Saturday, July 28, 2007

Everything's comin' up Milhouse!

Usual disclaimer: sorry for not writing more. It's been a fantabulous week around here. First, I bought my first rug off eBay (you would not believe the deals) and it arrived on Thursday. Looks amazing and the cats are still going nuts (they cannot help but shimmy and wallow all over it, see pics to the right - that would be my cat with no shame* in the middle and JP's cat sniffing around the edges). Even now, when I pass the living room and catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I get a little shimmer of excitement. I feel so adult having a real rug! Natch, now we need adult furniture to go with it...

Unfortunately, I can't really talk about the other great news. But just soas y'all aren't thinking I got an agent or something like that, I haven't even begun to submit WIP so hold your horses. My great news has to do with my other professional life. Can't really talk about it, but it does look like I'll have some time in the next few weeks to finish polishing up WIP and submitting it. Woot!

But the best news of all is that my CP and friend Erica just signed with an agent. I cannot express how thrilled and excited I am by this news. First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her book Trevor and the Tooth Fairy. I read it in one night. Literally, I kept saying I had to go to bed and I could not for the life of me put it down. Erica totally knows how to ratchet tension and up consequences. I was constantly amazed how she could continually make life difficult for her characters. I have wanted to share this book far and wide, I know so many people who would love to read it and I can't wait until it sells so everyone can have as much fun reading it as I did. Second of all, Erica is a total inspiration. She's been writing for a while, studying the craft and writing about it, and this year she set a goal of getting an agent.

And boy did she go after that goal. She did her research, polished the letter, and sent it out. She approached it all like a pro, even muscling through setbacks. She has worked so hard to be where she is, and she so so so deserves it. Even though I had nothing to do with her getting to where she is, I'm still so proud.

So it's been a banner week! The next few weeks will be interesting, but I hope that in three weeks I can announce that WIP is officially done and out the door... this is a goal I definitely intend to keep!

How about y'all? What fun, great, exciting news do y'all have to share?
* seriously, you should click on that picture. It gets even worse when you can get a close up of my cat.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A new winner!

I've drawn a new winner for the Secret Society Girl give-away: DIANE (posted at 3:51). Yay! Shoot me an email at quitclaim [at] to claim your prize!

Sorry to not post more, but I'm hitting the road to go meet my new niece :) I promise that this week will be fun filled blogging!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Real quick...

Hey Kiki - I still haven't heard from you about your book win. Just in case there's something going wrong with my email, drop me a comment here to let me know you're trying to contact me and we'll figure it out. On Friday, if I haven't heard from you I'll redraw another name.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My apologies

I'm sorry for the lack of blogging recently - lots going on in my non-writing life and for some reason my computer is acting up (screen going dark for no reason at all...). Hopefully, with all the Nationals hoopla, y'all haven't noticed my absence.

First order of business: Kiki - I still haven't heard from you! Email me at quitclaim [at] (that's quit as in "quit your job" and claim as in "I claim you as my own") to claim (haha) your signed copy of Secret Society Girl. For the rest of y'all waiting on books - sorry for the delay, totally my bad!!

I'm still plugging away on revisions. I find that it's so easy to get overwhelmed and hard to figure out where to start. Right now I have tons of comments in the ms itself, and I don't really know how to move on to the next step. Man, I feel like a broken record on this blog. At least I have my first round list of agents put together.

Natch, today I watched a series of bad horror movies while JP worked. I tried to resist, but couldn't stand being in the other room while a flick dubbed The Reeker was on. Seriously. The Reeker.

Anyone got some good scoop from Nationals?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Nationals Advice: be a friend

As I'm sure y'all know with all the internet chatter these days that RWA (Romance Writers of America) is having their national convention this week in Dallas. Originally, I was signed up to go but then bowed out for various reasons. While I hate to miss the excitement and hanging out with so many writers (and friends), ultimately I'm glad I made the decision I did (I decided to put that money towards a few smaller conferences during the year).

With nationals approaching, there's been tons of great advice about what to do, what not to do, etc etc. I highly recommend Erica's series of posts on point as well as Blogging National - a blog compiling various blogs about nationals.

