Archive for July 2012 | Monthly archive page

July 31, 2012


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Is it wrong that I can remember which desserts I ate on which days while I was at RWA’s National Conference in Anaheim?

No kidding. The days all run together in terms of who I met/spoke to, which workshops I attended and who I hung out with — but the memory of each sweet consumed is as clear as the sparkling, turquoise pool I enjoyed watching from the balcony of my hotel room.

I have a problem, no?

On Tuesday, it was a red velvet cupcake from a stand in Downtown Disney. The cupcakes don’t look like much in my photo, taken in the dark after we piled them all up on the sidewalk. Bad photo aside, mine was to die for, piled high with yummy frosting. Good thing I waited until I got back to my room to eat it, because the shot of pure sugar knocked me out. (At least we went on an adventurous quest — on foot — to find the cupcakes.)

Wednesday after lunch at TGN retreat, I had two small lemon squares and a salted caramel brownie pop — and then got a slice of banana cream cheesecake to go after dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. (I did manage to leave most of it in the fridge overnight, eating just enough to polish off the banana slices so they wouldn’t turn brown and gross.)

Thursday’s luncheon dessert, some kind of flan, was tasteless enough that I took one bite and pushed the plate away … then headed to my room before the afternoon sessions to retrieve my leftover cheesecake. After a lovely dinner with some of my Starcatchers sisters at Carolina’s Italian restaurant, I took home a piece of tiramisu for later. Since it was as big as my head, it served as a sweet treat on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. (And it was delicious!)

Let’s not forget the chocolate-raspberry dessert from Friday’s lunch. That was like fudge on a plate. Yum!

That’s not to mention countless pieces of chocolate and other goodies I picked up in various conference venues.

I didn’t need the sweets, and had I been home, doing Atkins properly, I wouldn’t have even looked twice at them. But seeing as how I was on vacation and “off plan,” I just could not stop treating myself. And the more junk I ate, the more I craved. Even on the way home Sunday, I got a burrito and fries from Del Taco and then a mint chocolate chip shake from the truck stop DQ at our next bathroom break.

I wish I didn’t have such a love affair with sweets, but I do.

You’ve heard of gateway drugs? Well, for me, sugar is a gateway food … eat it, and I start making all kinds of unhealthy choices (like ignoring the workout clothes I’d packed in favor of a Starbucks ultimate oatmeal cookie for breakfast. Yep. I did that on Saturday. And then I devoured at least four different sweets on sticks at the awards ceremony.).

Conference is a once-a-year experience, and logically I know eating like that for most of a week won’t make me regain all the weight I’ve lost. I also realize that if I don’t get back on track — and soon, I’ll slide back down that slippery slope and end up right back where I started. Not somewhere I want — or need — to be.

So here I am, promising myself to hit the grocery store and stock up on good, healthy fruits and veggies so I’ll be free to buckle down and fulfill the agent/editor requests I snagged.


July 17, 2012



Pardon me if I still sound a little starstruck. It’s because I am. I had the chance to meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips at a book signing in Phoenix on Monday night — and it was glorious.

She’s on tour for her newest book, “The Great Escape,” and she made a stop in the Valley … at Tempe’s Changing Hands Bookstore, to be exact. When I got there, about five minutes before the event was scheduled to start, it was standing-room-only. Lucky for me, the Boyfriend scrounged up some extra chairs.

I believe Susan started off her talk by telling us her introduction as “fabulous” and “hilarious” was completely untrue. But she’s wrong. I think both adjectives apply. So did the rest of the crowd, if the belly laughs are any indication.

As I listened to her spiel, I got the feeling she’s a pantster, like me. She confirmed it when she signed my book. She also said she’s going to be doing a plotting workshop at Nationals. I know where I’ll be for that hour. (I just hope it’s not at the same time as my editor/agent appointments. That would suck, big-time.)

She’s definitely an inspiration, and I’m glad I had the chance to go. Normally, I’d be working on a Monday night, but this is Week One of my two-week vacation, which culminates with Nationals.

Even the Boyfriend said Susan was quite funny. I figured he’d go hang out at the bar next door, but he stayed and listened to the talk. (He didn’t want to spend money.)

As we walked out of the bookstore, he said, “I could see you doing that.”

Me? Captivate a crowd? I don’t know about that. Not that I wouldn’t love to, of course.

From his mouth to God’s ears. I’d be blessed if I could have a writing career even half as successful as Susan’s.

July 11, 2012



Wow. I can’t believe it’s just two weeks until I’ll be in Anaheim for RWA Nationals.

The planning/packing frenzy has begun, but I have to say, I’m much more relaxed going into this year’s conference. I’m all signed up for editor/agent pitch appointments and I volunteered to usher at the Rita/GH awards ceremony — but so much of the pressure is off.

I can just go, socialize and soak up all the information I can. I can’t wait to refill my creative well, which, thanks to a combination of circumstances, has started to run dangerously low.

Why, I’ve only just begun to think about what I’m going to wear on awards night. Last year I’d gone on several shopping expeditions by this time, searching for the perfect dress. This year, since there’s no chance I’ll be up on that stage, it doesn’t matter nearly as much what I wear.

Me with Starcatcher sister Julie Brannagh

Speaking of what I wear, why didn’t anyone warn me that in my purple dress, I bore more than a passing resemblance to Grimace — and a headless Grimace, to boot?

Ahem. I should be nicer to myself, right?

I’ll start by attending plenty of workshops and learning all I can. I didn’t have a chance to attend even half of the sessions that caught my eye last year — but I ordered the conference CD so I could listen to them later. Well, I’m here to tell you, I have yet to crack open those 2011 conference recordings. I’m beginning to think the workshops are mythical creatures, only available in real time.

See you in Anaheim!