The Golden Heart

Today’s the day, folks. Honestly, I’ve not been counting done the days or anything like that, just glancing at the calendar every once in awhile noting that the day is closer and closer.

Doing that has made me realize how quickly the time is passing and I find it rather alarming.

I remember the days of my youth when time would draaaaaag out and it seemed I’d never get to that next aging ‘pinnacle’, whether it was getting my driver’s license or turning 18 or whatever. Once you’ve passed all those milestones, it reinforces (to me, at least) that it’s important to keep setting your own goals and milestones so that you don’t become bogged down in a one-step-after-the-other, putting-in-your-time kind of attitude that takes you into old age where you suddenly say, “Where did my life go?”.

Because honestly, that’s scary.

Yes, the bills need to be paid and the housework needs to be done, but there’s so much more to life!
Sea to Sky highwayWe’ve each been given a life to celebrate, so let’s each one of us make the best of it.

Day in and day out finding happiness and looking for the beauty in all the little things…the way the sun glints off water…the way a snowflake falls to the ground…the laugh of a child…the lines of wisdom marking your face or that of someone you love.

Patterns of beauty are all around us. We only need to take the time to appreciate them. And ourselves.

So much to see and do. Pick the important stuff.

Be good to yourself. Be happy.

And if you want to keep track of the finalists for both the Golden Heart and The Rita, I’m told this is the place to be.

Lessons Learned

When David Morrell’s Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing was first published, I didn’t read it. Saw it advertised and it piqued my interest a bit, but my TBR pile was already *huge* and I didn’t much feel like adding to the stack already leaning precariously.

But then ToniLoreth and I were having a discussion awhile back (as we are prone to do) and Loreth recommended it.

Whammo! Instant bypass of the TBR pile (similar, in fact, to a MS bypassing the slushpile with the coveted ‘Requested Material’ moniker).

And now I’ve read it and I’m glad I did.

The thing I like the most about it?

First of all, what’s not to like, but besides all the great practical advice presented in a practical manner, I am impressed with the fact that Mr. Morrell doesn’t look down his nose at the varied genres of fiction.

At all.

It’s a we’re-all-in-the-same-boat-folks-let’s-row-together kind of attitude he presents and it’s refreshing to say the least. As some of you know, that’s not an attitude every writer/agent/editor shares. Should be, but unfortunately it isn’t. Mr. Morrell does his best to dispel of it, though. Kudos to him. And to Loreth for recommending the book.

Let’s Talk About Goals, Shall We?

It’s a fresh new school year and I feel like I need to make some concrete goals, especially now that I’ve got committed myself to a bazillion activities with the kids. If I don’t, I know I’ll let my writing take a second seat and I’m just not willing to let that happen this year.

So that being said, RISING SIN needs to be whipped into shape for the GH and TRAIL OF REDEMPTION needs to be finished and then edited (especially after I hacked out the middle of it — but that’s another story). So you’ll see some boxed additions to the side of my blog noting my progress for each of my goals.

And I wanted to add that my good friend, Loreth, who is not only a writing inspiration, but my running inspiration, as well, is doing her first marathon in a few days and so I’m officially declaring my marathon candidacy for 2006. I’m not sure if that’s a realistic timeframe just yet, but I’m going to give it a good go and if I need until 2007, so be it. It’s my long term running goal and I’m sticking with it.

So here they are…

1. RISING SIN in tip top shape and in the mail for the GH by mid November
2. Finish and edit TRAIL OF REDEMPTION by Christmas


3. RUN, rabbit, RUN.

My Good Friend Jenny

JENNY AND HER BEST FRIEND 2cropSo as soon as I found out I was heading to the RWA conference this year, I checked to see if my most favorite author was going to be in attendance, you know…Jennifer Crusie? My good friend, Jenny?

Turns out she was, so you can imagine what that did to my heartrate. I was going to have a chance to meet her!

As it turns out, I met her several times over the course of the conference and after she signed my book for the literacy booksigning and remembered me from the night before, I knew I was going to have to play it cool.

Cooler than I’d ever been before. Waaaaaaay cool because she’s one forthright lady with a huge personality presence.

By the third time we’d met (in what will forever be known in my memory as the “studies have shown” incident ;) I knew in my heart Jenny and I probably weren’t going to be best of friends after all (especially since it seems there was a long waiting list ahead of me and she seems content with the number of friends she has already).

And besides, I’m too low-key and she’s too exuberant. She’d have exhausted me within the first 5 minutes of any real friendship and I probably would have bored her to tears. I’m not writing it off completely, mind you. Just not pinning any hopes on it. There’s always next year in Atlanta, I figure. :)

Regardless, she’s a great writer and there’s no one in my opinion that can nail down characters and dialogue like she can. The lady knows her craft and is always a stellar read.

