We gathered in an upstairs room of an old brewery, a building more than 100 years old. The room still held big copper kettles, which some of us could not resist drumming on. Between the old walls, a huge window gave us a night view of Mile High City while we listened to both poetry and prose. The event was Wild Lives, Raucous Pens, a reading sponsored by Hawk & Handsaw and Terrain.org.
That was only one of many amazing events at Big Creative Writing Conference. I heard readings by some of my favorite writers, and I attended panels that raised thought-provoking ideas. At the bookfair, I wandered from table to table, talking to editors and writers, buying books, and eating free chocolate.
I love readings and panels and the intellectual stimulation of a conference, but the best part is always getting a chance to spend time with my conference friends. At this huge conference, I found myself mostly seeking out Friendly Green Folks, whom I know from the much smaller Friendly Green Conference. Conversation and laughter accompanied every meal -- whether it was a veggie wrap ripped in two pieces and shared with my roommate, a dinner with friends on the sunny rooftop of a Mexican restaurant, or breakfast on a metal table warmed by the sun. On the very last morning of the conference, I walked to breakfast with Artist Friend, who kept stopping to admire buildings and point out interesting details; I snapped our photo in a revolving door.