Friday, July 13, 2007

Days of Dreams - RWA National Conference - Dallas

This conference has been excellent: enlightening, educating, enthusing. And exhausting. One of the wonderful things about this gathering is the sense of community here. Whether writer, agent, editor, or bookseller, we are all involved in the creation of romance and/or women's fiction, in many ways all in the same boat, all sharing, all learning from each other. In a way that is a dream come true.

Today I personally met one of my dream agents. I stopped at the podium after her presentation to shake her hand and chat a little. (I didn't tell her she's one of my dream agents.) Tomorrow I'll be in a workshop with her. Part of my strategy in deciding which agents to target is to attend workshops given by the agents on my "A" list, not only to learn from them, but also to get a sense of them as people, to feel the beginnings of chemistry (or lack thereof) between us.

Like so many other attendees, I had my appointments today -- one with an editor and one with an agent. Both requested partial manuscripts, and that is good. I've also been talking to people about my vision for a website that I will soon launch, called FictionOverForty.com. I've received many enthusiastic responses to this concept, and that is very exciting. More of that on a future blog.

This evening, the women from my local RWA chapter went out together for Texas steak, which was divine -- the best steak I've had. Ever.

That's about all for now. Have to get to bed to get up early for all the excitement tomorrow.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Best beach read--your own book!

Just a quickie post.

Again, the weather was extremely hot today, so I didn't feel like doing anything. I did do my exercise in the pool, though. Thank goodness for pools.

I'm still preparing for Dallas, as are so many of my writer friends. I'm hoping to get through the first draft of my book, Borrowed Tango, before Dallas. Actually, at the moment, the manuscript is more than first draft. I did edit parts of it as I was composing. So, as I go through it now, I'm finding some of the writing is spotty. There are parts I like (the parts I changed as I wrote the first draft), and other parts need work.

I'm hoping I can take a day at the beach tomorrow, and read my own book. How's that for fun?

Hope everyone has recovered from the Fourth and is back to enjoying the summer.

xo, ciao,

Rita

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th!

This is one of my favorite holidays.

After all, it's smack in the middle of summer (not really, when you look at the calendar, but it feels like that to me.) Also, this is the most flexible of holidays. Nothing is "required,"you can celebrate however you want. Even just in a hammock, with a drink and a good book. Which I highly recommend, BTW.

Especially the good book. Especially one written by me.

Over the years my family's custom has been to host a barbecue on July 4th, followed by watching fireworks from our deck. One year, we even had a family reunion. People flew in from the middle of the country as well as both coasts.

This year, DH and I are simply going to chill out and watch the fireworks at home. DD has invited a few friends to come over. I'm glad to say July 4th with her friends at our house has become a tradition. Now that she's in college, DD's going to do the inviting, take care of the food and the fun. Nothing for me to do but enjoy. Aaaah, the pleasures of grown children...

Time to get on with chilling out. Have a great day of independence.

xo, ciao,

Rita

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Beginnings-Days of Dreams Come True

I'm still preparing for Dallas. I'm doing lots of stuff, but mainly I'm thinking about Dreams Come True. Dallas is where dream-come-true will happen to some writers. To many writers, perhaps. Agents and editors will ask them to send partials or full manuscripts. Eventually, some of those writers will sell their books. And that is one way of living a dream come true.

But selling your novel (or achieving whatever your lofty goal might be) isn't the only way to live your dream.

Have you ever considered that you never know what's just around the corner? You have to turn that corner before you know what's there. You have to do something--turn that corner--before you get the payoff. Maybe you even have to take a risk. For a writer, you have to take the risk of having your masterpiece rejected.

I’ve always been struck by this idea--of looking forward to what’s just around the corner. Lots of my dreams have come true. Some biggies, and some little. Some I saw coming because I'd worked hard for them, but even so, there was always a point in time when I couldn't see around that corner, and had no idea what would come to pass.

And, so it will be in Dallas. I'm preparing my pitches, assembling what I'll take, arranging things at home so things will run smoothly while I'm gone. Dallas is just around the corner, and I don't know what Dallas will bring. But I'm doing all I can--right now--to make Dallas a productive experience. Whatever happens, I know the RWA National Conference will be a wonderful learning and social experience.

What I've just said reflects my personal philosophy. Today I had the pleasure of putting on my website a statement of that. If you check out the Dreams Come True section of my website, you'll see my basic approach to pursuing dreams. I think there's more to this than meets the eye. Attitude counts, I'm sure of it.

Tomorrow is Independence Day. As you get together with family and friends, enjoy your barbecue, take your mini-vacation, or just relax in a hammock with a cool drink, think of our Founding Fathers. When they started the movement for independence, they had no idea how it would turn out. And look at our fantastic country.

Happy Independence Day!

xo, ciao,

Rita

Monday, July 02, 2007

New Beginnings

This is my first blog post, so I call it New Beginnings. I'm in the process of launching my website, too, and that's a new beginning.

Recently, I've been very busy, getting ready for the RWA National conference in Dallas.

Attending a writers' conference is always exciting. There's so much going on. A week or so before, as I prepare for the meeting, I'm reminded of the period of time just before going back to school. I was one of those kids who actually liked school, so late August was a time of nervous anticipation, of looking forward, but also of not wanting vacation to end.

Once I get home from a writers' conference, it does seem like the vacation is over. There are so many things to do -- follow up e-mails and phone calls, usually partials to send out, things to write, books to read, and more. But for me, as a writer, all these things are labors of love.

Right now, I'm working on a pitch for my latest book, Borrowed Tango, a single title romance. At the last meeting of our local RWA chapter, Janet Wellington gave us her Pitch Perfect workshop, which was very helpful. We raffled off a half-hour pitching consultation with Janet, which I was lucky to win. We had a great half hour together, and she helped me hone in on interesting things about my book that I hadn't included in my pitch. For anyone who would like some help in pitching, I definitely recommend Janet. http://www.janetwellington.com/.

Every blog has to start somewhere, and this is mine. Do check out my website. It's still under construction, but you can at least see what I look like. http://www.ritastclaire.com/. As my website is built, one of the things I hope you check out is the section called dreams come true. I've always been a dreamer, and I firmly believe in dreams. They help me stay inspired, and over the years I've found that when I've pursued my dreams with persistence and commitment, so often they really do come true. More of that on my website, and on this blog.

So, if you want inspiration in pursuing your dreams, check out the dreams section of my web site. There I've described a basic approach I call Days of Dreams Come True. In addition to my own news, on this blog I plan to follow up with news and links of dreams-come-true.

That's all for now. Hope to see you here again.

xo and ciao,

Rita