She’s got a new book due out in 2006. A collaboration with the YEC (yucky emotional crap) hating Bob Mayer called Don’t Look Down. It sounds terrific and I can hardly wait to hold it my hot little hands. :) 

This was my first JC book. My favorite, I think, but then they’re all great so it’s hard to choose just one.

Kiss of Death Tour RWA 2005

The photograph is of Franny, a brave and fellow KOD’er climbing a 100 foot rescue ladder provided by the good members of the local fire department in Reno, Nevada.

Right below her, to make sure she didn’t fall or to catch her if she did, was one of the department’s hunky fireguys. You’ve got to wonder why the line up to climb the ladder was so long, hmmm? ;)

Kidding aside though, they were a great bunch of guys and were more than willing to answer our many varied questions about the life and career of a firefighter, as well as show us their smoke tower, their engines and various equipment including the now famous ladder.

Loreth Anne White

small lorethI’d like to introduce my roommate and friend, Loreth Anne White. She writes for Silhouette Intimate Moments and is fabulous in every sense of the word. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to meet her.

This is a picture of Loreth at the RWA Readers For Life Literacy Autographing where 450 authors signed and sold their books to countless fans in a 3 hour time frame collecting $58 000 to help fight illiteracy across the United States and Canada.

When they opened the doors to let everyone in you should have felt the floor shake!

While Loreth was signing books, I helped people add up their grand totals while they waited patiently in the queues (as Toni would call them). It was a great experience and I had so much fun meeting my fellow RWA members and all the fans that came out to support a truly wonderful cause.

Rendezvoused in Reno

Toni and SuzThis is a picture of my extremely entertaining friend and roommate, Toni sidled up to her most favorite author, Suz Brockmann. Can’t you just see the glee in Toni’s eyes? It’s there for a reason!

Toni and I attended a get together of Suz’s and this was the point in the conference where I had never laughed so hard! It was a great time and we were well entertained, as well as awestruck over how down to earth and likable Suz really is. Not to mention her husband. And her friend Eric. And her mom. And her dad. (Oh yeah, they were there too!)

Suz’s husband is Ed Gaffney and he’s now published too. I’m looking forward to picking up Premeditated Murder and giving it a go. I’m thinking if he’s got Suz for a critique partner, he’s going to do just fine.

Suz & CrewHere’s a picture of Suz and her crew who entertained us with Eric’s spoof skit of Suz’s books to date.
From left to right back row: Eric, Rob Mann (as Sam Starrett), Catherine Mann, Ed and Suz.

From left to right front row: Virginia Kantra, unknown, Alesia Holliday and a lucky audience participant.

Weight Restrictions

All right.Everyone on my writing loops is in a big tizzy about how to get all those free books home from Reno, but I don’t get it.

My airline ticket says I’m allowed to bring 2 checked bags (within standard size requirements which to my back packing self seem *huge*) and that each can weigh up to 70 pounds (OMG that’s more than my eldest child weighs) and that my 2 carry on bags can weigh 22 pounds each. That’s 184 pounds of luggage. That’s a *tremendous* amount.What’s all the guff about?

Now I’ve looked at my little pile of outfits for each day (7 in total) and including shoes (5 pairs — just call me Imelda ;) , make up, etc. I’m probably going to max out at 50 pounds. And believe me, that’s being generous. Very generous.
Is everyone just overpacking, packing normal or am I an underpacking freak? If it’s the underpacking freak thing, I guess I’m going to have a lot of good free reads, aren’t I?
This is me off to pack my suitcase with a bunch of books to just see what all the fuss is about.

Reno RWA

70 days and counting…

Who: Me and approximately 2000 other Romance Writers Of America (this includes Jenny, Nora, Susan & Suzanne!)

What: Romance Writer’s of America National Conference

Where: Reno, Nevada

When: July 25 – 31, 2005

Why: To celebrate our writing genre and all of its great contributors.

This is my first conference by the way, not to mention my first time away from the girls since…well, since ever, actually (but only if you don’t count the odd trip to Wal-Mart which *really* doesn’t count, trust me ;) and the first time I’ve traveled out of the country (Oh Canada!) since journeying to Europe in ‘92.

I’m excited, but trying to be savvy and cool about the whole thing without wetting my pants in my delirium. Mostly it works. :)

Okay. I’m a geek, but those of you who know me well know I don’t care.

I’m a romantic-going-to-National-learning-my-craft-geek.

AND I’m going to have my picture taken with Jenny. My good friend Jenny. She just doesn’t know it yet ;)