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Off to San Francisco & Addictive Blogger Award

The Addictive Blogger Award:

I picked up this blog award over on Elise Fallson's Blog. I sort of cheated. I wasn't exactly given this award, but my name starts with an "M", so I picked it up. After being away from blogging for so long, I needed a push to jump start my 2013 blog. So thank you, Elise.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person awarding you. Thank you, Elise.
2. Share a little about why you blog and how the journey started.

I started blogging about a year and a half ago. I admit that I lurked for about six months before I ever jumped in and created my own blog, but I am so glad that I did. I started blogging, initially to meet fellow writers and to learn more about the craft of writing. One of the things I learned early on, thanks to Rachael HarrieKristen Lamb and many others, was the need to create a writer's platform. Yes, even unpublished writer's need a platform. It is a great idea to have your platform, before your book comes out.

I met another awesome blogger, Laura Barnes, early on. Laura's blog offers blog critiques, From a Marketing Perspective (FAMP). Wow, so much information, that I still needed to learn and even more things that I needed to accomplish.  I am so grateful to all of the bloggers/authors I have befriended since starting my blog. 

I am extremely grateful to Alex J. Cavanaugh, for his monthly blogfest, Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG). I joined this group early on and made hundreds of new contacts. It was also refreshing to learn that I am not the only neurotic writer out there, who has insecurities. We all do. Published authors, multi published authors, self published authors and those of us still on the journey toward publication. 

It has been extremely rewarding to watch so many of my friends, go from struggling to finish their draft, to revisions, polishing the draft, the dreaded query to :

 Shazam, agented author (I stole that phrase from Cassie Mae, and then 

bada bada bing, published author. It gives the rest of us hope and inspiration. I can't possibly name all of you, too many (Yea-that's a good thing), so I'm not picking out any names here. I just wanted to share how rewarding it has been and how excited I am for all of you who obtained an agent or whose debut book was released in 2012, or will be released this year. Applause, Applause! 

I have been a sporadic blogger, lately, and that is my own time management issue. When I first started blogging, I actually thought

that my manuscript was nearly ready to submit. Man, was I ever wrong. I've learned from all of the amazingly helpful blog post, and personal stories, just how much more work I needed to put into completing my book. I feel very good, now about saying that I am close. I have reworked almost everything in my book. These are things I would not have been aware of, if not for my blogging experience.

It would make for a lengthy blog post, it I discussed all of the blogs, workshops, and books that taught me, what I now know about characters, getting the emotions down on paper, story structure and revisions. It will possibly be a future blog post, because several blogs and books gave me that, Ah-ha, moment.

 Once you have the ah-hah moment, it is smooth sailing (with a few choppy waves, but no hurricanes).

Thank you to all my blogger friends. I would not be able to continue this journey without you. As for my sporadic blogging: 

As I said, I am close to completing my manuscript. Once I realized how close I was, I started taking advantage of every free moment to write, re-write and revise. So I've sort of been in an awkward position. I feel terrible for neglecting my blog and all of your blogs, but while the writing is hot, I hate to stop. Besides, if I don't take the necessary time to finish, I won't ever need this author campaign-platform, you've taught me to build.

3. Paste the blog award on your page- done.

4. Nominate 10 other bloggers you feel deserve the award. I feel that anyone who has not already received the award, deserves it. I know we are all busy with many projects. In the past when I have named specific people, at least half had already received the award. I also know that while I have always been appreciate to receive awards, they don't always come when I have any extra time. For the above reasons, I am cheating, ( a little- and I got the idea from Elise, lol). I am asking any of you who would like the award to pick it up. That's what I did, over on Elise's blog. I thought it would be a good jumpstart- okay, a good kick in the butt, to get me back blogging. So please, if you have not already received the award, pick it up and share with us.

If no one wants to pick it up, then if your last name begins with the letters A-L, consider yourself tagged. No cheating. No deleting your comment, after you realize you have been tagged.

I have some awesome news to share. I am finally going to attend my- first- ever writer's conference. It has been a dream and a goal for the past two years. This is the right year to do it, as my manuscript will finally be ready to pitch. 

If any of you will be attending the San Francisco Writer's Conference, this February, please email me. I would love to finally meet you in person.

Also, I am just now learning about the one sheet, we should bring to conferences. Since, I am worse than a kindergartener when it comes to graphic design, I would appreciate any advice you have. Can any of you recommend a good graphic designer that I can hire to create my one sheet? It's last minute, I know, but I desperately need one. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Writer's Conferences make a Happy New Year

Happy New Year

 I hope all of you are off to a happy, safe and productive 2013

This is my first blog post in quite a while. December, was a month chock-full of mixed emotions. My sisters and I rotate hosting our family and friends Christmas party and yup, this year it was my turn to host the festivities. Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, but we were slap-dab in the middle of renovating our kitchen. Long story short, we pulled it all together, within minutes of the first guest arriving.

Christmas is always a joyous event for our family. A unique group of us gather together to celebrate. Guest include, ex wives, ex husbands, ex-in-laws and a large variety of those we will always be connected to, as family, through our children. My husband has three grown kids from his first marriage and his oldest son, Mark and his wife and children live out of town, so we usually travel to see them after the holidays. Mark's wife Aimee, just finished her last (hopefully) round of aggressive chemo and radiation, so it is difficult for them to travel with their two young kids, ages four and five.

This year, we planned to surprise my husband. We held our annual Christmas Eve Party on the Eve of Christmas Eve and his son, wife and kids were going to surprise my husband. My hubbie, Daryl, had not been feeling well, coughing a lot, so the day before the party he went to one of those quick care places where you see a doctor without an appointment. He was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and was in the hospital the night of the party, Christmas, New Years and just now came home. So, needless to say, it was an odd Christmas. It wasn't the same without my husband at home to share it with us. Thankfully, he is well and is home now. 

So, the one time we were going to have his entire family along with my entire family, in town for our Christmas party, we had everyone, except my husband. He stayed on the phone with one of us during the dirty Santa game (that game where you steal gifts from others). It was a fun night, but with a touch of sadness. My mom, dad, all my sisters, their spouses and kids; my kids, neighbors, friends, my husband's kids and grand kids and my husband's ex-wife all celebrated. My ex husband's parents, even made the trip from Chicago.

I love when grown ups and ex's and formers can put their differences aside for the good of the children. I cannot think of a better gift for me or for my kids, than to see their faces light up when they spend the holiday with the majority of their family. No fighting or bickering. The kids win, every time, when grown ups remember that we do it for the kids and that the children are the ones who matter most.

My daughter, made this photo montage. I wish I knew how.

 I hope all of you had a happy holiday season. I have not even committed to a New Year's Resolution list year. I've been swamped with other things, but the one goal on my list that was on my list last year and the year before (that I did not accomplish) is attending a writer's conference. My husband just informed me that I am all signed up and paid for, and flight and hotel reservations have been made for the San Francisco Writer's Conference, in February. Oh yea. I'm doing a silly- happy dance right now.

Are any of you attending a conference this year? I am so excited about the 10th Anniversary San Francisco Writer's Conference. Are any of you going to be there? If so, I can't wait to see you.

And my blog is under construction again. I am trying to finally get the stand alone pages to link to the pages they are supposed to. Please be patient.

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