Sunday, September 16, 2007

Colorado Gold 2007

Wow! What an amazing experience. Three days of workshops, panels, meals, drinks, cram courses, partying, and pitching to agents/editors. Just ... WOW! I'm still processing the barrage of information I've been accumulating, wanting to stay in touch with new friends I've made, and going through my photos to find the least incriminating. *grin* hehehe

For those who have never been to this writers' conference, I encourage you to do so in the future, particularly if you live in Colorado (though it's not just for us Rocky Mountain types). The key speakers ... C. J. Lyons, Bob Mayer, and Joan Johnston were inspiring, encouraging, and informative ... as were all the workshops I attended. My only complaint was that I couldn't attend ALL of them!

Of course, one of the most exciting aspects for me was to pitch one of my erotica pieces to Raelene Gorlinsky of Ellora's Cave. She was interested and I'm brushing it up just a bit more before I send in my "first three chapters, final chapter, and 2-3 page synopsis." Excited? MOI?! You'd better believe it!!!

With any luck next year I'll be among those with the little "author" ribbon hanging on my name badge. It's certainly what I'll be working towards!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Well, here I am at the Colorado Gold Writers' Conference and this morning I pitched a mainstream version of Baby, oh Baby to Raelene Gorlinsky of Ellora's Cave. My first pitch, and I had WAAAAAY too many margaritas last night!

So ..... I've been asked for the first 3 chapters, the last chapter, and a 2-3 page synopsis!!!! WHOO-HOO!!!

She was lovely (wears great hats!) and asked all the right questions of this nervous first timer!

Now I'm going to get moving on that last minute polish and figure out how to make my one paragraph pitch into a 2-3 page synopsis! ACK!

Thank you to all those who have been cheering for me as I take this next step toward .... dare I say it .... being a published author!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catching up

It's been a whirlwind the last two and a half months. Since May ....
  • College Girl graduated from college.
  • DS applied for and has been accepted at college (he starts locally next week).
  • I planned not one, but TWO, surprise birthday parties for my brother; one in Las Vegas, one at his home. This absorbed a lot of my life in May & June, but we pulled it off and everyone had a GREAT time.
  • DH & I took the fam on a "graduation celebration" cruise with friends and family in the Western Caribbean. This involved driving down to Galveston, jumping on the ship for a week and driving back.
  • I stopped in Fort Worth on the return trip to spend a few days with my 93 year old grandmother who had broken her shoulder right before we left on the cruise. I ended up staying about 10 days. It's true what they say about people of that age, do not let them break a bone. They stuck this very active woman into bed which caused complications and infections and eventually pneumonia. Sadly, we lost her on August 3rd. Gratefully, though, she passed away peacefully. It's been difficult as she was such an active and vibrant woman and this was unexpected, even for someone 93 years old. As she told all of us, though, she'd been ready to go for two years but none of us would let her. We had many, many years with her, but I'm selfish, I would have liked a few more.
  • School is already back in session, I'm already teaching again and trying not to panic that (no longer) College Girl is planning to move to New York in November. She also has an audition for a cruise ship the first week of September (which would be great), so please think good thoughts.
  • Oh, in writing, regarding that Vampire story contest I mentioned in my last entry, I took second place. One of my prizes, the fiercely sought after Devil Duck, went on the cruise with us and had many great adventures. I will probably put together a journal for him just for the fun of it!
What's coming up ....
  • Colorado Gold Conference, which is a writers' conference sponsored by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (of which I'm a member and the newsletter editor). I have a pitch appointment with Raelene Gorlinsky of Ellora's Cave .... I'm excited and terrified. I will be pitching the mainstream rewrite of "Baby, oh Baby" (which I haven't settled on a final name for, since Baby is no longer the protagonist). It would be interesting if this turned out to be my first published work, as I only wrote it because I was so annoyed with bad paranormal pregnancy fics. *LOL* That appeals to my sense of the ironic. Wish me luck!
  • The disappointment ... I didn't make the finals of the Colorado Gold new writers competition. It was a mainstream piece that really wasn't finished anyway, but still, it was disappointing. I'm waiting for the detailed critique, which I'm looking forward to. I know a lot of contests are subjective, and I'm sure this one is no different, but I just keep remembering I didn't get a role from every audition I've ever done either. My average was about 1 in 5. So, if that holds true, I'm just about due. :)
  • I'm getting ready to set up lunch with a lot of local friends I haven't seen all summer, particularly my friend Jeanne Stein (whose second book, Blood Drive, second in her Anna Strong series, was a rousing success and the third in the series, The Watcher, will be coming out in November) who went to Comic-Con where she met her IDOL, Joss Whedon and was on a paranormal panel with Laurell K Hamilton and Majorie Liu. Very cool. I can't wait to hear all about it!
As for now, I have suitcases to take to the basement and a vegetable garden to look at before I settle in for some writing this afternoon. I looked at the calendar and realized in 6 weeks during summer (late June to the second week of August) I had been home a total of 9 days. ARGH! No wonder I feel like I'm behind in my life!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Yea for Vampire Writers!

