Thursday, July 29

RWA Nationals Day Two

So last night with uber-confidence in my ability to not need much sleep, I figured that I would be able to go to the RWA Annual General Meeting this morning from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Eh... didn't happen. I underestimated my love of sleep. So when the alarm went off this morning, I reset it. (Mind you, since I'm local and not staying in the hotel, I can't just wake up at 9:00 AM and be bouncing off, that alarm went off at about 7:15 AM. I have to count in plenty of time to drive there as well.)

Once I pulled myself from slumber at 10:30 AM, and after getting ready, I was headed toward the hotel for Day 2. I made it to the Keynote Luncheon with wide eyes and a touch of frustration at the fact that I couldn't pinpoint anyone I even faintly knew. Got seated and ate, then it was time for Nora Roberts's speech. It was absolutely fantastic and very timely. She was smart and very witty.

After that was the PRO retreat. I struggled between going to workshops or going to the PRO retreat, but after reading more about what was going to be discussed at the retreat, I went with it. It was great. Donald Maass was funny and gave a great keynote speech. Stephanie Feagan spoke as well, telling her story about how she was the winner of a RITA in 2006 and then orphaned after Silhouette Bombshell closed its doors. Then she had to struggle to get another agent after her agent wouldn't represent a women's fiction book she'd written, and she had to query 101 different agents just to find another one who would take her in, which is crazy since she won a RITA, one would think it would've been easier for her. Really good timing since I have learned how querying agents isn't a walk in the park. The editor and agent panels were informative and answered some great questions.

When that was finished, I went to the Cabana Bar and hung out with my critique partner and two other authors for a while until it was time for the Moonlight Madness Bazaar. I parted ways with them and saw what all was going on up there. It didn't have as much as I'd have figured there would be, but I saw a neat leather bracelet maker that I'll have to look up online. Then I went downstairs and sat in the lobby for a little bit before going home.

Now I'm off to bed!

Wednesday, July 28

RWA Nationals Day One

Okay, so I'm going to blog about my days at RWA as if real-time tweeting about it wasn't enough, right? *grin*

Needless to say, I didn't wake up as early as I'd have preferred, but hubby and I went down to the Dolphin hotel in good time. I registered, and then we set about waiting for an hour to get into the "Readers for Life" Literacy Signing. Good thing we got there early, too. Afterward, the line became HUGE. We walked through each aisle. I got my books signed by Shiloh Walker, Christine Warren, and Kelley Armstrong. I also got bought books from Jessa Slade (who was so awesome and very nice!), Laura Bickle, and Anya Bast. I totally froze up when I talked to Anya Bast, but she was great. =) We also put our tickets in for the raffle, but didn't win anything. Argh... oh well.

We left that at a few minutes before the event ended, then sat in the hallway for a little to recoop. Blissful moments off our feet. After that, we found where the First Timers' Orientation was (since this is my first time attending RWA). Hubby sat in the hall outside, and I wandered off inside. Seated myself inside and played with my phone for a bit before meeting my critique partner, Marissa Berry (and her mom =) )! It was great and informative. The speaker, which I can't remember's name, was so funny and informative.

I also could relate to what she said about how going to your first conference can make you feel like "an outsider who hasn't gotten the memo" because everyone is around talking with each other and giving hugs while one sits off alone with no one to talk to since I felt that way at RomaticTimes convention in 2009. I didn't really have anyone to hang out with. With this conference, I'm excited but I guess I don't have the rose-colored glasses on and feel more secure in doing whatever. I want to network and meet people, but I won't let it stand in my way of having a great time and learning a lot. But, I digress!

After the First Timers' event, my husband and I had dinner with Marissa and her mom at a quick-eats restaurant called Picabu. It was pretty good, and we got to talk and get to know each other outside of the computer! =) We finished eating and went out separate ways. Hubby and I sat by the neat fountain for a while and talked, then we went outside and saw Disney's firework finale. Nice touch to the evening.

And now, I'm off to bed!

