Easiest Decision in the World

August 23, 2010 at 7:56 am (Events)

 

I’d been deciding between several ideas to post today when I saw the hysterical and wonderful C.J. Redwine’s blog today and was graced with the easiest decision in the world. So here’s my post for today:

Go to her blog.

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RWA: The Crazy Signs edition

August 16, 2010 at 8:31 am (Events, Virtual Gems)

 

Hello and happy Monday, lovely blog readers!  (Oops–accidentally typed “reader” there. Think my subconscious knows something I don’t?) I did promise you a crazy signs edition to wrap up my RWA coverage, and, I must say, this might be my favorite post of RWA. I don’t know why, but so many of the signs of the Swan and Dolphin, DisneyWorld (and surrounding area) and even the Denver airport just tickled me to no end. I know–I should have been taking pictures of the people, the outfits, the fabulosity that is Nationals, but no. I take pictures of signs. Next year I’ll be better–pinky swear.

So, the first sign picture was going to be me and the “Hello Florida” sign, but I figured even as much as I loved it, you were getting sick of it, so let’s move on to something better, shall we?

It’s hard to go wrong at a place that is so active in wishing you happy thoughts. I mean, wouldn’t that be an awesome job–the “Magical Day” sign wrangler?

This one cracked me up because I could just picture some direction-challenged tourist (*kaff*Mom*kaff*) looking at the sign and asking out loud, “Now where is the Dolphin?” and totally missing the huge stone fish just a few degrees off center.

I found proof what happened to all the bugs at Disney. The poor sucker who drives this truck has to get up every morning and wrangle them. (Maybe Disney has a catch-and-release program and the bugs are all taken to a lovely farm in the country…)

Saw this one at Hollywood Studios. All I can say is I’ve been Beaker more times than I can count.

This was also at Hollywood Studios. No, it’s not a sign (it’s the Little Mermaid fountain) but that “fish” just made me laugh and shudder at the same time. Is it a dolphin that takes the short bus? Is this Flounder or Nemo’s backwoods cousin? Can Disney artists just not get the concept of a fish? (There was quite a Twitter feed on the less-than-accurate dolphin statue gracing the Dolphin resort.) Call me odd, but I had to share it.

And since steampunk was causing some buzz at RWA, when I saw this sign at the Denver Airport, I knew I had to get a shot of it. C’mon–just say it out loud. Elevator Machine. It sounds so deliciously steampunky, doesn’t it?

My other shot from Denver. I’ll let this one speak for itself.

And, once again the “Magical Day” wrangler has struck. To each and all, I wish you a magical day and wonderful week!

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RWA: The Random Photo Edition

August 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm (Events, Random Thoughts)

 

So, I wanted to do another post on RWA, but wasn’t sure how to do it. As I was looking through some of my photos, a few jumped out at me, so I thought I’d post them and just chat a bit. They’re in somewhat of an order, and I wished I would have more of the people instead of just the scenery, but for some reason I didn’t think to break out my camera when I was chatting. Next year I’m getting people pix–promise!

So without further ado, shots I like from my RWA/Orlando trip. Hooray!

Yes, I know I posted this on Facebook (and maybe Twitter), but the “Hello Florida” sign cracked me up. Hello, Florida! (Why hello, Pam–how are you?)

The Swan, taken on my Friday morning walk. The boat in the foreground went from Hollywood Studios to the Swan and Dolphin, to the Yacht and Beach Club, to the Boardwalk, to Epcot and back again. It was a fun way to travel and see the sights.

Ditto the Dolphin. Both were amazing hotels!

The Boardwalk, which you can tell how close it was by the shot below. And the Boardwalk had all kinds of yummy restaurants and sweet shops and souvenir shops and Boardwalk-y type things. It was a very fun (and close and not-crowded) place to hang out.

Taken from about the same place as above, except pointed into the lake and towards the Dolphin. The necklace, BTW, is my Marlenes medallion. I’d hoped somebody would recognize it, but I must not have crossed by any WRWDC members.

So, at the Garden Grove buffet, they also had  a dessert buffet–and this wasn’t a boring swirly-ice-cream-with-cookies dessert buffet. Oh no, my friend! I’d snapped one tart in half and gulped it down before thinking I should take a photo so you could see the wonderfulness that was a dessert buffet and here it is. (Don’t mind the mango margarita in the background… It had nothing to do with my recollection that both Pluto and Goofy kissed my hand!)

