Thursday, November 29, 2007

Piggyback Blogging

Fellow writer, friend, and critique partner, Shauna Roberts, tagged me with a Middle Name Meme. However, because my middle name is eight letters long and I have a fast approaching deadline, I will have to hold off participating. I promise I will. I looks like fun!

Instead, today I'm going to piggyback on her blog post. Head on over to Shauna's Blog where she has a great interview with the always fun and exciting Christee Garbour Atwood. I've had the pleasure of meeting Christee on several occasions. She is one of the funniest women I've ever encountered.

Congratulations on the release of your newest book, Three Feet Under: Journal of a Midlife Crisis, Christee!

In totally unrelated news, I have to give kudos to my cousin Brian for being named first team Academic All-America! Is that cool, or what! Go Brian!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

It's not a big secret that my number one fear (aside from cockroaches) is public speaking. I hate it. Hate. It.

That's one of the reasons I thought being a writer would be a great fit for me. Writer's write. They sit alone in a corner with their little notebook computer and allow their fingers to do the talking.

As usual, I was wrong. I have received more invitations to speak in the past months since I "officially" became a published author than I ever thought I would.

For example, I was invited to speak on a panel with four romance authors as a part of the 2007 Louisiana Book Festival. Myself, along with authors Anita Bunkley, Barbara Colley, Hailey North, and moderator, Chere Coen, talked about the Ever Changing Story of Romance. For months I got a sick feeling in my stomach every time I thought about the panel discussion, but once the day finally came, things went well. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I managed to sound intelligent and not hyperventilate. That's a huge deal.

By the way, the festival was fabulous! I felt like a rock star, and must give major props to my personal escort, Olga. She was a doll.

Here I am with Dafina author, Anita Bunkley.

Just this past Saturday, I had yet another opportunity to conquer this public speaking demon. I was the featured guest speaker at my local Romance Writers of America chapter meeting where I spoke on, what else, blogging?

I was a basket case on my drive to the meeting. Sure, I'd just spoken before a room full of people at the LA Book Festival, but there were three other authors sharing in the Q&A duties. In all honesty, I pretty much just nodded my head and smiled at the festival. This time, it was just me. By myself. Speaking for an entire hour! Talk about beyond nerve-wracking!

Amazingly, once I got started I realized it wasn't so bad. Okay, it was still bad, but halfway through I decided I could make it without losing my breakfast.

Does this mean I'm starting to enjoy public speaking? Not by a long shot. But, I do believe I'm getting better at it.

So, what would "stepping out of your comfort zone" be for you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Bad Luck (Ohio State) Buckeye

Over the weekend I headed up to the cold (compared to New Orleans) city of Columbus, Ohio to cheer on the (then) #1 Ohio State Buckeyes as they continued their march to the BCS National Championship game. Anyone who follows college football knows by now that the Buckeyes' hopes to compete in the National Championship game were crushed by the nearly flawless play of the Illinois Fighting Illini. I'm now known as the Bad Luck Buckeye, and will forever be thought of as the one who jinxed the perfect season. Just great.

Although I was heartbroken, I still had a fabulous time watching my younger cousin, Brian, who happens to be the starting wide-receiver for the Bucks and a heck of a ball player, play in the final home game.

I did some tailgating with my friend Kath, and her sister Karen, who hosted us for the weekend. I had my first (but definitely not last) hot toddy!

My favorite part of the weekend (other than that hot toddy) was spotting all the #80 jerseys in the stores and stands. Brian has become pretty popular in the Horse Shoe!

Script Ohio. A long-standing tradition. It was awesome to watch the band.

Here I am with Brian (in the center) after the game, along with his younger brother, Andrew. Gosh, they both make me look sooooo short! Am I really that short? Anyhoo, Andrew will be playing at the center position for the University of Hawaii next year. Being the supportive cousin I am, I told him I would make at least one of his games, as well. I’m so selfless. :P

The Buckeyes may be out of the national title race, but there is still a lot riding on this coming Saturday’s game against the Wolverines. The winner goes to the Rose Bowl. Can somebody say sunny Pasadena?

Go Bucks! Beat Michigan!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Raffle of a Lifetime...and it's for a good cause!

News of this raffle has been making its way around the romance writing world, and I wanted to do my part in getting the word out. It is for a very good cause, and the prize is simply amazing!

