Friday, September 26, 2014


Well ORACON 2014 has come and gone. What a whirlwind. The volunteer, board and speaker dinner Friday night didn't end until 9:30. Then I had to be at University Plaza at 7:15 Saturday morning to start checking people in. I'm still a little tired. And since I'm treasurer, I'm working on tying up final income and expenses.

I never liked going to conferences for my regular job. Probably because I hate it and I'm not crazy about my co-workers. This conference is totally different. I always come away inspired and in awe of all the talent in the writing community. Everyone is ready to share experiences and offer support.

We had a good turnout (around 90) with some new people attending, which is always a positive.

And drum roll please . . . I won 2nd place in the Weta Nichols contest. This is not a small feat. Our contest receives entries from all over the country. I think there were around 20 contestants in my category, contemporary romance. Liz Pelletier of Entangled Publishing was the final judge and she said to send her more. Yea! Now all I have to do is write it. :-)

Several of our members finaled which just goes to show how gifted they all are.

Planning will get underway for next year's conference soon. No rest for the weary.

Did you go to ORACON and what did you take away?

Friday, September 19, 2014

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Conference Time!!!


It's conference time for one of my writing groups

I love going to this event. We always have great presenters, inspiring and motivational content and great networking opportunities. It helps rejuvenate my muse. 

The last few years I've helped with the planning because I've been on the board - two years as secretary and this year as treasurer. It's fun and exhausting at the same time. But we have great volunteers and everyone wants this day to be a complete success. 

Four years ago I pitched to a New York agent and she requested my manuscript. What a thrill. I was so nervous, my voice shook and cracked as I gave her the summary of my novel Beyond The Horizon. After she said she wanted to see it, I walked on air the rest of the day. Unfortunately, she ended up leaving her publishing house and they sold and my book came back. But, I will never forget that thrill.

The next year: 

Not so good.
The agent I pitched to was less than thrilled with my story.
In the critique session with a published best selling author, she ripped me a new one for my choice of language and references to characters in a bar scene.
And then the final blow was a critique of a query letter I submitted for the Query Letter Gong Show.
It also got ripped apart.

But, I learned something even from that conference. I better get a thicker skin if I was going to succeed in this business. 

This year, I'm not pitching but I am getting a professional head shot from        Wish her luck trying to make me look pretty. :-)

Do you enjoy conferences or do you see them as a waste of time?

Friday, September 5, 2014


What does it take to make you happy?

                                                       I think it's different for everyone. 

For me?

1. Time off. Being away from my day job makes me happy.
2. Writing and editing. Being creative and using parts of my brain that get neglected during the week. 
3.  Spending time with my writer groups. They really get my inspiration going. 
4. Spending time with my son. He lives far away now, so it doesn't occur very often. When I get to hug him, it's the best. 
5. The Cardinals in first place in September.
6. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with cream gravy and green beans. 

That's my short list. Let me know one or two of your happy places.