So I did get to meet with my agent, and it went spectacularly. However, she does want me to write and revise like a crazy person, so feel free to give me the hairy eyeball if you feel I’m slacking!

And yes, I did end up going to one of the parks–Hollywood Studios to be specific. I was just happy to see the hat wasn’t actually sneaking closer to my hotel room and was firmly in place.

And what trip to Hollywood Studios would be complete without a return visit to the sweet shop on the Boardwalk for a toffee bar (dutifully snarfed on the walk back) and this adorable peanut butter cup. What can I say–Mickey was delicious!

Happy weekend to all–stay tuned next week for my RWA: Crazy Signs Edition!

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RWA: The random edition

August 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm (Events, Random Thoughts)

 

Hello, lovely friends! I’m back from the awesomeness that is the RWA National Conference and I think it’s safe to say my brainpower is somewhere around 50%. Hooray!! Given what it has been for the past 48 hours, 50 is like a freaking treasure trove. Seriously.

And, I think it’s becoming quiet apparent that I suck at blogging from Nationals. I looked forward to tweeting and facebooking  at least, but the internet at the Dolphin was pretty bad, so after a while I just checked the urgent things, as every time I tried to post something it took yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears. (And don’t even get me started about how slow it was with pictures. Needless to say there was almost a Wolverine-like rampage at the happiest place on earth.) So I’m just going to do some random posts about Nationals and we’ll see how that goes, k?

So, giving credit to the delightful C.J. Redwine and her numerical posts of fancy, I give you my RWA post, the numbered edition.

1. Wow, was DisneyWorld overwhelming. (And I’m just talking about driving to the hotel the first night.)

2. I do think they put something in the water, because by Friday night my plan to eschew any of the parks went up in a blaze of “Let’s go to Hollywood Studios!!!”

3. The humidity wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

4. There were practically no bugs. I think Disney bought them out.

5. I do so love the atmosphere of Nationals. Walk into the literacy signing and tell me you don’t get a rush.

6. I dare you.

7. Though I didn’t get to either the Sweet Shoppe or the Fountain at the Dolphin, Seashore Sweets on the Boardwalk had the most tasty toffee bars. *drool*

8. Nora Roberts? ZOMG, that woman is a broad in the best sense of the word and I am more than a little in love with her now.

9. The authors repped by Irene Goodman Agency are eighteen kinds of nice, cool, awesome, supportive and funny.

10. Did I mention cool? Then I’m saying it again.

11. The agents are too.

12. The buffet at the Garden Grove restaurant at the Swan includes a dessert section that would destroy even the most high-tensile pair of Spanx in the world.

13. But having Goofy and Pluto come over and kiss my hand in between gorgings, er, courses was truly delightful.

14. I am in such girl-love with my agent. *ittybittysquee*

15. The publisher-sponsored booksignings were, aside from the fact they were in rooms too small for them, delicious.

16. Best thing I did? Brought my own self-sealing USPS flat-rate boxes.

17. Second best thing I did? Brought my own labels and $1 stamps, so I could just drop those boxes off without having to stand in Any. Line. Whatsoever.

18. So, Hollywood Studios? Yeah, it was Disney spectacular.

19. Having breakfast with the Wiffers and Cherries? Yeah, it was Disney spectacular, too.

20. The Golden Heart and RITA dinner and ceremony? Let’s just say there was some extra magic at Disney Saturday night.

Yes, I will be blogging more with explanations, pictures, links and everything else. I just wanted to give a little off-kilter recap while my brain was still recovering. Stay tuned for more RWA posts.

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RWA, Disney, and The Little Things

July 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm (Events)

 

Hello! Well, it’s that time of year again–RWA National Conference time. (Or as I like to call it, Christmas on Crack.) You’ve read my posts before on Dressing for Success and Food, Drugs and Masks, so you have the basics–let’s call it Conference 101. There are also some fantabulous tips going around Twitter right now (use hashtag #rwa10) and probably some links to other blogs giving you the inside scoop, but I like to think I’m covering something different this time. I’m going to call it Conference 102–The Little Things.

