Monday, July 27, 2009

Teasing the Muse

Macie Carter's book now has a cover.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Perfect Day

I had the door to my little yard and garden open most of the day to hear the birds and get a breeze.
I did some research on Rome -the setting for my next novella.
I wrote about 1000 words.
I napped since I was still exhausted from the conference. I had three cats in various positions around me - I think they're afraid I'm leaving again.
I even vacuumed.
And I read half of Terri Garey's Dead Girls Are Easy. Very funny! I'll probably finish it tonight.

I even did a load of laundry.
All in all, a perfect day.

After National

I was smart to take the Monday after RWA National off.

I'm up early - have gone through my emails, read the paper, had a cup of coffee and will start to write.

I need to take a shower, buy groceries and vacuum. But I need to write more.

So if anyone stops by this morning: sorry that I'm unmade-up and disheveled; sorry that there is cat hair on the carpet; and sorry I have nothing to serve you.

But I need to write.

So it will be better if you visit another time. Because...I need to write.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reality Check

Last night after the GH/Rita Ceremony I was in the elevator at the hotel with a young woman who noticed my "First Sale" ribbon. After congratulating me she asked me how long it took me to make the sale. I told her about 18 months from the time I wrote the novella and submitted it to two publishers with the last one buying it.

"No-no," she said. "How long since you started your writing career."

"Well, I got my first rejection when I was fifty years," I answered, thinking Fifty Years!

As she hurried away, she said, "Good. That means I've got time."

I just stood there thinking, "And for me that means...what?"

The Best GH/RITA Ceremony Moment..

...besides Anne Stuart's funny bits especially Sister Krissie coming on stage in a motorized chair....

The best moment - was watching Nora Roberts and her editor, Leslie Gelbman of Putnam, walk hand in hand up to the stage for Nora's Rita.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Night

The Golden Heart and Rita Award winners can be found on Blogging National.

I tried to get some goodies at the reception after the ceremony. I could smell the food but I couldn't find it. I walked around the mezzanine twice and finally decided that cookies and wine in my room was better and calmer.

I would love to go to Nashville for RWA 2010. I can save the money - the problem is the time off. I want to visit Heather in Seattle and go to England.

I have so many ideas and want to work on at least three of my projects - maybe four. I either need to retire or find a rich man. I won't hold my breath for either. I'll just keep working during day and writing at night and on weekends.

Writing is my second job.
Writing is my social life.

I really don't mind.
I get to live in worlds that I make.

Long and Interesting Day at RWA

This will bits and pieces because I have to get ready for the awards gala. So here goes:

I started with Spotlight on St. Martin's Press and I was very impressed with the editors and their presentations - more on this in a later blog. I want to write for one of them. Heck! I would be happy to have one of them as a, would rather have one as my editor.

Then I attended the workshop on Believable Motivation, given my the unbelievable, Sherry Lewis. I remember her signing one of her time travels for me many moons ago.

I couldn't leave RWA National without hearing Jenny Crusie for an entire workshop. Her subject was "Turning Points" which also comes down to structure and pacing. Funny and educational as always.

Next was Coitus Interruptus - the Erotic workshop that set off the fire alarms.

Heather Graham's workshop was about Mystery and the World of the Occult. She had a great story about very unrequited love.

I fought the crowds at the St. Martin's signing and was able to get a couple of books.

And after a quick lunch, once again collapsed in my room, vowing to download Stephanie Bond's workshop on making romance writing a career.

Now to make myself presentable for the Awards!

Too Hot to Handle!!

I was in the Erotica workshop and the fire alarm went off!
I was in this hotel in 2000 for RWA National and the fire alarm went off then, too - in the middle of the night. My roommate, Kathy, and I were two of the few who evacuated.

Resting in my room - until the big ceremony tonight - the Golden Hearts and the RITAs.

After which I may finally do my "sitting in the bar" routine - maybe.

I had a message on my room phone: Anyone checking out tomorrow who will check out before 9 gets a gift certificate for a cup of coffee - a lousy cup of coffee. Give me a whole breakfast and I MAY consider it. Just for that...checking out at 9:15. So THERE!

WaPo Article....

And the great part picture on the internet article (haven't seen the print copy) is next to the word "orgasm". Bawhahahahaha - put a chubby old lady next to orgasm. LOVE it!

