writers

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?

 

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

 

Blog ready…

Just had a great workshop today by Julia Smith on how to blog, what to blog and how to find your blog community.

http://julia-mindovermatter.blogspot.com/

We are both members of RWA Atlantic Chapter.  I know both myself and my guest enjoyed the workshop.

Thursday night 6-9pm we have an event at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery on Barrington Street in Halifax, N.S. where authors and business professionals will meet to mingle with each other.  Fruit art by Fruitful Expressions will be there as well as catering by George & Lito’s Catering.  My company Charlie Mac Productions Inc. is working with Rich Graphics on this event and we’re hoping that the great community that is Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford/Lower Sackville join in and say hi to each other.

RWA Atlantic Chapter really is the group where I can just relax and let my mind think of creative ideas for my writing.  The retreat I went to back in October was intense (I had to leave early) but unbelievably productive.  I got my character out of a deep pit and started the re-jig of my author website plus blog.  I never thought I would find such comradeship.

Also, yesterday I finished a 1.5 day Creative Business Retreat for the female solopreneur and I’m looking forward to working Jac McNeil into our lives more.

http://www.highlandcoaching.com/

Are you in?  Because I know I am.  I know where I am.

RWA and Bconnected meet Thursday Feb 10th at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery