iPods, Driving, 80s Gossip

10 pages on BD, nothing on GH. I did take the boy to a parking lot and let him practice shifting gears. He got into it after a bit, and unfortunately inherited his mother's lead foot.

I haven't bought my iPod yet (and it went up $6 on Amazon!) and I'm already suffering guilt. I mean, the dh needs a new computer (and his iPod is 1st generation, I think, or second), the boy needs a cell phone, but I want an iPod....after costing $600 to go to a conference that didn't even benefit me.

I was listening to Soul Asylum yesterday and thinking about Dave Pirner, and how he used to date Winona Ryder, and how she also dated Kiefer Sutherland and, well....

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Separated at birth???

Then I was thinking (yes, I was SUPPOSED to be writing) about how Kiefer had gone with Julia Roberts and she left him for his best friend Jason Patric and never married him, either.

Ah, love triangles....so much tastier than DUIs, right?

What gossip do you remember from the 80s?

I never do this - karma and all - but how scary is this cover?????

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Goals

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Man, yesterday whipped by! I got up at 7:30, printed out a partial and a complete ms, looked up and it was 11! We usually go to breakfast before that, we didn’t go till 11:30, then went to the grocery store, home by 1, nap, woke at 4, and then it was 5:30 in a blink. I finished my 10 pages at 7. I typed in 3 pages of GH while watching The Talented Mr. Ripley – what a disturbing show!

I admit I got a slow start because I was searching for Maggie news. I’ve heard now of two pubs who got calls, but nothing about unpubs. Anyone hear?

I did pretty good last week, except for keeping up the house. Will address that this week!

1) work on BD
2) finish typing in Ghost Hunters so I can work on revising the hard copy
3) submit requested partial to an agent, submit Surface to Kensington
4) enter Gather First Chapter contest
5) spend a day with Mom (not at the outlet mall, though, please!)
6) continue shopping for an iPod (iWANT!)
7) keep up house
8) grocery store
9) finish watching DVDs of Robin Hood so I can return them!

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New to Me Authors

11 pages on BD yesterday, and 4 typed pages of GH (I know, not much, but it's while I'm watching Smallville, and I made the mistake of handwriting it in orange pen - VERY hard to see). We had 48 hours without rain, but it rained at 11 PM last night.

One of my pubbed friends got a Maggie call, 2 weeks early. Anyone else hear anything? Yes, biting my nails, here!

This week I’m reading New To Me authors, since I got a ton at National.

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Music

I wrote 10 new pages on BD yesterday and typed in 3 pages of Ghost Hunters.

I know I've blogged about this before, but the reality of it hit me yesterday. Toni had this video on her website.



I love this song, and listened to it again and again when writing Spy Girl. So when I heard it on Toni’s blog, I immediately itched to write Spy Girl! The song put me right back in the story.

I’d done this before with my single mom story, listened to Hope Floats and some, um, previously popular star, over and over again, and when I heard those songs, I was instantly in the story!

I have soundtracks for most of my books, but not BD. I tried making one, but I just don’t find the right fit.

What are some songs that inspire you? Do certain songs reflect certain themes, for instance, a love scene? I played "She Brings Me Love" over and over again while I wrote the scene in Ghost Hunters. "Black" by Pearl Jam is another good one.

What songs inspire you?

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If You Didn't Get It the First Time

JoAnn's paranormal mystery romance is now available at Wild Rose Press!

Three Of Swords [Magical Mysterious Sisters 1] [Rose] - $5.00 : The Wild Rose Press, Where Romance Blooms

The Plan

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Two years ago, I had amazing momentum. I’d not finalled in the Golden Heart that year, so I entered a ton of other contests. I finalled in several, the Maggies, Hot Prospect, PASIC, Romance Junkies. I got a few requests, including Susan Litman wanting to see DLB (which I was still writing), Hot Shot again, Brenda Chin suggested I send Hot Shot to Victoria Curran with her recommendation, Berkley wanted to see Surface, and the one who would become my agent also asked for Hot Shot.

