Monthly Archives: July 2010

It’s Nearly Over

Y’all know I’m not a Saturday blogger. Generally, I like to keep my blogging like I would a regular job Monday through Friday with weekends off. Well, I couldn’t do that this week because it is Nationals and there are things I want to share (and I’m afraid I’ll forget by the time Monday rolls around).

Today marked the start of the workshop frenzy. I had a list of four workshops I wanted to attend and I only made 2. It isn’t my fault. It’s Avon’s and Berkley’s and Pocket Books’ fault. Yes, you heard me. It’s their fault. They had book signings today. Hello? Free books. I didn’t go overboard because I do know I need to fly home and also because for the most part, I already had the latest books of the authors I’d gone to see.

At Avon, I finally got to hook up with Teresa Medeiros. She recognized my name. Mostly because I’d tweeted about gawking at her and she told me I should’ve stopped by. She hugged me and let me take a picture with her. Sweet, sweet lady.

Then it was time for my workshop, then lunch. I kind of wandered around after lunch trying to decide if I was going to my workshop or the book signings. That was when I saw the tweet from Kresley Cole saying she was going to be at the signing. You know I was so there. I finally got to meet my role model. She was…fabulous. I took a picture with her, chatted about the upcoming books in her IAD series and, along with 2 other ladies, tried to wiggle some secrets out of her. She’s…just so awesome. *sigh*

So then because my fangirldom wasn’t quite over with. I went to Berkley’s book signing and that was when I saw my other hero: Nalini Singh. I vaulted…yes, I squealed and vaulted across the room…not quite as graceful as a gazelle.  I might’ve nearly shoved some people over the other author tables to get to her line, but I handled it like a pro when I finally got to her. I got yet another picture and got her latest release (I RULE…or rather, she rules).

Last night was also the FF&P party, The Gathering. The theme was Steampunk and I got some great pictures. The food and company was excellent and I (yes, I) was sitting at the table with Cynthia Eden who won two (count them, TWO) PRISM Awards. It was lovely and I would have enjoyed it more if my feet hadn’t swollen up like a couple of leeches. On the way back to our hotel, I was leading the charge through the revolving doors and…yup, I tried to walk through the glass. Eh. Not my coolest moment.

All in all, it was a great, great day. I got to meet the 4 authors I’ve been wanting to meet for years, got pictures with all of them (which I will post when I get back to my USB cable), and I met some new friends. Tonight is the RITA Awards and Golden Heart Awards banquet. I’m so excited to see who wins and sad because it’s the last night for talking with everyone.

I’m leaving first thing in the morning tomorrow, so I probably won’t blog about the banquet until Monday, but I promise I will. I’ve enjoyed sharing my first Nationals adventures with you and all I can really say is…I’m New York bound!

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Fantasy Man Friday

It’s finally here…the Nationals edition of Fantasy Man Friday. I know you’ve all been waiting for it, holding your breath in anticipation of what kind of man I’ll pull out of the interwebz.

But first…Day 3 impression: I had so much fun today! I’ve said before how antisocial I am, but in the last 3 days I’ve met so many people and enjoyed every minute of it. There’s no feeling of being back in high school (thank God because I had big hair in high school until Grunge. It isn’t even like the first day of work. I am here to make connections and though it is a struggle not to make an ass of myself, I think I’m doing okay. I finally met up with Allison Pang and Jeffe Kennedy and they were just as funny as I thought they’d be. We didn’t get to chat long, but I’m looking forward to The Gathering to talk their ears off! (So watch out, y’all.)

The Keynote Luncheon…O.M.G. Nora Roberts is the best. I’ll admit it: I haven’t read a Nora Roberts book since her Donovan witch series back in the…90’s? But I respect her. Hell, you have to respect a woman who has churned out 150 books and still manages to look like she can fit into Juniors clothes. Where’s the depressed writer who eats nothing but chocolate? That’s what I want to know.

