Thank you flowers from LSF Writers. Aren’t they lovely?
Yes, I am tooting my own horn, but IMHO this weekend’s Create Something Magical Conference went wonderfully. There was so much energy, excitement and enthusiasm in the air from start to finish. I have to give a huge thank you t o my conference committee. They are an amazing collection of individuals and I certainly couldn’t have pulled it off without them. Because I did have such a great committee I was able to set the conference chair on the shelf for a few minutes and pitch my manuscript. I received multiple requests for my work SQUEE! Go Me. But in all seriousness, the conference ran as smooth as it did up to and through the actual day of the conference because of my fabulous committee.
I also have to offer a HUGE thank you to Jonathan Maberry. He was an incredible and inspiring keynote speaker plus he’s been a great support of the Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference from the beginning. There are not words enough to thank him.
Much gratitude goes out to all of the speakers who offered their time and expertise. I’ve heard nothing but great things about every workshop.
To all of the editors and agents that attended we so appreciate you give up your Saturday to join us. Thank you for listening to pitches and for speaking on panels and offering your insights on the industry.
Thank you to all of the attendees, readers and writers alike. The conference certainly wouldn’t happen without you and all of the excitement and energy you bring with you. To all of your who pitched I wish you much luck on your submissions. For those who didn’t next year will be your year.
Finally, I’d like to send a mega shout out to Kim Rocha and all of the Book Obsessed Chicks. You throw one heck of a party, ladies. I was thrilled to have you there. Next year, I’ll have to make a point to get in on at least one line dance.
It really was a magical weekend. I hope to see everyone back next year! For now, the conference chair is going to take a nap.
All of us here at Attacking the Page wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. Since I’m sure we all have a ton of things to do to prepare for tomorrow, I found a short by fun holiday video for your entertainment. I love Christmas lights display synchronized to music and I found a pretty cool one to share. I hope you in enjoy it. Travel safe and have a wonderful Christmas.
A short while ago, I got together with a group of friends, most of whom were readers not writers. It’s always fun to get together with people who are strictly readers because they are always so fascinated by the creative process. The things that are mundane to a writer, because that’s just how we operate, hold endless wonder for readers. I think that’s so awesome. When reader/writer gatherings occur, without fail, the question Where do your ideas come from? always gets asked. All artists have muses. They provide us with fodder for the next project constantly. Inspiration for stories is all around us everyday. Any little thing that sparks our interest can be the spring board for an entire novel, be it a news article, the scenery around you, an off hand comment from a friend/family/colleague.
What I find more interesting as both a reader and writer is how those ideas are in turn communicated to us. I have writers friends that talk about having characters pop into their heads and start talking, telling their story. While I sometimes wish it would, it does not work that way for me at all. I get movie clips in my head of these terrific scenes. It’s then up to me to translate them from an image into words. I have to figure out how bring the scene to life so that a reader can generate their own version of that scene. I probably function this way as a byproduct of being plot driven more so then a character driven writer. However, once I have the scene, then the trick becomes figuring out what characters are right for that scene and the story as a whole.
So I pose this question to all the writers out there, as I find is infinitely fascinating, how do you get your story ideas? Do you see movie clips? Do you have characters wondering around in your head in search of the right plot? Please share.
I’m glad to say that my little corner of NJ survived Sandy with little incident. My heart goes out to all of those who have been devastated by this storm. I sincerely hope they can start to get back on their feet soon.
It’s November 1, do you know what that means? It’s day one of NaNoWriMo. If you’re a writer, you probably know what that is, but for those who don’t. November 1-30 is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th. There’s even a website that has forums and tools to help support you in you quest. Check it out here at www.NaNoWriMo.org. This can be a really great motivator because there are so many people across the country working towards this same goal with you and encouraging you along.
Whether you get to 50k or not this endevour can be a great way to get your story out on the paper. It’s about speed versus finesse. It’s a month long spew. Regardless of what you put on the page, by the end of the end of the month you’ll either have the skeleton of a novel or a solid beginning. As someone once said, you can’t edit an empty page. So, even if, in your opinion, what you produce is a flaming pile of cud, at least you’ve got something to fix.
Personally, I’m thinking I’ll do it this year. I’ve got something that I’m working on that I’d really like to knock off my plate and this may be just what I need to get it done. So who’s with me? Who else is going to take the NanoWriMo plunge?
With Hurricane Sandy barreling down on us, I thought I’d keep today’s post short and sweet. No one can say what havoc Sandy is going to bring, but in an effort to ride out this storm as safely and comfortably as possible, here a a few preparedness tips.
- Have enough water for each person in the house for 3 days. Best estimate is one gallon of water per person per day.
- Have a three day supply of non-perishable foods.
- Have enough pet care supplies for three days
- Have flashlights and batteries for them
- Have a battery operated radio
- Have first aid kit
- Have emergency blankets
During the storm:
- Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors even if they’re covered
- Don’t go outside including when the eye of the storm is passing.
For additional hurricane preparedness and safety tips or to prepare for any other type of storm, you can visit the American Red Cross’s Disaster and Safety Library.
Hang in there all. Sandy is going to give us a heck of a bumpy ride. So stay safe and dry.
Or so the Sheryl Crow song says. As I mentioned in a my post from a few weeks back entitled Taking New Paths, I’ve been making a number of changes in recent days. This time, though, the changes aren’t as big and difficult as asking for my rights back. This change was easy and made a world of difference.
