Tag Archives: Christie Craig

If I could turn back time…

Yeah, I know it’s a Cher classic,

but that’s not what I’m talking about today.

The other day one of my favorite writers, Christie Craig, posted this on her fb page:

If I could go back and change something in my past, I’d have told the guy who broke my heart that I knew I could do better. What would you change if you could go back in time?

That’s some thoughtful question, isn’t it?
The possibilities are endless…at least for me they are.

How many times in my life have I said, “if only…”

If only I’d told my mother how my grandmother used to verbally belittle and physically hit me when she babysat me and was drinking.

If only I’d told on my step-cousins when they locked me in a closet for three hours because they didn’t like having me around and then laughed when I cried.

If only I’d told a teacher the truth about why I let that mean girl cheat off me on a test.

If only I’d reported that college professor for putting his hand on my butt, or better yet, kicked him square in the balls.

If only I’d told my father what a shitty human being he was for sosososo many reasons.

If only I’d realized sooner what a loser the first boy I’d ever gotten engaged to was.

If only I’d spoken up when I saw that man hit his little boy in the parking lot.

The one thing I certainly would change if I could go back and have a do-over is that I’d tell my mother how much I loved her when I was a teenager instead of screaming at her about how much I hated her. I really didn’t hate her. I just hated the life we had and she was the easiest one to blame.

That one haunts me more than anything else.

So, What would you change if you could go back in time?

Things to things about, peeps. ~ Peg

 

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When rejection turns to acceptance…

At RWA16 I was delighted to sit in on a seminar by the wonderful Christie Craig. She spoke of her years of hard work in trying to get published  and her disappointment with each rejection letter she received. Like her, I can relate. Over the years I’ve probably had enough rejections from editors and literary agents to fill a suitcase. Well, Christie Craig did. Fill a suitcase. And she brought it along with her to the seminar to illustrate just how many pieces of paper with her work rejected she’d received over the years.

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I have to tell you it was eye opening.

I’ve always joked I’ve been rejected more times than there are books in the library. But I threw those rejection letters away and never thought about them again. This is my little psychological quirky way of dealing with unpleasant issues: out of sight, out of mind. Hey, it works for me.

Christie did not toss away her rejections. She saved them, accumulated them, stored them away so that one day she could take them out and say “Look. Look at what I had to suffer through to be a published author. Look at the fires I walked through to come out on the other side of my dream.”

Heady stuff.

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She–and I–are not the only  ones who’ve lived through mountains of rejections and so-called failures.

  • R.H. Macy, yes that MACY, started 7 failed businesses before finally hitting it big with his NYC-based store
  • Thomas Edison had 1000 unsuccessful light bulb inventions and attempts before one finally worked.
  • After Fred Astaire’s screen test, the studio director stated that Astaire, “can’t dance, can’t sing, is balding and can dance a little.”
  • Theodor Giesel, who the world lovingly knows as Dr Suess, had 27 publishers reject his first book.
  • Stephen King received 30 rejections of Carrie, one of the most iconic horror books and movies of all time.
  • Jack London’s first story received 600 rejection slips before being accepted.
  • Elvis Presley was told by the manager of the Grand Ol’ Opry, “you ain’t going nowhere, son. Go back to driving a truck.” He then fired him after only 1 performance.
  • Ever heard of Harland David Sanders? His secret recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it, coated their chicken with it and Kentucky Fried Chicken was born.

I could go on…and on. But won’t because you get the idea.

Hard work, perseverance,  a backbone of steel, and total belief in yourself and what you have to offer is what differentiates a successful person from one who isn’t.

Think about it.

What are you going to do the next time you get rejected?

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When I’m not being rejected(!), you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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RWA15 final thoughts…

So it’s a little less than a week since I got home from RWA15 in New York. My mind and body were depleted and yet strangely energized as well. Last year – as an RWA conference virgin – I was too excited to appreciate the networking going on around me; too excited meeting my favorite authors in the flesh; too excited to realize what an unbelievable opportunity the conference was to enhance my career.

This year was different on so many levels. Oh, I was still excited beyond belief at meeting my favorite authors- and some new ones – but I took the opportunity afforded  me and branched out in several ways to advance my writing career.

Last year the workshops I attended had more to do with seeing the well known authors presenting them. I took no classes on craft, marketing or the business of publishing. This year, those were the only classes I sat in on.