School was starting, it was hectic, but I felt I was on the brink.

Then I signed with my agent and everything came to a screeching halt. She wanted me to work on one story at a time. While she worked up the revisions for Hot Shot, I finished DLB and sat on it, except to enter it in the GH.

For a year, I didn’t write anything new. I tried, started BD the following summer, but the urgency, the momentum, was gone. I did maybe 3 rounds of revisions – I lost count. Then I went to National, met with my agent, who wanted MORE revisions, which would have removed the only original bit of the story. I was devastated.

After we made our agreement that she’d send out my other books, including that year’s GH finalist, I joined Nano. I hadn’t written anything new and I flew through that story. I still love it, though it needs a ton of work.

Ghost Hunters was tougher. BD is the toughest yet.

Worse, I’ve lost my momentum. I had a terrific work ethic before – I had to with those requests rolling in. but while I waited for my agent, I got lazy. Why write something new if it was just going to join the stack of mss waiting for her to be satisfied with Hot Shot?

Now I’m trying to make a plan. I’m taking an online class (I know – I don’t like getting overwhelmed with all the email, but it was free) called “Write 50 Books a Year.” I’m actually inspired by some of the obstacles people overcome to write, and I made my plan yesterday. I put it on a calendar and everything.

I’m going to FINISH BD before school starts (3 weeks.)

I’m going to START Vamp Hunters so I can enter it in some contests coming up the end of August (only 25 pages, I can do that. I have 11 already.)

I’m going to REVISE Ghost Hunters, Vanished, Spy Girl, Breaking Daylight and Vamp Hunters before I start anything new after Vamp Hunters.

I’m going to send SURFACE to Kensington.

I’m going to QUERY Bantam and Medallion Press.

I’m going to enter SOMETHING in the Superromance contest.

I’m going to enter Hot Shot in the Gather contest.

I’m going to enter my paranormals in Gateway to the Rest and Fiction from the Heartland.

I’m going to enter my STs in Golden Rose (?), Golden Pen (?), Golden Palms, Suzannah (?), Emily (?) and Linda Howard.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for Maggies, From the Heart, Cleveland Rocks and Golden Opportunity.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for a request from Susan and some of the agents I’ve submitted to.

EDITED TO ADD: Hot Shot was rejected by Superromance today. I think I'll enter that in the Gather contest, then.

This is the calendar I'm using to keep on track. Let me know if you like it.



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Book Reviews

As of yesterday, we've had DOUBLE the rainfall of Seattle for the year here in San Antonio. Yesterday was bad bad bad. I hope today is better. During a break, I took the boy to get his hair cut. He looks very nice. He had a gig last night and wanted to impress. Hm.

I had the most delicious Sam dream last night. It was like an episode of Supernatural, but I was girl of the week (younger and thinner, but all through my eyes.) Maybe I'll work on the vamp book today....

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I’ve been lucky to read 3 really good books the past two weeks. In fact, after Trish left last week, I spent 4 days reading (2 days for HP).

I started with MORE THAN FIENDS. I picked up this book at National because Maureen Child was signing it and said it was Gilmore Girls meets Buffy. (You think she saw my sign??)

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Astoundingly, it WAS very Gilmore Girl-ish (which makes me feel better about my Ghost Hunter book). A mom of a teenaged girl turns 32 and learns she’s a Demon Duster. This is actually hilarious, because she owns a maid service and her weapon is a spray that identifies/burns demons AND cleans windows! She also has the worst birthday EVER, when her washer breaks, her daughter’s daddy shows up for the first time and some crazy lady tells her she needs to kill demons.

There are two potential heroes (it’s the first of a series) and I was surprised when she gave in to one of them, but DANG, it was sexy!

Then I read VIRGIN RIVER. Robyn Carr had come to talk to SARA, and some SARAs read her trilogy and loved it. If you like the show Men in Trees, you’ll like this. She had to have written it before, but even the hero’s name is Jack!

