Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Almost Time and A Great Blog to Check Out

Karen Duvall's blog is running a five day free workshop on description. It's fabulous, go check it out. Yes, there's homework for those who want to participate and you might win a prize if you do. But the workshop alone is fun and you're learning more of the craft.

I know, someone is probably saying, 'No worries, I've got description down'. This is still a great workshop and really, do we ever finish learning in this business?

Anyway, the blog may be somewhat quiet for a few days. I leave tomorrow and although I do plan to blog from there, I may not be able to each day. Lot's of stuff to do and see. :)

I'm almost through packing. Maybe I should say, I'm almost through re-packing. If you go to Karen's site and read my comment, you'll get the idea.

Come back and let us know what you think or if you posted a comment.

WW's & PD's,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

T – Minus 5 days and Counting

OMG, it’s only 5 days till I leave for Nationals. I haven’t shopped, made a packing list, or nailed my pitch.

Normally, I’m good with the packing thing. I make a list from head to toe of what I’ll need, usually way more than I do, and it’s a done deal. This year, not so much. Airlines (most) charge for a second bag and some charge for any and all bags. I’m trying to do this packing thing in one suitcase. Laurie and AM, I can hear you laughing. Heehee…it’s true, one suitcase is very hard for me. As I’ve said before I like choices.

Then there is this ‘little’ thing called Pitching and to a dream agent, no less. Again, I’m not the nervous type. I get it, this will not break my career. But come on, I’ve got to have something ready to go. And really, it’s not my current novel I’m worried about. It’s what I need to have ready in case she doesn’t like AT&B, and wants to know what else I’m working on.

I need to shop still. I mean every girl needs something new, right? Just because most of the people at nationals has never seen any of my clothes doesn’t mean I don’t need something new. So it looks like Saturday is going to be busy. Pedicure (yes, I know it may be too cold to wear open toed shoes, but still…), maybe a manicure, buying the groceries for the house while I’m gone, (Science Guy has to eat), cleaning said house before I’m gone (yes, Science Guy will probably mess it up), and shopping. Whew…I’m tired already and it hasn’t even started.

Sleep. It’s too bad you can’t bank extra sleep hours. If you’ve not been to nationals and this is your first one, then don’t plan on getting much of the shut up. It doesn’t happen. You’re to keyed up from just talking to New York Best Sellers (way to many to name) and editors/agents (hoping to pitch, but NEVER IN THE BATHROOM), meeting the people you talk to on the net….(the list goes on), to sleep. So don’t plan on it. Truth be told you’ll not really miss the sleep until you’re on the plane headed home.

One of the best things about Nationals is how pumped you are to write when you leave. You’ve heard what’s happening in the market, what your dream editor or agent is looking for, and you’ve talked with well known, many times over authors, who share their journey to success with you.

Yep, 5 days and I’m outta here and on my way there. I can’t wait!

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki, who really is working on my pitch.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kristy Dykes, You will forever be missed and you will forever be loved

Today the world lost an amazing woman. Although Kristy Dykes is known and loved by many, she is not by the worlds standards a famous person.

She lived her life as a woman of unwavering faith. A wife and mother, she adored her family and they in turn adored her. She gave of herself to their church family, praying with people, teaching her faith, crying at the alter with sadness for someones trials, and weeping for joy with someone for their happiness.

And she wrote amazing inspirational Christian romances. She leaves behind a legacy uncommon in today's society. Her words will remain alive with the people she has touched and we will miss her greatly.

Yet, even in our sadness it's hard not to let the small tilt to our lips grow to a full blown smile as we picture her dancing on streets of gold and singing her praises to her heavenly father.

My heart goes out to her family and I pray that the peace that passes understanding will be yours.

We will miss you Kristy, but we will see you again and for now, we'll remember all you have taught us.


Monday, July 21, 2008

I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane…

Okay, not exactly today, but one week from tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane heading to SF for the RWA conference. I’m so excited! Well, maybe not about the long flight (with a layover), but about being in SF with so many writers.

