Friday, December 31, 2010

Here Comes 2011

Happy New Year! May it bring lots of blessings your way!

I have resolved to make it my most productive year in a while by finishing my degree in school counseling, finishing at least two new manuscripts, and editing the ones that I have.

Hope you have a great year filled with many successes!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mixed Nuts

I'm sure the holidays are more commercial than they were meant to be, but Sharkey and I have been shopping, shopping, and more shopping the past couple of days. The tykes were at their aunt's for two nights, and I'm not going to lie--it was niiiice. Of course I missed them, but it was nice to eat meals without having to chop up, cut into, order three more bites of this or that, so on and so forth.

We shopped until we dropped so that we could get all remaining presents bought. Mission was nearly accomplished. Just a few more to get, but nothing that we can't handle in the next couple of days.

The only problems we ran into were a few of the holiday mixed nuts. I'm sure you've met them, sorry to say, some of you may become them around the holidays (I know I do on occasion).

One is the parking-space stalker--the car that is suddenly there when you leave the store and follows you around the parking lot while you locate your car. They are relentless and even if you can't for the life of you remember where you parked, they will continue to follow until either you find your vehicle or another shopper walks into their line of vision.

Another is the discount shopper--this is the ubiquitous person at the cash register that wants the cashier to ring it up three different ways to see which one gives the best discount. He or she often has an accordion file of coupons, super savers, and other discount offers, but seems oblivious to the ever-growing line of frustrated shoppers behind him or her. (Okay, I might be this one).

Of course we're all familiar with the stingy hot-item buyer--this is the person who has waited in line since pre-dawn to buy the hot item this year. Don't doubt that if you even step a toe between the item and him or her, your life is in danger. He or she will rearrange your face, thin your hair, and bruise your lower extremities if you even mention that you might be thinking about throwing your money toward said hot item.

And last but not least, the parking-spot maker--this is the person who assigns any open space as his or her personal parking spot. Nevermind that it could be on ice-coated grass, behind other cars, or in the middle of the driving throughway. Any available space is game for this mixed nut. If you happen to get blocked by one these crazy parkers, don't expect an apology. If you even broach the subject, be prepared to walk away taking the blame for his or her blocking your way.

Well, hopefully you are able to avoid all these mixed nuts and have a happy shopping holiday. Better yet, next year, you might try ordering everything on line in November and becoming one of those I-finished-all-my-shopping-before-you shoppers. At any rate, hope your holidays are happy!

Happy writing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little Salt

I love chocolate! I mean, probably to the point of obsession if I let myself get that far. From an early age, I have had a love affair with chocolate, and my youngest daughter seems to have picked up the same preference for chocolate above everything else. She will devour a whole six-pack of Hershey's chocolate bars if I don't put them waaaay up, out of her reach.

But I can't fault her because whether through heredity or environment, she gets it honest.

Lately though, I've found another obsession that still involves chocolate. Sweet and salty blended in layers of flavor, I'm talking about chocolate covered pretzels. Just when the luscious chocolate melts over my tongue, I get hit with another layer and crunch--salt. Ooooh! Big whoop! Chocolate covered pretzels. Why am I talking about flour, salt, and cocoa? How boring, right? But before you click away, let me say that I had an epiphany while scarfing some down today.

My writing is like chocolate to me. Now bear with me. To me, it's rich and smooth, and I love the "taste" of it in my mouth (if you will). But often I find, in comparison to published work, it is one-layer when it comes to the flavor. It needs a little salt, a little deeper flavor profile when it comes to the characters (no stereotypes), the plots (not the same old), the word choice (Mo' Urban Dictionary, anyone?), the pacing, the conflict, the sexual tension, etc.

So now that I've finished a novel draft and a short story draft, I'm going back to add the salt. I'm adding just enough to create some crunch and a whole different layer of flavor. Maybe I just need to grab a snack. Then I can get back to revisions without distractions.
Happy writing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm Still Here

No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. I am just busy, busy, busy with teaching, my counseling internship, being a wife and mother, and of course, the holidays.

To make things even better, we are covered in inches of snow. We will more than likely make it to school tomorrow, and that would be for the best, but I'm not going to lie, I wouldn't mind one more day to get ready for the last two weeks before the break.

Hope you are faring well through this busy season.