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Virgin River is set in a teeny town in Northern CA, where the heroine flees to escape her grief after her husband’s death. The heroine, Mel, is a midwife/nurse practitioner who accepts a job, sight unseen, only to find out her escape is not well thought out, or anticipated. But she stays and learns to love the town.

The many characters in this book make the place so real I felt like I spent time in Virgin River. It’s just terrific – can’t wait to start Shelter Mountain.

After I finished Harry Potter, I started Stephanie Tyler’s first book, COMING UNDONE. (And yes, every time I picked up the book, I sang the Duran Duran song.)

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This book is an amazing fantasy – former professional surfer Carly accidentally sends a faxed sexual fantasy to the Navy base, and who investigates but VERY hot Navy SEAL Jon Huntington (Hunt). His timing is impeccable – her parents are at her home urging her to bring a family friend as her date to her sister’s society wedding. Hunt steps in just in time. He agrees to be her date if she’ll teach him to surf. Only Carly has some serious scars when it comes to the water, and she bargains with acting out the fantasy.

I love the ease these two have with each other. Hunt has Savior issues, but they just make him that much sexier.

A really heavy twist comes in 2/3 of the way through the book, though, which explains Hunt’s issues. Can’t wait to get to Risking It All --- why must I sleep???

Look who's going to be in CBS's Viva Laughlin!



This looks good, too!

He Said, She Said

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When I took DLB to critique group, one of my critique partners said, “You have to make sure the hero and heroine sound different.”

Huh. I’d never thought of that before. I think I’d DONE it, instinctively, in Hot Shot, because Gabe was so real to me, but in DLB I was aware of what I was doing. I thought in Del’s voice, I shortened his sentences, I swore, even in his internal thoughts, in his observations.

Since then, I’ve been aware of what a man would know and wouldn’t know in a story, like colors – or what a woman would know or not know.

I was reading a book last week where the hero and heroine DIDN’T have different voices. They used the same words for the same things, even when the words didn’t make sense for that character. I mean, a guy wouldn’t call a butt a fanny, would he? Or a bum?

And then there are THOSE words. I manage to avoid them for the most part, but Alex, for example, is a bit more crude than my other heroes, and I can’t get away with glossing over certain terms, ya know? He just wouldn’t stand for it.

So when you’re writing, are you aware of making your hero and heroine sound different? How do you accomplish it?

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TRISH SOLD!!!!!!

Party over here:

Trish's blog

Tagged!

Elizabeth tagged me a couple of weeks ago! Bad Mary!

There are rules for this game and here they are:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
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8 Random Things About Me:

1. I've always been in the top row for pictures. Yes, even faculty pictures, till this year, when the stage curtains cut off the tall people’s heads.

2. I usually love rain, but now I JUST WANT TO BE DRY! Sunshine…I love sunshine!

3. When I was in 2nd grade, my mom took me out of school for over a month without telling anyone, so we could go to CA while my dad was going to computer school. I still passed.

4. I'm afraid of birds so much, I won't even walk through the bird house at the zoo.

5. My dh taught me to drive standard, and when my brother (the healing one) found out, he told my dh, “You have WAY more patience than I ever gave you credit for.” Now I have to return the deed – teaching my ds.

6. I can't stand being late. I'm almost anal about getting anywhere on time, and nothing gets me more upset than people who are habitually late. I'm talking 20-30 minutes late.

7. I’ve never not owned a cat.

8. I hate, hate, hate going to the dentist!

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Goals

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Finished Harry, loved it, time to get back to a schedule. A ginger kitten followed the boy home, cried at the door till I let it in. But I sent it away after dinner ;) Dawn, do you have a new kitten???

1) Grocery store - ugh
2) revise beginning of Surface, send to agent
3) work on BD
4) clean house (it’s not TOO bad, except the master bath)
5) get ready for critique
6) time with mom, breakfast or something

Do you see a theme in these interviews? I do!



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Your First Romance

Technically, I suppose, my first romances were the Janet Dailey Harlequins my grandmother used to buy me at Winns every summer. (This was before she did Nora dirty, and I did love those books!)