Then it was time for the PRO Retreat. Donald Maass had me cracking up laughing and feeling the urge to get back to my WIPs. I felt…fired up. It was great. I had to duck out early because I wanted to catch a workshop, but I don’t regret it. The workshop was informative and fun.

After that it was a race to catch up with Jillian Chantal and Leah Fields at Shula’s. Um, it was good food. It really was. My steak was awesome and yes, this little Coonass felt a little intimidated by Blue Eyes playing in the background and the darkness. The waiter had to use a flashlight for us to see if our steaks were done correctly.

I’ve met so many wonderful people, published and pre-published and I’m having a ball. It’s only Friday and I feel as though I’ve known some of these people forever. The super secret smoker’s club shows the same faces every time I go out there and when we see each other in passing in the hotel we give each other a sage nod. You know, the one that says: I’ll be out in a bit.

But it’s Friday which means workshops will kick into high gear and I may not get to visit with everyone as much as I’d like. Or I’ll miss the really interesting panels, like the one Sayde Grace went to tonight through The Passionate Ink chapter. She tweeted something about getting a BDSM demonstration and I was actually jealous. *sniff* No one offers to let me tie them up…or to watch them being tied up.

So to correct that oversight, I found the perfect Fantasy Man. I like to think the picture symbolizes how busy we’ll all be over the next two days, but truthfully? I just like the idea of it:

Grrrr!!! I really don’t have the words to express how much I like this Fantasy Man. It looks like an uncomfortable position to be in…but if he hadn’t been such a naughty boy he wouldn’t be in it!

So, I hope your Friday isn’t as frantic as ours will be, but I know if you aren’t at Nationals you’re wishing you were and I’m wishing you were as well.  Happy Weekend!

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This Little Piggy Begged for Mercy

Day 2 of RWA Nationals and my feet are ready to go on strike.

It started out well enough. I woke up early yesterday so I could have my normal two hour warm up before I started getting ready to face the day. I made it to and through registration with little or no fanfare. Then I had 4 hours to spare until it was my turn to volunteer to help set up for the Literacy Autographing.

I kind of wandered around…lonely as a cloud. Then people started noticing the little orange ribbon on my badge stating that I’m a newbie. I had so many new friends I didn’t know what to do with myself! Y’all…I sort of had lunch with Maggie Shayne! Well, she had lunch. I kind of stood at the counter waiting for my order to be ready. She and her friends were nice enough to let me jabber at them while they ate.

My feet started hating me around noon, but by the time the book signing was about to start, they were ready to remove themselves from my legs. I forced myself back upstairs to take a bath because there was NO way I was going to try to see my favorite authors smelling like a man. I did a walk-by gawking at Christina Dodd and Teresa Medeiros (who are both beautiful with great hair in person…damn them).

I finally got to meet up with Sayde Grace, and Jillian Chantal and then it was on to the signing. Let me just say…well, it was awesome. I showed great restraint because I only walked out of there with one book. Yes, one. Mostly because there were no more by the time I found my target authors. But that’s okay. I took a picture with Christina Dodd…Not posting it just yet since I don’t have my cables. But she looks fabulous and I look like I’m about to fall on her.

While walking around though, I managed to make contact with the authors I’ve enjoyed with upcoming releases like Christine Warren, Sophie Jordan, Sharon Page, and I got a great big ole hug from Michelle Marcos. *sniff* I felt so special. Then my feet had to hate me again.

It was…wonderful. Really. If you ever get the chance to go to one of these book signings (whether you’re an author or a reader) you HAVE to go. It was so chaotic and crazy, but it was great to see so many avid readers. It made me feel good to be both a reader and a writer.

So the morning’s task? See if my feet will work. My memory foam slippers are wonderful, but they might not be enough to make my poor toes look…well, more like toes and less like Vienna Sausages.

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First Impressions

Well, here’s my first blog post from Nationals.