Happy writing!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Have you ever been stuck in a story and then it just comes to you. Well, that happened to me two weekends ago, and now my short story is...
Finished! Here's to finishing my short story that I started three months ago. Now I'm going to continue to work on my NANO manuscript and let the short rest for a little while.
I've decided to get it gorgeous then submit to an e-book publisher. Until then, I'm just going to keep on keeping on.
After being stuck for awhile, something about the story just clicked finally.
Now, it's your turn. Have you ever just had a "click" moment? Or do you just have something to celebrate?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good News! And Ladies' Night ;O)

I have officially finished seeing "all my doctors" (sounds like a bad 80's soap opera) for my check-ups and every one has said that I am doing well. Can I get a woot! woot! Needless to say, I was anxious, but I am happily relieved and feeling very blessed.

So, in celebration, I called in a cleaning service. I deserved a little pampering. Here are the employees they sent over:

Wouldn't it be cool if this impossible scenario were in fact possible? Seriously though, my family and I (including the real sexy hero in my life--Sharky) are going out to celebrate tomorrow night! Exciting!

Happy writing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tough Week

The ebb and flow of blessings and curses is definitely on a downswing right now. This was a very difficult week. I had a presentation to prepare and give, which I abhor! I would rather dance through oncoming traffic than present something in front of colleagues. The blessing: it went well, and I got compliments. The curse: it took up a majority of my free time to prepare.

Unfortunately, we received some bad news early in the week. One of my daughter's friends at school had a mother who was very ill. She died this week. It was breast cancer. I prayed for the family and my husband and daughter went to the visitation. But I'm too close to this not to think about my own situation. She was 45. It was one year ago today that I went for a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy, leading to 9 months of treatment for breast cancer. Needless to say, I am distressed about this whole situation. It brings up so many of my own fears about leaving my children behind before I feel ready (are we really ever ready, though?). My 12-year-old daughter is also struggling with the passing. She feels like she really needs to be there for her friend, but she's also anxious about our own situation. I listen to her fears, and assure her we are doing everything we are supposed to do, but I can't say with 100% definitiveness that there won't be a recurrence. I will do my best to be vigilant, if not for me, then for my children and husband.

Of course, to continue the downing of the week, I had a rather eye-opening meeting about a problem student. Let's just say, if I had the same situation, I'd be acting out my anger inappropriately too. It brings up a serious issue. Why is it that low socio-economic means suck it up, we can't do anything but give you a band-aid? This kid should have gotten serious help early on.

So, needless to say, my writing has been little to none. I see my NaNoWriMo dreams slipping away unless I get a chance to write all day and all night some time soon. Hope things are going better for you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's going...slowly

Well, I am considerably behind where I need to be for NaNoWriMo, but I'm still plugging along. I am currently at 5195 words, which is behind by about 4700 words. So, I'll push myself the next couple of days to try to catch up. I do like the story and the characters that I'm writing. I'm pretty sure there will be major rewrites if I make it to the end, but I'll keep at it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1

Maybe not the best prose ever written, but 1670 words. Not bad for the first day. A little celebratory cupcake to share with all.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Yes, for the first time ever, I am going to be a particpant, not just a spectator. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Best Laid Smells of Monsters and Men

Feeling a little more human today. Thanks for all the comments and well-wishes. A nasty cold virus made the rounds through the family, but all seem to be on the road to recovery now. I was feeling so much better that I made a few blog visits and came across this too-cute video of a childhood fave. Found this one on

Try not to drool.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nurse? Is there a doctor in the house?

I'm a little under the weather right now. Still trudging along though, but profound thoughts for the blog are minimal, so I'll just have to post an image or two and say it with pictures instead.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Husbands Just Don't Understand

Sharkey and I recently had a small tiff due to my previous blog posting involving pictures of one very nice looking man. Understand that I hide nothing from my husband (except a small problem with a stop sign that resulted in a ticket) because I try really hard not to have anything to hide. He knows I read and write romance and that the heroes in said stories are abnormally hot. He is of the opinion that women satisfiy unmet needs with said stories. Unfortunately, he thinks it's a double standard because he would get grief for indulging in pictures of half-naked (or all naked) women.

I took great offense that he didn't see the distinction. I explained that first of all, I didn't want Alex O'Loughlin really. He'd probably be all about himself and his career, and besides physical attraction, I need someone with a sense of humor and a strong sense of responsibility. I chose my husband for very great reasons, and those reasons haven't changed, so he has nothing to worry about in that respect. Second, romance to me isn't even about the sex or the looks. One of my favorite Harlequin Blaze novels featured a hero with a big nose and a bad haircut. To me, the stories are about coming together and creating something new and lasting. Now in most of the stories, it's true that the idea that a regular gal could turn the head of a good-looking guy who just happens to have a great personality too is the dream, but it's not really about the looks, is it?

