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Today feels like the first day of school.  I swear I smell chalk in the air, and if I imagine a high-gloss shine on the floors I can almost detect the scent of wax, too.  After a weekend at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference, I’m as eager as a gap-toothed third-grader with the whole world before her.

Thanks to thought-provoking panels and excellent speakers, my backpack is once again loaded with sharpened tools and inspiration.  Sure, sometimes kids gathered in motley groups on the playground to mutter about recalcitrant agents and authoritarian publishers.  Everybody looked nervous at hearing more details unfold about changes in the industry.  But it’s hard not to gain optimism from people who struggle with the magnificent fascinations and frustrations of creating worlds and populating them with the characters who live inside us.  We writers–of all levels and accomplishments–are generous toward one another, sharing techniques and celebrating each others achievements.

Today I look at my to-do list and mentally roll up my sleeves.  I can solve those problems with chapter fourteen, and I will find a way to get my work out there again.  I may be alone in my garret but I’m one of many who work to interpret the world through imagination, creativity, and experience.

I have work to do, stories to tell, readers to find.  It’s the first day.

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