The flight wasn’t bad. The waiting was horrific. Not going to go into that because it’ll just bring me back to my unhappy place. *sigh* Okay, so landed in Orlando at…6:30ish. I didn’t get to the hotel until an hour later. But that wasn’t the notable part. Oh no.

I met some lovely RWA ladies in the shuttle lobby. I got my ticket, sat down and was chatting with them about the conference when my cell phone rang. It was the airline asking me if I had my bags.

Me: Um, yes, I have my bags. Thinking wow, this is great service!

Them: No ma’am, you have someone else’s bag.

I look at the bright green sparkly ribbon tied around the handles.

Me: Um, these are my bags.

Them: No, ma’am, I’m looking at your luggage tag “Danica Ah-vet”, correct?

Me <thinking>: OH CRAP

So yeah, I made off with someone else’s bag and got called on it in front of Leanne Banks. Errrr, yes I am that person who takes your luggage thinking it’s hers. But it’s your fault for copying me. I spent hours trying to think of a way to tag my luggage to make it easily identifiable and you had to copycat me? Meh.

Anyway, we get to the hotel, check-in took longer than I thought it would and then I found out they were out of king-size beds. I really wanted a king-size bed so I could loll like a pampered princess. I would’ve taken the double, but apparently the clerk either really liked my hair and was feeling helpful, or she was being evil because I got a room like a studio apartment. I’m sure there’s a down side…I’ll find it. Oh and on top of that…I got another rejection, this time from an editor. It was waiting for me when I got off the plane. Meh

So that was day…point 5 of my first Nationals experience. The flight was insane (although I did have a rousing Kindle discussion with my seat mates), I embarrassed myself, nearly knocked down a sweet little old man with my luggage, but at least my toilet flushes, the shower works wonderfully, the a/c is brutally cold (this is a good thing), and I have a coffee pot. I can survive anything.

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Leaving On A Jet Plane

Yay! My flight leaves at 4 (ish) this afternoon and I can hardly wait.

As if it wasn’t exciting enough to know that I would be rubbing elbows with famous writers, some of the publishing powerhouses, and great friends, I heard we get books too! Can we say, “Heaven…I’m in Heaven…” So excited!

*deep breath* I’ve had to do the checklist several times. I started packing on Sunday and didn’t sleep Sunday night because I was trying to make sure I remembered everything I needed to put on the checklist. Camera? Check. Charged camera battery? Check. Mini? Check. Kindle? Check. Oh and I need clothes too. And my clothes all fit into one suitcase. That was scary. I finally decided I was obviously forgetting something important (like underwear or something) so I packed another suitcase just in case.

On the other hand, I’m also sad. I can’t pack my little Mia and Cookie with me (not only would they tip my suitcase weight over to close to 100lbs, but they would drive me nuts). I hope I can sleep without them. I mean, I can’t sleep if I don’t have a fat little dog pinning my covers in place and making it impossible for me to move. How can I sleep without having my ribs crushed by the fat cat who insists on walking across them to get from one side of the bed to the other? How will I manage?

I’m going to sleep like a baby. It’ll probably be the best sleep I have in years! But I will miss them. *sniff*

Well there you have it. I’m leaving…on a jet plane…*sings*

I’ll be blogging from Nationals giving everyone my impressions of the event and the people I’ve met. I’ll also be Tweeting (like any of us are going to ignore our Twitter accounts for a whole day), so follow along!

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The Long and Winding Road

This weekend was spent in preparation for Nationals. My pedicure appointment wasn’t until 8:30 and I found myself driving around my hometown to kill some time (I hate being late for anything so I always end up with time to spare).

My tour around town brought me to a road I haven’t traveled in a while. St. Louis Canal Road isn’t in the most scenic part of the parish. In fact, it’s right next to the sewage treatment plant, but it’s one of my favorite roads in town.