Last year I stood in line for 2 hours to get Nora Roberts’ autograph at the Literacy signing. This year I volunteered at the event and was thrilled to be assigned to one of my favorite authors of all time, Jayne Ann Krentz. I learned more from watching her  interact with her fans for just 2 hours than I could have learned in years in public relations courses. She showed me – up close and personally – what it’s like to be on the other side of the publishing/writing curtain (like that little Wizard of Oz tie-in??!). As a fan I’ve always seen just my own reaction to meeting a writer one time. Ms Krentz had to deal with hundreds of fans all individually  and uniquely excited, and wanting her to know what her writing means to them – and stay up beat, focused, and gracious, which she was to every single one of them. She never refused to have a photograph taken, or listen to a story about a particular book of hers, or even offer some advice to a fledgling author ( moi!), and her beautiful smile never slipped. By observing how she handled herself during those 2 hours I know precisely how to conduct myself during a book signing. Thank you so much, Jayne Ann Krentz!

From my PRO-retreat workshops I learned how invaluable branding, social media, and marketing are to a writer – whether she be multi-published or fledgling. Anna Alexander and Catherine Bybee were deep wells of information regarding these topics and if I came away with anything to remember during this conference it was this: “A person needs to hear your name 7-10 times before it’s recognizable to them.” Thank you, Catherine Bybee, for this gem. My tweets have increased 100-fold, as have my other social media alerts all because of this statement.

I met with my “dream” agent at a pitch session- something that put terror into my little heart. Not because of the agent, but because I was so nervous about “putting myself out there.” I don’t like to talk about myself – a dumb thing to hear from a blogger, eh?! But on paper you don’t have to look at me and I don’t have to look at you. It’s all fairly visually anonymous. I don’t get nervous when it’s on paper ( or the laptop, really). But face to face is another story entirely. Anyway. Despite my nerves, the agent was lovely, gracious and sweet. I’ll let you know in the future if things progress on this front.

One last memory that will live with me for the rest of my career is the workshop I took with Christie Craig. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how I think she should be the keynote speaker at next year’s conference and here’s why: this woman is an inspiration in  more than just writing. Her personal journey through life and in her writing career could be made into a must-see television movie for the Hallmark Channel. It would win its time slot for the night, week, month and year. I have always put forth my own writing TAO called NGU NGI ( never give up and never give in.) Ms Craig lives this TAO every day and boy, does it show in her success. I think we can all  use her as an example.

RWA16 will be in San Diego – a town I’ve visited before and loved, so I can’t wait to go. Maybe next year I will be an author participant in the literacy signing. If so, I will remember what I learned from Jayne Ann Krentz about how to conduct myself with fans.

Thank you RWA, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christie Craig, Kristan Higgins, Tracy Brogan, Jill Shalvis, and all the other amazing authors who presented workshops, spent a little time with me out of class to answer any questions, and to my wonderful, talented NHRWA chapter-mates who all journeyed south to NYC this year.

 

 

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RWA15, wrap-up…

Well, I’m back in my cozy, cool home. I finished unpacking, did two loads of laundry and went grocery shopping.

And I reflected on an amazing conference. Multi-published and award winning author Nalini Singh was the saturday morning key-note speaker. She had us laughing-and tearing up a bit-when she described her first trek across country on a train to her very first RWA conference. The Perils of Pauline could have been re-written and marketed as the Perils Of Nalini, as she described her experience on a broken down Amtrak train, an unscheduled stopover in Philadelphia, and the first time she was recognized and wished she hadn’t been!

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Saturday the workshops were outstanding, but the one  I want to talk about was Polish Me Pretty: Five Polishing Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level by Christie Craig.  If you don’t know about this amazing women – shame on you! I learned more from her about how to evoke emotions and visualizations when writing a scene than from any other human being alive. Ever. And not only is she is wonderful teacher, she is a truly exceptional motivational speaker. She shared the tale of her humble beginnings in life, teenage marriage and motherhood, her dyslexia, and her 100’s – truly!- of rejection letters before getting the call that changed her life. There should be some kind of petition started to ensure she is next year’s RWA16 keynote speaker. There wouldn’t be a dry eye or a belly that wasn’t shaking with laughter in the house.

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The conference ended with annual Rita and GoldenHeart awards ceremony. The fabulous Lisa Kleypas was the host and I can attest she is as beautiful in person as she is on her book jackets. I won’t name all the winners, but I will tell you my favorite of the night. Jill Shalvis – after 13 nominations – won for One in a Million in the mid length contemporary romance category. She is truly a fan favorite and one of my absolute must reads whenever she has something new out. hbrqqwtt

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I’ll need a few days to wind down and reflect some more on my experiences this year at the conference, so you’ll have to suffer through one more posting from me next week! Until then….here’s the last picture I took of the book giveaways. Add 25 more to this picture and you see why my arm is so sore from tugging my suitcase along on the road back home!

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