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When I grew up, I became obsessed (I KNOW! ME??) with Ireland and read everything I could get my hands on about it. I joined one of the Doubleday bookclubs and saw this book (different cover, though):

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It was about Ireland, so I bought. Then I bought every Karen Robards book. Then I bought every Catherine Coulter book. The rest is history.

What was your first romance?

(I'm on p. 501 of HP, going to bed, SO don't want to!!)

Very cool Red Carpet montage of Ritas- if you see Trish, I'm over her right shoulder!

Pre-conceived Notions

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I'm awake....barely. Got home at 2:30, bed at 3:30, up at 9:30. I blogged about the Harry Potter experience on Wet Noodle Posse. Soon as I'm done here, I'm going to read!

I had my eyes open at National. No, not about the business or the organization, but about myself. See, I tend to be loyal even when it doesn't make sense to be, and some of the choices I've made by being loyal have been wrong.

There were two name authors who I don't read and didn't follow because a friend (turns out it was the same friend, didn't make the connection till the drive home) told me (not just me, but, ya know) things about them.

Well, I met them and you know what? Those things weren't true! I'd made the choice to believe her, to think what she told me to think and she was wrong. What an eye opener. I mean, dude, I'm 41.

As I thought about it more, this "friend" had done the same thing in the past, and it had caused bad feelings on a deeper level.

So at my advanced age, I've learned NOT to have pre-conceived notions, to find out for myself and form my own opinions, based on how people treat ME. Yeesh, grow up finally, Mary!

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Robin Perini's workshop

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I read all day yesterday, finished MORE THAN FIENDS, which was sexy as hell, and read half of VIRGIN RIVER, which has a great supporting cast, not much internal conflict for the hero. I did start itching to write, though I’m going to wait till I finish HARRY POTTER.

Today, I promised my notes from Robin Perini’s workshop, Backbone of Story. She was an awesome speaker, presented her ideas clearly. Answered questions clearly and concisely. I got a bit jittery sitting in the VERY crowded room while she showed some scary spreadsheets, but I learned a lot.

Each turning point should contain the following:

◊ Deep character
◊ Theme
◊ Braiding internal and external conflict
◊ Layering

Actions should impact character emotions. How they feel/react is what moves the story forward. The choices they make based on their emotions is what drives the book. (I thought that was brilliant.)

There are 4 types of scenes:

◊ Exposition
◊ Character
◊ Plot
◊ Conflict

The greatest danger to the character is not plot but their character flaw. The villain should be the personification of that flaw, and that flaw is the danger to the main character. Everything in the story needs to attack that flaw, test it, and the attacks continue until the black moment forces an irrevocable change in character.

She had TONS of charts and worksheets in the conference book, maybe if you email her, she would send them.

Still revising Surface….

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Agent Panel

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I went to the agent panel Saturday morning, Kick It Up a Notch, with Elaine Spencer, Carolyn Grayson, Lucienne Driver and Kristin Nelson. I wasn’t taking notes at first till I remembered it wasn’t taped.

Elaine Spencer started with a list of what not to do, things that could ruin your career. Most of the stuff was pretty common sense, and I was still not thinking about taking notes, so all I remember was that she said not to spend so much time online getting riled up about different issues and comparing yourself to others and she said not to piss off your agent, by missing deadlines, pestering and making end runs.

I was very impressed with her, and she does have a query from me….

Carolyn Grayson was next, and spoke about writing the market-fitting novel.

She said to think about how your last book turned out in investment of time, and should you write another like that. You know, like the LAST jungle book I wrote that didn’t sell, yet I’m writing another?

She said beware of “wild-catting,” writing a fun book that may not sell because no one knows how to market it. I know this happened to a friend of mine. But then we’re told to write fresh….

She advised tapping an aspect of the field that hasn’t been done before, and figuring out what readers like about best-sellers and use the same qualities in your book. Some of those qualities are:

◊ Hero/heroine need a goal readers can identify with at the moment, and that goal must be larger than each other
◊ Hero/heroine need to have thoughts other than each other. They have a past. THEY HAVE A LIFE THE NOVEL EVENTS IS INTERUPTING!!! (I love that – doesn’t that make complete sense?)
◊ Be unexpected
◊ Readers invest in character
◊ Establish a sense of community.