I had this whole post planned with my own advice, but after thinking about it, I realized I only had one big thought on the topic: be nice and find that writer who looks lost, alone, scared, and go up and introduce yourself, ask her* to join you for lunch or whatever. Think about if that were you in that corner and be that person you'd want to come help you out.**

Last year I knew so few people, and those that I did barely know had really great friends that they only saw during this one conference and already had plans with. I have to say that during that first night I felt very alone and it took everything I had to take myself downstairs and attend the first few events alone, just putting myself out there. And I'm generally not a shy person! I was very lucky that I ran into Kelly R. at the chick lit cocktail hour early on and that she and TARA basically adopted me (and me them, hence why I'm a member -- they're just such cool women!). I also met another aspiring author who knew some people, but not many, and we became fast friends - meeting up for events like the awards ceremony and dinner out.

Everyone at nationals is there because they love to write and are dedicated to it (else they wouldn't be there - nationals can be a huge commitment). So automatically everyone there has something in common, something to talk about and to spark a conversation.

Be the savior of someone's day and be their friend. I'm not saying you gotta be besties, but if you see someone looking tentative around the bar, invite them into your big group. Talk to the person next to you at the workshops or include them in your conversation if they seem interested. Just try to make sure everyone feels included in the weekend, that's my advice :)

* I say her rather than him or her because I've found that the men seem to stick out so much that lots of people easily chat with them -- at least from my observation.

** This is, in fact, my rule for all social gatherings: to make sure no one feels left out.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Update light...

Hello world! Yes, I am back from my sojourn South. It was not NEARLY long enough. My vacay in a nutshell: sleep, eat, drink, read, sleep, crab, lay about, read, soak in the sun, sit on the dock, crab, sleep, drink, eat, repeat repeat, repeat. I didn't even bother pulling out my computer, didn't think about work or WIP.

So today I'm jumping back in with both feet. I have my "command station" set up, as JP calls it, and am diving into revisions. Right now I'm tranferring and incorporating line edits and comments into one document. Then, I plan to make a list of all global comments and a list of how to fix the issues. Then I'll read back through (on hard copy) making the changes. Then, once those are put back in, I'll hopefully have a final draft! Remember, my goal is to start querying July 23!

I'll write more later. For now I just wanted to check in, post today's goals, and leave you with a picture we took at the beach house last fall during an especially high tide at night under a full moon (it was amazing):

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Updates and Thanks!

Just wanted to re-announce the winners: Kiki and Heather, send an email to quitclaim [at] to claim your books!

As for how my weekend goals went... well, here's the thing. I'm not good with last minute change. And I'd already planned on a weekend of sloth and girlie movies since JP wouldn't be around. I did make the edits on the first section of WIP, though. And then I watched The Holiday (ok), Stomp the Yard (I love any movie with dancing) and Catch and Release (which I actually really really liked). I also mowed the lawn, mangled part of the driveway grass with the new edger (turns out, edging is harder than it looks which is why I was afraid to try it out in the front yard where everyone would see me) and killed lots and lots and lots of weeds. I also read On Chesil Beach. So a full weekend nonetheless.

The big news is that JP's case settled (after his side handed the other a stinging and unexpected quasi-defeat) and so we are off to the beach today. Hurrah!! That means sun and sleep and booze and crabbing and reading and revising WIP and yay yay yay!

My other big news (at least in my life) is that I got the critiques back from Diana and she too loved WIP! And then proceeded to tell me all of the plot points I'd dropped, which I really needed to hear (turns out, if you ignore the plots, they won't go away!). Now I have all the crits back from my beta readers and feel sufficiently removed from WIP so that I can dive back in and really get it good. Right now my goal is to start submitting it July 23 (to avoid post RWA crush).

This is the first time I've ever had something substantial of mine critiqued by someone who isn't living with me.* And as I said before, it's scary to put yourself out there like that. I was relieved that they both loved it, impressed with the depth of their thoughts, and just flat out honored by the amount of effort they put into something that wasn't theirs (karma baby). What's interesting is that there was some overlap between their comments, but by and large they all touched on different aspects of the story. And thankfully, they don't contradict each other! Just thinking about their comments makes me shiver with excitement and say "yes, that is so right and when I make that change I know it will all click into place even more."

So I wanted to send out a big thanks to Diana and Erica for being such great friends, for taking the time to critique my WIP and for all of their hard work in helping out writers everywhere with their blogs, their advice, and their dedication to the community. Y'all rock!

And now I'm off to the beach! See y'all on Sunday or Monday!

* I was going to say sleeping with me, but my mother reads this blog.