• It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
  • A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
  • You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
  • Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
  • Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
  • I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Hi All!

As I look toward the future (and procrastinate in the present), I think about marketing my book. (You know, the one I am revising that has not yet been accepted for publication and may never be!)

Anyway, I came across this article Using Facebook to Amplify Your Reach (and Not Annoy People) that I think you may find helpful.

I have a Facebook account but don't visit all that often. Do you Facebook? Do you have a professional/business profile in addition to your private one? Do you spam your friends with advertisements for your books? (Or do you plan to once you have books published?)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Signs the Summer is Almost Over

Signs the summer is almost over:
- I did so much laundry today, the pump on my well shut off. (My youngest daughter is home from camp. Her clothes look like she's been working in a coal mine.)
- I am driving my son to daily soccer practices as he prepares to try out for his high school varsity team on Wed.
- I am shopping for my oldest daughter as she prepares to get ready to leave for college. (At the end of September.) (Oh, and I am trying to devise ways to spend every possible minute with her!)
- I received my childrens' school bus schedules. (My son's bus will be coming at 6:04 a.m.)
- I am once again receiving daily e-mails from the schools.
- I see signs for back to school sales everywhere I go.
- I am starting to stress over how busy the next few months will be.

I had big plans for my summer, lots I wanted to accomplish. My youngest daughter attended sleep away camp for two months this year, plenty of time for me to finish my revisions, plant the flowerbeds, clean her room, go through all the junk mail on the kitchen table, hire a painter to stain the deck, bring in a landscaper to pull out the overgrown, half-dead bushes around the front of my house, power wash the siding, spray the weeds, and paint the entryway from the garage, right?


Yet I've busy most every day, and not doing enjoyable summer stuff.

Where did all the time go? I'll sum it up in one word: REVISIONS. As my writer friends know, the process is torturous, and yet I've learned so much and feel my manuscript is so much better as a result. Will five + months (and counting) of revisions pay off in the long run? I've decided, yes. Whether my present work in progress is published, or the next one is. So after a weekend spent reading....I mean researching how published writers successfully convey emotion and motivation, and re-grouping after a mini-meltdown fraught with insecurity over whether I'll ever get it right, I am back to work tomorrow.

So how did you spend your summer? Did you get all your planned projects completed? Did you finish your manuscript? Your revisions? If not, don't despair. Technically, there are still a few weeks left!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Birthday

Yesterday (8/14) was my birthday. And yes, I am a Leo to the core. Anyone who has ever worked with me can attest to the fact. The reason I didn't post on my actual birthday (something like - It's my birthday and in celebration I'd love to reach 50 followers on my blog. Will you help?), is because I was a bit woebegone. (Not very Leo like, and not a word I typically associate with myself...or use for that matter.) Maybe it was because my husband and son are away for the weekend at a soccer tournament, my youngest daughter is at sleep away camp, and my oldest daughter had to work, leaving me with much too much alone time.

To me age has always been a number, not very important. 45 didn't bother me, but for some reason 46 isn't sitting well. And I fear the completion of every year closer to 50 will be the same.

"You're as old as you feel." Recently, I've started to feel old. To combat eye strain I am now wearing glasses (which really work, by the way!) My size six figure has expanded into double digits and now requires underwire and torturous 'shapeware' to be presentable at parties. My gray hair patrol is taking more time out of each day as I search out the kinky attackers, and I fear if I don't soon submit to the invasion, I will celebrate my 50th with a bald head! Some days my body feels like its been taken over by hormonal hijackers who are not willing to negotiate for a return to normalcy.

46 Dollars in my pocket - Great!
46 Peanut M&M's/Oreos - Par--Tee!
46 Years on this earth - Not so exciting. (Yes, I know, it beats the alternative.)

Is my life half over or has it only just begun? Whatever the answer, I still have goals for myself, things I'd like to achieve...publication being one. And as my children age and don't need me around as much, I can spend more time rekindling my relationships with others and doing volunteer work. However much time I have left, I plan to make the most of it.

