Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Colorado

It’s the middle of August, and this past weekend was the first weekend since the Colorado Renaissance Festival came to an end. After eight weekends of working for the Belrose Costume Rental Shop, I’m sad to see close of the season.

This was the second year that I’ve worked for the faire, after taking a year off to just enjoy being a patron last summer. It was great to be back, and to be at the festival in a position that allowed me to catch up with old friends and make lots of new ones.

I had a fantastic season, and I can’t wait for next year’s faire to start. In the meantime, however, I have time to write. I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting you, dear readers, and I thank you for your patience. I have more for you.

I remember kneeling on the couch, arms resting on the back, staring out the picture window at the frozen landscape. I remember wishing we had a fireplace like my grandparents, so that I wouldn’t have to bundle up under blankets in the middle of a day like this. I would shiver and go to the room that my little sister and I shared, climb up to the top bunk, and shut off the overhead light. A small bedside lamp was all the illumination I would need to lose myself in one of my books, a favorite pulled from one of my many shelves.

After an hour or so, my little sister would inevitably come in and ask me to play outside. I’d reluctantly agree, because I knew it meant getting cold and spending time with her when I could be reading or drawing, but I would agree nonetheless. No matter how much I might have protested, I really did enjoy spending the time with her. I still do. We would get dressed in layers of clothes, including snow pants if we still had a pair that fit us.

We’d finish getting bundled up and wander out into the snow and ice, hoping that the snow was wet enough that it would be packable, allowing us to make snowballs at the very least. Snow angels would be made, should the snowfall be deep enough. If it were a really legendary Colorado blizzard, we’d have enough snow to make forts up against the base of the pine trees in the park. After a few freezing hours, we’d trudge back to the house. Mom would be there, and she’d help us make a couple of mugs of homemade hot chocolate, with marshmallows if we had them.

After that, it would be time for a movie or a game, depending on how tired we were. We would spend the rest of the evening in the living room until it was time to help get dinner ready. All too soon, our day of freedom would come to an end, and it would be time to eat and get things cleaned up before bed. Finally exhausted by our day, we allow sleep to overtake us and dream of the adventures yet to come.

Okay. I know that it’s been a busy summer. There have been a lot of things that I’ve been meaning to get done that haven’t been happening, at least just yet. Reviews I’ve wanted to write, books I’ve wanted to read, etc. I’ve been stretching myself a bit thin, and I’m starting to feel it. Still, if college taught me anything, it’s that I function very well when that last-minute-panic-feeling hits. I’ve decided that I need to do a bit of reorganizing in my life.

Right now, it’s just turned into August (Happy Birthday, Colorado!). That means that the Renaissance Festival is coming to an end, and my girlfriend will have a little bit of time for a social life before the school year starts up again (she wants to be a teacher, and I’m a little jealous of the fact that she will continue to have summer breaks for the rest of her career, not going to lie). I’m personally hoping she gets to write a little bit, but we’ve got a joint project coming up that’s going to take a lot of time. See, we’re both making our own costumes for our cosplays for NDK this year, and I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m pretty new to the sewing machine, and I’m very serious about making my costume myself, though I’m also very willing to accept any and all help. We have some absolutely amazing friends who are already doing more than they should to help with this. Now I’m not saying what the cosplay is, not just yet. I know many of my readers already know, but those of you who don’t get to be surprised. So, shhhh. It involves a haircut. That’s the only hint you get.

Cosplay stuff aside, I still have a lot of things to get done. There’s some job opportunities that I’m likely to be applying for, as having a single full-time job would be a lot easier to manage than the two part-time things I’m doing now. A set schedule would also allow me to better handle a daily writing schedule, particularly useful since November is coming. I’m still working on a purge of my book collection. I was able to unload some of my duplicate titles onto V, which was a great help to me. Now I just need one more bookshelf, and I might be able to have space for everything that’s in my apartment at the moment. Just one more. Then I can get more books, and the cycle can begin again. Book addiction, folks. It’s a serious issue.