Not too happy about the article, 'though; not as thoughtful as it could have been and left out some of the more career-focused workshops. People have NO clue. Oh, well...romance in all of it's different genres is still number one and could it be because women are the readers in this country??

Washington Post

I opened the link for the Washington Post article on RWA National and saw a familiar face...after 50 years of dreaming about being in the Post, I finally made it. Why am I a geek? I don't even remember a photographer...

Friday, July 17, 2009

News of the Day

Editor and agent appointments:
The agent doesn't "do" mystery. I guess I should have called it paranormal suspense with romantic elements. This agent was given to me by RWA because the one I requested was booked.
The editor (a very nice and very young, young man who thought I was only 48 - "My mother's 62 and you look a lot younger than SHE does" - which is why I'm not using his real name - to protect him from his mother) likes the story, wants to see a partial but doesn't know where it will fit. This editor was my second choice. My real choice in publishing houses for Elizabeth Peacock was not taking appointments. But I will send my partial to the nice young man who thought I looked younger than his mother.
HOWEVER, I attended a workshop given by the agent who had requested a partial when we met at NJRW in October. I sent it to her. I talked to her after the workshop; she vaguely remembered the title and thought she had started to read it. She told me she would "put it at the top of" her list.
So....I'm sending out queries this coming weekend. Not putting all my eggs in one basket.

Then I attended the Grand Central Spotlight - paranormal is still hot. They had a door prize: reading of a partial. Unfortunately, I didn't get it.

Another luncheon but this time with Eloisa James as the keynote. She, of course, was excellent. Her mother and father were both writers; her father, poet Robert Bly. Her mother didn't read "trashy" books. But Oxford-educated and Fordham professor Eloisa is proud to be the author of 16 historical romances.
I like to sit with people I don't know and get to know them. States represented at lunch (besides me and PA) were Oklahoma, Georgia, New York and Maryland. I gave the president of the Maryland chapter Jonathan Maberry's name for a possible speaker for them.

I attended a synopsis workshop that had a couple of technical tips I might use and then meandered over to the Wit and Wisdom of Jennifer Crusie for a few giggles.

Next was the Pocket Spotlight - paranormal, especially dark and gritty urban paranormal, is hot - but so is woman's fiction and historicals. I won a book, like most of the attendees.

My last workshop - the one I couldn't finish because I was too pooped: Mauled Men, Drowned Dames and Crispy Critters - about disposal of bodies - mostly legal disposal.

Other news: I have a suitcase full of free books! I brought about 300 promotional cards for Macie - most are gone. Do you think she would thank me? Noooooooooo...

Party Time? NO. I was quite sure I'd party at least one night during the conference and here I am at 7:30 PM in my jammies and in my room for the night. I even left the last have of a funeral/autopsy/death by different means workshop - so I MUST be tired.

I'll party tomorrow after the Golden Hearts and RITAs Awards. Who am I kidding? I'll probably collapse.

Friday Morning

I feel like I've been run over by a truck that backed-up and ran over me again.
But this morning I have agent and editor appointments - back to back. Reading my pitch so I know what I'm, saying - hopefully. Pitching Elizabeth Peacock and the Body on Abbey Road. If no one wants her, I'm going to send out queries and wait while I work on a couple of other projects.

Lunch with the awesome Eloisa James - our own Jane Austen - well, me and Eloisa and 2000 of our closest friends.

I'm going to try to hit some publishing spotlights between today and tomorrow: Grand Central, Pocket, Berkley.

There's a crime workshop this evening from 5:30 to 8 PM - definitely going to that. Then a late supper of a beer and an appetizer in the Lobby Lounge. Just too tired to venture outside the hotel.

I may not be back online until this evening: so play nice.

Ma----cie! Time to get up!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moonlight Madness...

Because Nisha and I had nightshirts ("Got Muse?") to sell, we didn't spend money. Well, I DID buy one of PLRW's nightshirts...a pink one. We had three pink shirts left by 10 PM and decided to pack in it for the night - Nisha has an early morning meeting with YA authors and I...well, it was past my bed time.

Nisha did try to pitch our chapter's Query Hook contest to a couple of published authors. They were cute about it and one, Lorraine Heath, bought one of our nightshirts.

Another busy day tomorrow, including my agent and editor appointments.
Good night.