Lucienne Driver spoke on branding.

She wants to know why your book is different from everything out there. The risk is that you’re identified too strongly with a brand that you can’t move away from it. The reward is that you’re at the forefront of a trend and everyone emulates you. I have something here about author branding vs. genre branding but I can’t make sense of my notes….

Kristin Nelson was also very impressive. She spoke on the top ten internet marketing tools. She mentioned you need to find your target market and think, “Where would they be online?” I know Joanna Moore did this with one of her paranormal romantic suspenses – I don’t remember where she advertised, but it wasn’t just to other authors.

Okay, Kristin’s top ten:

◊ Dynamic PROFESSIONAL website. She also said you need to create reasons for readers to come back: links to resources, what you’re reading, deleted scenes, letters to readers about what you were thinking when you were writing the book, make your own fan fiction and have readers respond, making characters “real.” If you have a blog, update as close to everyday as you can. Make it about content. She also mentioned something called video blogging. I’m not familiar with this.
◊ Reader/author group where readers interact with authors.
◊ Proven reader/author sites, with reviews, chats, contests, interviews and banner ads
◊ Teach online workshops
◊ Have your own personal ORGANIZED fan group
◊ Newsletter – maintain subscriber list, put in good content, send out monthly
◊ Go after what’s new and what makes sense. For some people this could be myspace.com, youtube.com, facebook.com
◊ Book trailers – wave of the future. Border’s e-newsletter uses these. People like the one with actors instead of stills, 60 second or less, professional. Borders also likes author letters to readers - they get more click-throughs than the Borders coupon!
◊ Contests
◊ Websites such as freshfiction.com, authorbuzz.com, readertoreader.com, newandusedbooks.com, dearreader.com, redwyne.com, smartbitchestrashybooks.com are all good uses for time. She also talked about amazon.com and the PLOGS they use. If you don’t shop there – an author writes a plog, and that goes to a reader every time that reader buys that author’s book. When the author updates, the reader gets the new plog as well. She also said to have a lot of amazon.com reviews – people pay more attention to the number than the ratings.

Her last piece of advice was to give readers something for free. She said if you did that, you’d have readers for life!

Today I’m doing nothing but reading…and getting the ds whatever he needs for his “HOUSE party” – they’re going to have a HOUSE marathon. Last night they went to see Harry Potter again, and then Friday is the big release party…I want to stay HOME for a change!!!

Tomorrow – I’ll type up my notes on Robin Perini’s workshop.

I will be revising my GH finalist beginning before sending to Cori, so…

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Harry Potter


Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

SARA

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Conference pictures on the WNP blog!

I am excited. I’m excited about writing, I’m excited about my writing friends, my writing groups, I’m just excited.

I think a huge part, at least with SARA, has to do with getting more involved. I’d done a lot for SARA in the middle years of my membership, but after 2004, I wanted to focus on my writing. So while I still went to meetings, I didn’t do as much for the group.

Then we had a mass exodus of SARAs last year, after some tumultuous months, and I felt on the fence. Many of the SARAs that left were friends, but SARA has done a lot for me and I couldn’t see leaving. Around the 3rd Wednesday of the month, I start jonesing for writer talk. So I stayed.

It got rough for a bit. I was with my agent, so not submitting to contests, or submitting at all, really, and I would hear all this good news from other SARAs, many who had been writing a fraction of the time I have. It would dishearten me. I’d think about leaving, or at least not going to the meetings, which were getting smaller and smaller.

Then National last year – we had a party in Stacy’s room with new and former SARAs and it was great. Then the new president had a gathering at her house for new and old members, which was also great.

Still the meetings would get me down.

I volunteered to coordinate a contest category.

I went to plotting bootcamp.

I issued a writing challenge for the month of June, including timed writings, which are run on AIM.

