To Golden Heart or Not

the ritaI’m finding myself in a bit of a quandary this day.

Each year RWA holds it’s prestigious contests recognizing the best in published and unpublished romance writing (The RITA and the GOLDEN HEART, respectively).

Now the RITA is a given — you can’t enter what you don’t have, but the GOLDEN HEART is a different ballgame.

Last year I judged in the category I’d be entering this year and remember thinking “My story is better than this. I’ve got to enter next year” (and keep in mind that this thought came without arrogance, because we all start somewhere in this business and the learning curve doesn’t ever go flat, no matter how well you write).

And then while attending Nationals in Reno this summer, watching all the winners go up on stage in a presentation completely reminiscent of the Oscars, I thought, “Next year that’s got to be me up there.”

So yesterday I was completely ready to enter RISING SIN, had filled out all my online forms, but then on the last page the website conked out on me and it got me thinking that it was a *sign* of some sort.

But what kind of sign? I asked myself considering both sides of the situation which is, as a few of you know, the ever present affliction I suffer from.

Right there on the website it says, “Check-out may take some time to complete. Be patient,” so perhaps the sign meant “How bad do you want this? Are you willing to fight for it?” or perhaps the sign was “Don’t subject your good story to this contest. You can do well without it.”

Indecision is a terrible thing. :/

But as I’ve written this, I’ve decided that I’m fighting for it. It’s only ever been in two contests, one of which it won (The Golden Opportunity) and the other, The Daphne, where it only missed finaling by a point and damn it, it’s a good story. It should be in the Golden Heart.

If Jessica decides to buy it before the contest deadline is up, I’ll be out $50, but I think I could probably handle it. :)

If she doesn’t and it finals, I guess I’d be off to Nationals in Atlanta next summer to see how far it makes it. That’s definitely not a bad thing.

No guts, no glory, right?

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.

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 ;)