2014 Women Writing the West Conference

Native Painted Pony - Golden Inn
Native Painted Pony – Golden Inn

What a Women Writing the West (WWW) conference we had this year in Golden, CO!  I knew it was going to be a great conference when I walked into the hotel and was greeted by a life-sized Painted Pony.  Yee Haw. My cowgirl boots busted into a line dance as the front desk attendant gave me a lopsided smile, probably wondering what a nut-case she was about to check in.

After fetching my room key, I through my bags on the floor, took a migraine pill (marriage of stress during flight and high altitude), and went in search of any WWW members I could muster up. Even though my skull felt like it would split open with the slightest whisper, I sauntered up to the dining hall and asked for a table.  The waiter asked if I was alone. Glancing around and seeing no one I recognized, I signed and replied, “Yes.” Probably best until my meds kicked in, or should I say kicked my headache out with the wash water.

I sat, holding my forehead in my hands, looking at the menu.  I glanced up to see two striking ladies walk in as I was seated right by the entrance.  They too looked around as the waiter asked if they were with the conference group, shook their heads, and relied, “Table for two.”

Without thinking twice, or even once, my mouth replied, “Why don’t you join me?” That’s a big, bold move for this introvert.  Courage and elation chased the migraine out bit by bit as it tucked tail and scooted further out of my cranium.  The ladies peered at each other, shrugged and said, “Why not.” I smiled and motioned them over, sitting a tad taller.

We chatted, tossing about introductions.  I picked at my salad to sooth my tummy from the effects of the medication and waited until their meals arrived before digging in.  We ate and chatted and finding out they were Texas gals elated me as I’m from Washington State.  How thrilling to sit and share dinner with writers from the WWW Conference who were on opposite ends of the nation.  My head felt better with each word spoken between us.  New friends.  Life time friends. Laughter.  Migraine nearly gone.

This is my favorite part of the WWW Conference.  The ladies. Writers.  Publishers. New friends. New beginnings.  No one looks down on another.  There is no competition.  There is support, acceptance, advice, sharing, encouraging, cheering.  There is hope.  There is camaraderie.  A feeling I’ve not felt with other writer’s organizations.  Besides my cowgirl boots fit right in.

This year I’ve made such a strong support group amongst these amazing women who love writing about women and the west.  I’ve made agent and editor contacts, memoir contacts, research contacts, other women whose stories include Native-Americans-as-mine-do-also contacts, including my roommate, and such a network of women who love to share their success and how they arrived.  From bookmarks to booth displays, from research to speaking tips, from silent auctions to quilt blocks, from self-publishing to traditional publishing, and all the ins-and-outs of this wonderful business we call writing.

WWW Quilt Block made by WWW members.
WWW Quilt Block made by WWW members.

Thank you Women Who Write the West for another amazing year in Colorado.

Next year our conference will be in Redmond, OR.  Please comment if you have any questions.  I would love to pay it forward and assist you in any way I can.  Happy Monday!



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  1. Okay, what part of “introvert” did I miss? You are a large part of why Women Writing the West is so successful.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Aw, you are to kind, Anne! Thank you. We will have loads of fun this year. I look forward to working with you on the board.

  2. Thank you, Carmen, for a lovely description of your time at the conference. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Your presence lent to the special time, and made it more enjoyable for the rest of us as well. I will look forward to seeing you again in Oregon!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      You are so sweet, Joyce. Thank you. Yes, 2015 in Oregon will be a great time! Can’t wait for another visit with you.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Karen, I do too. This conference and he women are amazing. I just can’t way it enough. Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

  3. Carmen, I love this! I am sorry to have missed your line dance upon entry. 🙂 “This is my favorite part of the WWW Conference. The ladies. Writers. Publishers. New friends. New beginnings. No one looks down on another. There is no competition. There is support, acceptance, advice, sharing, encouraging, cheering. There is hope. There is camaraderie. A feeling I’ve not felt with other writer’s organizations. Besides my cowgirl boots fit right in.” You convey this perfectly. Yes, yes, and yes. HUGS!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Miss Dawn. I’ll have to show you my dance in Oregon. 🙂 Thank you for your support and cheers. Being around such inspiration in WWWW keeps me going all year long. And gives me something to look forward to in the fall, my least favorite time of the year as the temperature drops. I’m such a summer girl, and the conference blasts me with sunny rays of hope: I too can turn out another book for Young People and touch lives once again. Thank you and hugs back.

  4. Hola Carmen, It was such a pleasure meeting you at WWW. Here’s to next year in Oregon!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Yes, It was great to meet you and get to visit some. I look forward to getting to know you better. See you next year!

  5. I think this Conference is fast becoming my favorite time of year!!!!! Loved seeing old friends and making new ones!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      I agree with you, Roni. So good to see you again. Can’t wait until next year, my friend. Hugs.

  6. What a wonderful post and recap of your experience. Makes me wish even more I could have been there! I can’t wait until next year to connect with all you wonderful WWW members!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Shanna! You will love the 2015 conference and it’s going to be a good one because you and Jane are chairing it!

  7. Great review of that amazing conference, Carmen. I’m so glad we could spend time together too.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary. It’s always good to spend time with you! 2015 will be just as great.

  8. Miss C- I’m so glad it was a great conference for you! Thanks for sharing all about it.


    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I hope you consider next year. And remember, its all things of the west.