Some interesting things happen when you take up writing as a profession. One of them–at least for me–has been that traveling is now rarely something I do for vacation or relaxation or merely bonding with loved ones and friends. These days, when I’m catching a plane or hopping on a train, I’m probably traveling for work.
October 2019 (my third trip in five weeks): Snoopy, unamused that I am packing to leave him AGAIN.
Since writing can be done anywhere and since I actually produce the most words when I have my butt in a comfortable chair in my own house, the three trips I took in the past five weeks might seem excessive. And just two months before that, I spent a week in NYC for RWA Nationals. But each of these trips fulfilled specific requirements of the writing life, so I bought my tickets, rearranged my word-production schedule, stepped over pouting kitties, and left my well-worn writing digs for some on-the-road adventures.
The True Retreat Trip
October 2019: Perfect conditions for a fall writing retreat: cool, wet weather outside, hot coffee and tea inside.
This one is my favorite of all the writing trips I take, because I have a bi-annual retreat date with four writing buddies whom I’ve known IRL for more than ten years (I met the first of these ladies 22 years ago!). This is more than a chance to sit and write all day in the company of others who are doing the same thing. This is also a chance to catch up with real-life friends’ lives, discuss industry news, trade titles of books and movies and must-watch TV, and eat WAY too many calories.
In other words, this is the kind of writing excursion that feeds more than page-count goals and a sweet tooth. It feeds this writers’ soul as only time with like-minded friends can. Continue reading
RWA National Conference is fast approaching. So it’s time to start prepping for it. Well, for many of our readers, anyway. Unfortunately, this is not my year to attend (sigh). But for those of you who are, now is the time to get the conference schedule, a top priority, and deciding which sessions to go to or which to avoid. If you’re pitching this year, add ‘preparing the pitch’ to your to-do list. I suck at elevator pitches and tag/log line type descriptions so creating those is torture. In order to make sure I’m not forgetting anything, I googled to find some internet advise. Continue reading
Although if look closely enough I can probably find a stray Xmas decoration or two hiden around the house, we’re actually half-way through the year already. That means, among other things, that the annual RWA Conference is a mere three weeks away.
The conference registration, plane tickets, and hotel are all booked and ready for arrival, but I don’t yet have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing once I’m there.
One of my primary reasons for attending the annual conferences is to network and spend time with people I don’t often get a chance to see in person. My very first conference – which coincidentally was in New York just as this year’s conference is – involved meeting not just Jenny Crusie (*swoon*) but also meeting up with a group of friends and authors I had only known through the distance of the internet.
Top of the list for this year’s conference is getting to spend some quality time with the other 8Ladies who will be in attendance, and to cheer Jilly on during the Golden Heart awards ceremony. We’ve already been busily trying to coordinate schedules to find some time when we’ll all be free. Continue reading
Will you have a moment to spare on Wednesday? I know that’s three days away, and I expect you have a million things to do between now and then, but I have a favor to ask. If you remember, and if you’re willing, when Wednesday comes around please drop by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog and say hi to me over there. I have a guest post and I’d really like to avoid looking like Jilly No-Mates 😉 .
The Rubies are the RWA Golden Heart Class of 2009. They’ve been writing, publishing, and blogging for the last decade and they’re still going strong. They have an annual contest, a winter writing festival, and every summer they schedule a series of guest posts for the current Golden Heart finalists. This year’s GH selection has been great fun (see below), and there are more posts to come over the next three weeks.
On Wednesday I’ll be talking about my GH finalling story The Transformation of Alexis Doe and the prequel I’m planning to publish first—The Seeds of Power, otherwise known as Christal’s book. I think I’m the only fantasy writer among the paranormal finalists, so my blurbs sound quite out there compared to the others. I’m more than a bit nervous.
To whet your appetite, here are the interesting and varied guest bloggers so far, and thumbnail descriptions of their stories based on their posts: Continue reading
I’m currently attending the Orange County RWA’s California Dreamin’ conference and am having a great time, learning a lot, and connecting with other great writers. I’ll have more to report in the coming weeks about such things as ACX/Audible, great ways to advertise your books for free, and other marketing and selling ideas. For now, though, my best takeaway is this, from Caitlyn O’Leary:
Consider your book a brick-and-mortar store
- Your cover is the storefront
- The blurb is looking in the window
- The sneak peek is going into the store to make a buying decision
- The ads get the reader to your store. (yes, the ads come last, because if your store is a mess, there’s nothing to get your reader in the door)
I’ll have more on this soon.
What are some of the best conferences you’ve attended?
RWA’s Golden Heart necklace, awarded to each Golden Heart winner.
As you may have noticed if you’ve been reading the blog recently, several of the 8Ladies buffed and polished up manuscripts and entered them in this year’s RWA Golden Heart Contest. It’s the last year of the contest, which may been just the extra motivation they needed to get those words flowing and stories finished. Best of luck to all who entered the contest.
I have been a Golden Heart contest judge since my earliest days in RWA. In addition to supporting the organization, contest judging can be a learning experience for the contest judge as well as the entrant. I have often found that mistakes I don’t see in my own writing, or concepts that just don’t make sense in my own head, can be startlingly clear when reading someone else’s entry. Plus, you get the chance to read some really good stories that you might otherwise never have seen. Continue reading