Thursday, July 7, 2011

Environment of a Writer

Anyone coming into my apartment for the first time will notice one thing - well, maybe two. First - books, books, books. My shrink once said I use them as a wall to keep people out. So? I love books. Some people...not so much.
The second thing would be the cats - not a herd -only three and one great big fluffy yellow one usually lounging on the little dining room table behind my desk - so he can be near me. Another one lies on the back of the sofa against my desk, his foreleg and paw next to the mouse (not a real one - computer adjunct mouse). The third lies at my feet. They're my muses - well, at least they think they are.

My "dining room table" is stacked with papers and a notebook with my latest book, along with the big fluffy cat because I don't "dine". You see, it's just me and I eat while I read emails or blogs or research, so I'm eating at my desk. Yeah, I know - not that healthy. But the cats eat well.

My young friend, Olivia, was so happy when I got a small desk to use in my small dining room and got my laptop off the "dining room table". I guess in her mind, I was moving toward being "normal". Hey, Liv - I'm a writer, I'm not normal. I couldn't write in the second bedroom where I'd set up my desktop computer. I felt like I was locked away in a back room. I wanted to be in a more open space - hence the move to the dining/living room area where I can see the action outside my patio door.

This is a writer's environment - not a big mess but definitely not OCD material either. If I'm researching, I want those books and notes at my finger tips. I'm usually reading several books at once, so they're also nearby. Thank Goddess for the Kindle or I would have even more books.

I'm thinking about this, because, you see, I will be marrying another writer next year - another lover of books, another person who goes from one thing to another, someone else who has a lot of interests. Our biggest task will be to combine all of that.

It should be fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please, may I have some more?

It's almost like getting a small taste of a great dessert and then not being allowed to eat the rest. Or it's like being told you can never have anymore - at least not for a while.

That's what it felt like being with 2000+ Writers last week at the romance Writers of American National Conference in New York.

Being at a conference like that can be invigorating and it can be discouraging - both at the same time.
Invigorating because you're around so many dynamic writers.
Discouraging're around so many dynamic writers.
And you...rather...I felt less than dynamic.

You see, I've been doing this for more than fifty years. Oh, I've been published in almost every venue except novel-length. By now I should BE there...wherever "there" is.

That's my Holy Grail - getting a book...not written - I've done that already - in fact several times...getting a book published.
Published by one of the "legacy" houses.
I loved being at National, around so many wonderful writers. My head was swimming with ideas and then I came home and wanted to keep on writing.
I wanted to revise one book, work on another and then do research for a third.
But soon reality set in and I went back to my day job...
For a while longer.
So one day I'll be eating that dessert everyday, all day.
One day I'll have that book with my name on the spine.
One day...

Monday, July 4, 2011

More Pics from NYC

 My Roomie Wiped Out

Kathy Kulig's reading in The Village began with a limo ride

RWA 11 Wrap Up

I can't say enough about RWA 2011. Everything about my four days there was wonderful - from the workshops to the people.

The high points of the conference for me were Sherrilyn Kenyon's keynote address and Candace Haven's Fast First Draft workshop. Both were inspiring. Both women have a new fan- me!

And that's what I needed. I needed time away from everything else to BE a Writer - to be with Other Writers. To be with people who understand what it's like to wake up in the morning with your head so full of ideas you have to write them down - you have to get them out.

Writers need to be around other writers. We need the validation that we're not nuts (well, maybe not totally). I've been missing my RWA Chapter meetings lately and RWA National was the perfect way for me to regain that connection.

The other high points were finally seeing Phantom of the Opera on stage and traveling to The Village/Chinatown with Kathy Kulig and meeting other erotic romance writers. Yes (big sigh) I have written one of those things - the truth is out. Lori Perkins of Ravenous Romance was a gracious hostess, taking the writers who read from their works and hangers-on (like me) out for a wonderful Chinese dinner afterward.

Would I go to RWA 12 in Anaheim?
I'm definitely thinking about that.
I'm thinking of inviting my daughter now from Seattle for that.
I'm thinking about a workshop.
And, best of all, I'm thinking about writing - and actually writing.