Saturday, July 24

Entertaining and Informative from Twitter this week

So, I'm a proud Tweeter. I think it's a great way to network and keep up with what's going on. Here are the things that I've found highly appealing this week!
Yes, I possibly spend a little too much time on Twitter, but there's so much useful information to be learned. So what I'm also utilizing the ability to live vicariously through others able to attend Comic Con as well? =)

Thursday, July 22

New Release from my friend, Tierney O'Malley!

Wolf's Soul
A Midnight Howl Novel
Tierney O'Malley
Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Paranormal
Available Now

To keep the woman he loves, he’ll do more than turn his back on his pack.

He’ll fight and kill every shapeshifters in his path.

Damn the consequences. Damn his fifth and last remaining life.

Ruthless, charismatic, and dangerously handsome shapeshifter, Callum Dyrdek abides by his clan's code - avoid humans, but protect them from their archenemy, the Blood Robbers. But he broke the rules when he meets Marisol, the passionate and kick-ass woman who possesses the powerful ancient sword that belonged to the leader who ruled his clan many centuries ago. He claims her as his. Now, the enemy demands he give up the woman and the sword or they will attack the humans. Will his clan stand behind him after what he has done?

Expert swordswoman, Marisol Saint James killed a shapeshifter. Now she's on the run with another named Callum who wants her sword and has taken her virginity. But until she finds the truth about herself, she must trust him. When Callum put his fifth and last life on the line in exchange for her safety, she intervenes. Callum wants her sword, but she gave him her heart—whole-souled.

Tuesday, July 20

7 more days! Ack!

The realization of how close RWA Nationals are just hit me today. Seven more days until the Literacy signing (which I'm going to) and the First Timer's Orientation (which I'm also going to)! I'm beginning to feel a bit more nervous. I know I'll have a great time. It's just that this will be my first Nationals. Eeep! I've wanted to go to one for a long time, and now I'm finally taking that opportunity. =)

Well, let's see... what else has been going on with me? I finished reading Jeanne C. Stein's The Becoming not long ago. Really good book! I'll definitely be picking up a copy of her next book.

Also, here's a fun quiz I just did. *laughs*
The Zombie Bite Calculator
Created by Oatmeal

Now I'm back off to prepare for Nationals!

Monday, July 12

Counting down the days...

Now that the World Cup is over (Yay Spain!), I have less to distract me from the RWA National Conference on the horizon. Yes, I'm definitely starting to feel a little nervous. My pitch is becoming smooth and ready, so when I have my agent appointments, I think I'll feel more comfortable than last year's RT Convention. But it's my first tme going to an RWA Conference. I hear they're more business-like than the party atmosphere that RT has. Yikes! Thoughts of what do I wear instantly come to mind. I'll dress nice but comfortable; although, if I think about it too much, I get urges of going to the mall, which is not my favorite thing to do.

Besides from that, I'm currently reading an urban fantasy, The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein, which so far is great. I'm also revising with my critique partner and taking the pitch workshop my RWA chapter is holding online.

Wednesday, July 7

The End

Today marks another first draft complete. Another The End achieved. Hooray! I'm thrilled by that, especially since it allows me to focus my attention more on getting my other novel in shape for possible requests at the end of the month's RWA conference. The finished first draft will need quite a bit of work when it faces its turn for editing, but I'm pretty pleased with it.

Now off to relax with hubby and read!

Thursday, July 1

July! Conferences, Agents, and Pitching -- Oh My!

So, as you all probably know, I'm going to Romance Writers of America's National Conference this month. I was fortunate enough to get a couple of agent appointments, which I'm happy about, but that leaves me with the impending feeling that I'll be pitching at the end of the month. Yikes! I'm a fairly quiet person, so just thinking about talking with an agent is enough to make me slightly nervous. I did it last year at Romantic Times Convention, which, besides from one appointment where I got completely frazzled and ended up forgetting parts of my story, weren't too scary.

Right now, I'm taking a workshop by Bob Mayer on pitching. I enjoy his teaching. I read a Writer's Digest ebook on writing by him, and I took his Warrior Writer class in December '09. Both were excellent and informative. So far with the workshop, I feel like writing the perfect pitch that bedazzles an agent is just not one of my strengths. It's hard to look at my own novel and figure out something to write in one sentence. Argh! But it's only the first day of the workshop, so I'm sure my pitch will work out. =)
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