From the Basement to the Penthouse...

It sounds like an odd title for a workshop, but Sharon Sala's presentation was about layering suspense. I felt as if I was in a big RWA plot brainstorming session. Sala gave a great workshop and lots of us participated.

I've found another author I have to read...have to.


Forgot that there's not too many meals at National.

Restaurants in the hotel are crowded and couldn't find anyone to venture out with - so right now having a great turkey sandwich in room (from the marketplace in the hotel).

My circuits are overloading, so...

...taking some down-time in hotel room.

The Rogue Digital Conference was packed - more than 100 in the room. Great giveaways from gift certifcates from Books on Board to a Sony eReader. I got $29 gift certificate from BoB. The information was timely and interesting. I like the idea of being an e and print author - ongoing royalty checks is one good reason and the other is name recognition.
Speakers at this important mini-con were:

Kassia Krozser of and the head of a new romance epublisher, Quartet Press.
SmartBitches's own Sarah gave us some interesting numbers about the cost of self-publishing.
Jane Litte from told us about the confusing Google Book Settlement. I still have no clue.
And the lovely (really - not sucking up - not much anyway) Angela James of Samhain Publishing spoke on the real world of e-publishing.
Maya Banks and Lauren Dane, two epublished and print published authors gave us the information straight from the source.
So far this has been the most interesting workshop, of course we've just started.

The AGM was also packed and surprisingly cordial even though a controversial resolution was initiated. RWA's lawyer explained the way resolutions involving the PPM and by-laws should be handled. I think the recent RWA Hot Sheet helped to stem any major issues.

Then lunch with Keynote Speaker Linda Howard, who was witty and wonderful. BTW: I ate the chocolate mousse thingy - figured I'd already walked everything off.

Jim Gerber, Dianne's DH, brought the nightshirts down to me in the lobby (so I can get them to Moonlight Madness sale) and then I trekked over to the workshop on Death/Taxes and How to Survive an Audit. After listening to complicated (at least for me) information, I decided that I'm going to use Quicken for bookkeeping and get someone to do my taxes for me - like an accountant.

I missed Anne Stuart's talk because I was standing in this huge line for free Avon books! I have more books to add to the freebies I already have.

Before I get to my next workshop - on creating and increasing suspense - I have to check Macie's giveaways. I hope I have to add to the stash. She has a bunch of business cards in her tote bag already- someone's taking home a B&N gift card for $25. And the lazy girl is napping while I type away.

So far this morning

Did I tell you this hotel is a maze with multiple towers and to get from the fourth floor parking area to the lobby, you must press 8?

After making myself be---ootiful, I went to the goodie room to stock up Macie's give-aways (she was still sleeping and you know the old saying to let them lie...). Then I went to the car to see if by some chance the camera was there (Rich says he couldn't find it in the apartment) - negative. I'd noticed the goodie room had fliers for several groups, so I went back up to my room to get PLRW contest fliers and then back down to the goodie room to set them on a table. Then down to a cafe for breakfast - line too long. Then back up to room for cheese and cracker snack so I don't pass out over Angela James of Samhain.

I should weigh much less when this is over.

I am going to the AGM - won't talk about RWA secrets on this blog - but will give you the atmosphere of meeting.

Well, Macie! It's about time you get your lazy butt out of bed. Let me tell you what I've done already this morning......


Macie's still asleep - damn her - she's snuggled under the covers. She was a good girl last night and didn't embarrass me in front of the Liberty ladies. Let's see if she can maintain this level of decorum through the rest of the conference.

Up Very Early

My internal/infernal alarm clock has me awake and if I went back to sleep now....well, let's just say I would miss a lot.

I'm not going to hear Janet Evanovich this morning. I love her books but I heard her speak at MWA. I'm going to the Rogue Digital session ( instead. There has been a lot of discussion about the parity (or lack thereof) between e-books and print.

RWA has made some changes in the eligibility standards for the RITA and the Golden Heart (you'll have read about that on the RWA Hot Sheet that just went out) but there are still questions.

I'm going because my novella will be an e-book and my next novella will be an e-book. I want to hear what the next step in the digital book process will be. I know I'll be missing one of my favorite authors...and breakfast...but this could be, may be, hope it future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Night

I just got back to my room after spending 2 hours with the ladies from Liberty Speaks - enjoyed the company much more than the food. And the merlot was good, too.

