July 17, 2012

Musings

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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

Musings

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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!

Wow. With this weekend’s entry, I’ve completed a month of Six Sentence Sunday offerings.

Let’s see if I can end the month with a bang, shall we? These six sentences pick up after Mel watches Dave tuck their daughter in and read her a bedtime story, so she’s feeling pretty warm and fuzzy toward him.

My six:

When he reached out to brush her hair off her face, Mel reared back. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Dave’s grin flickered on in full force, and something else melted inside her. “Renewing our acquaintance.”

There had to be something wrong with that idea, but with him looking at her like that, Mel had no idea what it was. As she leaned into him, her lips parted, already begging for a kiss.

June 16, 2012

Musings

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There is no secret. This infographic from Copyblogger tickled my fancy the other day, in part because it so eloquently speaks the truth.

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
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Had I not written so many bad stories, I wouldn’t have the good ones to show for it now. The mistakes I’ve made have taught me how to … well, write better.

Practice really does make perfect. Okay, maybe not perfect, because no matter how many times you edit a story,  there’ll always be one more word to tweak here or a sentence to rewrite there.

But I firmly believe what I write today is better than what I wrote yesterday. I learn something new every day … and the words I commit to paper tomorrow just might be the ones that land me an agent or a publishing contract.