Friday, July 30, 2010

RWA's Literacy Night

My sisters and I loaded up and drove down to Orlando for a fun night of rubbing shoulders with other writers. Well, my sisters are readers so they enjoyed meeting authors, I think.
Anyway, I was able to see a bunch of bloggers! Sadly, somehow I missed seeing Amy and author Kristen Painter.

Here are some pics.

The lovely Ruth Logan Herne and sweet Sara Mitchell with me. :-)












Another sweet Seeker, Debby Giusti.













Me and one of my wonderful crit partners, Cheryl!



The experience was amazing and I wanted to see so many other writers!

Have you gone to a signing or literacy event before? Do you like being surrounded by writers?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Parties Galore

I have lots of things coming up this week. A baby shower, a book signing (which is pretty much like a party to me!) and my son's sixth birthday. I'll be running around this week but will post on Friday about the signing. Consequently, I won't be around the blogosphere as much as I like.

What are your plans for this week?

Please pray for fellow blogger Krista's newborn Annabelle, who'll be needing heart surgery soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

RWA Conference?

Are any of you going? I'm not, but I am going to the literacy signing on Wednesday night.
I'm hoping to nose around a little and say hi to some of you. :-) And of course, meet my favorite authors!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unforgotten Kindnesses

In eighth grade I stood alone in the schoolyard every morning, a book my best friend, as I waited for the morning bell. I was a new student and not bold enough, or maybe not interested enough, in making friends.

Despite that, two students invited me to join their little circle of friends. I still stood on the outskirts of that circle, reading my book, rarely joining in conversation, yet their kindness touched some deep part of me. They became my best friends until I moved away.

At the ACFW conference I wasn't a disinterested stranger. From the moment I arrived, I met people I knew. Talked incessantly and smiled always. The night of the awards banquet was different. I showed up late and entered a packed room. Saw no one I knew well enough to sit with. And for the first time, I felt alone. I made my way through tables, scanning for someone I knew, wishing I would've hurried and feeling a strange sense of deja vu.

Then I heard my name.

Katie Ganshert was calling my name. She and other bloggers had saved me a seat.

I rushed toward her, not alone, so relieved I felt like crying.

These are two instances of kindness that might seem small to someone else, but to me, they'll never be forgotten.

What was the last kindness you showed? Have your characters experienced a kindness that changed their life?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Themes

Recently I took my kids to see a movie called AstroBoy.

I'm not one of those parents who likes watching cartoons (though I love Toy Story) but I really enjoyed the movie. It was also interesting to see the themes woven throught the story.

Some whoppers, really.

For one, the main character is a boy who is also part machine. This is a universal theme that I think most people could relate to. The MC needs a place to belong, to fit in.

Then there's sacrifice. I almost had tears in my eyes because the little boy has been turned on by everyone, yet he knowingly gives up his life (sound familiar?) to save them.

Sacrifice is something we relate to also, though probably not to that extreme. Although I'd guess most people would aspire to be the type of person who'd lay down her life for a loved one.

Do you notice themes in movies? What themes are in your fiction? What type of themes do you enjoy reading?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Conversation With an Editor

As some you may know, I won a conversation with editor Barbara Scott of Abingdon Press. She's started a new blog called The Roving Editor and although she's a CBA editor, she has a deep knowledge of the industry and I'd recommend following her.

Not only is she smart, but she's a really funny, sweet lady. I often feel nervous on the phone, not sure what to say to people I don't know, but she put me at ease.

One of the main things she felt was important for writers is encouragement. Encouragement and perseverance.

Who and what encourages you in your writing? On a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, how would you rate your Encouraged level? Why is it high or low?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Suck That Reader In, Or Else...

I really did try.

At the library one of the books I picked up was from a debut author, a historical romance. I really wanted to like it. Even when I didn't get into the story immediately, I hung in there. I don't like to not finish a book. I wanted to give her a chance but then I suddenly remembered that it was a library book and that my life is too short and fast to spend reading books I really don't like.

So I set it to the side.

I can't help wondering though, if I would've liked the story more if I'd been sucked in from the beginning.

This is why it's important to intrigue the reader immediately! Agents and editors are readers.

I'm still working on this with my own stories. How about you? Is your first page intriguing? Does it immediately present a unique situation with high stakes? A compelling character? Feel free to share what happens in the first page of your WIP. Also, have you ever given up on a book? Did you ever force yourself to read a book you didn't like and ended up liking it?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Have A Mustache

It's faint, but there. Annoying thing. None of my heroines have one. Why do I?

Genetics, Jessie. Remember great-grandma?

We're told to torture our characters but there are some things that I just won't do to my peeps.

What is the one "flaw" you'll never give your main character?

Friday, July 9, 2010

On Being a Writer: Stephanie Meyer

I won't be home most of today so thought I'd post this. I particularly love what she says in minute three of this video!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Addiction

It's not like I learned something new yesterday, but rather that it suddenly disturbed me.

I have a bookshelf filled with unread books. Some I've won, some I've bought, most are authors I cyber-know. When I took the kids to the library yesterday, I told my husband I wouldn't get anything because I had too many books to read.

I came home with five books for myself.

Reading has always been a compulsion for me. But suddenly I'm feeling like that girl in Confessions of a Shopaholic. A little ashamed, even, that I had to check out books. That I'm so addicted to reading I want to be surrounded by as many books as possible. That I wish I could inhale them.

What makes me need them? Is it emotional? Do they make me feel secure? I have NO clue, but I figured I'd share with all of you because I think at least some of you will know how I feel.

What are you addicted to? What do you buy even when you know you already have it at home? Is there a cure? Do I even need a cure? (you know I'm hoping I don't *Grin*)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Keeping Things Professional

When I graduated from high school I got a job at a bank as a teller. I was also waitressing at night so getting up early for a professional job exhausted me.
One day during training I finished my workbook. The other tellers were doing drive-thru. The lobby wasn't open yet.

To my eighteen year old mind, it seemed like a good time for a nap.

That didn't go over well.

I didn't have a professional mindset. I was still back in school where I always took a nap in the mornings during class.

If you're writing toward publication, toward a career, it's important to find out what is expected of professionals in this industry. I read an interesting comment where a lady remarked that her husband was in sales, and in that industry, it's okay not to take no for an answer. But with the publishing industry, that can be a death knell for your career.

What have you learned about being an author? What are the things required of you in your current job to be professional? How is it different from the publishing industry?