Saturday, July 24, 2010

Workshop Mania! Countdown to the RWA 2010 Conference

I'm beyond excited to be attending my very first RWA Nationals Conference and I've spent weeks reading over the workshop descriptions and reading comments online trying to figure out which will be the best ones for me to take.

Since I'm still so green, I've decided to focus on mostly craft workshops and because Harlequin is my target publisher I'll be hitting every Harlequin event I can. Obviously all of them except the big Harlequin party that is invitation only - although I've been advised I should try to crash it! I'd have to have a partner in crime because I'm too much of a rule follower to do it all on my own. :)

My little OCD self created a personal conference agenda with color-coded conference tracks and an hour by hour schedule. For the tracks, I've listed my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice workshops available at that time along with any publisher spotlights. All color coded and listed in order of what I think will be my top choices.

Also on the agenda are any meetings I've set up - including a twitter/blogger meet-up at the Cabana Bar by the pool on Wed. from 7:30 til whenever...Stop by! It's open to everyone!

I'm also crazy excited to meet many of my fellow Romance Divas for a night of sure-to-be fun karaoke.

Most of all though, I can't wait to spend time with two awesome writers from The Romance Writer's Revenge who I want to smother in hugs and who have been gracious enough to let me crash in their room for a night or two. They may not fully understand why I love them so, but their support online has meant the world to me and really gave me the confidence to start this writing journey.

More than anything from Nationals, I'm hoping to meet some great writers and cultivate a few relationships into possible critique partners or writing cheerleaders! Wish me luck!
What about you? If you're going to Nationals what workshops are you most looking forward to or what is your driving goal for attending?Any tips for a newbie?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Not forking out the dough for the RWA Conference this year, with evening wear, suits, high heels and whatever "business casual" means?

Not to worry! Romance Divas is hosting the

Not Going to Conference Conference...

The Conference You Don't Have to Get Out of Bed For

From July 28-31, come hang out with some terrific, savvy authors -- and you don't even have to brush your teeth (although, seriously, good dental hygiene gets you extra points.)

We'll be hosting panels on:

The Power of Three: A crit group tell-all (Paranormal)
Crystal Jordan
Patti O'Shea
Dayna Hart/Rowan Larke

The Lolitas of STEAMED! Present Writing the Steampunk Romance -more than leather corsets and brass goggles!
Marie-Claude Bourque
Theresa Meyers

Whips, Chains, Slings, Oh My: It Really Isn’t About the Toys (BDSM Erotica)
James Buchanan
Joey Hill

The Great Big YA Panel
Rhonda Stapleton
Shannon Delany
Kiersten White
Carrie Ryan
Linda Gerber
Saundra Mitchell
Lara Zielin
Brenna Yovanoff

