Wednesday, June 25, 2014

While visiting family last weekend my sister in law, an English teacher, mentioned she didn't know if she could abide the isolation necessary to be a writer. You know, all those hours shut up by yourself in order to find the words to convey the thoughts and feelings that are pushing at the edges of your heart and brain. I agreed with her that writing can be very isolating. On the other hand, with the internet now there are countless ways to connect with not only other writers but readers as well. It could be argued that the internet in fact is more of a deterent - c'mon, we all know how easy it is to become distracted while playing around with social media.

Many authors are planning to attend the National RWA Conference in San Antonio, TX from July 23-26. Many of them, if you asked, would claim to be introverts and enjoy the privacy of sitting in their office creating worlds, expanding plot devices and introducing readers to intriguing characters. If you were to stand off in a corner of the lobby, or lobby bar, during that conference, you'd be tempted to believe all those claims were just so much fiction.

I'm not fortunate enough to attend this years conference but I have in the past. There will be much laughter, many, many hugs and smiles as authors greet friends, many of whom they only see this one time a year. Readers will smile with delight at meeting so many of the authors who have given them countless moments of book pleasure. Everyone will be hurrying from one event, workshop or appointment to another, trying to cram as much information into the day as they can.

When I attended my first National Conference, I pleaded with my friends to not abandon me, that I was shy and couldn't visualize myself on my own. They now tease me unmericifully that I was so very wrong in my assumption. I am thrilled to say I met some wonderful people at those conferences. It's not just about making connections from a professional standpoint. It's about connecting on every level, it's about giving and receiving encouragement, celebrating accomplishments and commiserating disappointments.

I'll take all of that - even if from a distance!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lessons from a weekend

As I mentioned I attended my first ever Reader's Luncheon this past weekend.

It was preceded by a day and a half visiting my critique partner, Christine Glover. As always, Christine's warmth, friendship and boundless energy have fueled me to plunge back into the new manuscript I've started. Her generosity also extended to an advanced birthday gift in the form of her college kid designing the graphics for my newsletter. The CK did an amazing job!  I can't wait to have some news - like the reveal of my cover! - and let you all see how sleek and polished it looks. Provided, I took good enough notes and can remember how to utilize all the neat little tabs and inserts that the CK showed me. She has promised to include a link on this page so if you're interested you can sign up for my newsletter -- after she returns from visiting Mickey Mouse!

The CK also started on a new banner for the street team that Christine and I have joined forces on. Christine is more social media savvy than I so she has graciously included me in this venture. It should be a positive force for both of us.

The Reader's Luncheon was lovely. The ladies of the Heart of Dixie chapter of RWA were warm and welcoming. I had the pleasure of sitting at the table of authors Carla Swafford and Susan Carlisle, who treated us with multiple goodies! I met readers and authors alike, made some new friends, connected with old ones. I listened, learned and was entertained by Eloise James' insightful, empowering and humorous speech. I had a lovely dinner with author Kelsey Browning and so enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her better...she is a wealth of information and support.

I came home tired but had a lovely day with family to celebrate Dad's, including my wonderful husband The Craftsman, who indeed is a fabulous father.

Now, it's Monday and back to the reality of juggling this writing journey with a day job.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nerves and anticipation

This time next week I'll be packing to go to Alabama. Not only will I get to spend some time with my critique partner, Christine Glover, but I'll be attending my first Reader's Luncheon. Sponsored by the Heart of Dixie Chapter of RWA, their keynote speaker this year is Eloise James. Registration is still open so if you considered attending but were afraid it was too late, you still have time. Here's the link if you're interested:

This will also be my first appearance at a reading/writing event where I'll be attending as a Published Author. I'm excited but also a little nervous. I've scoured my closet looking for the best outfit and comfortable but stylish shoes. I've got business cards, Post-It notepads and pens with my name and logo in addition to other giveaways. Christine and I also have assembled a Debut Author Basket that will be one of approximately 38 raffle baskets. I look forward to meeting all the readers, reacquainting with some authors and meeting others.

Hope I see you there