Let’s address the location first–the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. RWA announced recently that all of the events are going to be taking place at the Dolphin, so for the sites I’m about to list, I’m leaning toward the Fin instead of the Feather. Most sites also have similar entries for the Swan (aka The Feather) so if you’re staying in that hotel, take a browse around for tips specific to you.

I’ve found some great sites dealing with both hotels, including All Ears, The Mouse for Less, and Mouse Savers. These sites also have fantabulous links dealing with all of Walt Disney World and where to go, what to eat, how to save money, and everything else you could possibly want. I’m going to skip those as I have pretty much zero interest in visiting any part of the park (I know–take away my American citizenship now) so just didn’t bother unless I could see the tip having an effect on me. (Example–the refillable souvenir mug. For my diet Coke/Dr. Pepper addiction, these sound pretty good!)

One important fact to keep in mind is that the Swan and Dolphin (heretofore to be referred to as one unit, ergo not plural) is not, I repeat, not, a Disney Resort. This means important stuff, I’m sure, in the greater scheme of Walt Disney World (it sounds like many of the privileges are the same as resort hotels), but the one thing I found where it does make a difference to most of us is that they don’t participate in the Disney’s Magical Express shuttle bus and luggage delivery service.  The hotel sites above all have a transportation link if you’re not taking advantage of the Mears RWA-discounted shuttle, but the bottom line is you’re going to have to find your own transportation to and from the Swan and Dolphin. (Unless, of course, you’re in another or overflow hotel that is a Disney Resort.)

Now, whenever I go to a hotel, I like details. I mean details like an anal-retentive accountant prepping for an audit. I’ve looked and looked for S&D (Swan and Dolphin) facts, and the best I’ve found is a little known branch of their official website listed under a media guide. It has many lovely photos (which I love, as I can get a good feel of the room I’ll be staying in) and if you look at the top of the page, many lovely links to other details of the S&D, such as floor plansfast facts, hotel videos, and so much more. (All Ears also has a plethora of wonderful photos, too.)

Now, if there’s one tip that I just fell in love with, one tip that I encourage each and every one of you to take a peek at, it’s this: There’s a drugstore that delivers to the Walt Disney World area. Delivers! It’s called Turner Drug and not only do they deliver, they take PayPal, so to me they are an awesome sundae with chocolatey awesome sauce drizzled all over the awesomeness. Now, I take a little pharmacy of my own with me when I travel, but if something bigger than the sniffles or an allergy attack happened, I would be SOL. Well, not anymore–I hop online, order some lovely drugs, and they bring them to the hotel. Yes, for a charge, but c’mon–who hasn’t been hit by some nasty stomach bug or cold from hell (thank you very much, sneezing person beside me on the plane!) and would pay somewhere between your first born and grandmother’s diamond ring for relief? And you know one of their more beautiful offerings? Water and Sodas.  Toldja they were awesome

Here’s one of my favorite tips–ship yourself treats. Having the joy of getting my luggage searched in April (complete with breaking off my TSA-approved lock), I’ve been careful what I pack, and that does include my suspicious-on-Xray-machines granola bars. In thinking of that and reading some of the overall Disney tips, I’ve decided to ship myself a box. (They give you the details on your confirmation page–if you can’t find it, email  me at pamelacayne at gmail dot com and I’ll help you out.) I’m using a USPS Priority rate Flat Rate box and filling it with my teas, some granola bars, almonds for snacking, probably some little packs of Cheetos, maybe a package of Oreos or something, and anything else that sounds yummy but would probably set off TSA as a suspicious mass. Ship it on Friday, it’s there on Tuesday or so, and as soon as I check in, I get a call saying they’re holding a box for me. Ta-daa! Food delivered to my door. Screw Martha–that’s the definition of a good thing!

I’ll also be packing 2 or 3 of the Medium Flat Rate boxes (available in any post office for free) along with a bunch of $1 stamps and some pre-addressed priority labels. I know RWA usually has a shipping area set up, but this way I’m covered if they don’t, if it’s too crowded, or for whatever reason strikes me in the heat of Orlando. The medium rate ones are self-sealing, so I’ll leave them flat in the bottom of my suitcase, to be pulled out and assembled for shipping later (with the pre-addressed label and $11 in stamps) or left alone should I not need shipping services or decide to use whatever RWA is offering.