Register for free at Romance Divas, then come join us on the forums for the discussions, as well as some terrific prizes:
Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin:
1) erotic e-books, THE SEEKING KISS and TEMPT ME TWICE.
2) a synopsis critique in any sub-genre of erotica/erotic romance.
Jax Cassidy:
1) erotic e-books, DEVIL'S HEART and BRUSH STROKES.
2) book cover design or banner ad
Kristen Painter:
copy of her e-book, ALL FIRED UP
Rhonda Stapleton:
1) STUPID CUPID YA Book trilogy
2) a proposal critique (1st 3 chapters and synopsis) for any genre of book, romance or not
K.B. Alan:
1) The choice of one of her e-books: PERFECT FORMATION, ALPHA TURNED or BOUND BY SUNLIGHT.
2) A $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.
AJ Chase: copies of e-book CAT AND MOUSE
Inez Kelley:
1) e-book package of both MYLA BY MOONLIGHT and SALOME AT SUNRISE
2) The complete Dirty Laundry Series (3 e-novellas) co-written by Ginny Glass aka Wordsugar and Inez Kelley
Kate Pearce:
1) a three chapter ~and~ synopsis critique-any erotic romance, paranormal romance or historical romance.
2) Winners choice, in either print or e-book format (if available), of a set of the Simply series (there are 5) ~or~ a set of the Cowboys (there are 3) ~or~ a copy of KISS OF THE ROSE-readers choice.
R.G. Alexander:
Winners choice of any two e-books from her Samhain or Ellora's Cave back list
Nadia Lee:
Critique of 1st chapter & synopsis-paranormal or contemporary romance
Shelley Munro: Winners choice of any one her backlist books from Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press
Ciar Cullen: Winner's choice of any one e-book on her website.
Voirey Linger: A copy of her e-book RISKING ETERNITY
RF Long:
1) a submission package critique (letter, synopsis and 3 chapters)
2) e-books! (details TBA)
Crystal Jordan:
1) 1st chapter and synopsis critique
2) One copy of any e-book off her Samhain backlist (
3) One copy of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (print or electronic, winner's choice)
Jeannie Lin:
1) a first chapter critique, any genre
2) an official BUTTERFLY SWORDS souvenir charm
Elise Logan: Winner's choice of any e-book from her backlist
Marguerite Labbe
1) A critique of an m/m story
2) Signed copies of her m/m vampire trilogy MY HEART IS WITHIN YOU, HAUNTED BY YOUR SOUL and OUR SACRED BALANCE
Seeley DeBorn:
One jar of home made body or face scrub, customized to the winner's preferences and skin type.
For example: Orange Spice Oatmeal, Coffee-Cocoa, Citrus Salt, Lavender Mint, Honey and Flax
Sela Carsen
: a copy of her e-book CAROLINA WOLF
Hailey Edwards:
1) a copy of her sweet fantasy romance ebook, EVERLONG.
2) two five dollar MBaM gift cards
Charlotte McClain:
Copy of her two e-books, LOVE TO DECLARE and ROCK STAR'S RETREAT
Cynthia Justlin: (Golden Heart Finalist!) Proposal Critique (3 Chapters and synopsis)-any genre other than erotic
Lainey Bancroft:
1) signed copies of her contemporary romance, THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA and her chick lit romance COZUMEL KARMA
2) Proposal critique (3 chapters and a synopsis) any genre except Steampunk
Tina Burns-Publisher-Liquid Silver Books:
1) a critique of 1st 3 chapters & synopsis
2) 3 be-book prizes for 3 different winners! Winners choice of any one e-book download from LSB library.
Winner's choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
Taneasha: handmade jewelry by our own Taneasha-details to come!
Barbara Sheridan
1) Winners choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
2) Critique of up to 20 pages of either M/M, or M/F romance or erotic romance in various subgenres (contemporary, historical, paranormal or suspense/mystery)
David Bridger:
A copy of his ebook BEAUTY AND THE BASTARD
Victoria Janssen:
3 print books TBA (whatever she finds at the RWA Conference)
Gemma Halliday:
Signed copy of SCANDAL SHEET
Jennifer Leeland/Jennifer McKenzie:
1) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR PLEASURE (Kindle version available upon request)
2) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR DESIRE (Releasing June 29th) (Kindle version available upon request)
3) copy of her e-books The Command Series (Trilogy)
4)copy of her BDSM e-book series (3 from TWRP and 1 from Samhain)
Emily Ryan-Davis:
1) Critique of novella-length (up to 30k) manuscript; any time period, m/f, menage, f/f (m/m not her area of expertise)
2) signed print copies of her anthology: MATING CALL, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND
3) e-book copy of CHANGING THUMBELINA
Sabrina Darby:
1) Signed copy of her erotic historical novel, ON THESE SILKEN SHEETS
2) Critique of first thirty pages of any Regency (erotic or non erotic fine, but m/m outside my area of expertise)
Alina Morgan:
1) copy of her e-book The Twilight Deception
2) copy of her e-book The Shadow Unveiled
Debbie Mumford:
1) Critique of a synopsis
2) Winner's choice of any e-book from her back list.
Kimberly Troutte:
1) copy of her e-book SOUL STEALER
2) copy of her e-book CATCH ME IN CASTILE
Sasha Devlin:
1 pair of hand made writing mitts or gloves-style and color TBD by the winner
Julia Knight
Winner's choice of one copy of any of her books available in e-book format

Friday, July 16, 2010

When New Ideas Attack!

My current WIP is at 22,000 words. It's my first ever attempt at writing a book and to say it's been a long process so far is an understatement. What it has been is a learning experience about what helps me write faster, the fact that I'm a little more of a plotter than a pantser, that somehow keeping constant watch on my word count makes me move the story along faster, etc. etc.

What I didn't expect, and therefore wasn't prepared for, were all the great story ideas that would come to me while working on this book. I don't mean just those cute little snippets of ideas, I mean a fully fleshed out trilogy of books in a genre I hadn't expected to write in.

What's even worse? It's a fantastic idea. Even the hubby was like "Yeah. Why aren't you writing that story?" Gee thanks! My poor WIP is feeling a little shabby now.

Somehow, this new story idea is making me feel like I need to jazz A Passion to Protect up a little. I knew it needed something more to it but it's supposed to be a Contemporary Romantic Suspense and I shouldn't be comparing it to the Paranormal Romance idea I have. Both have their specific world-building, setting and characters but the paranormal idea is starting to seem so much more exciting to me. Not good.

I've kept some notes on the new idea so it will be there when I'm done with the WIP, but I'm wondering how do I focus back on my current story? So, I'm wondering how do other writers keep new story ideas at bay? How do you keep the excitement on your current project?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Doggone It!

I was hoping to actually get myself to write at least a few hundred words a night this week, even 100 words would have been great. But life doesn't always cooperate. On Monday the hubby rescued this cute little guy from the middle of the highway.

Scruffy, short for McSruffy McScrufferson, has been with us all week and we are totally in love. Our two dogs aren't so sure about scruffy yet, but they seem to be warming up to him.

We've spent every night this week putting up found dog fliers and going to neighborhoods to see if anyone knows scruffy or is missing him. So far, no luck. He was obviously out on the streets for a long time because he was skin and bones. We're doing our best to remedy that! Operation "fatten 'em up" is in full swing.

Although Scruffy sidetracked my goal of writing during the week, he did manage to remind me of something - that my WIP is missing a doggie sidekick. I happen to love dogs in books and think that they can say a lot about the hero or heroine who calls them buddy.

My favorite is when dogs play the role of comic relief and confidant. I'm thinking that one of my characters needs that sidekick to talk to and to help lighten the mood.

Do you include animal sidekicks in your writing? What purpose do they serve in the story?