So if I throw up a picture of a hot guy on the blog occasionally, it doesn't mean that I'm satisfying unmet needs, does it? Is it a double standard? And does it matter if it's a double standard (we've been living with those for centuries)? What do you think?

Just to be clear, we discussed it later when we both could be rational, and I explained about blogs and their postings, and he apologized for overreacting. So it was a short-lived conflict.

Happy writing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ladies Night!

New obsession lately--Hawaii Five-O. Not because I really love police shows, not because I really love Hawaii, not even because I have nothing else to do on Monday nights. No, all of these great reasons are not the reason for the sucking in of me. Two words--Alex O'Loughlin.

He's purty. I actually watched him in the vampire show he was in about two years ago. It was so cheesy, but worth it for the view. I missed the J. Lo movie with him as co-star, but I'm reduced to DVR-ing Hawaii Five-O, and it is sooooo worth it.

Just take a look. Come on. Don't you feel the inspiration coursing through your veins? That is inspiration, right? Anyway, enjoy a new segment called Ladies Night.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Sleep, On The Go

I can feel sleep sucking me under in the very near future.
The family went back to school today, and we clearly were out of our routine. Bedtime went on and on, last night (yes, I know I'm the parent), but eventually all went into a fitful sleep, interrupted by a nightmare and a few bathroom trips, oh and the kids had trouble sleeping too (tee-hee).

Anyway, I got up at my usual time. Threw some lunches together, got the kids dressed, teeth brushed, shoes found, backpacks in hands and pushed them out the door.

I love the time between when they leave and I rush out the door. I have an hour. An HOUR! And I use it to get myself ready. I had forgotten how that really works until I changed schools last year.

By the time I arrived at school today, I was a little nervous about what I had planned. We were unable to complete our On-Demand Writing Common Assessment before the break, so they were coming back to a test. But the day went smoothly with me only making one sarcastic comment about a question I'd already given the answer to not three minutes before.

I had an afterschool study group, and finally got to leave school around 5:05. As soon as I got home, I fixed some breakfast for dinner. Then ran to the gym for 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Happily, Sharkey had kids homework all but done, so I could actually post to my blog. Not bad for a running-on-empty kind of day.

I am so going to feel this in the morning when I start it all again.

Happy writing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I had every intention of putting some writing tips together. And if I couldn't really come up with any myself, I have several links I've collected over the years. But the truth is, I need some advice.

I agreed to judge for a contest. I have been through a training, and as an avid reader, writer, and teacher, I feel confident in my judging abilities. I just want to do it right.

I love all the entries, but after reading them, one in particular is still with me. I want to know how it ends. The others are very well written also, but the characters, plot, tension and conflict of the one have stuck in my brain. I don't know that the writing of this one is as eloquent as one of the others, but the everything else about it impresses me. However, I don't know if that matters enough to score it high (they are all well-written), or if this particular manuscript is just up my alley. We've all read books that others raved about and only found okay. Is that what is going on?

It's just so hard to score someone else's baby because I know how much it matters to them. In my mind's eye, I see the people behind the work, and they're just like me. But I owe as impartial a judgment as I can manage, so I will re-read and pay close attention to the specific scoring standards, hopefully coming to a fair conclusion and a justifiable score with helpful comments.

Anyone who has judged before have any advice?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a Conundrum, Isn't It

Funny how life can lift you up one day and knock you flat on your patootey the next. I had every intention of attending school the past two days, but got a call from my mother Sunday night that her house was on fire, and she was outside with no shoes on. Needless to say, I dropped everything, jumped in the car, and pulled up to four fire trucks, a hazmat truck, and a utility truck outside my mother's home. The good news: everyone made it out safely (including the animals). The bad news: the damage was extensive. It will be two or three months until all is livable again, but it can be fixed.

I had to miss school Monday, and of course my students assumed I was playing hooky, but they were sympathetic when I returned and explained today. Again, the important thing is that everybody is physically well. I will be spending the rest of my Fall Break helping my mother through this tough time. Keep us in your prayers, thoughts, well-wishes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Break

Sharkey and the kids have the whole week off for Fall Break. It's like Spring Break, only not. I, on the other hand, get a cheaper version. Mine starts Wednesday, so I have to go to school Monday and Tuesday.

