August, 2010

RWA Day 1

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RWA Day 1
The next day started off on the right foot.  I woke early, and went across the lake to the Dolphin to register for the conference, then grabbed breakfast with a friend before going back to hotel room, to get ready for the keynote lunch with Nora Roberts.
Which, let me tell, you was a THRILL.  First we wait in this long line to be let into this HUGE ballroom with 2 Nora Roberts books on each chair.  I unfortunately didn’t take any pictures (forgot my camera), but I wished I would have.  It was beautiful.
They served us some kind of weird, but good tasting chicken that looked like it had moss growing on it, and then key lime pie. 
Then the highlight came and Nora Roberts gave her speech.  She is so HILARIOUS.  The main point of her speech was to say that publishing is hard, it’s always been hard and will always be hard, but if you don’t get into the pool, you’ll never learn if you can swim. 
She also talked about all the friendships she made through the RWA.  This year was it’s 30th anniversary.  I hope the friendships I made this year will last as long!
After that it was a quick rush into the bathrooms before the lines formed and then another rush down the hall to where the PRO meeting was held.
It was very informative, but I don’t think I’ll be attending it next year.  I’d rather go to the workshops.  But, then again, maybe next year I’ll be able to attend the PAN workshop.  😀  I surely hope so. 
The PRO speakers were Donald Maas, who is AWESOME!  If you get the chance to get his book, “Writing the Breakthrough Novel”  GET IT!!!  Then it was another author–who I’m soo sorry, but I can’t remember her name.  She won the RITA seven years ago, but somehow her next book was never published.  Then she lost her agent (mutually) and had a hard time finding another, but she kept persevering and now she writes YA and is a best-seller. 
Then it was time for the editors and agents panels. 
After that it was time to head back to the hotel and baby my poor feet.  Ladies, please, when they say wear comfortable clothes and shoes, they mean it.  I mean really, really mean it.  Next year I’m bringing Crocs.  LOL.
At PRO I was invited to the YARWA get-together, but the worry wart I was decided my time would be best spent getting ready for my pitch meeting the next day. 
Which I did, then I went to the bars to “network” with Cate before coming back and practicing my pitch again.

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RWA 2010- Day 0.5

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RWA 2010 Day 0.5
Okay, so I’ve finally gotten around to blogging about my first conference.  At first I wasn’t planning on writing about it because I didn’t feel I had enough to share, but so many of you have been emailing me and asking me how it went that I’ve decided to give you a day by day.  As short as they’ll be.
First let me start by saying going to Nationals for my first conference was completely overwhelming and I’m so glad I had my friends (and roommates) to be with me.
We’ll start with Wednesday as that’s the day I officially arrived on Disney property. Let’s just say, it wasn’t good.  LOL.
My friend and I arrived late.  Yes.  I know.  I live in Orlando.  How the heckleberries did I end up arriving late.  Let’s just say it’s almost impossible to 1) leave ontime in my house and 2) drive through Orlando without getting stuck in traffic.
However, despite the fact that we arrived with 30 minutes to spare, my friend and I ended up driving for 15 minutes looking for a parking spot (she refused to pay $12 for 2 hours—I don’t really blame her). 
So, we arrived at the registration desk at 8:01 pm.  It closed at 8.  I’m not even kidding when I say they were closed tighter than a virgin’s legs.  Crude?  Yes.  But, very, very true.  
That, of course, meant I couldn’t get into the First timer’s Orientation, which meant I couldn’t meet my roommates. So, my friend and I walk back to the Boardwalk where our room is and try to get keys. 
Easy right?  Wrong.  LOL.  Our names weren’t on the register, so my friend left me with my bags and hers to wait for our other roommates.  She wasn’t staying in the hotel.  I was. 
When they finally came, we fixed the registry, which took, oh only another 30 minutes.  LOl. 
But finally we get into our room (which was, of course, in the room farthest from everything.  Literally.  But at least we had a corner room and a patio that overlooked the pool.  
I finally caught a break when my friend Cate Hart and I went to Kimonos and listened to our friends and fellow Romance Divas sing at the Karaoke bar, before finally turning in for the night.

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Fun Friday-Silly Laws(A look around the country.

>Today I’m taking a trip around the United States and taking a look at some silly laws that are still on the books. 