I got involved on the new gorgeous forum.

Now I’m getting to know the newer members, they’re getting to know me, and we’re looking forward in SARA. It’s a great time.

Tonight is SARA, and even though I've socialized more the past week than I have in months, I'm looking forward to it.

Trish headed home about half an hour ago :( This picture is for her.


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In 1966 (the year you were born)

Lyndon B. Johnson is president of the US

As part of nationwide protest against the Vietnam War, demonstrations are staged all over the US

In Miranda vs. Arizona, the Supreme Court rules that criminal suspects must be apprised of their rights before interrogation

US planes begin bombing of the Hanoi area of North Vietnam

Controversial American comedian Lenny Bruce is found dead of a drug overdose in his home

John Lennon says, "We are more popular than Jesus" sparking controversy in the US

The first black Senator is elected to the United States Senate

Cindy Crawford, Janet Jackson, Mike Tyson, Halle Berry, Adam Sandler, and Kiefer Sutherland are born

Baltimore Orioles win the World Series

Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the top grossing film

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann is published

Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys and Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel are released

Star Trek and The Newlywed Game premiere

Goals

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We saw Harry Potter at the IMAX last night. First it was going to be the ds, SIL, Trish and me. Then the SIL couldn't go, so Baby Brother wanted to go. We decided we could go later and take the dh. Then my step-dad wanted to go. So 6 of us raced across town to get the dh from work, bolted down fast food and stood in line to get in. Thank GOODNESS I'd bought tickets online. We were able to sit together, but the place was PACKED. We couldn't believe all those people were there on a Monday night. The movie was good, but I wanted more. I may reread the book soon. My ds loved it.

Okay, my goals for this week:

1) revise beginning of Surface and send to requesting agent

2) think about submitting to Kensington

3) work on BD

4) clean bedroom - we neglected in getting prepared for Dad and Trish and it's really a mess!

5) SARA

6) get Cindi's son his birthday present - 3 weeks late!!!

7) get Harry Potter

8) read stuff for critique group on Saturday

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More Conference

Got home about 4 yesterday, watched a lot of TV, went to eat at EZ's. Funny how quick a drive can go when Trish and I chatted the whole way. She's showering now so we can go to breakfast, so I'm blogging.

Okay, I kind of caught you up to Saturday. I did forget to mention I had a fangirl moment with Trish on Friday when Trish went to the RWA pressroom to blog. Nora was being interviewed, and when she walked out I fawned over her for a minute. I also saw my stalk-ee, Eileen Rendahl. Last year I stalked her, this year she stalked me. We decided we were just in the bar too much! I also squeed over Cindy Gerard, also in the bar.

I bought 2 t-shirts at Moonlight Madness and could have bought more. I wish I'd bought another, but I was pinching pennies ;) One says: So Many Heroes, So Little Time, and the other is like the MasterCard commercial....cost of paper, cost of ink, selling your first book = priceless.

Lessee....Saturday I went to an agent panel that wasn't taped, so I took copious notes. Will post them later this week. Then I went to another booksigning, found Trish as she got ready for her pitch to Wendy McCurdy (a full request) then we went up to Trish's room to brainstorm for her meeting with Johanna Raisenen, Kathleen Scheibling and Trish's agent. We went to lunch together, but Trish had to sit with the board. I sat with other Noodlers.

I went to another booksigning and met Stephanie Tyler and Larissa Ione. If I'd known they'd be there, I would have raced to get Riding the Storm! I was tickled that Stephanie knew me from my blog because she comes by every day!!!

Then I had GH practice, where I was getting antsy because it was creeping later and later and I had to go to the other hotel, change, eat and get back by 7:15. I made sure they said my name right then bolted out. I had told our chapter prez to meet me because she wanted us to drive back her books, and the dh and ds were waiting in the driveway. I saw the BOXES of books - I'm talking about 8 boxes, 2 of them BIG - and had some panic. They took up all the back of the car and the ds still sat by some.