Weird? Yeah, but there is a reason (there’s always a reason). For the longest time, St. Louis had the biggest dips of any road I’d ever been on. If you didn’t drive the exact speed limit, you were airborne for a bit. When I was a kid, the fun was to hold your tongue between your teeth when taking the dips. Stupid? Hell yeah! But it was fun!

When I was a teenager and driving myself, it was a challenge I couldn’t resist. I’d drive faster to see how much air I could get. That sensation of going up and coming down with a jolt was an adrenaline rush I couldn’t ignore. I wasn’t the only one who did this, by the way. It was sort of a rite of passage for all teenagers (and grown men who felt the need to strut their stuff).

But this time when I drove the road, I was sad to see that the Parish had finally smoothed out the dips. Oh, they’re there, but less pronounced. On the other hand, my 33-year-old mind was thinking it was for the best. My nephews drive and I wouldn’t want them to hurt themselves on the dips I took as a teenager.

The road made me think about writing. It changed just as my perspective of it changed, just like my thoughts about writing have changed since I became more focused on becoming an author. I was excited, thinking everyone would be clamoring for my first manuscript. Why wouldn’t they? It was awesome! Then the rejections started coming in.

I was a little more wary the second time around, but no less excited. The second manuscript was the best ever! My writing had improved so much, it was bound to attract attention. And it did. Then I got The Call, only to find out that The Call wasn’t solid. My manuscript is still out there in Editor Land awaiting judgment, but the chances of it being picked up are low.

I’m on my way to Nationals with no manuscript to pitch, but I’m not worried about it. In fact, I’m relieved. The dips and bumps of a conference have been smoothed out for me without any effort on my part. I can relax and enjoy myself rather than worry about pitching to every person I see how resembles someone in the publishing world. Yes, I do have another manuscript, but I’ve decided not to pursue publication for it. It was something that needed to be written, but I don’t feel the need to have others read it now.

Instead, I’m going to concentrate on meeting new people, learning as much as I can, and working on the WIPs I started last month. They’re both new roads for me to travel down, one something I’d never considered writing before and the other a story to appease my humorous bent. I’m happy in spite of the fumbled call.

So for my friends planning to pitch this week, come find me if you’re feeling nervous and need to talk. If you need to practice your pitch, I’m more than happy to listen and offer tissue if you have a nervous breakdown. We’re on this road together though the dips and bumps on our roads are in different places.

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Fantasy Man Friday

Well it’s the last Friday before Nationals. I’m psyched. And worried because I’m starting to wonder if the dress I planned to wear for the banquet will come in time and if it’ll even fit. May have to dress shop this weekend *shudders*

So I don’t have much to report. I started working on a futuristic romance this week and it is going very well. It’s taken me by surprise though since I normally have the idea that there will be one hero and one heroine. The story, however, has evolved beyond that. Yes, there are two heroes and one heroine. And if that wasn’t enough, the other story I’m working on has taken the same path! Kind of makes me wonder what’s going on in my subconscious, but oh well. Two is better than none! Bwahah

I overslept this morning so I feel a little rattled. I’m a person who loves routine (especially on weekdays). I have to get up at the same time so I can have enough time to savor my coffee and get a few chapters read. If that doesn’t happen, I’m frazzled the rest of the day. I compromised this morning though: I didn’t fix my hair. Yup, no in-styler burns for me this morning! I’m all natural.

Now for the reason we’re all here. It’s Fantasy Man Friday. The lovely Daisy Harris was having trouble this finding hunky men for her website and complimented me on the…quality I’ve managed to procure for our favorite day of the week. Of course this meant I had to go and find someone…spectacular. Here you go:

 

Ahem…so what do you think?? I uh…wow. I mean…I’ve stunned myself. I do so admire a man who takes such care of his balls…er, I mean ball. I know he’s a soccer player…I can’t remember which team he plays for, but really who cares? Because if soccer was played like this, I’d definitely be a fan!!

Happy Friday all! Have a safe weekend and…hit the soccer fields if you’re looking for some eye candy. That’s what I plan to do!

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