rwac

Kansas City Love Train

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, MO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get on the train.

The love train!

After nine months of not submitting or really writing the wips I have for the submission process I have finally been jolted back into why I write.

Because I love it!

Thanks to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City, Missouri I have watched my friends who are published have great fun and success at their events.  I’ve also made new friends and attended fantastic panels on craft (how to write) and business (how to sell to agents, publishers and editors).

So, I hit send on my email and sent off my short story last week.  Don’t worry – the nail biting has already begun on that one.  Thanks to the “Write 50 books in a Year” panel I now have an organized spreadsheet up until October of this year of what I’m writing and submitting.  Which will hopefully turn into a column of what gets accepted and what gets rejected on the spreadsheet as I continue writing, editing and submitting.

Kansas City, MO.  What a great city.  Home of jazz and historic downtown buildings.  With fun trips to the shopping centres and busy highways leading out of the city.  My drive from the airport took me past the Majestic Restaurant and Jazz Club http://www.majestickc.com/ and other hole-in-the-wall restaurant and clubs.  I even sped by the Friday Night Farmers Market http://www.badseedkc.com/farm/the-farmers-market/ which caught my attention with the words “Bad Seed.”

And thanks to Author Shawna Romkey’s family I visited and ate at the famous Arthur Bryant’s BBQ restaurant.  http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/index.htm

The convention really kept us hopping from morning until late at night.  It was fun but I found parts of it long winded so you really have to choose what you want to see and do.  Also, I know authors who had agents stand them up at appointments.  Meh.  It’s over 2,000 people – what do you do?

Had a great time at publisher spotlights on Entangled Publishing, Sourcebooks and ChocLit.

Oh, and I did visit JC Penny and Macy’s.  What’s a girl to do when you have one shopping day?

 

Cover reveal: Author Shawna Romkey’s “Speak of the Devil”

Author Shawna Romkey's cover reveal

Author Shawna Romkey’s cover reveal

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com

 

 

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

 

 

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and that they are falling too.

 

 

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, find a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

 

 

What do you think of this great cover?  Due out March 15th, 2013 from Crescent Moon Press.  http://www.crescentmoonpress.com/

Jerowrimo prep

In order to prep for any writing challenge it’s necessary to decide what kind of animal you are with writing.

Do you have an outline or are going to put one down on paper/bulletin board?  This could mean you’re a plotter.  You like to know how characters will develop throughout the chapters ahead of time or maybe you have an idea of the order of scenes you want to develop your character arc in…

If you don’t do any of that you may be a panster.  You just write.  Your characters are in your head knocking on your ears to get out.  Great.

Either method works and I sometimes use a combination of the two.  I did so much traveling last year that I would get dream like story ideas as I dozed away on the plane and immediately grab my iphone to write up a sentence or two of what I remembered.  These little gems are filed away in my “to do” file on my laptop and are festering in the back of my head for any writing challenge I undertake.

So.  I already have enough coffee lined up for the month of Feb.  I know when and where I need to visit family and friends.  I’m twitching to use the Twitter hashtag #1K1HR at will multiple times a day.

I also know exactly what I’m doing with Charlie Mac and my Beachbody business so I don’t feel like I can’t write each day.  I have a schedule all planned.

Time to get in the writing kitchen and put words on a blank page that I will call my own.

Disneyland, Laguna Beach and #RWA12

 

Over the past week I enjoyed a trip to Calgary, Alberta for my Grandmother Clem Woods’ memorial and then I was whisked away by WestJet to California.

 

Oh, California!  What a great time!

 

First off, I arrived a day early so that I had plenty of time to figure out the hotel and get situated before thousands of writers (published and unpublished) descended upon Anaheim, California for Romance Writers of America 2012 Conference.  I also visited the pool and beat away children from my seat.  How dare they try to have a good time in the world of Disneyland!  LOL.  That was my pool chair, dammit.

 

Next, I ran into writer Nikki McIntosh from my RWA chapter in Atlantic Canada randomly near the hotel Lobby.  We made plans for supper the next day – Cheesecake Factory baby!  And it was awesome.

