Day 3

Only 287 words today. I met a friend after work for dinner and didn’t get home until late. She told me this absolutely hysterical story about a new job she has. The owners of the business seem very interesting considering they live with four dogs (2 bull mastiffs, a german shepherd, and a rottweiler mixed breed) and of all things a pony. All these animals have free run of the house. The pony isn’t a miniature pony either, it’s a full sized pony. Now, being a farm girl myself, I can’t imagine living with this many animals; and I didn’t think you could house train a pony.

Back to writing. I registered for the New Jersey Romance Writers “Put Your Heart in a Book Conference” today, and I’m really excited about it. First, I don’t plan on pitching, so it will be very relaxing to just attend workshops and network with other writers without the worry of a “Pitch” appointment. Second, but a very close first, is I’m going with my roomie from Nationals; and I know we will have a blast. Third, the line-up of workshops and presentations looks fabulous. Finally, there are several wonderful authors attending who I met a nationals; and I’m hoping to run into a certain editor who’s currently reviewing my book. I don’t want to put any pressure on her or anything, but her reaction to seeing me again after Nationals would be interesting if nothing else.  Actually, she’s such a sweet person, I just would like to talk to her outside the “pitch” atmosphere.

Add a comment September 15, 2009
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The Challenge – Day 2

Well, 326 words for today. Not as much as yesterday but still way over the 50 I need for the challenge. Today started out with one plan and within half an hour, everything had changed. I’d planned on going in to the office at PSU for a while, but my husband’s cooler at the store broke down and he needed me to stay home with Rich. And so the day went. Tomorrow should be an interesting day at work, especially since I didn’t get the head start I’d hoped to achieve today.  This is a week filled with deadlines, which should make the writing challenge more interesting for me if I have to work late.  It’s going to be a hectic week.

Add a comment September 14, 2009
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The Challenge – Day 1

556 words today. It seems like once I get started, I have to keep going. I’ve just come up with a great twist for my story that will turn up the heat and the conflict between my hero and heroine. A good way to end the day, if I do say so myself.

Add a comment September 13, 2009
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A Challenge

My writer’s group starts a 50/50 challenge today. Write 50 words for 50 straight days. Now, these 50 words need to be on a new fiction project. So, I’ve decided to use this challenge to start the next book in my Nanny series. The first book isn’t published yet, but I’m hopeful on several levels. First, of course, I’m really hoping the editor reviewing the first book in this series will buy it. Second, using the challenge for this new story shows I have confidence. And finally, I need this challenge to get my butt back in the chair again after slacking off during our move to our new house. So, even though boxes still need unpacked, pictures still need hung, and I’m using my dining room table for my temporary writing space–since my office here is uninhabitable–I’m hoping, when he sees me working so ha my hard, hubby will feel guilty about the fact that my office is at the bottom of his priority list.

As added incentive, I’m going to post my word count to my blog. So, all my readers can help me keep on the straight and narrow. Now, if this writing had been on my new fiction project I’d be well on my way with 200+ words; but it’s not…I still have to write my 50 words for today!  Later, gator!

Add a comment September 12, 2009
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Waiting

It’s been a week since I sent my full manuscript to the publisher, and I know she received it on Thursday of last week. I promised myself I’d wait patiently for a response–good or bad–whatever it may be; but boy, is it hard. Plus, yesterday, my husband, son and I went to see Julie and Julia. The movie’s about a young woman who writes a blog about her experiences while cooking her way through all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook. The movie is based on a true story–two actually–and was very good. But I couldn’t help but wonder, how many other people watched that movie while waiting for their own response from a publisher? The writer, Julie, had actually had a movie produced based on her blog. I can’t even imagine the odds of this happening. I cheered for Julie the whole way through the movie, I applaud her talent, especially because I haven’t quite figured out this blogging thing.

For instance, now that Nationals are over and I’ve told my story about attending my first RWA National Conference, what do I write about while I’m waiting to hear from the editor about my book?

I guess, I could tell you about my new laptop. I just got my first Mac–a MacBook Pro. I’ve never owned a Mac before, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it when it arrived. So, I went to B&N and bought a MacBook for Dummies book and I’m on my way. I still can’t figure out how to make my applications open up in full screen view, but I did learn how to grab the lower right-hand corner and drag it to the size I want. I LOVE the speed. My old desktop had really reached it’s limit where speed was concerned, which was a real problem for me because I’m not a patient person when it comes to computers. When I tell it to open a file, I expect the file to open. I don’t want to go to the bathroom, take a shower, and come back to wait some more for the stupid file to open. So, I think I made a good choice in my Mac. I admit, I had some help from my office computer technicians, who were very informative when I went to them for advice before picking which laptop to buy. So, to all you Mac fans out there, I’ve joined your numbers.

Now, back to my favorite subject — WRITING. Since I have my new laptop, I need to finish a project I’ve been working on for a while.  It’s one I tend to procrastinate over because it’s a pretty complicated mystery plot, with lots of twists and a long buried secret that isn’t revealed until the end of the story.  Plus, I do have a request from an agent for the first three chapters and a synopsis, which I have to get sent out before the end of the month.  So, I’ll leave you for tonight and go work on Rose’s Secret.

1 comment August 18, 2009
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A Rose by any other name…

…is still a ROSE!  And that’s what I earned yesterday from my local RWA chapter for getting a full request for my manuscript.  I’m very excited, as I’m sure all of you can imagine. As I promised last week, I wanted to let you know what happened at Nationals during my pitch appointments.  I didn’t start out very well, because I didn’t follow the advice to “pace yourself” and went full steam ahead until I finally crashed on Friday afternoon, right before my appointment with an editor.  You guessed it, I went to my room to rest and slept right through my pitch appointment.  I don’t know if my alarm didn’t work or I slept  through it, but it happened.

