Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm a Finalist!

Friday I found out that I'm a 2012 Unpublished Maggie Award of Excellence Finalist for my paranormal romance entry. That loud noise you hear - is me scream-laughing! I'm so excited, I can't believe it!

I've been gone for a while, trying to get this darn WIP finished and it's a wonderful feeling to have validation that you're "doing it well."

I'm listed with a wonderful group of writers and simply honored to have made it this far. Win or not - I'm on Cloud 9 for the rest of the year!

Monday, September 5, 2011

And Then There Were 3.5...

Sorry for the long hiatus. It's annual review time at my "real job" so my nights have been filled with reviewing reports and writing glowing, flowing words about how successful my staff has been this past year. I really shouldn't complain. At least we're getting raises this year so that's a good thing. 

But..... I haven't been able to write - so that suck rocks. Big. Huge. Boulders. I was hoping to use Labor Day weekend as a time to catch up - but... umm nope. That didn't happen. I've got 3.5 reviews left to complete. And my story is silent in my head. That worries me.

So I'm going to cram the next two days with "real" work so I can get back to the work I LOVE. Because in the end -- it's the real work that's paying the bills right now.... right?

Only 3.5 to go! Wish me luck!

Get your write on!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Commitment..... I Haz It!

When I returned home from the Author's After Dark Convention in Philly, I was determined to make a few changes.  One is making time to write.  Yeah, yeah. We all set word count goals and targets. I did it too. But honestly, when I failed to meet my goal for the day. I gave up. It was like a self-fulling prophesy. Create something that will be impossible to attain consistently -- and when you fail... you'll kick yourself in the butt. Get mad. Give up.

I wanted to change that.

So instead, I did something different.  I granted myself 2-hours per day for writing. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. PERIOD! Before work, after work (at work --shhhh don't tell.) Whatever it takes I was going to write SOMETHING everyday. Doesn't matter if I went to bed at 10pm or 2am. 

I'm happy to say since starting that process, my writing is moving right along. Sometimes I get in a little or a lot. Sometimes I'll just add a new paragraph or do some research. But the point is -- I'm writing. My story lives in my head daily and ideas and dialogue pour out of my fingers when I get in front of my laptop.  I'm loving it.

I know I'm not saying anything new, that hasn't already been said a million times by others. I'm just sharing that daily writing "regardless of how much" is working for ME. Because in the end - I'm the only road block that exists that can stop me from reaching my goal. A finished Novel.

Get your write on!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

AADPhilly - A Writer's Perspective - Full of Win!

Me with Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione
I've seperated my feedback on my recent trip to the Authors After Dark Conference in Philly. I attended the event as a Blogger and a Writer. To see my Blogger comments, check out Dren's B-Spot.

As a writer, my experience at AADPHILLY was truly astounding! I had my first ever Pitch Sessions with two editors - Stacy Hague Hill from TOR and Heather Osborn from Samhain publishing. Let me set up the scene....

My CRW, Blogger and Twitter buddy Penny was my road dog and roomie for this trip. We drove to Philly. Yeah -- I know. Nine hours of highway, what were we thinking? But we did. We left Charlotte at 12:45 AM -- burning rubber.  We reached the hotel at approximately 9:20 AM and after discovering we had to wait until at least 1PM to check into our rooms, we jumped into the morning activities for AADPHILLY.  

We mingled and squeed, meeting all of our twitter buddies face to face and then at around 10:30 AM went to register. It was there I discovered that my first Editor appointment with Stacy Hill was at 11:10 AM.  <insert dramatic music here>.  WHAT? 11:10AM? OMG. Panic sets in. No time to prepare or get myself pumped up. In approximately 20 minutes - I would Pitch. For the FIRST.TIME.EVER!

Penny was my ace! She calmed me down. She said "You do not look a hot mess! In your flip flops, workout capris and T-shirt." <insert dying here>.  Without our room I couldn't change my clothes and make myself "presentable" - my notes were packed up with my laptop. Oh yeah I was ready. I was also pumped up on a 5-Hour Energy drink. Talking a billion miles a minute and working on 2.5 hours of sleep after driving for 9 hours.  Sure the 5-HED worked for me on the road - but now I was a hyped up mess!
Me on hour 6 of 5-HED

So at 11:10 AM I went to my appointment and met the fabulous Stacy Hill. Can I just say - she's the nicest editor I'd ever met. I immediately apologized for my attire, explaining what happened and guess what? She totally commiserated with me! Stacy arrived at the hotel that morning as well and wasn't able to check in either! And she's eight months pregnant! Bad form Doubletree Hilton! Give the pregnant lady a room!

Once we shared a laugh over Doubletree's fail -- it was smooth sailing. I relaxed... did my pitch and I didn't turn into ash, melt of explode! And Stacy asked for the first 3 chapters and synopsis and gave me her card. AMAZING!!!

Float! Float on....
I'm totally floating on cloud nine until my 1:50 PM appointment with Heather Osborne.  By this time -- I was nearly punchy from lack of sleep and completely on the downside of my 5-HED. We got into our room, but I only had time to throw on a pair of jeans. I met with Heather, and immediately said "I'm sorry for my appearance and hope I don't slur my words. I drove in this morning from Charlotte and haven't had lunch yet. Heather laughed and said "That's ok, I just had lunch and I'm ready for a nap! I drove in from Ohio!" AWESOMESAUCE!!  I don't slur my words and jump right into my pitch. Heather is great! Gives me her card and says to send her the full manuscript when it's ready.

