I feel like I have secret life at Glen Eyrie Castle, in Colorado Springs. I attended a writer’s conference there last year and returned again this June. Tucked up against the mountains, the castle’s outer stone walls could blend in perfectly with the nearby towers of the Garden of the Gods. And the castle is just as majestic and serene as its extensive grounds and gardens. Purple and red iris stand at attention, delicate white flowers, fluttery orange poppies and winding green vines line the stone paths that visitors traverse.
Inside the castle, the walls echoed sounds of friends chatting at tea, loud whispers of visitors exploring the corners of the building, and then there were the voices of writing teachers explaining the art of the “plot skeleton.” My classroom was located up in a wallpapered tower, three stories towards the sky. My classmates included three Canadians, five high school girls, and another girl who likes to dye her hair red like me! The theme this year was “Reinspired.” Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue, Kathy Mackel and James Scott Bell were the speakers and teachers this year, and they were really genuine about the ins and outs of writing. I chose Nancy’s class this year – and it was exactly what I hoped for and more. She taught the class with an energy I wish I could conjure up any day. Focusing on the concept of character development, she gave me many ideas and ways to bring my stories to life – including an odd idea of starting a journal for my character as a way of letting my protagonist talk with me. In short, it was SO much fun!
The castle and its surroundings make up a true a wonderland – a secret, quiet world that could itself lie hidden behind the doors of a carved wardrobe. The perfect place to have a writer’s conference! And just like last year, I didn’t want to leave my secret life and return to my “real life,” but when I did get home, I was refreshed and totally reinspired – ready to tackle my writing projects!