Yes, I considered being a bad teacher and calling in sick, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that to some poor substitute teacher for one thing, and I have so much to accomplish in those two measly days besides, so I will dutifully attend school the next two days and only whine a little bit about it.

On another note, I checked out a blog at and ended up sending a pitch for editor Lia Brown at Avalon. Mine was one of five sent her way, with the truth-serum that she might look at them and go on her merry way, deciding mine is not what she is looking for. Still, the heart hopes, and I have a pitch in front of an editor.

But the ladies at Seekerville are celebrating the site's birthday with prizes in the form of books and critiques, so check it out if you get a chance.

Happy writing!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

If You Need a Laugh

One of the most consistently funny blogs I've come across:

If I ever need a pick-me-up, I check here first.

Happy writing!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blogging Elsewhere

This week I am blogging at It is a group of ladies I met after the RITA's at RWA 2010. They are wonderful, and I am so excited to be part of the blog rotation.

Despite the name (you had to be there), the blog is about writers and their careers from inspiration to publication.

Happy Writing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not Going to Let it Get Me Down

I am soooo close to finishing my short, and although there will be a few holes to patch and some characterization to perfect, I still like the story and can relate to the characters. I am now sitting at around 12,000 words, and I'm at the stage that I can feel the ending, so all I want to do is write until the characters get their HEA.

My motivator? The DAY JOB. The harder it gets, the more I need to write. Writing is like the one thing I have complete control over, and I love to put on my headphones, crank the IPOD, and let my fingers fly over the keyboard (easier said than done). But, at the end of every day, I get so excited to sit down at my computer and push a little further. So, what motivates you the most to get BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard)?

Oh, and on the 27th, I will be blogging at It is a wonderful group of ladies that I cracked up with after the RITA's at RWA. Many different geographic locations, age ranges, and writing stages were represented. Jennifer Jakes was one of the Golden Heart Nominees. Anyway, one of the hiiiilarious stories led to the name of the blog. I have had something brewing in my head for awhile, and whew! I need the brain space, so check it out later this week.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grammar Police

In my day job, I'm a middle school English teacher. I was looking for jokes to help teach grammar in an interesting way. I can't use this in my classroom, but thought I'd share a laugh. I'm serious about my grammar, but not quite ready for the police force.

Apparently, it's the wide screen version.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mulling Things Over

I have mentioned before that I am a recent breast cancer survivor, as in, I finished chemo in April and radiation in July. And to be perfectly honest, I am still processing what happened. That sounds so together and spoken like a true counselor, but in reality, it's my easy way of saying, "Don't want to ride that crazy train again!" But often, just when I get back into my life groove, something sparks a reminder, and I have to figure out how it all fits together.

My very dear, darling, baby sister struggled through much of this year with me, and as soon as she saw the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraiser was beginning, she pushed me to start a team. Two weeks later, I did. It took me that long to get through the anxiety about having to talk about my situation in order to raise money for the worthy cause. What? Kind of pretentious, huh? Maybe at face value, but I am a muller (I need to mull things over), and believe it or not, if I'm going to be noticed, I want it to be for the right reasons. Any attention makes me nervous. It's not that I don't like it. I just get anxious.

Now I'm excited and I've sent out e-mails to bring my participation to people's attention, so they can donate if they would like. Oh, by the by, if you would like to donate to my team "I Pink, Therefore I Am," please go to I would appreciate your generosity.

Yet it's not all positive, at least to me. Often people say things in a very, very uplifting and positive way, and they definitely mean everything from the heart. What I'm trying to say before I get to my point is that the blame is all mine in how I take it in.

One of the kindest people I have ever met was trying to explain that she was glad I was *here.* In order to get to that, she explained that she'd lost her sister-in-law a few years ago. I take that very seriously. I expressed my very real sympathy, and tried to gracefully excuse myself. But she went on to say she was okay with her sister-in-law's passing because, in her mind, what they learned from that saved my life. She is right. They learn from every failure as well as each success, but my heart broke. My own mother-in-law died from breast cancer, and that loss was devastating. I don't want to piggyback on that misery. I can't celebrate that.

Of course, I was gracious and smiled. That was the right thing to do, and I'm all about doing the right thing, and I know she only meant well.