Now I'm taking my tired old self to bed - lots to do tomorrow - including selling PLRW's "Got Muse?" nightshirts at Moonlight Madness.

Literacy Signing

What can I say, but it was huge! We were lined up outside these large doors (in the bowels of the hotel) - hundreds of us - and then we slowly filed inside this very very large room (I would say huge again but it would be redundant). It gave me chills. I mean it - hundreds of writers and hundreds of authors and thousands of books - chills.

I was a good girl and only bought 6 books. I got two of Anne Stuart's just because I adore her writing and her spirit - nothing seems to get her down and I told her so.

I've received so many comments about my First Sale ribbon - it's wonderful to have that.
Macie keeps nudging me to tell them about her book and I do. I think Macie will stop nudging me soon and I'll just babble about it.

I met a mother/daughter team: Nat and Lynn from Alberta, Canada. Lyn, the mom, says she's along because she's the financial support for her daughter, the writer. But it looked as if they were both having a blast. BTW: Lyn and Nat look like sisters. Lyn is 39 - she could be my daughter! Nat's blogsite is - so stop by and say, Hi.

A beautiful drive down. A rocky beginning with the hotel and the internet - but that was solved.
And one Bud Light with lime - and I'm feeling fine.
Going to meet Charity and the Liberty group at 8 PM.

From RWA National

First problem: Left camera at home - so no pics on blog. Sorry - but check out other blogs for them. I will have pics, I hope, from the disposable camera I bought in the gift shop - will publish them later.

Second problem: Needed and IT guy to make my laptop talk to the hotel's wired internet. My laptop has only been used to wireless. But he was a cutie - big guy with beautiful dreadlocks.

Macie put her stuff out in the goodie room - well, actually goodie rooms - two separate guest rooms since all the bigger rooms are spoken for. Some of her stuff is already gone and she has a bunch of business cards already for the drawing - prize is a $25 B&N gift card. She made me wear this button she made - about her book.

So far I've seen Nisha and Deanna, Dianne and Jim, Charity, and Shirley Hailstock. I think I almost ran into Eloisa James in the elevator - I think. There are a lot of people, but they were taking walk-in registrations, so maybe not as many as other years.

And BTW: Google maps sucks! I stopped following their directions and the hotel was around the corner.

Going to shower and change and go to the literacy signing. I already have 6 free books.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blogging RWA National

I haven't left yet - still at work. But I think I have everything I'll need-except for the wine - getting that after work. Then I'll finish packing, make sure the cats have food and water (Uncle Richard is coming in to feed and play with them while I'm gone), clean the litter boxes and water my outside plants.

I want to be on the road early. Maybe, if I'm very lucky, my room will be ready when I get there. I read that a large convention was leaving the Marriott today - so it's a possibility.

I'm taking two suitcases - one for clothes and one for the promotional stuff for Macie Carter. I mean, that girl can be a royal pain in the tuckus. She whined to me that she doesn't have nearly enough space in her car, so could I be so kind as to schlep her crap down to D.C. Yep, I'm a sucker. I'll be schlepping around for old Macie a lot the rest of this week. BUT I will have an empty suitcase to bring back tons of FREE books.

I promise to take pictures and post them on this blog.

And go to Julie told me they would have a link to me, but it's not up yet. But I will be here, blogging my little black heart out - if I can only get Macie to shut up! Did I tell you she was a pain in the tukus?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Sometimes I think I'm too old to be what I'm doing - trying to jump start a writing career and then Heather sends me this article about Mildred Riley, a romance writer, age 91.,0,7587420.story?track=rss

Okay, Mildred (and Heather), I'm not too old.
I have to remember Macie Carter's tag line: "Love and Passion Are Ageless..."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

When Characters Don't Do What You Want....

Okay. I had an idea for my story - two men in the heroine's life, the hero and the anti-hero.

But the anti-hero suddenly became the hero as I was writing today and the entire story has changed to a reverse "Pretty Woman" thing. So will save the idea of a woman being in love with two men for another story. I like the reverse Pretty Woman meets American Gigolo idea. I must be stuck on Richard Gere today (or any day..... would be okay).

And I'm not even using the second man. I'll just save him, until I need him. Hmm? Now where can I store him - someplace where he won't go stale............