River City Romance Writers 2013 Writer’s Retreat

Promise of a new dayHome from another River City Romance Writer’s retreat and once again I have to say it was the best one ever!

Yes, I say this every year.  But I meant it every year too.

This year, author Candace Havens was our featured speaker, plus we had Karen Block, Turquoise Morning Press editor, and Pasha Carisle, Entangled Publishing copy editor.

We had a great time!  Everything from story element editing  to copy editing tips, research (in the form of a lap dance lesson and a mixology session-woot!), and networking (met some wonderful new writers and editors, plus caught up with several I’ve known for years).  But  most importantly, I’ve got inspired again.  As an author, writing is your business.  It is what you are and what you do.  Period.  Doesn’t matter if you feel like it, doesn’t matter if what you just wrote is the biggest pile of donkey crap ever, and it doesn’t matter if distractions are in overdrive at the moment.

Writing. Is. What. You. Do.

Since writing, the actual process of putting words on the page, is largely a lone activity, I find it quite easy to get caught up in the everyday ups and downs of life and the usual speed bumps that come with trying to balance everything.  So while writing is what I do, I sometimes lose a bit of my excitement, joy, and “Feel Good” mojo for it.  This doesn’t mean I get to quit. Oh no, this means I have to dig in harder and keep pushing.

After participating in Candace’s Dream Big and Fast Draft workshops, my “Can Do” spirit is back and shining brightly.  We had a good time learning new things, getting some writing done, and bonding over our respective journeys on this road to publication.  Sometimes, what you need is a break in your normal routine to focus on why you’re doing this to bring your happy feelings back.

I’ve been committed to my 2013 goals since January 1 and I’ve not wavered.  But now a new fire has been lit, a new energy is flowing, and I am chomping at the bit.  It’s the promise of a new day.

And if that’s not the hallmark of a good retreat, then I don’t know what is. :-)

Hello Colorado

I just got back from visiting the lovely authors of the Colorado Romance Writers chapter of RWA.  I was invited to their fall retreat last week to speak on blogging and social networking for authors.

I had a blast and would like to thank Liz for inviting and all the members for being so welcoming and bearing with me and my nerves as I did my workshop AND for not booing me when I read my first chapter. 😀

I didn’t get a chance to stay long, but Colorado is a beautiful, peacful place.  Very inspiring.  Once I got over my nerves (and my workshop was done), I was able to really settle in and work on my new story a bit. I spent the weekend doing the character profile for my antagonist, which was a lot of work because in the past year I’ve been “knowing” this guy, I really didn’t know a thing about him.

Now, I know that sentence sounds odd, but I’m sure all the writers know what I’m talking about.  The only thing I knew about this character was that he was a bad dude and wanted my heroine for his own nefarious reasons. 

No, really, this is all I knew about him when I was writing the first draft. In fact, his name is Bad Dude (or some variation thereof) throughout the entire draft.

Never let it be said that I let something as trivial as the lack of a name or GMC  stop me from writing a story, gosh darnit.  😉

But I had a good time in Colorado.  I made some new friends and have possibly stumbled on a new path. There was a lot of interest in my workshop and I’ve been asked to expand it into a full 4 week course.  So now I have 3 different 4 week course ideas playing around in my mind… (and you all know that being in my mind is not always the best place to be- hahahahaha!).

Here’s a shot of a bit of the artwork from my cabin.  This was on the wall directly by the bed

I dubbed him the Guardian. Well, I sort of had too. If not, I would have freaked out waking up and seeing him first thing every morning-lol. 

Oh, and I got up close and personal with some wild life. Look, it’s Bambi!

And his son (or daughter) :-)

ECE Workshop with Margie Lawson

I just started a new workshop titled Empowering Character’s Emotion that Margie Lawson is teaching this month.  I raved about two of Margie’s workshops when I got back from the Moonlight & Magnolias conference last October.  I was soooo impressed , and taken aback with, the information she presented, that I immediately began to apply some of my new found knowledge to my wip that night.  

I also realized that I could use a bit more “face time” with Margie, so I registered for her Empowering Character Emotions workshop this month.  Just let me tell you, we’ve only had 3 lesson so far, and the sheer amout of info I’ve learned is astonishing, and a bit overwhelming.  But I know that when I start the polishing phase (the last step in getting my manuscript ready for pitching to editors), that I will be ready.  With the things I’ve learned, I’ll be able to put my best foot foward by making sure my manuscript conveys the essence and soul I want it to.

So, for any writers out there, published or unpublished, I highly recommend you check out Margie’s website and sign up for one of her online workshops, or get one of her lecture packets.  It will be an investment in your writing that you will be able to see immediate returns on, in the way of stronger, fresher writing.
I’ll be back soon to post an example from my work.

’till then,


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