To end positively, I have also been told, at another time, that I'm a walking miracle. At first, I cringed. I'm just me, and the reason I'm still walking is because of my doctors and God (thus the miracle, Sherry, duh). So I mulled this over and realized, it's not all about me. If someone wants to call me a walking miracle whether I had anything to do with it or not, then there it is--I'm a walking miracle. Thank you, Good Lord above!

This blog is obviously very personal, and has been mulling around in my brain for a couple weeks (yep, that's me). The point is, in time, I will know how to talk about breast cancer. I am now coming out of my keep-it-in phase, and I can ease up on letting my heart hear others' words in it's own twisted way. Life is too important to be wasting much time mulling, so cue end of blog. :0)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bad Writer; Good Writer

How bad do you beat yourself up if you don't meet your deadlines?

I didn't meet my deadline, but I did make progress. My story went from floundering to flying along and, given another week or two, it will be ready to submit. What was it that got me BICHOK (Butt in chair, Hands on keyboard)? Twitter! No, really, I'm not joking.

I was taking a "break" from writing when I came across a tweet that praised a writer's website called Nothing special, but when you set up an account, it keeps stats for you and encourages you to write 750 words each day (you can easily write more, if you want, then cut and paste into a word document). It's very much like NaNoWriMo, but a daily goal, rather than a monthly goal. Plus, it's small enough that you can easily meet your goal within an hour if you really work at it. It keeps track of your overall time, your words per minute, your breaks, even some categories that show what you focus on most. To make it even more useful as a writing tool, it shows the words you repeat often.

Is it the end-all, be-all for writers? No, it's probably not even something that I'll use every day, but it does add an element of fun.

All this brings me back to deadlines. Although I didn't meet my goal, I feel better about my progress and, yes, I have a new deadline (probably a little more realistic this time). If I write 1000 words a day for the next ten days, I'll finish my short. Wish me luck!

Happy writing.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I have taken charge and given myself a calendar of deadlines, you know, like a real, working author. Except the first deadline is coming at me like I'm a pizza and it's a hungry teen of the male persuasion. I'm a saucy chick, for sure, but I will probably be a pile of crumbs at the end of this week.

No problem. I just have to write 12 pages a day for the next week. Oh, and I only have one hour to devote to it each day (pretty sure I will be squeezing in a little more than that. Sorry, house, there's always the weekend to make you shine).

Honestly though, I'm excited about pushing myself and posting my progress on here.

Current WIP is a short about two formers who have to cook head-to-head on a reality t.v. show against each other. Let's just say, it's going to get hot in the kitchen.

Happy writing!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Beginning and Ending of Scenes

Great post about craft, and I can always use a little more help. Check it out for a few writing tips about beginning and ending your scenes.

And a little funny for all the stay-at-home writers.

Happy writing!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Permission to Write Crap

What are we looking at, you might ask. It is a wedding cake that looks like a pile of poo. Apparently, one person's disgusting ick is another's way to celebrate. Yet, I can't help but draw a correlation to my current ambition. I. Want. To. Be. Published. Hands down. It is my goal. I'm not going to pretend I write for the art of it, because I have to, or because it's my creative outlet. All of these are true, but the real truth is, I want others to like what I write. No, I want them to love what I write. That's not too much to ask is it?

But no matter how many classes I take, workshops I attend, or critiques I finagle, I still seem to end up with a steaming pile of poo for a manuscript. I have to wonder though, can you make cake out of poo?

Not really, thank goodness, but maybe, if the writing comes out smoothly, and I can accept all the straining when it doesn't (yes, I know what that sounds like), I have a chance to create something to celebrate out of just an inkling of an idea.

Although I have been doing so for awhile now without it, I give my self permission to write crap (you should too), with the idea that a slice of publication cake can be cut from it.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Real Life Invades

I am now touching down with my ruby slippers and unfortunately, wishing I could go back to Emerald City. Real life has invaded with a vengeance, and I haven't even been able to check my e-mail, blog, or duh, duh, duh...write.

Where are my priorities? This is a job after all, but so is teaching (which so far is going really well) and so is being a mom and wife (whew! I need overtime for that one).

All three of my wee (and big) kiddos as well as the hubby are back in school. Therefore, the sacrifices are being made, and I am doing so with a smile (most of the time). I am also being tempted by a large box of gleaming, sparkly, author-signed books that I collected at RWA National 2010. So far, I have resisted all but one (daily) slip for all of 10 or 90 minutes. Oh, and don't get me started with my latest obsession with True Blood. Somebody has got to get me an intervention. I am well and truly addicted.