This time around I changed my writing space. Not just my desk, but my whole location. I’d found that where I’d previously been working wasn’t really lending itself to productivity anymore. I knew I’d needed to change something, especially when falling asleep on my keyboard with very little written was becoming the norm. Finally, a few weeks ago, I grabbed my laptop and a little folding table and I transitioned myself into the kitchen. I had every thing I needed, bright lights, ready access to coffee and snacks, and quiet. It worked like a charm. Suddenly, I was making more progress then I had in ages.
A change certainly did me good. You may find that sometimes even little changes can help spark ideas and get you moving forward in ways you never expected. For example, in this age of technology I bet most if not all of us are writing using a computer and a word processing program. Maybe you’re finding that your story isn’t flowing as well as you’d like. Maybe you’re actually stuck, possibly even creatively blocked. Perhaps try hand writing your story for a bit. Just long enough to power throw the barricade and get the flow going again. Sometimes a small change like going from electronic to manual can unblock the creative channels.
If you’re find that you’re spinning your wheels and your creativity and productivity are flagging, try mixing things up. You never know what will shake loose and what directions you’ll go in.
Happy Labor Day!
I hope everyone is having a safe, happy, and relaxing holiday. Here in NJ it’s a rainy dreary day, so I’m sure many are moving their family gatherings indoor. My plan is to curl up and relax with a good book and get some writing done. So, I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet. I like history and I like knowing how things originated so I thought I’d share a little of the history of Labor Day.
Who actually founded labor day is actually a subject for debate. There is evidence to suggest that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor was the first to introduce the concept. However, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist and later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ. Matthew Maguire is believed to have proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. It is definite, though, that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic which was held September 5, 1882. Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day as a holiday in 1887. It wasn’t until June 28, 1894 that it became a national holiday.
Thus, Labor Day was born. A day to celebrate the labors and accomplishments of the American worker and all they’ve contributed to society.
Now tell me, how do you plan on spending your Labor Day?
Enjoy your holiday!
I guess it’s my turn to have a brain fart and forget to post on Monday. I blame it on the day job and my crazy schedule as of late. Work insanity aside, I’ve been going through a number of changes with my writing in the last few months. I reclaimed the rights to one of my stories for a number of reasons. I’ll admit that in doing so a part of me felt like my writing career was taking a step backward. Logically, I knew it was the right move and that nothing but good could come of it. It took me some time, however, to come around to that same point of view emotionally. I know that may sound strange, but hey most writers have some degree of crazy going on.
As I was settling things with the rights reversion, and feeling a bit like a loser in the process, I kept thinking of that quote that says when a door closes, somewhere a window opens. I had to realize that I hadn’t taken a step backward; I was just doing a redirect and choosing a new path. I talked to my writing buddies and then I went to the RWA conference and little spotlights of opportunity started to shine. By making a few more adjustments to my new vision even more opportunities opened up. In making that one simple yet difficult decision a load of new possibilities opened up.
So say all that to say what? First, it’s vital to have a good support network. My writing friends were there to lift me up when I was feeling down and help reinforce that I was making the right decision. Sometimes you just need a sounding board and they were there for me and helped me in amazing ways. So, whether it is a critique group, friends you make within a writing group, whatever, find those people who will help you back up when you fall and it will keep you sane in this crazy industry. My second point is to be open to taking new paths in your career. I’ve seen so many writers trudging forward along the down the same road and not seem to gain any ground. Then they do a redirect and things go better than they could have ever imagined. We all have stumbling blocks along the way, but they don’t necessarily have to be bad things. If nothing else we learn from them and move on, but you may also find that something bigger and better comes along by changing your game plan.
Fourth of July is past (I hope everyone had a great holiday), but there is still plenty of summer left. That means plenty of opportunity for backyard barbecues. In my house, once it’s even remotely warm enough the stove goes on vacation and grill takes over the cooking. If you’re like me where grilling is a main stay or if you just do the occasional party in the yard, I want share a few tips to make sure you stay safe when using your grill this summer.
- Read the owner’s manual.
Always read the owner’s manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)
- Grills are for outside, only.
Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
- Use in well-ventilated area.
Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
- Keep grill stable.
When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
- Use long-handled utensils.
Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
- Wear safe clothing.
Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
- Keep fire under control.
To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
- Be ready to extinguish flames.
Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
- Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
- Keep everyone a safe distance from a hot.
Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
- Don’t move a hot grill.
Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.
These tips are courtesy of The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association
Hop everyone have a great summer. Happy Grilling!
At the moment, I’m in the middle of going through edits on my latest WIP. In between each draft I like to take a little time to clear my head so I can come back to it fresh. One of the things I like to do is go back to my keeper shelf. All of us reading fans have them. That collection of books you hold onto at all costs because they are autographed or maybe just because.
Recently, I spent sometime with Johanna Lindsey’s backlist. I remembered why I fell in love with Man of My Dreams and why Angel got me hooked on reading romance novels. Let me share a few others that I’ve got on my keeper shelf.
Forever Blue – Suzanne Brockmann
Public Secrets – Nora Roberts
Until You – Judith McNaught
Faith and Fidelty – Tere Michaels
Naked in Death by JD Robb
Conquest & No Fear – SJ Frost
In this day day and age of ebooks it easy to keep all of your books because they really don’t take any space so perhaps instead of asking what’s on your keeper shelf, the better question is what’s on your frequently reread list? I’d love to know because when I get to the end of this round of edits I’m going to read something new(to me, at least) and I’m open to suggestions.
Posted in General blog
Tagged books, JD Robb, Johanna Lindsey, judith mcnaught, keeper shelf, literature, Rayna Vause, reading, reading romance novels, Suggestions, Suzanne Brockmann