Thursday, August 10, 2017

Georgetown Ghost Town Writing Retreat, pt 1

This weekend I attended the Georgetown Ghost Town Writer's Retreat. Georgetown is a small town that grew up around silver mining in the Rockies. Unlike some of the old gold mining towns that have become run down or are known more for gambling than history, Georgetown is well cared for and bustling with tourism.

The retreat was pleasant, but I actually only attended two workshops and a movie night (Dead Awake), where the director was present to do a Q&A afterward. Aside from that, I spent the weekend editing in my room, wandering around playing tourist, and hanging out with fellow writers.

I thought it would be fun to post some of the over five-hundred photos I took while I was up there. Today, I'm focusing on the houses and buildings in town. Next week, I'll post photos from the cemetery, train ride, and mine tour.

Before I jump into the photos, I have a couple pieces of news. First, I'll be presenting a two-hour workshop on short stories this Saturday for Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. More information can be found under the "appearances" tab. I always love talking short stories, and especially hearing afterward from people who have begun trying their hand at it!

Second, I placed a flash fiction piece this week. Yay! It will be published in October. More information can be found under the "publications" tab.

Third, today's my anniversary! 21 years! Happy Anniversary to my hubby.

All right, photo time. There were a ton of neat houses and buildings from the 1800s, mixed in with some newer buildings. Those buildings on the historical register had plaques or small round signs with the years they were built, including homes people still lived in. It was easy to get lost in history wandering around. As a wild west buff, I even got my share of cool downtown buildings that looked like something straight out of the wild west.

This first house was falling apart. It was nestled between several well kept houses, but this one's yard was overgrown, the porch sagging, and some of the siding peeling off. It looked like someone had loved it once, but maybe they passed away with no one to leave it to, after years of not being able to maintain the property.

The flowers that had sprung up in the overgrown yard were purple, white, and yellow, mixed in with the brown leaves of downed branches, and the faded green of various weeds.

Below was one of the well maintained houses. I'm not sure what year was on the historical marker. There was metal work along the eaves that looked like it dissuade any smart bird from landing there. It looked like the tops of wrought iron gates.

There was an old Presbyterian church with gorgeous stone siding and antique fixtures. It was built in 1874 of native stone.

Below are some random photos from around downtown. 

It was a perfect mix of old and new, well preserved and crumbling. The townspeople (and those working there from surrounding mountain communities) were proud of the town, and eager to share stories of hauntings and history with the hundred or so authors who descended on the town. There were a lot of things I didn't get to do, like tour the electricity museum that included Tesla's involvement, or visit one of the historic houses to tour its hallways and hear about its ghosts. I plan to go back up with my family and visit everything I missed.

Next week, gravestones, silver mines, and locomotives!

Now for links. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking personal stories with the theme "Miracles and More" and "Stories of Redemption." 1200 words or less. Nonfiction only. Pays $200. Deadline August 31.

Silver Empire is seeking stories in any genre with the theme "Stairs in the Woods." Must be about a random detached set of stairs. 3000 to 20,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline August 31.

Digital Fiction Publishing Corp is seeking horror reprint short stories that appeared in professional or semi-professional short story publications. 3500 to 7500 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline August 31.

Spider is seeking submissions of children's stories with the theme "Spaceships and Superheroes." Fiction, activities, poetry, recipes, etc. Geared toward ages 6-9. 300 to 1000 words. Pays up to $.25/word. Deadline August 31.

Twelfth Planet Press is seeking short stories about "gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics" for the anthology "Mother of Invention." 500 to 5000 words. Deadline August 31.

Goblin Fruit is seeking fantastical poetry. Pays $15. Deadline September 1.

Red Ferret Press is seeking BDSM short stories for the anthology "Knotted." Up to 10,000 words. Pays 1/2 cent per word. Deadline September 1.

Independent Legions Publishing is seeking short stories about death by water for the anthology "The Beauty of Death 2: Death by Water." 4000 to 5000 words. Pays $100. Deadline September 1.

Mofo Pubs is seeking apocalyptic erotica short stories for the anthology "Apocalypse." 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline September 5.

Fantasia Divinity Magazine is seeking short stories about mythological creatures for the anthology "Menagerie de Mythique." 500 to 10,500. Pays 1/2 cent per word. Deadline September 5.

Ever visited a ghost town? How about one that was still thriving? Any neat towns you love to wander through and/or photograph? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on the story! And the anniversary! :)

I love the first pic of the church - eerie yet beautiful.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy anniversary!
Awesome you placed a story.
The black and white shots are really cool.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - congratulations on 21 years together ... and then the plan to go back to look at more of the town. Lovely photos - and great you're giving a talk on short stories ... cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats on the anniversary! Looks like you had a very cool weekend all around. Some of the pictures reminded me of Main Street in Disneyland, but in real life.

Andrew Leon said...

Cool pictures.
Now I want to go to there.

Olga Godim said...

Congratulations on several counts: the anniversary, the story placement, and your upcoming workshop. I'd have attended if I didn't live so far away.
Thanks for the links.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on so many wonderful things happening! Love the cute pictures. =-)

The Cynical Sailor said...

Those are fantastic photos! I especially love the one of the window with the paint chipping away.

cleemckenzie said...

I love towns like this, and what better place to host a ghost writers retreat?

Julie Flanders said...

Ooh I love the photos. So cool!
Happy Anniversary and Congrats on the story. Awesome!