 

Wednesday I caught the bus to Disneyland (could’ve walked) and ran around taking pics before the major crowds occurred plus bought some souvenirs.  Then, I splurged on a cab to visit Laguna Beach.  Y’know.  Where they filmed The Hills?!  I had the best lunch at BJs at Laguna Beach and did some major beach sitting as close to the Lifeguard station as I could.  He was a hottie.

 

Nikkie McIntosh and Donna Alward were up for awards.  Nikki for the Golden Heart and Donna for the Rita.  (See pics below).

 

Here are their Facebook pages for you to “like”

https://www.facebook.com/nikki.mcintosh.908

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donna-Alward-Romance-Author/114558931895535

 

 

I’m sad to say these two great writers did not win.  However, like I said to Nikki they were stars among thousands of entries and would always have the honour of being nominated plus bonding with their other award nominees.

 

I went to workshops, I pitched to two agents and two editors and I had the best time!  I also tweeted like crazy with the #RWA12 because there was so much going on I felt like I was double booked.  And I have to say, the line up for the Kensington signing didn’t warn me that by the time Nikki and I got there 20 mins after they opened that there would be no books.  We managed to grab advanced reading copies of Victoria Alexander’s new book which I had signed for my Aunts in Calgary, Alberta.  Victoria Alexander was so gracious!

 

If I go to the next one I’ll bring a Fed Ex box with me.  All those free books would’ve compromised my weight at the luggage scale at WestJet so I shipped quite a few back.

 

And, I managed to plop down Trindiebooks.com bookmarks in the Goodie room and was happy to see the pile reduced by the end of the day each day.

 

Had a blast.  Made new friends.  Secured books.  What more could you ask for? Oh, right… that publishing contract.  😉

 

Trindiebooks in the Goodie Room at RWA 12

Pitches waiting area for Agents and Editors

Line up for Kensington Authors SigningOther part of the Kensington Author line up

20 mins after Kensington Author Signing opened its doors

Nikki's Nomination

Donna's nomination

 

Own the words you say.

Own the words you say.

I’m not just coming into that sentence as a new writer but as someone who’s very aware of the words that I choose when I converse.

Getting into the Maritime Gift Show was billed as being a lucrative spot.  Their words influenced my decision.  That’s not going to happen again! Here’s the pic that shows how we were all lucky if we got 30 people in attendance at our booths.  Plus, Hall 2 (there were only 2) was on top of the ice rink.  Brrr!  For four days I was layered and double socked.

No one at the Gift Show day after day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Hearts on Fire event Feb 9th 2012 at The Halifax Club my tongue felt like it was choking my throat due to the nerves of how the event was going to go over.  I had other writers and guests tell me the same thing – they were watching what they said while having a great time mingling.  One of the topics was the upcoming Women Making Waves Conference happening at Mount Saint Vincent University which I missed last year but I’m going to it this year with author Julia Phillips Smith.   http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com

Here’s the people who made the Hearts on Fire Event happen:  (Watch for the RWAC writers on Live at Five Tuesday Feb 14 2012).

Trevor Romkey, Shawna Romkey, Caroline Ruyle, Shelley LeBlonc, The Halifax Club’s Edwinna.

http://www.dogwoodconsulting.com

Hearts on Fire Design by Caroline Ruyle

Had a great time at The Halifax Club!

Nanowrimo and other adventures!

As I hit my stride this Monday morning I realize I love writing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just setting up my first critique partner and starting to submit short stories so my writing could be crap. But the act of brewing coffee after walking the dogs and then settling in front of the laptop to write with them at my feet is precious. I hope that no matter what happens with my writing as I pursue it as a career that I keep this enjoyment with me.
So I am loving Nanowrimo which is an organization that organizes a challenge – write a book/novel in a month. Their website is http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

This challenge is supported by my writing group that is a part of Romance Writers of America. I’m using it to write a Fae story because I can’t get enough of the Sidhe Court. I just finished Yasmine Galenorn’s “Night Veil” and I’m impatiently waiting for the next one! I also loved the Mercedes Lackey series like Born to Run. And while I enjoy the tv series “Lost Girl” I am finding it harder to watch as I emphasize so much with the female lead that sometimes I just can’t watch what she goes through.
This past Sunday I missed out on my Romance Writers of American chapter meeting. I worked instead at the Trend and Fashion Expo http://www.trendandfashionexpo.com run by East Coast Dynamics http://eastcoastdynamics.com for Fifth Avenue Collection http://www.fifthavenuecollection.com/taram     I do love that job. And, as it was at the World Trade & Convention Centre the event had help setting up and tearing down so I wasn’t covered in sweat and changing into outfits like other events/festivals. I have to thank Brennan Handy and Devin Sherrington for helping me keep fitness in my life as all the cardio pays off at events like these where you’re packing and lifting boxes.
Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s hoping we get a light winter. LOL.

