Tag Archives: RWA

Nationals Wrap-up

I know, it’s been several days since you’ve heard from me. In fact, if you actually want to hear my voice, you’re so out of luck. Nationals destroyed my voice and I sound like I have a secret to share with everyone. I don’t. Not really.

Nationals was fun. No doubt about it. I met so many new, wonderful people and was able to meet up with people I met last year. I didn’t grab the wrong bag at the airport this year, but I did almost get on a first-name basis with the security guards at the hotel. No, not in that way. I sort of locked myself out the hotel room safe, then two days later had a door that wouldn’t lock. They were very nice, by the way.

I wish I could talk about everything that happened, but that would mean this post would be about five pages long. Hence the reason I still have the non-existent voice: I keep having to re-tell my conference stories to relatives who stop by. I actually saw one of my critique partners do a top 10 list, so I think I’ll follow in her steps. Ready?

10 of the best things that happened at Nationals (in no particular order):

– I saw gorgeous men (there were a couple of cover models there. More on that later).
– The food (when I ate) was excellent.
– I finally met my critique partner, Daisy Harris, in person and she’s just adorable.
– I also met my agent, Nalini Akolekar, in person and she’s wonderful and thinks I’m a bizarre woman. It’s a good thing, trust me.
– The hotel was beautiful.
– Jillian Chantal took mercy on me and walked with me through Times Square because I was afraid someone would whisk me away (and no, it wouldn’t have been Gerard Butler).
– I had a lot of fun people watching.
– The Gathering (FF&P party) was a lot of fun with great food.
– I had drinks with several up and coming Avon authors with books out, or just about to come out. They were a lot of fun.
– I met my publisher and several Siren authors for drinks. A wonderful time was had by all.

10 things not so great about Nationals (in no particular order):
– I stubbed my toe in the women’s bathroom and had to beg a band-aid off of someone to stop the bleeding.
– I was locked out of my safe and then couldn’t lock my hotel room door. Thank God for security men.
– The elevators were completely whack.
– The shower was one of those “gentle rain” type shower heads when I really needed to have the hot water beat me half to death every morning.
– Starbucks closed too early and were stingy with their chairs.
– The smoking area left a lot to be desired and I’m almost positive my butt will never gain back it’s normal shape.
– New York shuttle drivers are insane and should probably not have licenses. In fact, it might be better for the entire city to be closed off to vehicles for the safety of tourists with heart conditions.
– Chicken is a four-letter word now and I never want to eat it again.
– Could someone please tell me why they don’t turn the a/c units on “arctic” when there’s a book signing with over 500 authors? Anyone?
– Internet charges should never be that much at a hotel like that.

So, that’s what I got out of Nationals. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go. Of course, now I’m debating on whether I’ll be going to Anaheim next year for Nationals or Chicago for RT. I’m thinking RT might be a wild ride. What do you think?

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Anniversary Week I

As I mentioned before, Friday will mark my 200th blog post. This may not seem like such a milestone to some, but for me, it’s quite a feat. To honor that, I’m going to blog about things I’ve learned since my first post in June 2009.

Today’s post is for those who I’ve come to “know” since starting this crazy trip towards publication. I never really thought of writers as having their own community, but that quickly changed when I joined RWA, FF&P, and SOLA. I’ve tried other chapters, other on-line communities, but nothing seemed to fit as well as these three organizations.

RWA is filled with knowledgeable people and information is usually just a click away. I’ll be attending my first RWA conference this summer and I can hardly wait. Oh, I have no doubt my brain will be exhausted by the end of the conference, but knowing I’ll be able to listen to some of my favorite authors explain what they’ve learned…well, it’s priceless. The connections made through these events are beyond important for any aspiring author.

FF&P is filled with my peeps. This is the best chapter ever. Not only are the people involved wonderful and friendly, but they’re also writing in the same genre that’s so dear to my heart. Their program 60 Days to PRO helped me reach PRO status and made me determined to keep at my writing even when rejection nearly had me beat. It’s through this chapter that I’ve run into some fabulous people who I can’t wait to meet at The Gathering. Their triumphs feel like my own and I couldn’t be happier for them when they post good news.

SOLA is my local chapter. I haven’t been to a meeting in several months because of this wedding, but they’re a wonderful group. I was able to chitchat with several of them at my first conference and they made me feel welcome. I didn’t feel embarrassed to say, “I’m a paranormal romance writer” because they understood. That was the coolest thing ever.

I also met some ladies from the GCCRWA, though I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember who they are now except for one person. Hey Paula, how you doin’? LOL. My memory is atrocious, but they were gracious and friendly when we shared a table at the New Orleans conference. However, when I returned from that conference, I found myself drawn to this sassy blog written by sassy ladies who turned out to be from the same chapter! Yup, you got it. The Southern Sizzlers feel like my sisters whom I’ve never met. They’re a great group of gals and if you’ve never checked them out before, you really should.

Then, if you consider all the fabulous people I’ve met through Facebook and Twitter, I’d have to blog for another hour. I won’t, don’t worry. What I guess I’m trying to say is that without the support from all of these wonderful people, I probably would have given up on writing after my first manuscript flopped.

The days of being a solitary writer are over. I’ve discovered it isn’t good for me and if you’re an aspiring writer as well, don’t let yourself become so wrapped up in your fictional world that you shun the support, friendship, and knowledge that comes from joining writing groups. These people are either in your shoes, or they’ve been in your shoes and they’re more than willing to share what they’ve learned.  

Are you in a writing organization? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from another writer?

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