Borderlands Boot Camp 2020

How many times have I been to Borderlands Boot Camp?
Honestly, I’ve lost count. (You can read about previous times here.)
But each time I go, I leave the weekend a better writer than when I arrived.

Truth be told, I’d been struggling with my writing. I don’t know exactly what it was, but a slew of rejections and the resulting loss of confidence probably had something to do with it. So when the opportunity to attend Boot Camp arose, I almost didn’t go. My heart wasn’t quite in it.

If I hadn’t gone, however, I’d have never experienced:

  • a much-needed pep-talk from Tom Monteleone
  • Doug Winter’s always helpful and encouraging feedback
  • Paul Wilson’s solution to a problem in my manuscript
  • Guest of Honor Chet Williamson, with his inspiring presentation and fantastic readings
  • Ginjer Buchanan’s sharp wit and vast knowledge of grammar (she says grammar isn’t exciting, but this nerd loves it)
  • a kind word from Can Wiggins
  • the general feeling of kindness and warmth from this year’s group
  • and all that great talk about writing.

I’d have never connected with Tracy Cross, Linsey Knerl, Jeff Marsick, and Nicole Wilson.
I’d have never reconnected with Terry Emery, Elizabeth Crowens, Corey Cone, and Can Wiggins.

Weekends like this have a way of inspiring. Of jump-starting your mind. Of reminding you why you started doing this in the first place.

I walked away with more confidence, more optimism, and more connections.
And I’m so glad I went.

Thanks so much to Tom, Paul, Doug, Ginjer, Chet, and all my fellow grunts. Here’s to stories without eye color. Stories with runaway ferris wheels. Stories where things get worse.



This is the only pic I got of the weekend. And Doug took it.