I Should Put Pants On – RWA 2014 in Pictures

July 30, 2014

Song of the Day: Without You by Motley Crüe

I should put pants on. Yes, that seemed to be the running theme of MuseTracks in San Antonio. But in our defense, we’re too carefree (and perhaps too old) to care.

Have you ever just been so spent that the moment you get home you take off your pants? Sure you have. Stacey and I both had intense activities we attended in San Antonio prior to the (RWA) Romance Writers of America’s four day conference. By lunch on Wednesday, we were both ready to strip down to our skivvies and crawl under the down comforters of our beds. Never mind we had visitors who stopped by our hotel room. But did we put our pants back on? No! What an eyeful they received, especially since my green undies were emblazoned with “Lucky Angel” across the bum.

The next day, I couldn’t keep my favorite stretchy jeans on. *sigh* I’d forgotten to pack a belt. Thus, I repeatedly tugged at the pants. Ultimately, I gave up on them, changing into a dress. The following day, I wore a skirt. But the workshops were so frigid, I wished I had my pants back on.  Saturday, after several more workshops and a seminar, I headed for the room to, you guessed it, remove my pants and rejuvenate before night’s festivities. Damn pants! I was so comfy without them, I dozed off and missed dinner.

Here are a few pictures of the conference – all of which clothing was worn.

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The Alamo – a different view.

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All I needed on this river walk boat trip was a frosty Margarita.

Hotel Lobby early morning

The unsuspecting hotel lobby – before the hordes of romance writers.

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Signing books! Both awkward and exciting!

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My bestie and partner in crime. Making pacts and being generally awesome.

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Only a portion of my local Northwest Houston chapter. There were a bunch more not pictured. Can you imagine us running loose?

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Great workshops galore! This room was so packed, people were sitting on the floor.

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Hobnobbing with Boroughs Publishing. And look! Musetracks follower and killer friend (to use the term loosely) Ruth, too!

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Editor Chris – always fun!

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Speaking of editors…my slave driver, er, I mean, A-freakin’-mazing editor, Mallory!

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Divas spotted!

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Took a spooky ghost tour and heard chilling tales. Hotels, street corners, and even churches were plagued by otherworldly happenings.

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One of the most haunted places in San Antonio.

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Liquor, s’mores, and fluffy socks. Jealous you weren’t at the Harlequin party?

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Made to order banana splits, too! *sigh* Heaven…

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Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care! Dancing at the Harlequin party!

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MuseTracks Hump Day Kick Start diva, Golden Heart finalist, and beauty queen, Sarah!

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The view from a terrace at a super secret party on the last night.

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My book booty!

 

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Watch your step as you exit to the left. And be sure to leave a comment for your tour guide – me!


10 Reasons Why You Should Go to the RWA Conference

June 1, 2011

Song of the Day: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake

For romance writers, conference season is upon us. Authors from all over the world, the superstars to the newly aspiring, will converge in New York City later this month for Romance Writers of America’s 31st annual conference.

Yes, MuseTrackers, I will be there to lay waste. With this year’s theme Bright Lights, Big Stories, I’m prepared to wow the Big Apple with my unique personality and overall awesomeness, aka my “brand”. Okay, that’s a loooong stretch. However, I have set aside my general fear of flying (again) and the excitement is seeping in.

This will be my third year attending. I don’t claim to be all-knowing (quiet down, those of you in the peanut gallery), but I think it’s safe to say I’ve learned enough to share a few tidbits with you. And so, with the dash of snark you have come to expect from me, I give you—

10 Reasons Why You Should Go to the RWA Conference

1. The People. Meet new like-minded crazies. Think about it, 2,000+ people who listen to the voices in their heads, just like you. You can also connect with the friends you’ve made online. New friends, old friends, the potential is there to make life-long friends, which will be handy when sharing padded cells.

2. The Energy. Whoo boy. The energy crackles. It’s contagious. There is no cure. You are so giddy from all the excitement, you want to write, write, write.

3. Pitching. If someone doesn’t ask about your book or what you write, you must still be in your hotel room. There is a very, very good chance you will pitch, even if you do not have an appointment to do so with an agent or editor. You may be standing in line, you may be at the bar, you may be in the restroom, but you will be asked. And you never know who is listening. I’ve heard many stories of how a casual conversation led to an industry pro asking for submissions.

4. Workshops Galore. There is a workshop for every facet of writing. Craft, research, business, the writer’s life, chats, publishing, and more, there is something for everyone.  If that wasn’t incentive enough, I’ll be presenting at one of those workshops. Look for me at Road to Novel Completion: Potholes, Pit Stops, and Poppy Fields, Oh My! You won’t want to miss that, right?

5. Industry Spotlights. Be in the know about publishers. Listen to the editors, get to know their personalities, find out what they are looking for and what they are not, and ask questions. These spotlights go a long way in helping determine a good fit, and the inside knowledge is valuable. Wasn’t it School House Rock that said Knowledge Is Power?