My last tip? I’ve created both a surf and a rain white-noise “song” for my iPod. This is invaluable on the plane if I’m trying to sleep or want to ignore the sneezing guy next to me or if the room has a iPod/mp3 jack on its beside alarm clock. Hell, if the people next door/above me are getting too loud in the wee hours of the night, I’ll stick my earbuds in and listen to it that way. I strongly suggest you have some white noise relief of your own.

So those are my tips. If you have any questions, comment below or email me at the pamelacayne address. Let me know if you’re going to Orlando and maybe we can cross paths, and for those of you not going, I hope to be blogging there along with many pictures, but that all depends on time and computers and such. Plus, I may be too busy munching on my Oreos.

***MY WARNING!*** All of this information was gathered and presented in good faith. For any of it, I strongly suggest you call the place and double check the information or do whatever you need to feel safe and secure with the tip you’re clinging to with both hands. I’ve done this on a few items that were important to me, and the rest I’ve either researched to within a hair of OCD status or have come to terms with that tip not working out and my ability to live a long and happy life should that happen. Basically, I’m telling you your mileage may vary.

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Pam, meet James. James, this is Pam.

June 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm (Events, Virtual Gems)

So, as I tweeted with great excitement and awe a few weeks ago, I got to meet James Marsters. Yes, that James Marsters. Spike. (Or as I’ve always called him, Spikey.) Gather round boys and girls, while I tell you the story of how this happened.

It all started months ago when I heard he was going to be at a convention Montana and I had been talking about going to, and once I heard Spikey was confirmed to be there, we signed up. Later, it was announced that Emma Caulfield (Anya) and Felicia Day (potential slayer Vi in season 7) were going to be there as well, so I got my Buffy on and we headed out.

Friday I did a walk-by of his table and saw him.

In real life.

Yes, it was a moment. Unfortunately (or however you want to look at it), they had some tight security and line monitors, and…well…it’s true. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Especially at a sci-fi convention with James Marsters in your stable. So I got rushed along by the line monitor swifter than tween girls aiming for Justin Bieber on a photo shoot. So what’s a girl to do? Yup, I grabbed Montana and got in line.

Not more than 10 minutes later I’m next in line to meet Spikey. I remember making a conscious decision to not make eye contact with him until I was standing directly in front of him, but looking back I have no idea why. As much as I’d like to call my probable reason deep or cool or anything else, odds are it was nerves. (That or trying to keep FanGirl well and truly quashed so she couldn’t do anything embarrassing. Or illegal.) Anyhoozles, we’re waiting, talking to a few of the people there helping him. The nice people had nice color photos for him to sign if we wanted to purchase them, but not me—I had my Buffy book with a lovely page for him to autograph.

Next was the woman who was asking me for my name, and by this time I can see out of the corner of my eye that Spikey is done with the person before me, and looking for the next person in line. I tell the woman, her pen and paper held ready, that my name is Pam. She asks me to spell it (true story—ask Montana) and I obligingly say, “P-A-M.” She doesn’t even write it down, just turns to James and says, “I think you can handle that.” He laughed.

And then I met him.

Wow. No, let me say that again. Wow. I didn’t know what I had been expecting, except I knew not to expect Spikey, but rather, James. No British accent, no bleached blond hair, no Spikey edge, but you know what? I might have to say I’d take James over Spikey.

James was so freaking nice I have trouble describing it here. We joked about the crazy spellings of people’s names, he listened as I gushed, er, spoke eloquently of my love for Buffy, not only as an entertaining show, but as a lesson in world-building and arcs and themes, and then told me something I hadn’t heard before—Joss didn’t like Spike. He didn’t write for him. If it were up to Joss, Spikey would have probably been maybe a season-long Big Bad, but nowhere near the force he ends up being. I wasn’t thinking enough to ask who did write for his character, but I thank whatever powers live in the celestial sphere that they did.

He shook my hand, he shook Montana’s hand, and away we went. I might have been a little giggly at that point, but I remember thinking just how freaking nice James was.

I can call him James now. We’re on a first name basis. See?