Alabama
It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
Alaska
Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited.
Arizona
Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term.
Arkansas
It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.
California
You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.
Colorado
It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).
Connecticut
A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.
Delaware
It’s illegal to get married on a dare.
Washington, D.C.
It’s against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to duel.
Florida
If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.
Georgia
It’s illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.
Hawaii
All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.
Idaho
A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than fifty pounds.
Illinois
It’s illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).
Indiana
The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.
Iowa
One-armed piano players must perform for free.
Kansas
It’s illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits (Natoma).
Kentucky
Every citizen is required to take a shower once a year.
Louisiana
Biting someone with your natural teeth constitutes simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth classifies as aggravated assault.
Maine
If you keep your Christmas decorations on display after January 14, you’ll be fined.
Maryland
It’s against the law to wash or scrub a sink, no matter how dirty it is (Baltimore).
Massachusetts
No gorilla is allowed in the backseat of any car.
Michigan
A woman may not cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.
Minnesota
It’s illegal to paint a sparrow with the intent of selling it as a parakeet (Harper Woods).
Mississippi
Walking a dog without dressing it in diapers is forbidden (Temperance).
Missouri
Children may buy shotguns in Kansas City, but not toy cap guns.
Montana
It’s a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.
Nebraska
Bar owners may not sell beer unless they brew a kettle of soup simultaneously.
Nevada
It’s illegal for men with mustaches to kiss women.
New Hampshire
It’s forbidden to sell the clothes you’re wearing to pay off a gambling debt.
New Jersey
It’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
New Mexico
Females may not appear unshaven in public.
New York
While riding in an elevator, you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.
North Carolina
It’s against the law to sing off-key.
North Dakota
It’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
Ohio
You must honk the horn whenever you pass another car, according to the state’s driver’s education manual.
Oklahoma
It’s forbidden to take a bite out of another person’s hamburger.
Oregon
State law requires dishes to be drip-dried.
Pennsylvania
It’s illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
Rhode Island
You may not bite off another person’s leg.
South Carolina
If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, he is required by law to keep his promise.
South Dakota
It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
Tennessee
Selling hollow logs is strictly forbidden.
Texas
You may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
Utah
It is illegal not to drink milk.
Vermont
Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.
Virginia
Tickling a woman is unlawful.
Washington
It’s illegal to pretend that one’s parents are wealthy.
West Virginia
If you make fun of someone who does not accept a challenge, you risk a six-month prison sentence.
Wisconsin
Unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.
Wyoming
Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.

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Tip Thursday

>I’ve decided to cheat and take Thursdays to point you to a few websites and articles that I’ve found in my own research. Today it’s Creative Writing 101.  I hope you enjoy.

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Is writing your hobby? Or your career?

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“Why are you wasting so much time and energy on writing?  You should really take a break.  It’s only a hobby after all.”
I’ve been getting this a lot lately, especially now that I’ve had to take an unexpected trip.  I went crazy trying to find something so I could stay in touch with my agent.  We’ve been working on some not so little changes to one of my novels and I have an editor waiting to see them.  I really can’t afford to be incommunicado with her.
 Even my wonderful husband, who teases me about loving writing so much it couldn’t possibly be a job, has done everything in his power to help me.
But to others, including members of my own family, don’t understand that while I may not be getting paid yet, this IS my job.  They only see it as a somewhat silly, but relatively harmless way to pass the time.  In other words.  My hobby. 
At first I was angry.  Okay, all right, I’ll be honest.  I was downright pissed.  Then I realized they don’t understand.  How can they?  They’ve been taught they’re whole life that something is only considered a job if they get paid for it. 
It doesn’t really count until I’ve got the green in my hand. 
While I consider this time I’m not getting paid, my internship, until I get “hired,” they will only continue to see it as a hobby.  They forget that a doctor isn’t a doctor until he goes through 8 years or more of unpaid training. 
Anyone in the publishing industry goes through some kind of internship.  Plumbers, electricians, glass blowers, all have apprenticeships.  These positions are all unpaid, or the pay is so pitiful it might as well be unpaid, but no one considers these hobbies. 
So what makes writing so different?
I’m going to venture a guess and say it’s because it’s fun.  Not all the time.  There has been plenty of times I’ve wanted to bang my head on the wall because a scene wasn’t coming out right. But, despite all that, we love it. 
Just like people who collect stamps or seashells.  They love doing it and though it may not earn them money, they keep doing it. 
So, I guess, if that’s the case, then yes, writing is a hobby.  But it’s also my career.  And I love my career.  😀

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