Anyway, I have to write. I have set a deadline to get my short done by the end of September (finished manuscript, ready to send), so anyone got a ball and chain to which I can shackle myself. Perhaps, someone might have a whip or two? Despite the sudden turn, I am not writing bondage.

In other news, my doctor says that I am healthy as of now, and I am dutifully taking my Tamoxifen, despite the oh-so-badly-timed hot flashes, headaches, and maybe brain fog (? :/ ). But I know what I have to do, and I plan to make it all five years taking this medicine. Here's to perserverance (as I lift my glass of healthy orange juice).

Happy writing!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Super Fave

One of the highlights of RWA National 2010 was meeting the incomparable Kresley Cole. Her Immortals After Dark series is one of the best set of books I've ever read. Every book is a page-turner, and she makes it seem so effortless.

She also gave me and a couple of other fangirls a little insider information about Regin's man, but I'll keep my lips sealed for now. Let's just say, ooooohhh, it's going to be awesome!

I'm posting some pictures from RWA. One is of Kresley Cole and me (notice my pure happiness), and the other is after her RITA win for Kiss of a Demon King.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Wow!

I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend RWA 2010. My career feels so in reach, and it's all thanks to the incredible women (and men) who write women's fiction today and choose to share their work, expertise, and experience with those of us excited to try. Here are some of those wonderful ladies.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips was one of the first that I asked for a picture, and she gave a big smile and invited me to get in the picture with her.

Eloisa James was so beautiful and so gracious. She, like many others, had a very long line, but it was well worth the wait.

Cherry Adair ran out of books during an earlier signing, but she posed with me for a picture anyway, explaining that she had written the novella in The Bodyguard with one finger because she had just had surgery. That's dedication for you. I was able to get into a later line for another book featuring a novella by Cherry Adair that she rubbed for luck, so I will read it and keep it beside my computer from here on.

These ladies amaze me. I feel so fortunate to have met them, and if I were able to breathe in even an nth of their talent, maybe I could finish my current wip with only a few nagging revisions.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Tickles

As promised, I have pictures! First is the incomparable Nora Roberts, keynote speaker at Thursday's luncheon. Overall, she reminded the attendees that first publication is never easy (even for her) and that if you want to get in the pool, stop making excuses and jump in.

Here is what remained of my delicious dessert that first day. I haven't yet braved the scales, but I literally had to squeeze myself into my dress for the GH/RITA awards dinner.

Here is Anne Stuart, who was unique and wonderful, and I feel so fortunate to have attended her workshop (although my drafts are still quite sh**ty).

Finally, here is one of my all-time favorite authors, Teresa Medeiros. She is a fellow Kentuckian and was so generous, allowing me to snap two pictures of her (the first was blurry--maybe I was shaking). She also was sweet enough to give me two books. Love me some Teresa!

I will continue to post more pictures as the week goes on.

Happy writing!

Monday, August 2, 2010

There's No Place Like RWA

RWA national conference will go down as one of my all time favorite trips. Not only was the writing information invaluable, but I was able to meet some very wonderful people.

Sandy Randazzo was one of the first ladies I met. She is from North Dakota, and we attended at least four of the same workshops. I also ran into her on the Boardwalk and met her adorable husband (any man who supports his wife's writing is adorable).

Jerrie Alexander ( and Marsha R. West gave me some great advice while standing in line for the keynote luncheon. They suggested I go ahead and submit a query for my contemporary manuscript. Whether it's accepted or rejected, it shows I'm seriously pursuing a writing career, which in turn, will allow me to join PRO.

Elizabeth Bank and I had a wonderful conversation during the awards luncheon on Friday. She writes Regencys with a touch of paranormal as Noelle Pierce and can be found at

Some other wonderful women I met in between bites of food were Silvia McDaniel (, Jan Nash, Liese Sherwood-Fabre (, and Kathy Franklin. These lovely ladies were great conversationalists and insightful.

Rebecca Finley ( and I met at breakfast on Friday, and I tried to hook up with her for the awards luncheon, but was running late after a particularly good workshop. We seemed to be on the same page though (forgive the pun) because we met in workshops again and again. She was my first west coast contact and such a sweetie.