So we raced down 35 looking for a restaurant - ended up grabbing Schlotsky's, racing back to the hotel, getting dressed and racing back to the hotel. We waited for Trish, who gave her key card to the boy and we went to find seats.

We sat together, and I was SO THRILLED Coven won. I LOVE THAT BOOK! Afterwards, I was swept away by my critique group, missed the Noodler picture, didn't have my picture taken with the dh....sigh. DID get some good cheesecake ;) We had our Noodler party till midnight, retrieved the boy and crashed.

We met Noodlers for breakfast at the Cafe, then headed home.


Pictures later!

Trish WON!!!!!

Go congratulate her!!!!

COVEN COVEN COVEN COVEN COVEN!!!!!!

Tired now - partied late, meeting Noodlers for breakfast. Pictures when I get home!

Conference So Far

We drove up, got to town around 1. I wasn't hungry, but knew it would be awhile before I ate. Did the dh offer to get me something BESIDES McD's? NO. I didn't eat till 6 and wasn't happy.

It didn't help that our last minute hotel was a crack hotel. GROSS. We had to change rooms because of no AC, you heard traffic ALL NIGHT and the place didn't feel safe. NEVER again. Name brands from now on.

Went to conference, sat in on the AGM, mostly because I was waiting for Trish. Found our chapter prez and Michele. LONG AGM, rehashing all the PAN stuff. My question is this: why would you NOT want to get paid for your writing? It's HARD to write, you should make money.

Trish had other board stuff to do, so I hung with Marjorie and Sydney till the welcome reception, which had REAL food! Bles them! Then the Golden Network reception, which was fun, and the Moonlight Madness. I bought 2 t-shirts, of course. The dh came to get me, we returned to the crack hotel, then he got up early to bring me back Friday for breakfast with Chris. We met,n had fun, went to Robin Perini's workshop (VERY good), then I went to stalk Susan Litman (didn't find her) and went to my appointments.

Michele Bidelspach was very nice and friendly, but didn't think Surface would fit Warner. If I'd known that, I would have pitched Ghost Hunters. Corie Deyoe had read my partial and wants the full. So, 50%.

Trish and I met for lunch, then went to the Romance Novel TV interviews. I felt like a deer in the headlights the entire time. Then there was the Golden Heart reception, which was nice. I went back to Trish's room to drop off some books - a pain when you're not in the same hotel, let me tell you - and we talked, then I called Sydney, Michele and Sarah for dinner, thougth I wasn't hungry. We ate (okay, I didn't eat, I was full) at the same restaurant we'd had lunch, then hung at the bar. Very nice bonding.

The food has been good, the service has been good, the hotel layout is good - very accommodating.

The dh and ds moved to our original hotel, and I slept GOOD!

Okay, I'm off to get dressed and head back - maybe I'll go to some workshops today!

Dreams and Goals

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I had a lovely George Clooney inspired dream last night. Weird, since I haven't thought of him in awhile....though, come to think of it, I also dreamed about stalking Susan Litman at conference, and talking to her about Hot Shot, where GC was the inspiration for Gabe....You know, I've been working on that book since 2000 and I NEVER till this minute realized George Clooney and Gabe Cooper have the same initials!!!

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The Boy's birthday dinner was very nice, and WAY cheaper than I expected. And even though we got a little cake, half of it was left, so we sent it home with his grandmother. The Wilco shirt was a surprise, and my parents, who bought him an iPod, gave him an iTunes card (which he already spent!). The banana Twinkies were also a hit.

HOWEVER, neither my ds or dh are packed, and are they up remedying that??? Nooooooo.

My brother is out of the hospital and home resting. I hope he and my SIL get some sleep - they need it after this week!

Lately I’ve been thinking about dreams and goals.
I was talking to my dad during his visit and he talked about different dreams he’d had throughout his life, including being a vet and a park ranger. Throughout the years it changed to owning his own business (which he does) and finding success in that business. Personally, he has a dream of a house on a lake, a beautful home he’s building up north.
I wonder, though, how much of that last dream is his and how much is that his sisters have their own businesses and big homes.
My dreams have always been the same, to be a writer. They’ve always been my dreams, and encouraged by my family.
My dh’s dreams have always been to be a musician.
My friend Cindi doesn’t have any big dreams or goals at all.
Even though I dream of being a successful writer, I am content with where I am now.

