Gail Carson Levine: Mystery mystery

I've been in the processes of undertaking a new project... a mystery. And in my process I've sought out the words of others writing mystery. Today I came across Gail Carson Levine's post on her blog about her own trials with mysteries. I was immediately drawn to her post. My daughter was an avid fan of Ms. Levine's books and I was grateful for the wonderful worlds that she uses to enchant her readers. Not only is she an eloquent writer of spellbinding enchantments, but she is a struggling writer taking on new project... struggling the same as myself. That makes my struggles just a little more approachable.

So, if you are a fan of Ella or if you are a struggling writer (like me), then check out her post for a little inspiration and commiseration. It's worth the look...

Gail Carson Levine: Mystery mystery

I just realized that Nationals are less than 2 months away. Somewhere in all of the chaos that has been this spring I didn't realize that it was creeping up on me so fast. This, is a big year for me. I've been to several National Conferences over the year, but I've never been a presenter. It's a real honor. I can only hope that I do it justice. Going to be in Washington DC during July 15-18th? We will be, too! The Pop Tart and Dollar Menu Tour is still in the planning stages. Delsora Lowe and I will be joined by a new... errr?! ... author on this trip. I'll let you know who it is when we get closer, but suffice it to say... she's in for a good time!

Thinking lobsters and clams this weekend...

Well, here's my plug for the local economy. Brown eggs may be local eggs, but you won't get anymore local or fresh then buying your lobster and clams from the local dealers. Fresh from the boat with no little side trips in between. In the Harpswell area? Check out Hawkes Lobster in Cundy's Harbor. While you're there you can peruse the gift items. Sue has a great selection. And Hawkes Lobster ships year round. So, can't make it to Maine? Check out their website and give them a call. You can check out their website at to get an idea of what they are offering.

Free Virtual Writing Conference

This came across the MMA list and I thought I'd pass it along. The list of presenters is impressive and cover the spectrum of the publishing genre. I'll be working on the Maine RWA Writer's Retreat this weekend... but I'll be taking my laptop with me because I don't want to miss this!

There's going to be a Virtual Writers Conference online May 18-22 at... wait for it... Writers, editors and agents will post columns and respond to comments. It'll be fun, and I'm sure there'll be discussions of promotion.

The other day I was going through the papers that we compiled after her death over 5 years ago. In it there was this photo. It was taken in at her desk in my cousin Rob's Real Estate office. She was kind of a woman-about-office, helping out where and when she could. She loved it, much more than she loved the years she spent working Civil Service. She was always laughing and having fun and she loved being there. I think it shows in the picture. The other day one of the other realtors spoke to me about mom. She said "She was always smiling. Always laughing." I don't think that's a bad way to be remembered. I love you Mum.

Queen of Time Sucks

Yup, that's right. I've given myself a new title... or in this case... crown. I have always said that the worst thing a woman can learn is how to be a multitasker. I have yet to see men who have as much of a problem with it as women. And I suspect that a great deal of the trouble has to do with guilt. Women always feel guilty that they haven't gotten more done. They worry that if they spend time on other things that the laundry will go undone and the dishes will stay in the sink. It becomes a badge of disgrace in a way. But only because most women judge themselves by how they think others will see them. (Please note: I am making VAST generalizations in the name of making a point). On any given day I have things that could easily occupy every second. I could find things to fill every moment. But at some point it becomes a detriment to my sanity. If I don't go on Facebook and keep up with my fellow reunion people and I stay away from Twittering about how much coffee I've had I could have that time to sit down and just breathe. I will learn to say "no" and not consider it a failure. I will learn that not everything is my responsibility to complete. And I will accept that I can't be everything to everyone... especially myself.

It's Official...

I'll be speaking at Romance Writers of America's National Conference this July 15-18, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

Actually, I'll be speaking on Friday morning... here's the line up for those who are able to brave the early morning workshops on Friday. I promise not be overly chipper and annoying :)

Now, I don't need to tell you that there are some absolutely fabulous speakers lined up for the same slot as myself. While it's a great honor to be asked to speak at Nationals, it's a bummer that I'm going to go broke to get the recordings for all the great workshops I'm going to miss! So, if you don't show up... I'll know where you all are... save me some notes so that I don't miss all the good stuff.

8:30 - 9:30 A.M.

20 Questions to a Killer PR Plan (CAREER)

Speaker: Louise Ahearn

What are the 20 most important questions to ask yourself to create a killer promotional plan for your work? An award-winning public relations coach will talk you through them.

21 Years and Counting (PUBLISHING)

Speaker: Jo Beverley

Jo Beverley sold her first novel in 1988, and the years since have been up, down, and sideways. Join this RWA Hall of Fame author as she shares what she's learned along the roller coaster way.

Creating the Believable Anti-Hero: a Stepped Approach to Creating Believable Villains (CRAFT)Speaker: Bethany Oliver

Use the same principals as the Hero's Journey and learn how to ramp up your antagonist's motivations beyond surface conflict to create a truly worthy opponent.

Mastering Your Domain: Research and Development of the Paranormal World (RESEARCH)Speakers: Alyssa Day, Stephanie Julian, and Melissa Mayhue

Three paranormal writers and admitted research geeks will show you where to look and what to look for when blending folklore and mythology with modern genre fiction for extraordinary world-building.

Secrets of the Best-selling Sisterhood (PUBLISHING)Speakers: Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What's it like to be a New York Times best-selling author? Join Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Ann Krentz for the answers in this reprisal of their ever-popular workshop.

Straight Talk, Librarians to Writers (CAREER)

Speakers: Deborah Schneider, John Charles and Susan Gibberman

Straight talk about libraries and your books, from those who know best – librarians. Find out how to get your books on the shelves, work with libraries to promote your book and give successful programs for readers. (2 hours.)

What Came Before: the Art of Backstory (CRAFT)

Speaker: Winnie Griggs

Award-winning author Winnie Griggs shows how to effectively select what pieces of backstory to include on stage, when to reveal them, and how to thread them through your story in a subtle, yet effective, manner.

Writing the Hot Historical (CRAFT)

Speaker: Lucienne Diver, Janet Mullany, and Pam Rosenthal

This workshop is a guide for the perplexed, shy, or curious on writing erotic historicals that will sell.Spotlight on Harlequin Single Titles

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