My friend Jeanne Stein (author of The Becoming and the soon to be released Blood Drive) and her partner in crime (read: fellow writer), Mario Acevedo, have a blog together. Currently they are running a contest for vampire writers. Now, don't panic, all they want is the first PARAGRAPH of your vampire book! The prizes are varied and some outright silly (devil duck?) and the deadline is June 15.

This is their way of getting some traffic to their blog, so even if you are not a writer, go check them out. Both write urban vampires, I've read all their stuff (it's great), and once you've read The Harlequin, All Together Dead, and Undead & Uneasy (that all come out within weeks of each other, for some damned reason), you're going to need something else to fill in the summer, right? So check them them out.

Here's a link = Biting Edge: CONTEST!

Jeanne Stein ... The Becoming, Blood Drive, The Watcher, and she's been contracted to write two more in the Anna Strong, Vampire Bounty Hunter (she IS a vampire, she doesn't necessarily HUNT vampires *LOL*). Anna is gritty and compelling, and Jeanne is part of the "Joss Whedon is a God" club, so it wouldn't be a leap to say she's been inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, as well as Anita Blake. I really enjoyed The Becoming and I know some of you did, too. Blood Drive, the sequel, comes out June 26, The Watcher is scheduled for November 27th. Jeanne also has a story appearing in Charlaine Harris'a Anthology coming out in September, Many Bloody Returns. ((Jeanne's been busy lately!))

Mario Acevedo ... The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and X-Rated Blood Suckers, both stories of Felix Lopez, vampire investigator (again, he's vampire, he doesn't necessarily investigate them, though, actually, Felix does a lot of that, too).

If you don't want to make an investment in new writers just now (though these two are really terrific), be sure to check them out at your local library. I've really enjoyed both of their works.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Strategies

Today's wordcount: 7,125
On LAUNCHcast: Gladiator Soundtrack
On my nightstand: "Dead to the World" by Charlaine Harris
On my mp3 player: "Metro Girl" by Janet Evanovich

Part of my new writing strategy is accountability. I've made a decision regarding which book I'll finish first (working title: American Werewolf in Baja) and will keep a posted word count to track my progress. The number one issue I have in writing is rewriting and "perfecting" the first three chapters instead of just telling the darned story first then going back to clean it up. To quote my DH, "Finish something!" *LOL* Well, yeah, why didn't I think of that. I can't start writing queries and pitching my work to editors until I have an entire work to pitch, instead of the FIVE just begun works. So, I literally randomly picked one of the unfinished works and I'm committed to it.

So, I figure that means I will almost immediately be inspired to write something entirely different. *LOL* Isn't that how it works for most writers?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Getting into the groove

Today's status: January has been an interesting and challenging month for me. Other than the obvious blizzard issues (we've been getting hammered here in the Denver area since before Christmas), I had surgery on my right hand on January 3rd. This made typing more than a little challenging. Writing, too. So now, things are beginning to calm down, the sun is shining, and I'm now, FINALLY, organizing myself for the new year.

One of my New Year's goals is to blog at least once a week, just to keep myself updated on what is going on around me as well as inside me. I enjoy Kristin Nelson's blog a great deal (more on that later), so I'm going to use some of her features.

What's playing on Launchcast: "This Never Happened Before" by Paul McCartney (from The Lake House)

I love reading publishing blogs .... authors, agents, other industry professionals. I find it interesting, exciting, and VERY educational.

Kristin Nelson of the Denver-based Nelson Agency is one of my favorites. She's direct, honest, and encourages aspiring writers. Her agency web site gives a TON of information on making queries, expectations, and what specifically her office is looking for. I attended a query writing program given by a writers group in Parker last fall that she offered. It was exemplary and made me seriously consider the value of having an agent rather than going it alone.

All that said ... The Nelson Agency has just (in the last few minutes) sent out their first newsletter. It's quite wonderful and gives lots of insight into what agents are looking for, the excitement of sales, and more reminders of guidelines. Kristin's assistant, Sara, wrote a little bit about what she's reading. I loved the name of her column, "On Sara's Nightstand." *LOL* Anyway .... now that I've blathered on, what did I FIND on Sara's nightstand? The following, "Let's see—of all that, what breakouts have I read this month?
Transformation by Carol Berg was such a winner! I felt like it had a real, tangible, powerful, intense, new fantasy world. I loved it!!!" That's OUR Carol Berg, the RMFW Writer of the Year for 2006! Whoo-hoo!

Anyway, I thought I'd share this great newsletter (
Link) and encourage others to join Kristin's mailing list and, while you're at it, take a gander at her very informative blog (Blog Link).

Writing wise, I have the third chapter of my free online story almost finished, and I'm organizing the three unfinished novels and prioritizing them to get one completed and ready to pitch by April's RTCon (I hope). We'll see.