So - when you have a dream, are you certain it's yours?

Have you had the same dream for as long as you can remember, or is it new?

Can you have a dream but still be content with your life?

I plan to write on the drive....we'll see what happens! Back Sunday with Trish and pics!

Really?

71%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Only 71%?

Today we're doing The Boy's birthday dinner. He'll be 16 tomorrow. SOB!!!! Sadly, he's received 2 birthday gifts and knows what he's getting from us (except the Wilco shirt and banana Twinkies), so not much in the way of surprise.

My cousin's mom died yesterday. (Technically, she's my stepdad's second cousin, but we've been friends since we were 14 - she's 2 years younger than me.) Poor Caroline doesn't have any brothers and sisters, so she's having to deal with this with the help of friends. She lives in NJ and now we want her to move down here, but I don't know if she will want to make such a big change.

This week and last week have FLOWN. I don't know how it's Wednesday already. I hope summer slows down next week! I got hold of Cindi as we were coming home from the hospital yesterday. I may try to go out there today. I don't have TOO much to do. I'm doing laundry now, need to go to WalMart, back to hospital (the collapsed lung is causing him problems, or he would be home by now), clean the bathroom, change the sheets in the guest room, water my plants on the patio and sweep. The guys need to pack, the boy needs to mow the front yard and get the dog's water cleaned. Anyone know how to keep it from turning green?

We're having to stay in a differnt hotel Thursday night than the rest of the time - Fairfield didn't have vacancies on Thursday!!! So we're staying at a Plaza hotel on Thursday, and Fairfield the rest of the time. What a PITA. The first one is closer, but the second is better-rated and was actually cheaper.

I've written like a page this week. I swear, where is the time? And the poor dh is on vacation and having to run around.....he'll need a vacation to recover!

Word from National is the hotel sells Pepsi products, but there's a convenience store nearby.....Must. Have. Diet Coke!

Big Scary Goals List

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Brother was MUCH better last night - sat up for an hour yesterday. He called and said he didn't want anymore company, but Dad's leaving this AM, so we went to say good-bye. My SIL slept in her own bed last night. She feels more comfortable leaving him.

One of the nurses thought I was his mom. Sigh. If you saw how old he looked laying in that bed....eek!

Okay, I made my goals list last night while watching Supernatural and Bourne Supremacy with my dad. You may want to look away.

For Dallas:

Get dh shirt and shoes - tried this yesterday, but he wasn't impressed with Kohl's. OR PENNEY'S OR MACY'S. HE PICKS NOW TO GET PICKY? FINALLY GOT SOMETHING AT BURLINGTON. SAME PLACE HE GOT HIS SUIT.

Get eyebrows done - hopefully after we drop Dad off at the airport. NEVER DID - OH WELL.

Pack - which means actually CHOOSING which outfits to wear. OUTFITS CHOSEN AND PACKED.

Go to Dallas, schmooze, enjoy friends, pitch, celebrate, go to Star Wars exhibit ;)

For The Boy's birthday:

Get card and wrap gifts. DID

Arrange dinner. DID, ENJOYED

Writing:

Do Anne Frank report for WNP. DONE, I THINK.

Write - I'm DYING to!

Other

Visit hospital till Dale gets out. DID

Take Cindi's boy his gift. TRIED, NOT HOME.

Mail CD I sold on half.com. DONE

Go to the movies with the dh, who is on vacation. HA

Clean house so it will be presentable when Trish comes. DID

Get as much sleep as possible around all that ;) FOUR HOUR NAP ON MONDAY....2 HOURS TUESDAY, 1 1/2 HOURS ON WEDNESDAY....SERIOUSLY, THE BOY COULDN'T PICK ANOTHER TIME TO MOW?

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Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

Good Reads

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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Carina Press

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