How do you feel about aging? Grow old gracefully or hair dye and Botox? Let it all hang out or stuff it into Spanx? Wear your glasses or suffer with eyestrain?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live

Hi All!

Wow, two posts in one week. But when I come upon helpful information, I like to share it. Today, someone in one of my writing groups shared a New York Times article: Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live. Here's the link:

Anyone who posts pictures on the Internet needs to read this article.

Here is a snippet: Security experts and privacy advocates have recently begun warning about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. Because the location data is not visible to the casual viewer, the concern is that many people may not realize it is there; and they could be compromising their privacy, if not their safety, when they post geotagged media online.

How scary is that?

Do you take pictures with a GPS-equipped smartphone or digital camera and post them online? Do you even know if what you're using is a GPS-equipped smartphone or digital camera? Have you ever heard the word geotag before?

I hope you found this info. and the link helpful!
Stay safe!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Story Structure

Hi All!

On Friday, August 6th I visited Romance University and was introduced to author Larry Brooks who runs a very informative blog Today (August 10th) he has up a post about story structure and a link to a story structure poster that some of you may find helpful. I tried to copy the link but couldn't, so I highly recommend you visit Larry's blog and give a look.

I hope it helps!

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I Learned From Susan Elizabeth Phillips

While at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) National Conference, I attended a wonderful workshop given by author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. (Love her!!! Even more since meeting her in person!)

Her six magic words that lead to a bestseller: KEEP THE READER IN THE STORY.

What makes a bestseller? A compelling book written in a voice that captivates the reader.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips emphasized: Do not strive to write the perfect book, strive to write a compelling book.

What elements can make a book a bestseller?
*  Riveting plot
*  Care so much about characters we don't want to part from them
*  Author takes us into an unfamiliar world
*  Author's voice

Four tips to keeping a reader in the story:
1) Master good craft
2) Create dazzling characters
3) Write a fast moving plot
4) Write to your strengths not the market

One of her million dollar tips: Create chapter breaks that keep the reader in the story. End each chapter with a hook.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back from RWA National Conference

Hi All!
I'm back from the RWA National Conference held in Orlando, Florida. What an amazing (and overwhelming) experience! Thousands of writers and industry professionals from all over the world gathered together in one place. (I had the nerve to complain about my flight in from New York to an author from Australia!!) Excitement and creativity buzzed through the crowd. At the two luncheons, Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz gave entertaining and motivating speeches. I attended workshops taught by Suzanne Brockman, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Linda Howard, Brenda Novak, Donald Maass, and many other talented presenters. I attended book signings (carried home 49 brand new books!) and met some wonderful people whose pictures I'd like to share. Sadly, I didn't take my camera out as frequently as I should have. Hi to Amy, Marie, Abbi, Yolanda, (Yolanda's mom), Jen, Michelle, Kelsey, Tracey, Adrienne, Beppie, and Janice and everyone else who made my conference so much fun!

Me with my agent Michelle Grajkowski

Me with my writing friend and blog follower Abbi Cantrell at the Heartbeat RWA luncheon.

Me with author Janice Lynn (Dr. DiAngelo's Baby Bombshell) at brunch with Mickey.

Me with author Diane Drake (Medical Romance) and Julie Rowe (Freelance Writer and educator).

Me (center) with author Jennifer Probst (r) and writer Yolanda Sly (l), both fellow HVRWA members.

Me with Minnie

My only regrets (aside from my camera flash being unreliable), I couldn't attend all the workshops, I didn't get to meet my writing friend and blog follower Christine, and I spent Saturday night in the Orlando airport instead of attending the GH/Rita Awards Dinner.  But all in all it was a very worthwhile trip. I am rejuvenated and eager to put everything I learned into practice. 

Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting some of the things I learned at the workshops. I hope you'll stop by. 

Did you attend the RWA national conference? Any other writing conference? If so, what was your overall impression? If not, do you plan to attend an upcoming writing conference? I highly recommend you consider it.