next month, but you've got a fantastic reason to miss it - you and your husband must be ecstatic! (I'll take good notes in Mr. Bell's workshop for you.) :)

sally apokedak said...

How cool! I feel like I'm right there joining in the fun. Don't let Becky talk you out of long posts. We love this stuff.

And, guess what . . . I roomed with Brandilyn at Mount Hermon before. Ha! Beat that, Mortenson!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Hey...this is almost as good as being there...except without the touching! Brandilyn, I hope you have a good time and continue to give a blow by blow so that we can enjoy the conference vicariously!

Congrats on the new babies to RK and Darcie! Enjoy them while their small, because you blink and it's time to send them to college!

Pammer said...

Thanks for sharing Brandilyn. It felt like I was sitting right next to you. Course if I was sitting next to you I wouldn't be complaining about the length of your posts!

Poor Becky. It is just so hard to be reading a long post over Brandilyn's shoulder rather than on her own computer half a country away! Don't y'all feel sorry for her?


Illuminating Fiction said...

Wayne Scott, can you take notes for me on Ted's workshop at the Colorado conference? :-) Second thoughts, I'll try and snag them off Ted when he's done with them. Still, I'd rather be at the conference in person. Anyone know how to make my car amphibian? And run on sea water?

Congrates on the babies, Darcie and Randy. Adoption is so special.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brandilynn,

Wish I was there. If you cross paths with Karen Ball again, please give her a big hug from her Yadas at home. We love/miss her!

Lori B.

Jason said...

Hey, I haven't posted for a while, but it is great to hear the inside scoop on Mt. Hermon! Maybe next year.

Unknown said...

I'm stomping feet and pouting over here! I wanna be there...especially since two of my best buds (Camy and Dineen) are there...then again, they left me here and went without me, so maybe they aren't so best bud status anymore!