Not too shabby for a first time Pitch huh? I mean what could make this event any better? Well let me tell you...

About an hour later, I'm strolling through the hotel and I hear someone call my name "Dren!" I turn around and low and behold it's Lara Adrian!! (insert internal hysterical squee here). I met Lara and her husband at RWA this past June and I actually won a kindle during her husband's event.  For about 20 seconds I'm screaming in my head "OMG SHE REMEMBERS ME!!!!!" But on the outside I'm smiling and hug her! (Yep even in my hyped up/lack of sleep mode - I can still be cool!).

We exchange updates on how things are going and I tell Lara about my great pitch sessions -- even tell her about my WIP. Lara gives me some great feedback and things to really think about for my writing career. I'm totally floored! I mean LARA ADRIAN GAVE ME ADVICE ABOUT MY WRITING CAREER?!?!? My brain can't even compute! 

And folks - that was simply the first SIX hours of AADPHILLY!

The rest of the trip was spent meeting authors --old and new to me.  But nothing that weekend could to top the events above -- oh except this!  During the author book signing, I went around asking my favorite authors to sign a special journal I brought with me.  I started with Lara Adrian (of course). Here's what she wrote:

Yeap... that'll do it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - 7/17/11

I'm going to continue the scene from last week's SSS snippet.  Kane is seeing a vision after drinking a glass of blood from the Grand Oracle of the Council of 12. Enjoy!

She was beautiful.  Long dark hair; full, round lips. Her cafe au lait complexion stood in stark contrast to the deep-set brown eyes that stared past him.  She was smiling, but he could see that the emotion didn't reach her eyes.  Her eyes held a pain that he knew all to well. They were haunted.

Don't forget to visit the other great writers participating in Six Sentence Sunday! Check them out!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - 7/10/11

Thanks so much for coming back to my SSS posts!  I've been on a 2 weeks break getting ready for, then attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference.  I "think" I've recovered :). I know I'm definitely ready to get back to my writing!

So here's this weeks SSS entry. I'm picking up where I left on 2 weeks ago.  Kane has just down a half glass of blood from the most powerful Oracle ever known.

The blood numbed his tongue and the walls of his throat as he swallowed. It was richer than anything he had ever tasted. A burst of power exploded in his mind, radiating through his body like an electric pulse. He closed his eyes as flashes of light filled his vision.  Images of a woman began to form. She was beautiful.

Don't forget to visit the other great writers participating in Six Sentence Sunday! Check them out!

See you next week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Week At RWA11....in Pictures!

For those of you who follow me on Twitter you know that I tried to Tweet all of the fun happenings during my stay in NYC while attending my very first Romance Writers of American National Convention. *bites fist* MAN! I had a blast!

I met so many new people and finally saw Tweeps "face to face"!! I gushed over my favorite authors and in some cases I stalked them.... in a GOOD way though. I can honestly say -- with a STRAIGHT FACE... Lara Adrian is now my BFF! 

So rather than go into crazy detail for the events of each day -- I'm just going to do a pictorial with comments.  Because in the end - the week in NY was such a whirlwind dance.... it will take me weeks to come off my high!  So.. here I go!

NY Pastrami with Mozzarella on a Bun. H E A V E N!

Literacy Book Signing - INSANE!! I LOVED IT!

Finally met LaTessa and KwanaWrites
(Even though LaTessa ditched us to go see Tyreese outside the building. <eyeroll>)
Oh, you know Lara Adrian.... she's my new BFF!

I totally look like I'm accosting Keri Arthur! I love her books!

Lauren Dane waves hello!

Yes, Larissa Ione is my new BFF too! 

Hotel Drink (12 oz) = $18. Dallas BBQ (Texas Size)  Mango Pina Colada $11 (with and extra shot of 151)
Yeah, you do the math. 

Lite vs Dark Paranormal Panel: Karina Cooper, Pamela Palmer
Kerrelyn Sparks, Terri Garey. Loved it!

The line for the Avon Book signing

Karina Cooper. Very cool author. I'm totally gonna make her my new BFF!

Jeanine Frost! CAT & BONES IN THE HOUSE!!!

UF authors, Vicki Pettersson and Pamela Palmer
*whispers* Vicki gave me a Poker Chip for Neon Graveyard! FTW!

I'll say this for Bells - GEEEENNNNAAAA!!! Showalter!

Did I mention we got a lot of free books?

My Carolina Romance Writers Crew at the Sherrilyn Kenyon Luncheon

 Virna DePaul gave me writing tips! Totally nice lady!

*cough* my Berkley Publishing stash *cough*

Did I mention I won a Kindle? From WriteWayPro?
See I told you Lara Adrian was my BFF!

Me, awards night. See I really do have pearls that I clutch!

And there you have it. My view of RWA11 in pictures... Cell Phone pictures that is. I still need to upload the pics I took with my camera, so I'll save that for my next post.  Until next time!