Luckily for me, the editors from Avalon are super, surper nice and the next morning I was able to set up an appointment with another Avalon editor.  They were so understanding and sweet about it.  And I got a request for a partial, which I sent on Monday. This was quickly followed by a request for the full manuscript — hence my earning a Rose from my local chapter, which is really a small token to celebrate my success.  I’m still floating above the clouds, and I just hope the editor likes the rest of the story as much as she seems to have liked the partial.  So, keep your fingers crossed for me; and I’ll let you know what happens next.

All in all, we had a 50/50 split among the four of us from my local chapter who attended and gave pitches, with two of us getting requests.  One of us got a request from Harlequin after her first two editor appointments were cancelled, and I got the request from Avalon for my sweet romance and a request from an agent for my ghost story. Another was told she had a really good TV show, but needed a movie; and the fourth person was told she had a lot of good scenes but no story.  So, we were kind of all over the board.  The positive things I think we all got out of this are: (1) what started out as a potentially devastating experience for me, I was able to turnaround into a success, (2) cancelled appointments by one editor can lead to a successful pitch to another, and (3) we were all able to celebrate each others’ successes and commiserate when pitches didn’t work out as well, while at the same time being able to see the humor in our situations and keep a positive attitude. 

All in all, I think everyone would agree we had a very enjoyable, successful conference; and we came back rejuvenated and excited about our writing.  Now, we’re all scrambling to see how we can save enough for Nashville in 2010!

1 comment August 5, 2009
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WW III

Obviously, I have started Writers War III.  I don’t know what the first two were about, but man, you guys are getting snarky (is that a word?).  I know nothing about blood oaths or stone etchings, or pledging first born children; but I wasn’t the one eating calamari (eewwwh, those things had legs!). 

We can’t forget the new game we created either based on “Where’s Waldo” that’s now called “Where’s Elizabeth?”  The missing fifth member of CPRW who was supposedly attending the conference but none of us could find her until the last day when she found me!  Luckily, Elizabeth was having a great time without us, which might be a really good thing.

Speaking of stone etchings, we really could have done that if Kim had brought her stone tablet and chisel along.  She still uses those to write her first drafts.  Heidi was naming things–one even got lost by the end of the Rita/Golden Heart Awards–but they weren’t children.  And Heather is a master photo critic.  I may have pledged to never have my photo published without first getting Heather’s approval. 

Goodnight all :~)

Add a comment July 26, 2009
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Editor emailed me!

This morning I was calmly browsing my email while sipping my tea, when I noticed I had an email from an editor I met at the conference.  At first I was baffled by the name and thought, No, this can’t be the same person. Then I noticed the subject line read “RWA,” and I knew it was.   My hand was shaking as I clicked on the email to open it. 

Due to an oath of secrecy I made with my co-conference attendees (CCAs), I’m unable to tell you what was in the email.  My CCAs and I are giving a presentation to our local RWA chapter, the Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers, next Saturday.  I can tell you, however, it was a lovely email.  Remember that floating feeling I was telling you about yesterday?  Well, today’s feeling might be better described as “sailing above the clouds.”

Let’s just say…I had some success at the conference, and I promise to reveal all on Sunday, August 2nd.

8 comments July 23, 2009
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Days 2-3 and beyond

After realizing that I would only have about 30 seconds to use the internet, I decided that I shouldn’t spend $12.95 per day.  So, sorry about my failure to keep you posted. 

I did have a wonderful time at Nationals.  Although I attended the first timers meeting and heard them say “pace yourself,” I ignored this comment and went full steam ahead.  This of course resulted in exhaustion, swollen ankles, and book-carrier shoulder–a new phrase I’ve coined to describe how my shoulder felt after toting all those free books from the publisher book signings, books received in our registration packets, and books we received at all the meals, etc.  My very strong husband even had to have my nephew–who is off to U.S. Army Ranger School–help him carry my suitcases into the house.  You see, I had strategically lined the bottoms with my free books since the extra tote bag I took to carry my books home in wasn’t large enough to hold all the books I’d collected.  Okay, I might have gone a little overboard at the Literacy Signing, too.  I understand now why they schedule this for the first night of the conference.  But it was for a good cause and I believe we topped a record for donations to support literacy.

I did have some thrills.  The best was meeting Heather Graham and talking to her in person.  However, participating in her workshop, being brave enough to raise my hand and go up to the podium to read the paragraph I’d written based on her lead-in sentence that ended with something like “a bloody hand slammed against the sliding glass door.”  When Heather Graham said “Very Good” after my nervously spoken prose, I was over the moon.  I floated the rest of the day and actually may still be airborn.  OMG, I think that session was taped!

1 comment July 21, 2009
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End of Day 1

Well, I reached the end of day one. The Literacy Signing was overwhelming. A packed room with tables lined up with authors sitting alphabetically. I spent quite a bit on signed books, but at least it was alll for a good cause. Plus, it was a great networking opportunity; and I was able to talk to several of my favorite authors in addition to meeting some new ones.  Some of my favorite authors–Maria Snyder, Carla Neggers, and Holly Jacobs–were great to meeting  talk with.  I also met several Love Inspired authors–Sara Mitchell, Brenda Minton and Debby Giusti–who were all especially helpful with advice I was seeking on a story idea I’m working on involving my son’s experiences over the last few years.  Also, for those of you who are writing inspiational or thinking about it, they are looking for new authors.  So now is the time to submit!

Next came the first timers workshop–also packed to the rafters. So far, Kim and I have not met up with our fellow chapter members; but I’m sure we’ll be able to track them down tomorrow. So, it’s time for bed and we are certainly tired enough that I don’t think we’ll have trouble sleeping tonight. Talk to you tomorrow.

Add a comment July 16, 2009
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