By the way on November 11th, 2011 Author Julia Phillips Smith will be releasing her debut novel “Saint Sanguinus.”  Check her out at http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com  and on November 10th, 2011 she’ll be chatting about her self publishing at DartNet After Hours held at Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe in Dartmouth, N.S. on Portland Hills Drive.  http://dartnet.ca

 

Watches, Rings and Gold

Silver, colour and my draw for a 50.00 gift certificate

Greece and other pics – a short, sweet summer of memories.

I just came from a great Writer’s Retreat at White Point Beach Lodge past Liverpool in Nova Scotia with RWAC.  Very productive.  Time to submit stuff!  We watched the films “It’s Complicated” and “Due Date.”  Love, love Meryl Streep.

http://www.romancewritersac.com

P.S. Get Ready for 11/11/11  http://juliaphillipssmith.com

Adirondack Chair overlooking a lake next to the Atlantic Ocean

I know I’m lucky.  I managed to find a second job that pays well and it’s in direct selling with Fifth Avenue Collection (My Open House is Oct 28 7-9pm, Oct 29 2-4pm, Oct 30 2-4pm if you’re interested stop by).  This second job has given me the freedom to take a few “extra” trips this past year that I ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to take.  I went to Calgary, Alberta is August and saw my Grandmother before her 104th birthday and I’m glad I did as she passed away October 2nd, 2011.  When Debbie Ford from TPI Travel said, months ago, that she had a Greek trip planned and there were a few more seats available my hand went up.  I hummed and hawed over going to Greece the past year and realized, like Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Australia and Runaway Bay, Jamaica that if I could go I should just do it.

The Greek trip was amazing.  I saw a lot of great islands, our group was not affected by the strikes, I climbed up to the Acropolis in Athens but forgot my memory card, did some shopping and sat by a harbour eating Apple Pie with ice cream while enjoying a latte in Mykonos and saw plenty of beaches.  I hope the people of Greece climb out of their economy like Germany did years ago and realize their strengths (which is why Germany is so successful today in its economy).  For now, here are some photos.

CRETE, SANTORINI, PAROS, MYKONOS

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Rained Out at Lake Banook, Manulife Dragon Boat Race 2011

I just had the best time of my life!

It started Thursday night with advance prep of what jewelery I was going to take to the event I signed up weeks ago.  I did a search for festivals around Nova Scotia and queried like crazy sending out emails and leaving voicemails at every one I logistically could get to on a budget.

This is my first one:  The Manulife Dragon Boat Festival July 9 2011 location: Lake Banook, Dartmouth, N.S.

What a great time!  The people were hard core into their racing and got over the “is this a joke?” re: my recruiting sign for jewelery to “oh god this is really nice jewelery and I can get it for free if I host a party??!”

I also had a great prize which I’m going to draw for in about 30mins after I dry out a bit more.  The prize was a Fifth Avenue Collection coffee mug, a $25.00 hostess gift certificate to be used for any jewelery she doesn’t get for free or for a later date or web order, one book by author Julianne Maclean, author Jennie Marsland and author Daisy Piper (all Nova Scotian authors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left side under Macfarlands’ tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right side of my jewelry table safely under the Macfarlands rental tent (an industrial type tent – no walls).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My recruiting sign that brought a few people over to check the brand out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, soaked.

My shirt is a maroon colour and it was black from the 1.5km walk I did with luggage and table when we were told we could leave.  One of the drawbacks of doing an event by yourself is that you physically assemble everything on your own.  Also, the parking for the venue was off site meaning I had to park in a zone that wasn’t a NO Saturday Parking Zone so I didn’t get ticketed.  Besides having the fire marshall walk through the entire venue along with paramedics there were traffic police.  Not a good time to argue with them, therefore, the 1.5km walk to get a good parking spot.  I arrived at 6:15am and took my time to set up as I had until 8am.  There were vendors who came all at once at 7:45 am and missed some of the early dragon boaters who checked out my product at their lesiure before the races started.