Now, you are all screaming, why didn’t you get a good picture with him? Well, the powers that be deemed that the celebrities could only do posed photos if you paid for a photo ticket, and they weren’t cheap, so no official photo. However, this is me. I did ask James anyway and he said he couldn’t, but if there were to be candid photos taken, he really couldn’t say anything about that now, could he? (Told you—freaking nice!)

And the next day I wanted to go back and see if we could get another candid shot, but it was Saturday and he was swamped from then onward, so these were the best I got:

Then, to add the cherry on top of this hot fudge sundae of awesomeness, on Saturday he also took place in a “Spotlight on James Marsters” seminar, and we got to hear him talk about the cast of Buffy vs. Angel, kissing men, and yes, sing a little bit of “Rest in Peace.”

I haven’t washed my ears since.

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Contests, Paths, and My Deep Dark Brain

June 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm (Events, Random Thoughts)

So I’ve told you about how I entered the Golden Heart this year (and didn’t final), but I had to share with you my scores. From five judges who worked with a 1-9 scale, I received two 8’s, a 7.4, a 7 and a 4.8 for a composite of 35.2, putting me firmly in the second quarter for my lovely story, BROKEN. Now, I’m totally chuffed about the first four, and almost wish that last score would have scored lower so I could have gotten a golden “standard deviation” score, but alas–it was not to be. The thing is, I’m totally thrilled about those scores. I got two 8’s! And another two in the 7 range! In my opinion, I think those people would have kept reading, maybe even been enticed to *buy* a copy of my book. To me, that just rocks.

On the other side of the spectrum, I didn’t final in a regional contest I thought I had a pretty good chance at. I can’t remember my scores because quite honestly, once I hear they really weren’t that thrilled with my story, I don’t look at the scores or comments. (I may have thick skin, but it’s sensitive thick skin…) True, I’ve kept the score sheets and could look at what I got, but it just doesn’t sound that fun to me, ya know?

But the best part is, not only did I final in the Washington Romance Writer’s Marlene Contest, I WON!!! (Pictures of my certificate and lovely pendant I received as my prize for winning.) Since I’ve been writing for about as long as Justin Beiber’s been alive, finally getting the validation of the call where I finaled was truly wonderful, but getting that email telling me I’d won was a feeling I’d never had.

I know–some of you may be thinking, “But Pam, what about when your wonderful new agent called/emailed you? Wasn’t that as good or better of a feeling?”

Yes, it was, but I’ll let you in on a little secret–there’s still a part of me that doesn’t believe it. In the deep dark murk of my brain, a little voice is telling me it’s not that hard to set up a fake email account and phone number, and how do I really know Barbara likes me? I think I’ll do better with this once I meet her IRL at Orlando, but until then I think there’s a little part of me still preparing for a small Christmas.

So yes, when I got that email telling me I’d won the Marlenes, it was a validation. A validation of the path I’ve been on for the past 13+ years, and of my voice and my skill, and of the knowledge that I am truly on the right path and it is leading me to A Good Place.

No, make that A Great Place.

So here’s my lesson to all that care to listen: Enter contests, don’t enter contests–do whatever makes you happy. But don’t pin too much on finaling or winning or anything else, because writing (and reading) is subjective and what one person thinks is awful, another person thinks is awesome, and I am here to tell you, it only takes one person thinking you’re awesome to make that next huge step. So have fun with your writing and swing wide and aim for that next huge step and think about how amazing it’s going to feel when it happens to you.

Trust me–it’s worth it.

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I think the crazy is starting…

May 26, 2010 at 11:45 am (Events, Random Thoughts)

 

It’s Wednesday, May 26th. You know what that means.

9 weeks until Nationals.

Yup, we’re in the single-digit countdown, and I think I instinctively knew it because I spent too much time yesterday investigating Disney World and Orlando and the Swan and Dolphin and all of the other lovely and delightful logistics of the summer RWA Conference. I even went through the seminars for this year, and printed out some of the handouts, and let me tell you, there are some fine-looking talks this year! Once I get the official time-and-location schedule, I break out the Excel spreadsheets and really start going to town. Yee-haw!

I’ve got some fun posts planned for later in June (or possibly early July), but if you have any thoughts or questions you’d like to see addressed, add them in the comments or email me. If you couldn’t tell, I can always talk Nationals! (Photo below of San Francisco 2008 Literacy Signing, courtesy of the wonderful Deb Maher.)