6. Girl Crushes. Stargaze at the famous, meet your favorite authors, and go ga-ga over those who inspire.

7. Networking, baby.  Go to the retreats. Get to know everyone. Let them get to know you. Be a sponge and listen closely. Share information and insights. Participate – actively. This is a biggie in my book. You never know when opportunity will strike. Assume it will strike at any moment. Last year, I played a Mad Libs – type game sponsored by Grand Central Publishing and won. My prize, a critique by two GCP editors. Now, that’s golden. You should be green with envy.

8. The Parties. All work and no play makes (insert crazy writer’s name) a dull boy/girl. So play! Publishers, chapters, organizations, and individuals hold all sorts of merrymaking revelry. Some even have themes. RWA holds a fancy awards ceremony, too. Great excuses to show off your swanky new digs. Bonus: more networking.

9. The Freebies. Publishers host book signings and all the books are freeeeeeee. Romance queens and brand new authors alike will gladly sign your copy. Last year, I picked up books as gifts for the readers in my family. I also collected some for a raffle basket at my child’s school fundraiser. Did I mention the books are freeeeeeee?

10. It’s a Tax Write-off. Yep, the entire affair is tax deductible. The registration, travel, hotel stay, food, the whole shebang is a write off.

Enhance you career, network, and have fun, this is the goal. Be looking for my next post covering the conference do’s followed by the don’ts.

Want to add to the list? Got more reasons to attend? Please share!


Golden Heart Diaries: Dresses, Dawdling & Ducks – Next stop D.C.

July 13, 2009

First – Let me start by giving an update on “Agent Shop”.  At the time of this post, MuseTracks is still awaiting word from Ms. Cameron at Reece Halsey Literary Agency on whether or not she will request any pitches from this round. WIll will let you know as soon as she contacts us. Thanks for your patience.

Okay . . . on to business.

 

Song of the Day: Struggle by Ringside

 

Got my plane tickets? Check! Got my schedule? Check! Wardrobe? Essentials? Business cards? Camera? Check!

I’m heading for Washing D.C. in just hours. My nerves have definitely ratcheted up a few notches. Not just for the exciting week ahead at RWA Nationals, but for the plane trip, as well. I’m what you call a “white knuckle flyer”. I imagine I’ll settle my nerves by wondering if I forgot anything. Did I pack enough undies? Is my luggage making the trip to Bangladesh instead of D.C.? Will DH and offspring survive my absence? Or will I return to a home that looks like a regurgitation of Daddy Day Care and Animal House?

Aside from packing, preparing for this trip has not been easy either. Self-imposed deadlines on polishing my manuscripts. Sending out queries. Braving the rejections. Rejoicing the requests. Several visits to the office. And the shopping.shopping_bags_normal

Normally shopping would be something most women find some type of enjoyment. But for me, it’s been a tear-inducing experience. Let me explain. 

Choosing a formal dress for any occasion can be difficult. Make that for the Rita/Golden Heart Awards ceremony and it’s a daunting task. Finding a style that you like, that is flattering, in your size, at a price that doesn’t require a loan, is sometimes darn near impossible. Especially for someone that is 7 months pregnant. ACK! Now add in the shoes, jewelry, and evening bag. Did I say only near impossible?! Oh – what’s a preggo to do?

After scouring the malls in the area, I decided on a pretty lavender and black maternity cocktail dress I found on eBay. In a moment of delusional weakness, I measured myself twice, took a deep breath and placed the order. Ordering clothes on-line is risky. But hey, I like to gamble. So when the dress arrived, I was anxious to try it on. It fit – sort of. The dress is a bit, well, snug around my boobs. Let’s just say my cups runneth over. My DH suddenly thought that maybe I needed an escort to D.C. – or perhaps I intended to be the escort!

monroe-marilyn-the-legend-4800018Time for plan B. I have a red Marilyn dress; you know the one, from the movie The Seven Year Itch. This number still fits, even with the bun in the oven. But there is a tiny flaw. Because the oven door is practically open, the back of the dress puckers out. And the tailor couldn’t fix it. <Insert heavy sigh here>

Plan C? Cry, stomp my feet, and shop more. I eventually found a black dress much like my Marilyn dress a couple of days ago.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I carry on with my agent search. I continue to receive positive response to my manuscripts. Hopefully I will soon find someone as excited about my pirate tales as I am.

So how about wowing D.C.? My bright, shining smile and sparkling personality <cough, cough> should do it. Plus I’ll have a trusty horn tooter.froid_de_canard_vite_un_grog Maybe I’ll just attract attention because I’ll look like a waddling drunken duck smuggling beach balls.

And true to my form, I’ll be preparing my awesome editor/agent pitch and GH acceptance speech <insert belly laughter and knee-slapping here> on the plane.

I’m in awe of the opportunities that being a GH finalist has presented. I’m going to step off that plane with my nerves intact and soak in everything that the convention has to offer. There’s so much to do and learn. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, attending the workshops, meetings and seminars, autograph parties, dinners, retreats and a sightseeing tour or two. Whew! It’s going to be a wild ride!

Next stop: D.C.

Hope to see some of you in Washington!