I just got back from the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, where I presented two workshops and met a whole new family of writers. I hadn’t worked with this group before, but I hope I get the chance to do it again. They’re a wonderfully diverse and talented bunch and they made me feel so welcome!

I presented two workshops – one on “Rejection and Submission” and one on “Crafting a Resonant Ending.” It was great to mix and mingle with writers again, and audiences were attentive and asked great questions that really added to the content.

This particular conference meant a lot to me as it marks my return to the world of conferences. 2011 was a difficult year health-wise, and I was unable to travel much. I wasn’t sure how I’d hold up even now, but the energy of being with like-minded people made it a great experience. Hanging out with my friend Lynn Carlson was an added bonus, and meeting some new Cheyenne writers was an unexpected gift.

I also attended two great workshops, one from Sandi Ault, the author of the “Wild” mystery series. Her “P2” formula reminded me of some important elements of writing that I’m putting into practice ASAP, and the lovely “blessing” she offered at the end of her sessions is still with me – I can feel it! I’m hoping Sandi comes up and visits Cheyenne for Frontier Days this summer. She’d be a great rodeo sidekick with those drop-dead gorgeous Lucchesse boots!

The other workshop I attended was presented by Cricket McRae, author of the Home Crafting Mysteries. Her ideas on “Getting to Know Your Characters” had me scribbling notes like crazy, and the exercises she gave us brought some beautiful writing from the attendees.

Jim Davidson, co-author of “The Ledge,” gave us a truly inspiring keynote speech, using his incredible survival story to help us be more adventurous in our writing and find the unexpected paths that lead to the life we’re meant to live.

And conference chair Kerrie Flanagan, along with a very capable squadron of Ambassadors, held it all together and made the whole experience memorable. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend more of the workshops and meet more of the writers!