Also up this week is the accomplishment of a life goal. Tomorrow night, I’ll be in Denver to see my all-time favorite band live for the first time. Rush is coming to town, and I am not about to miss it. I’m going to listen to Moving Pictures again this morning, and probably work my way through as much of the discography as I can before I fall asleep tonight. In the meantime, I’ve got to go to work. The patrons at the library need me.

Last week I wrote that I had made a trip to Denver to purchase a copy of Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. On Tuesday, I returned to Denver with my new book (which I had just finished) and my copy of The Annotated Sandman Volume One tucked safely away in my messenger bag. Along with two of our other friends, V and I trekked down the 16th Street Mall to the Lodo Tattered Cover and joined the queue.

While we arrived too late to be seated in the room where Neil was speaking, we were able to find space on the carpet of the second floor, where the audio was being broadcast over the sound system. We got to listen to him read an excerpt from his new book (he also reads the audio version, and given the autobiographical tones, no one else could have) and answer a handful of questions from the audience. After describing his life as “realism splashed with the supernatural,” it was time for the signature line to form.

First up, the new book.

First up, the new book.

The remarkable Neil Gaiman in mid-signature.

The remarkable Neil Gaiman in mid-signature.

And finally, a close-up of the personalized signature.

And finally, a close-up of the personalized signature.

There is no way to accurately state how awesome this entire experience was. Mr. Gaiman was polite, professional, and incredibly enthusiastic to see all of us, despite the exhausting touring schedule. I, for one, cannot express my gratitude.

It’s May 1st, and I woke up to a beautiful Colorado snowfall.

And one very confused robin

And one very confused robin…

I’m pleased by this, believe it or not, and not just because I like winter. You see, usually a morning like this would make me want to climb back into bed, shut off my phone, and sleep the day away while I was still nice and warm. Today, though, something’s different.

Stay tuned.

“The End of Winter”

Streetlamps on the far shore flicker in
And out of view as the snow accumulates
On the slick surface of the lake.

Moonlight filters through the dancing clouds,
Catching the flash of a fox’s tail
Vanishing into a trimmed hedge.

Embers glow in the fireplace, a dying
Reminder of the warmth we shared
Not an hour ago, now lost.

I wrote this piece last summer, when the Waldo Canyon Fire was finally contained and life in this part of Colorado was finally returning to normal. Here’s “Rain.”


Rain is here again.
Clouds roll down the
Mountains that once
Belched smoke into
The sky.
Rain now.
Elemental. Raw.
Cold beauty pouring

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and so we’ve reached another Read Across America Day. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has released the following to celebrate.

Read Across America Day


Now get out there and read! Help promote literacy. The future of the world depends on it.

There’s an incredible overwhelming
Silence that comes at 3 AM,
After the hum of the television
Dies. When the mind is free
To wander without the distractions
Of the day.

A stillness settles on the world,
Broken only by the soft scratch
Of a pen on paper.

Outside the darkness rests upon
The field of fallen white,
But the wind has passed,
And the storm is at an end,
And the fire is now but embers,
And in the fading light I strive
To make some memory of it all.

Have you ever been a tourist in your own town? It’s amazing what a slight shift in perception can do for you. For example, I’ve been living in Colorado Springs for the last six years. In that time, I’ve done almost none of the cool stuff that visitors do. Why? Because it’s been just me.

In the last two weeks, however, I’ve been changing that. When my sister was in town, I finally took the opportunity to visit Garden of the Gods. Ever been there? I lived down the street from there for four years and never went. Four years. There’s no price for admission, and it’s open almost all day every day. Over Labor Day, my parents were in town, and we drove up Pikes Peak. I’m a Colorado native, and I didn’t go up my first 14er (mountain with a summit altitude of over 14,000 feet) until a few days ago. I feel a little ridiculous, but simultaneously accomplished. There’s nothing to give you perspective like the view from 14,110 feet. Anyway, dizzying vistas aside, it’s quite inspiring to have made the ascent. Luckily, I have just the outlet for this. Time to write.