 

Now on two separate, but equally important, topics, don’t forget to stop by the uber-amazing Sophie LIttlefield’s blog, where to celebrate the release of A BAD DAY FOR SORRY in paperback, she’s giving away (among other fun, wonderful things like a signed copy of SORRY and fun OPI nail polish) a critique by the equally uber-amazing agent she and I share, Barbara Poelle. There aren’t too many entries yet, and this is an incredible chance to get your work read by a true star of the agenting world!

And speaking of amazing opportunities, you have a few days left before the end of the Brenda Novak Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research. There are opportunities galore there, as well as books and jewelry and trips and more amazing things than you can shake a sparkly vampire at. So check it out and bid, bid, bid!!!

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It’s Cinnamon Roll Day

May 17, 2010 at 6:00 am (Events, Virtual Gems)

Last September I started to query agents for my dark Victorian romance, BROKEN, and I had some good response–in fact, some great response. So, of course, I did what I naturally do  when given just a teaspoon’s of encouragement and started to envision grand things which included, but was not limited to, finaling in the GH, being signed by my dream agent, having her sell my book in a pre-emptive multi-book and seven figure auction, and finding a magical unicorn in the backyard who could find diamonds in the earth with its horn. (I know–overkill, but I said grand, not timid.)

Then I started to calm down. (That also may have been when I cut back on the caffeine–I’m not sure, but it’s veeeeeery possible.)

And in one clear and calm moment, I told Montana I’d figured out the one thing that would happen for me to consider this year a success: to not have to sign up for agent/editor appointments at the RWA National Convention in July.

You see, every year many of the lovely and wonderful editors and agents who go to RWA spend a great deal of their weekend listening to 8-minute pitches from those authors who are un-editored and un-agented (most times, both.) Here’s been my experiences with these little 8-minute golden tickets:

On the RWA site, there’s a chart of interests to help you find the right agent and/or editor right for you, and then according to the schedule, you get online and sign up. Now, I have no proof of this, but I firmly feel that when these appointments hit the web during successive Monday mornings in May, there is a worldwide frenzy of romance authors young, old, tall, short, sweet, sexy, ready to be published, and those who’ve just typed ‘The End’ two minutes ago, all anxiously hovering over their keyboards, clicking on the choices and seeing who of their list is still available (all while praying to whatever god(s) in their religious arsenal that day) and hitting submit, rubbing their lucky talisman(s) for it to go through and not to get that damned ‘server  is busy’ notice. I know we crash the RWA server each and every May. (I also feel very sorry for the RWA webmistress and IT department those days, but that’s another story.)

As I mentioned, these spots hit the website Monday mornings in May (depending on your status–GH nominee, PRO member, etc.), and they hit at 8:00 a.m. RWA headquarters time, which is 6:00 a.m. me time. So I’m up at 5:45, making sure I’m ready to go–computer up and active, sheets of research with my fully vetted list of wants, and enough stomach acid to burn through Old Ironsides. Because, in my desperate and burning desire to get published, these opportunities were indeed a golden ticket–most times an absolute invitation to put those coveted “Requested Material” words on your envelope (or email)–and not to be taken lightly.

So, in 2007 while querying my rom-com-para-lite, I got my agent request, and when I tried for my editor request (the late, amazing Kate Duffy) I was told it didn’t go through. Merde! Back to the website! I was able to choose another fabulous editor, but by this time I was getting really late for work and didn’t have time to wait and see if my second choice went through or not. I slapped some peanut butter on an English muffin and my dearest and sweetest Montana volunteered to stay behind and watch the computer for me. After I get to work (a 40-minute commute), he called and told me it had gone through–hooray! But wait, what kerfuffle is this? When I check my email for confirmation of my appointments, I do see my agent request, but I show BOTH Kate Duffy and choice #2. By this time the stomach acid is in full roll, and I immediately email RWA telling them what had happened, and who my first choice was. (For, you see, when you sign up, you’re warned in Very Dire Terms, that if you skip out on your appointment, you will be kicked off the list for next year and have other possible repercussions fall upon your sad and unpublished head. (Or something like that…)) The last thing I wanted was to be placed on that black list due to an internet error. Thankfully, RWA got me straightened out and got me on the Kate Duffy list (8 minutes I treasure to this day), but by this point, I had made myself sick with worry and ended up going home from work shortly after 11:00 a.m.