What a great time!  Click the sentence below for a video of the rainfall we had just as the races were heating up!

The driving rain that made us all pack up and leave…

@Apieceofmymind author Julia Phillips Smith and RWAC in New York

Producing video has been always something I enjoyed due to the people I get to work with.

Working on this book trailer that can be seen at Author Julia Phillips Smith website was a lot of fun.  It was work, don’t get me wrong, and we shot weeks ago but thanks to everyone who worked on it, cast and crew plus our editor we have a finished video.

http://juliaphillipssmith.com/

Julia is also on Twitter @apieceofmymind and Facebook.  Her manuscript about vampires is one of the most compelling stories I’ve recently read in part due to the fact that these vampires don’t want to be your family pet and they don’t glitter in the sun.  We have blood (as we’re human) and they want our blood.

The story that erupts between Peredur (the main hero) and Tanwen (his love interest) is honest and tragic.

So, knowing that Julia Smith is heading to New York City this week for the Romance Writers of America Conference I wish her well.  I don’t know, much like when I first started to read her manuscript, how it’ll turn out but I know one thing – I liked her book and as a paranormal/fantasy reader I know I want to see it on a bookshelf or on an e-reader that I have paid for.

Sure there’s a lot of authors out there doing the e-pub thing.  I’m going to be one of them at the end of this year.  However, I know that this story written by Julia will be an interest for TOR and HQN publishers as I read their lines all the time and she fits into their genres.  What happens next is all up to the author and whatever way she decides to publish.

Good Luck, Julia and the other 12 authors going down from our writing chapter!  http://www.romancewritersac.com/

 

Passion. Love. Hate. It’s all on set but mostly off re: customer service.

Here’s my gripe:  when I called on Tuesday to find out what had happened to an order that was due that day I went through an experience that made me realize I can’t ever order from Dark Night Armoury ever again.  First, they were surprised I had an order number.  Second, they put me on hold for 40 mins trying to find my order.  Turns out that the order had never been shipped as part of the order had been placed on backorder.  Then, the customer service department realized that no email had been sent out to me to let me know about this.  When I asked if I could get the rest of the order shipped anyways they firmly said “no.”  Apparently, as the shipping had been paid for there was no flexibility.  When I asked if I could cancel that order and then re-order the costumes in stock they also firmly said “no.”  They did say I could have a substitution.  Once that was cleared I asked (as the original order was to be shipped expedited) if the order would make it by Friday.

Two Exceptions later (which can kill any shipment) the delivery happened Friday morning.  The shoot was Saturday morning.

What did I learn?  Not everyone is L.L. Bean with their awesome customer service and just because you’ve paid for something doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

*phew* Load off my chest.  Also, as a Producer it’s my job to mentally meltdown inside so that the Director doesn’t panic.  That’s how I see it.  That’s how I work.  I also work with new and up-and-coming Directors to give them a break at their first directing set that other companies might not invest the time and money into them.  I see Talent and if I can work with you we are on for a 3 week love affair that better end well.  Respect me and I respect you. :)

Special thanks to the Talent:  Brad Smith, Bernie Matthew, Stevie Cooper and Scott Baker.  Kudos to Luke Hudgins and Caroline Ruyle for amazing work.  The hidden costuming gem at the Smith household was a great find!

Thanks to PS Atlantic for timely service and ultimately Steve Richard & Todd Murchie for teaching us lighting.

Today, at my RWAC meeting I won two books:  The Color of Heaven by Julianne MacLean and Indefensible by Pamela Callow.

Guess what? Harlequin is coming to Halifax in September as part of the RWAC Executive working on our workshops.  I’m hopefully going to be able to pitch.  We’ve also had some brave new faces at RWAC and I suspect some of the credit is due to publicity handled by Frances Leary from Wired Flare months ago (website coming soon – try facebook search for more info).

Also, this past week The Wild Rose Press (where I’m a preliminary reader) celebrated its 5 year anniversary!  Congrats to the Garden!  They also publish short stories so if you’re into writing you should check out their submissions page.