If you have a family member or friend who is a writer, this is a great gift. Quite honestly, it could change their lives completely.

Read on...

Tired of submitting to slush piles and getting rejected before the editors even see it?
Want a chance to get your book before a print editor?
Want a guarantee that the editor actually reads it?

Well here is your chance!!

Win a chance to have your completed or nearly completed manuscript read and receive a one page critique from Hilary Sares, Kensington editor (Debut, Brava, Approdisia lines).

Yes, 15 people will have their full or nearly completed manuscripts read and will receive a one page critique from editor Hilary Sares.

How do you win this amazing chance??

RAFFLE -- $100 per entry.

Enter as many times as you want.

~~~~~~~~~ Rules: ~~~~~~~~~

You may enter as many times as you want at $100 a "ticket". The more times you enter, the better your chances are.

Winners will be randomly selected from a drawing of names on December 21st, 2007

~~~~~~~~ What do you get? ~~~~~~~~

15 people with completed or nearly completed manuscripts (any genre!) will have their manuscript readby Hilary Sares (Impress her and she could even want to buy you~~ if you are what she's looking for!) All 15 will get a one page critique of their manuscript.

But that is not all...2nd place Runners up.... (#16 and #17 winners):

Chris Keeslar Senior Editor, Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell)~~ will read and critique 100 pages ~~you get to put a proposal of 100 pages beforeDorchester's editor, and receive 1 page critique. Again, he will consider buying if you impress him! (Historical Romances, Magna, Contemporary, Paranormal)

Leah Hultenschmidt Editor for Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell) ~~ will read and critique a 100 pages ~!you get to put a proposal of 100 pages before Dorchester's editor,and receive 1 page critique. Again, she will consider buying if you impress her! (Historical Romances, Contemporary, Paranormal)

3rd place Runner up (#18, #19, #20 and #21 winners):

Leanne BurroughsPublisher/Editor of Highland Press, will read and critique 4 full manuscripts -the publisher/owner of Highland Press will read and give each a1 page critique. Again, she will consider buying.
(Historical Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary,Mainstreams YA, Childrens)Trade size PRINT Books

Details....The raffle runs through midnight EST December 15, 2007

The random drawing will be held on: December 21, 2007 so 21 people will have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Winners will be notified by phone and email on that day.

All monies raised go to help author Dawn Thompson's hospital and medical bills. Dawn recently had a bad fall. She is a new writer so has to wait for nearly a year or more to start receiving her royalties. She doesn't have family to help her and has a lot of needs not being covered by her insurance. Money will go to help her pay for medicine not covered, and other needs arising from her recovery.

All drawings will be final. No Refunds

Any questions about the contest email Deborah MacgillivrayKensington,
Dorchester, & Highland Press author.

To enter

Email address (working email addy for you will be billed $100
Penname, if any:
Your full address:
Your Phone number:
The Title of your manuscript:
The genre of your manuscript:
Is your manuscript completed? Yes No
If no - expected completion date

Once your email application is received you will be sent a "ticket" bill through Paypal at $100.00 for each entry. You may enter has many times as ou want to increase your odds.

You will be helping a fellow writer get back on her feet after trauma, and you finally get that GUARANTEED chance to be read by top print editors.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


It's November 1st, which means it's the start of National Novel Writing Month. I've wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo for the past three years, but could never work it into my writing schedule. This year I was determined to be a part of this cool writing adventure. Weeks ago, I devised my plan of attack. I would have my current Work-In-Progress completed before November 1st and devote the entire month to this new idea that has been floating around in my head.

Well, guess what? I finished that novel! Problem is, I finished it last night. That's right. I printed out my latest WIP only a few hours before the official start of NaNoWriMo.

Once I finally complete a book I've toiled over for months (exactly 10 months for this one), I like to give myself a few days to relax and clear my head. It's the only time of the year when I can read for pleasure and not feel any guilt that I should be writing my own book instead of reading someone else's. My ritual usually includes an expensive piece of chocolate, as well.

Not this time.

If I'm going to be true to NaNoWriMo, I've got to get right back to work. The goal for today is 1667 words; just about 6.5 pages. The thought has my head spinning, but it's what I signed up for.

Anyone else out there taking part in NaNoWriMo 2007? C'mon, share your goals!