Tag Archives: #RWA2018

Winding down….

I have to admit I have been remiss these past few days in posting. So freakin’ much has been happening here in Denver, it’s all I can do just to keep up!

Let’s recap.

Thursday was the Kensington Book Signing.

My table was filled with readers all wanting a copy of my newest Lyrical book CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, plus the handpainted bags I give out as swag. I “sold out” within 15 minutes of the 1 hour aloted signing. But I got to hang out with one of my fav Kensington authors Jenna Jaxon.

 

 

Then, the Oscars of the romance reading world, THE RITA AWARDS completed the day with a ceremony filled with heartfelt moments and more than a few heated speeches about the state of the romance book world, and the world in general. The RITAs are a strange mix of glitz, glamour, and casual. Some of the writers wear gowns, sparkly stilettoes, and I spied 2 tiaras. Others wear business clothes – suits or cocktail dresses. Some even wear their comfy jeans and blouses. This diversity in attire -to me- explains the romance writer to the…T ( Heehee). We come from all backgrounds, races, economic statuses, age groups, and styles, yet we all write HEA’s, hunky heroes, and strong women. Love that. Simply, love that.

The workshops have been, for the most part, informative. There was a wide assortment of Indy workshops this year that didn’t pertain to me, since I’m traditionally published. I’ve seen this as a trend in most of the conferences I’ve attended the past few years. More things relating to self publishing than to the more traditional avenue. I don’t know how I feel about that, since I’ll never go Indy ( and you know what they say about never saying never) but I guess it’s a good thing the workshops are offered for all aspects  that comprise the romance publishing realm.

On Friday night I attended the Kensington Books party where the appetizers were the most delicious things I think I’ve ever eaten!! Then off to the Contemporary Romance Writers Awards ceremony, where I was a finalist in  the romantic suspense category for A SHOT AT LOVE.

Stiletto Finalist 2018

I may have mentioned I was a finalist once or twice ( or ten million times!) on the blog. Alas, I didn’t  win, but it was really great to be a finalist in such a prestigious group. The more people who see your name, the more readers you can potentially garner who will like your work. That’s the way I look at it, at least.

So, yesterday, Saturday, was the final day and again – jammpacked!!! I’ll be posting about that later. For now, I need to get to the airport and leave for home, my bed, and my hubby!! Miss them so much!

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And so the madness begins….

So, it’s officially the beginning of the conference today, but after being here for 2 days already, I’ve done a ton of stuff.

Yesterday’s workshops with R.L. Syme and the amazeballs Damon Suede were the perfect little amuse bouches to get me revved up for the week ahead. But I wasn’t only listening and learning yesterday. I went exploring as well.

Did you now Denver lives…bulls? Or is it Broncos? Whatever…

    

I found these two beauties on my walk downtown yesterday. I’ve been told there are others scattered all over the city. When I spot new ones, I’ll post pix of them

Yesterday was the first official day to register for the conference. I’m all set….

  

I lovelovelove this pop-up in the registration area.

Dinner last night was spent with great company: My NHRWA chapter President and 2 other dear writing friends. When in Denver, you must eat in a local steakhouse.

Two of the gals had steaks – one bison, one cow – another had a delicious looking vegetable platter, and I settled for an old standby because, you know…..food allergies and such.

 

Cocktails were had – not moi, of course – andI  just have to put one of them on display because it was, to my non-alcohol-knowing eyes, so unusual. Tequila with a habanero pepper, a lime, and a sugar rim. Very western.

So, today’s agenda is a light one. A master class on writing Newsletters this afternoon at 2. Then I’m getting to meet with some of my Wild Rose Press sistahs for a littler meet and greet later on this evening. I’m super stoked about that.

More to come from Denver. Keep tuned….

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I’m better on the page…

Here’s a simple truth: I get nervous when I have to talk in front of people I don’t know.  Nervous, like I start to babble, get sidetracked, even stutter at times. I wasn’t like this when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. Back then I used to teach nursing courses as a sideline and I could stand in front of a group for hours on end talking about acid-base balance and the benefits of one sized catheter over another. Then, when I was the coordinator of an Alzheimer’s unit in a nursing home, I not only ran weekly seminars for the families of the residents, I went out into the community and spoke to various groups about mental health, the elderly, and nursing concerns.

I’ve always said I’ll talk to anything or anyone – even a rock.

But, now, in my 50’s, I’m not the public speaker I used to be. Part of the reason I think is because I’m alone so much. Writing is, for all intents and purposes, a solitary career. If I don’t read my dialogue aloud, sometimes I won’t hear a voice for 14 hours in a day. It’s made me a little gun-shy of speaking to a crowd. When I “speak” on the page, I can edit what I don’t like. In person, well…real life doesn’t have an edit button ou can press.

I tell you all this because I just found out something that’s made me relieved and just a little sad, as well. I submitted a proposal to RWA this year to give a lecture on a topic. I was denied. I’m sad about that because the topic is a really good, very relevant, and funny one. I’m relieved because now I don’t have to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and talk.

WHY, you ask, would I submit to do something that I obviously am not good at ( public speaking) and that I’m afraid/nervous to do?

Well, since you’ve asked ( heehee) I’ll tell you.

One of my favorite quotes is this one from Eleanor Roosevelt.

The reason I lovelovelove that quote is because of its call to empowerment. Anyone can do something that is familiar and comfortable. I get that, I really do. I’m the type of person who likes to eat the same things because they are familiar ( and I know I won’t get a sick stomach or have an allergy attack), visit the same places, wear pretty much the same style of clothing and hairstyle since the 80’s. Things that are familiar are comfortable and feel safe to me.

But doing something that you think you can’t, or don’t want to,  or won’t be able to, well…that takes courage. Gumption. Nerve. Audacity.  Fearlessness. And when you do it you get such a rush of power and a sense of personal accomplishment that you begin to wonder why you didn’t want to do it in the first place!

So, subjecting myself to the possibility I’d have to speak in public even though it terrifies me, is just one of those things I need to do to prove I can. To empower myself. To help me grow as a human.

It’s still kinda funny that I’m sad AND glad I didn’t get in, though!

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