This is the once a year time, to reconnect with writer’s who we normally talk via email, phone, and/or blogs. It’s also the time to meet new writer friends. And people ask you what you write sometimes before they even ask your name. When you say romance you know it will be welcomed and they’ll tell you what they write.

The Lit signing is exciting with so many authors in one room, signing their books. Since this part of RWA conference is open to the public you might be standing in a line with a writer or perhaps a reader. There is still a commonality between you. Both of you want to speak with the author and have her sign your book.

One of the great things you’ll learn (if this is your first time) is even the big name authors are people, just like you and me. No, really, they are. I’m not kidding. And they love to talk to you as much as you love to talk with them.

And then there is this little thing called the Agent/Editor appointments. Heehee…it’s not little and although it’s not the “be all or end all” of our careers, we worry about the appointments.

So, I’m working on my pitch, trying to make a list of clothing (and shoes) to pack, and taking care of the normal things that must be done before I leave Science Guy for the trip.
Packing. Me, packing for a trip. If you know me, then you know I always bring to much stuff. I like choices. This is going to be even more difficult this year since SF weather is or can be cold in one area and hot in another. Which is not so good considering the airlines either charge for more than one bag (some charge for even one) or they really don’t want you to bring more than one bag to check.

What about you? If you’re a writer are you attending this year’s conference? Did you go to last years? What do you love the most about them?

WW’s and PD’s,

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm a Mommy, Oh and a Friday Funny....

Last night we saw our mommy duck, (well technically not our mommy duck, she's made herself at home in our back yard) with three little babies walking as close to her as possible.

There are still two or three eggs as of last night, so I'm not sure how many babies there will be or if they'll all survive. (That's the scary part) The mommy duck doesn't have any of the colorful feathers now, since she made a nest with them. Anyway, here's some pics of them, and then below that is a Friday Funny a friend sent to me.


Dress Code:

1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.

2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.

4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work
through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.

Lunch Break:

* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.

* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It Hasn’t Changed All That Much…

Science Guy gave this to me last night and I thought I’d share it with you. Although we might not be at an actual huge rock, when the writer’s block hits us, we might as well be.

I tried to find it on the net and it wasn’t there. So what’s a girl to do? Snag it and give kudo’s to the cartoonist.

I did, however, find John McPherson’s, the cartoonist, bio on this website. And this is his Close To Home website.

WW’s and PD’s,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vicki’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Okay, maybe not so much a wildlife sanctuary, but we do seem to invite animals into our yard. We have the normal lizards, well, normal might be true. The lizards that are very dark with some spots of white running through them live on the right side of the patio and the lighter gray lizards with a black line running down their backs live on the right side. Funny thing is they know where they live and if one of them tries to go the other side then all of sudden there are several bigger lizards running to form a line as if to say, yeah, don’t go there.

Then we have two lizards that sleep in our bamboo house plant which Science Guy placed outside. Each night they come and climb up the plant, find a leaf and go to sleep.

You remember the black snake? Well, he/she was back yesterday, curling around the top of the iron fence, trying to eat a lizard. I didn't get the pic of the snake, but this is the fence it was on.

Needless to say I was sitting out there and this snake wasn’t afraid of me at all. Nope, it just weaved its way around the fence as nonchalant as you please. Science Guy did chase it away, not harming it, but away from where I sat.

And then we have a mommy duck, who is sitting on her eggs.

In the beginning she would stay for a short while and then be gone for hours. After researching it on the net, I found this was normal and she’d soon sit on the eggs without leaving them.

About a week ago, I was sitting on the patio and she flew into the pool, swam around (yes, she thinks it’s her private pool) and then flew straight to me. She was apparently hungry. Since I didn’t have duck food, I gave her hamburger buns. She loved it, but it’s basically just fatten for them. Yep, had to research the net again and found that plain Cheerio’s was good for them. So, we bought Cheerio’s.