In 2008, the list of those agents and editors taking appointments seemed smaller, or maybe just in my categories (both paranormal and women’s fiction), but I had my list, by god, and I was going to register for another round of golden tickets. Again, up at 5:45, this time with better internet service and a backup computer on standby, and was able to break through to get an editor and agent appointment. Thankfully, I didn’t get sick that year, but the stress was there all the same.

Then came 2009, ah-the heartbreak year. Now I was ready to query my dark Victorian romance. I was able to get not only an excellent editor choice, but I was able to land a spot with my dream agent. Only to have to cancel my trip to Nationals not two weeks later. Truthfully, I don’t remember the stress, or the crazy and frenetic weeks of research leading up to that Monday–just the immediate joy followed by the awful and heartbreaking anguish.

But fear not, lovely and supportive blog readers–there’s a happy ending! No, I wasn’t able to get that face-to-face time in Washington D.C. last July, but in my September queries, I did send to that dream agent, and you know the rest–I signed with her three months ago based on my query, my story, and my voice. No golden ticket necessary.

So, I remember on that Saturday so many months ago when I told Montana I’d be happy not having to repeat the 5:45 a.m., multi-computer, weeks of stress, dive into the appointment tank of pain, I was going to celebrate that Monday instead. Yes, you guessed it–that Monday is today. So I am indeed celebrating by not getting up way too early and making myself sick from too much stress, but by pouring a big glass of milk, putting a scrumptious and frosted cinnamon roll in the microwave with some butter, and eating that warm and gooey goodness with a big old smile on my face. That, my friends, is happiness.

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11 Weeks and Counting…

May 12, 2010 at 11:22 am (Events, Virtual Gems)

 

Yes, eleven weeks from today is the Literacy Signing, the unofficial kickoff to the summer RWA National Conference. And after all the heartbreaking news last week coming out of Nashville, including that of our beloved Gaylord Opryland being under double-digits of water, I was delighted with the swift and awesome response of the RWA staff and board in moving the conference to Orlando, specifically the Swan and Dolphin Resort of DisneyWorld. (Also being called the S&D, the Swan and Dragon, and now the Feather and Fin between Montana and myself.)

Even though I’m not necessarily a DisneyWorld/Land kinda gal, I must admit to being quite impressed by the splendor that is the S&D. I would be delighted as a litter of new puppies if it weren’t for one thing–the plane ride. See, as much as I love to travel, I’m really not a big fan of flying. Going somewhere fun? Check! Carts of beverages and snacks being offered like the trolley on the Hogwarts Express? Check! My wussy motion sickness gene? Yup–check! (Thankfully, I’ve never been truly sick on a plane, but if I have too quick of a connecting flight or turbulence in flight, I definitely feel the effects.)

However, for Nationals, I will gladly step on any number of planes. Heck–I told one person I’d walk across broken burning glass for Nationals, and I meant it. Slam me a Dramamine, tie a towel around my chin for the drool, and I am your gal! Not like Nationals isn’t an amazing conference any year, but this year is extra special. This is the year I have An Agent (and no, I’m not going to jinx myself by saying what else I hope to have in the next 11 weeks!) so I get to meet her face-to-face for the first time and we’ll talk and plan and do each other’s hair and all of the fun things that authors and their agents do, right?

Plus I’m really, really, really looking forward to reconnecting with friends and meeting new internet buddies and chatting with other wonderful authors under my agency umbrella–it’s WriterPalooza with mouse ears and I am just eighteen kinds of excited for it to get here! Here’s how excited I am–yesterday at the drug store I bought a little travel pack of Q-Tips for $.79 for my Beauty Necessities bag. It’s so cute–three rows of 10 Q-Tips each in a little plastic sliding case! And that’s just the beginning. Pretty soon the stacks are going to start on the living room sofa and checklists are going to be resurrected from past Nationals and new ones made for this one. And yes, a new round of Conference Prep posts are going to be going up here, possibly with a little extra if you know what I mean (wink, wink!) but you’re going to have to stay tuned for those announcements!

It’s conference time, people. Suit up!

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