Deirdre E. Robertson ( and I had West Virginia in common. Annette Radosa, Kaylee Ruddle (, and Roberta B. Bombonato ( all wrote paranormal and/or urban fantasy like I am currently attempting to do.

I sat with some other outstanding ladies (and one's husband) at the Golden Heart and RITA awards dinner. Alexandra Ratcliff, Lara Chapman (, Jaye Garland (, and Karen Kinser.

The after party in a suite on the 11th floor was hiiiilarious! We formed a group that will someday be famous, and probably already is infamous--The Ass Cheek Angels. Some of those amazing ladies are Kellie J. Winzinowich (, Kellie Clark (writing as J. D. Elliot), Jennifer Jakes ( and Golden Heart finalist), and Cecily Cornelius-White, Psy.D.

Yet, two of the women with whom I connected the most were Lori H. Leger (, Trish F. Leger ( Their love of romance and writing was almost as strong as their love for Louisiana and hot, shirtless men. No doubt, I'll be seeing these fantastic ladies again and keeping in touch with my fellow ACAngels.

And, Carla Davis (writing as Karla Teri) was my lunchmate on Saturday afternoon and my fellow starstruck fangirl. We met in the line for Kresley Cole and we dragged each other all over the signings from then on. Even though we knew we probably wouldn't be able to squish one more book into our luggage, we kept thinking about possible items we could leave behind that could easily be sacrificed for another good read.

Finally, thank you Katherine Bone ( for complimenting my hat on Thursday while waiting for a trip through the goody room, for giving me a hello and a smile through a few other sightings, and for being my buddy in the airport. I love talking about writing, and with you, I certainly felt a kindred spirit.

I will be counting the time until New York!

Happy writing!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pictures to Follow

Where do I start? This is the single-most amazing thing that has ever happened to me! Okay, okay, so maybe marriage and child-birth were pretty darn amazing, and probably there are greater things to come, but oh, I am in Heaven on Earth!

I have attended some stupendous workshops with authors like Roxanne St. Claire and Anne Stuart to name a couple. I have sat in front of editors for Avon (well, a little to their left in a massive audience, but still...). And most exciting for me, I got to meet some of my fave authors who I have followed for...(wait for it)...ever! Kresley Cole, Teresa Medeiros, Nalini Singh are just three of my idols and role models. Not just did I get to be in the same room with them (I am not a stalker, trust me. As someone else here said, I'm not organized enough), but I got a free signed book from each. Teresa and Dianne Love gave me two!

To top it all off, I have met some amazing people here that I promise I will mention in the next blog, along with their websites, twitter, facebook, and anything else they might help you locate information on these amazing woman (and one man).

I hope to post pictures by next week. Must go for now. My tummy insists.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I am finally at RWA National, and I am loving it! Just visited the first-timer's orientation and it was enough to get me excited with just a little nervousness mixed in.

I never understood how people could get so keyed-up that they felt like crying until now (fortunately, no crying actually occured). Crazy! Can't wait until tomorrow. My itinerary is set. I'll just do a quick once over to see where everything takes place. I really am not this obsessive normally. Just when I get thrilled about something.

More updates to come!

Happy writing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just Days

Woo Hoo! I have three more radiation treatments remaining (two on Friday, 6 hours apart). It has not been totally unpleasant an experience. Sure, my chest resembles the outward appearance of a well-boiled lobster, but I know I'm doing the right thing.

I am so thankful to the very kind and helpful people at United Radiation Oncology. Trish is always cheerful, even while dragging an ankle boot around, and even after a grueling physical therapy session the day before.

Vicki and Julie are efficient but fun as they position the big mechanical sun around me, and I'm so thankful for everything they did daily to promote my future health.

And of course, I'm very thankful to Dr. Matar for her meticulous crunching of numbers, her attention to the condition of my skin, and her flexibility in rushing things along so that my family and I could head to Orlando.

I most certainly don't want to repeat radiation therapy, but I do think I will miss this doctor's office. I plan to send a nice thank you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Same Me...New Blog

I have decided to begin blogging under my own name. Not that I was ashamed to be Kiera McAllister. I loved the name. McAllister is a family name and I wanted to use it for a pen name. However, I decided I was brave enough to use my real name. So, here it is, people. I'm out. I'm Sherry, and I'm proud to be writing a blog about my writing, my family, my life, my whatever.

Here is a link to the old blog, if you would like to meet the previous me and find out what I write about:

Feel free to comment and say hello.

Happy writing!