The thing is the babies will not be able to fly for at three weeks according to what I researched. And I live in Florida. We have hawks! Okay, so lots of places have hawks, but I don’t want to see these babies be taken by them. I told Science Guy we’d need to buy a baby wading pool for them to get into until they can fly and food and maybe…call the Wildlife preserve to see if they want to come and get the babies.

Sassy and Meisha don’t understand why they can’t go out in the backyard and play with the mommy duck or just play around in general. Sassy, the 6 pound Chihuahua, saw her yesterday and began shaking like a leave in a strong hurricane, and began whining. Did I tell you she whines like a little piggy? She does. Didn’t make the momma duck to happy.

Science Guy hadn’t mowed the side of the yard where the eggs are for two weeks. A jungle you say??? Yep, it was becoming a jungle on side of the property. Florida sun and Florida rain, means cutting your yard at least once a week, maybe more. Needless to say it scared the momma duck, she flew off, and I spent the next hour worrying about the eggs. She came back. He said she would.

Now to figure how to put any of this in a book. Heehee, I’m always wondering and plotting how to incorporate something into a book. :)

So what about you? Have wildlife in your backyard? Does stuff like this make you think of how to use it in a book?

WW’s and PD’s,

Did you notice the snake and lizards pics were smaller?

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm Chum in the Water and it's not so bad...

I'm off the site for a few days while Ms. Shark chews on the revision. It should be back up tomorrow or the next day. Take a look and let me know what you think. :)

Do you read Query Shark? If not, then let me give you the 411. Janet Reid, agent for FinePrint Literary is the blogger, the Shark and we are her chum, if you will.

You can email her your query letter and it may or may not be posted. If it’s posted she’ll critique it and others will comment. You can then revise and resend it you choose.

I love this!!! I know, all work is subjective and everyone has different opinions. And yes, it’s the query, not the synopsis, not the partial or a full. But really, this is such a great way to see what an agent thinks of the letter as well as others.

Why am I telling you this??? Because mine is up today (#51) and I’d love to know what you think. I’ve already received some fabulous feedback, both from the shark and from the commenter’s. Now that doesn’t mean that they all loved it. It means they gave me their thoughts, and I can work with those thoughts as I do the rewrite.

So, check it out, leave a comment on the post and/or come back here and leave a comment. I’d love to know what you think, good or bad.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Friday, July 4, 2008

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday, doing what you love best.

WW's and PD's,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

WhooHoo, it's time for Fireworks!!

It’s July!!! Summer time fun is abounding everywhere. The pool parties, the cookouts, the lazy mornings spent lying on a beach towel reading the just released book, cold drinks served by the cabana boy, a misting fan blowing gently back and forth, and the house cleaning…oh crap, I didn’t mean to add in the house cleaning…now the dream is gone. Shattered, the cabana boy I was sending to the pool area is now hiding in some godforsaken place and won’t come out until I promise its long cool fruity alcohol driven drink time.

Okay, so summer already started, but there’s something about July that really says summertime to me. It’s not the weather since we have ‘hot’ most of the year round. Shorts and air conditioning is not an uncommon thing even at Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about July 4th. I love the fireworks, the cook outs and just plain ole fun of relaxing and doing what you want. I’ve seen fireworks from the top of a building, lying on a blanket at the eighteenth hole (okay, I don’t really know which hole it was) on a golf course, from the backyard, and from the beach. They have all been spectacular, but the beach, WOW. It’s like you get a double whammy. You see them in the sky and reflecting in the water.

This year, Science Guy and I are chilling. Yep, we’ll cook out and maybe go swimming in the pool and then decide if we want to mess with the traffic to go watch the sparkles or sit in the backyard and see them there.

The weekend promises to hold fun and do what I what time, which is always a nice deal. Will I write? Yes. How much? I’m not sure. Will I read? Yes, I’ve already got the book ready to go.

What about you. Any big plans for the weekend or are you staying close to home and doing the whole relax while you can thing?

WW’s and PD’s,