by Christine | Life, Observations
I’m so thrilled that I’m carrying a camera with me everywhere. I had the great good fortune to speak at the monthly Orange County Chapter of RWA last week. Here’s me with the WANA folks that came. I was so happy to see them! From left to right – Jenny Hansen, me, Tameri Etherton, Kate Wood, Bethany Lopez, and Debra Kristi, all of whom are kick-ass writers and bloggers, so please go check them out. We have Kristen Lamb and the We Are Not Alone group in common, so it was doubly nice to see them in person.
The WANA gang at OCC RWA 1-12-13.
As you may know, we here in So Cal have been
bitching whining upset about the cold temps we’ve been going through. A couple of weeks ago there was ice – not only all over my poor basil, killing it dead, but even in the streets. Here’s a photo of the partially-frozen gutter water. Hey, to a San Diegan, this is way cool stuff.
Ice in the gutter outside my office, about 9am.
The other day I tried to explain to someone my unreasoning hatred of palm trees. I couldn’t convince this guy from Ohio that palm trees are pretty dang useless. I mean, they don’t provide lots of shade from the sun, and they don’t give us anything to eat. And when they’re planted with a pine tree of some sort between, it causes a synapse interrupt for me. As in, these trees do not compute. (Don’t talk to me about date palms. Would you eat dates from a palm tree grown in Los Angeles? Yeah. Didn’t think so.)
Do the palm trees look out of place, or is it just me?
I guess there’s no changing the whole palm-tree thing now. I’m just a few decades too late. Are there trees planted in your neighborhood that just don’t go together? I’d love to know!
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by! On Writer Wednesday, Marian Lanouette will be here with her latest release, so we hope to see you then.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
by Christine | Writing
I apologize, I should have put something together earlier about my RWA conference experience – except I’m still in absorb mode. Actually, I’m still on digest on all my email loops, too, so have gone dark there as well.
I learned a lot; I gained a lot; I felt like a “real” writer while I was there, and I didn’t the last time, four years ago. No, I didn’t sign anything anywhere; no, I wasn’t up for an award; no, Nora doesn’t know my name. But it was an amazing conference. I was taken seriously by publishing professionals, and by my peers.
One of the publishing professionals, the lovely and talented Caridad Pinero, actually saw me as I was working the registration desk. Recognition crossed her face, and she came over to give me a hug. WHA? Rita Nominee Caridad Pinero gave ME a hug! We’d met at RT 2011, and I was on her blog before that I think; still, it was a total thrill, and told me how gracious and generous Caridad really is, which meant so, so much to me. It also gave me a pattern card for the future.
I also saw and hugged Kristen Lamb and Jenny Hansen, blog friends (I first met Kristen at RT 2011) and it was SO good to see them! Also caught up with Jami Gold (and did I have my camera with me? Um, that would be a huge NO!), whom I met in real life at Desert Dreams. Then, of course, there was the fabulous Beth Yarnall, and the lovely Deb Mullins, who might not have recognized me in passing, but still…!
And my lovely LARA members. We were 50 plus members strong at the conference this year, and there was something so lovely about turning a corner and seeing a familiar face. Of course, after ten years of RWA, I know a lot of people’s faces just from having seen them over the years. It’s such a lovely thing, don’t you think?
As far as roommates go, I think that if you don’t room with 3 other people in beds too small for one person let alone two for at least ONE conference experience, then you aren’t really living. We had a blast. Was it too loud? Yeah, a couple of times. Was it crowded? Hell yes. Did we laugh a lot? Um – YEAH! We drank wine, too, in the privacy of the room. Didn’t get sloppy in front of other people, which in my book is ALWAYS a good (as well as economical) thing. But there you go, we were So Cal natives so it was easy to buy our alcohol and bring with.
I’ll post more later, but dinner’s ready now, so…
Cheers, y’all! Write well, read lots; there’s more updates coming. And next time I’ll mention Brenda Chin, lol.
by Christine | Life, Writing
Okay, so last week I whined about being Alone in the Publishing Wilderness. As a writer, I didn’t want to have to do everything (marketing, blogging, facebook/twitter/etcetera) all the time (I still don’t). And I got a lot of response from others feeling pressured, and overwhelmed, by all that goes with publishing. As I’m ramping up for the release this year of my second novel, I’d really like to get this whole writer-marketer thing down to where I’m comfortable with it.
In the past week, I’ve learned five important lessons about the publishing world, and myself, that I thought I’d share.
1. I don’t want to be a publishing dinosaur. As much as I’d love to hide in my cave and just write, I tried that. Didn’t work. (Well…I got a lot written, but slowly – it was the beginning of my career, what can I say? I didn’t work HARD enough.) Now I’ve got a day job, learning new stuff – I can and will learn the new publishing stuff, too. It’ll keep me nimble, lol.
2. Reading others’ blog posts informs me, broadens my horizons, and gives me a few chuckles. The mere act of reading someone else’s thoughts gives me more opportunity to empathize (or get angry on behalf of – depending), strengthening the human connection. Gives me food for thought and conversation with the family and the boss. (Good conversation is RARE!!!) Plus anyone that provides belly laughs is my friend for life. And you never know where the germ of a story idea will come from.
3. I am not Alone – I am a Modern Author/Warrior. Kristen Lamb’s latest post finally explains it to me to where it’s palatable. I’m really looking forward to the nify armor! Plus she and the other MyWANA teams totally rock, and I keep forgetting to keep them at the front of my mind. If you’ve noticed the #MyWANA hashtag, or all the derivatives, but haven’t understood it, see her video for a full explanation here.
4. More Blogging is a Good Thing. Just like More Cowbell (my new favorite blog). I enjoy blogging, I like talking about wines and recipes and every now and then, my writing. Kristen Lamb tells us to set aside time to do our blog posts in advance and schedule them accordingly…well, yeah, okay, I can work on getting organized. (Kristen also says that if we make our bed every day, that it will eventually lead to a clean house. Haven’t noticed that one working yet…)
Maybe I’ll start having guest posts once a week. Takes some pressure off, you know? Plus, after reading this fascinating article about 12 blogging mistakes from the guys at SEO MOZ, Irealized that perhaps search engine optimization IS something I need to learn.
5. Content is Still King. Whether you’re writing a novel, short story, blog post or grocery list, content is still king. The only thing that’s better than strong, solid content is LOTS of it. (Hence more blog posts. And the masked guy in the corner, fingering his whip every time I stop typing on my latest manuscript, lol.) I read Bob Mayer’s post this week on the secret handshake of successful digital publishing – and it restored my faith in content.
Other places to go for more inspiration:
Bob Mayer’s post on Platform, Product, Promotion is something every writer needs to read.
JA Konrath provides thought-provoking tidbits on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, and his latest post is one of my favorites.
Piper Bayard and her partner, Holmes, always have interesting (and funny) stuff to pass on to us real people. Love this post on the Guinea Pig Diaries!
On a General Writing Note: I LOVE Savvy Authors. It’s a free site (they also have a paid site) and the posts are always informative, no matter where you are in your writing career.
So, that’s what I’ve learned this past week. What are some of your favorite blogs to visit for inspiration, or a chuckle? I’d love to know! Please feel free to include the link in your comment so I can check them out!