Tag Archives: Micki Gibson

Monday Muse: Party Down Wit’ Ya Bad Muse!

Had a great weekend! Got lots of stuff done – laundry, sorted out the TBR pile and gathered up books to give to friends, even made a lovely Indian meal of Shrimp Curry and Cucumber Salad for the DH last night. But the most important thing – (dah dah dah DAH!!!!) is that I am back in the writing saddle again! Did 1500 words Sunday, plus a whole heck of a lot of brainstorming about GMC in my WIP.

And to what, dear hearts and gentle people, can we attribute this flurry of productivity? Why, only one of the best muse-stimulants known to womankind: friends! Yes, when the old well is running dry and you are about to throw in the towel, take your muse out for a nice gabfest (real-time or virtual) with some like-minded, supportive friends and see what happens.

Y’all may have picked up on the fact that my poor muse, Bridget, had been running on empty for a few weeks. Awful as it is to say, Bridgie gets a bit (read massively, incredibly, and horrendously) jealous when it seems that everyone around us is getting good news. And then, right after that influx of achievements by our friends, acquaintances, and others, the yahoo went on the fritz. Poor Bridget was convinced that everyone had stopped talking to us because we were such failures, and she went into a bit of a (read mammoth, overwhelming, and devastating) decline. She decided that we would stop writing, give up the day job, and spent our twilight years collecting shed cat hair (of which our house has plenty), spinning it into yarn, and knitting clever little toilet paper covers. Such is Bridget’s reaction to a bit of social isolation.

But, at long last, the yahoo came back to life, just in time for the scheduled chat of my online crit group, officially known as the Historical Fiction Group, but more colloquially referred to as #SFWG – or Super Fly Writing Group. An hour with the talented ladies of the #SFWG got Bridgie feeling all perky again. She even threw out the cat hair, so those of you with allergies can again safely drop in at Malfunction Junction. It is amazing to find thirteen (I think that is the current enrollment) ladies who write a variety of genres, at various levels of achievement, and yet support, encourage, and give-a-kick-in-the-butt-when-necessary each other.

So to the #SFWG: If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I LOVE YOU CHICAS!!!!!

(BTW, the marvelous Susan Spann, another of the SFWG girls, discusses this same point over at
http://www.susanspann.com/?p=1506#comment-817. Y’all go read her thoughts, too!)

Then, Saturday, I headed over for a sandals and salsa party at the lovely home of my friend, YA author Micki Gibson. Micks and I scarfed down salsa, guac, chips and a delightful sweet corn cake – all of which was, I am sure, completely Weight Watchers point free. Remember, if you break a chip, brownie, or similar in two, all the calories/carbs/points leak out, and you can eat without guilt.

After the low-cal refreshments, Micki and I had a tete-a-tete about our writing. Now me, I’m a pantser, and I shoot from the hip when I write. Micki, on the other hand, is one of those wonderfully disciplined people who do charts and timelines and actually know what they are going to write when they sit at the computer. So Micki jumps in and starts asking me a bunch of Goal, Motivation, and Conflict questions – the stuff I can’t be bothered with cause I am too eager to put my grubby little mitts on the keyboard.

Well, when Micki started speaking her language, dear Bridget came out to play! Micki and Bridgie plotted the rest of my Southern-fried Chick-lit WIP right there Saturday afternoon. And when I got up Sunday, heathen that I am, I sent the DH and DD to church, sat at my laptop, and kicked out more words in two hours than I’d done in the previous week.

Moral of our story, dear ones? While we often think of our muse as a reclusive, shy hermit who must be coaxed out of her cave into the cold light of day, the fact is, a muse loves a party. Her idea of a good time is a long, unpressured chat with friends she trusts. Preferably with chips, guac, and margaritas alongside.

So whatcha waiting for? Call your writing buds – the ones your muse can trust with her deepest secrets, and mix up the margaritas!


RWA Nationals – What a Week it Was!


I’m still trying to process the past week of my life. To say that it was revolutionary, a mountaintop experience, a turning point, is so clichéd, but nothing else really applies. RWA Nationals 2011 was the greatest event of my professional life, and I’m including both my day career as a lawyer and my writing life. The only things that surpass it are a few deeply personal experiences, like marrying the Lord of the Far Junior College and having my babies.

What was it? Was it the incredible workshops, where the best and brightest of the field gave me actual, “here’s how you do it” advice? Maybe the booksignings and photo-ops with people whose names have graced my keeper shelf for years? Or the chance to pitch to my dream editor, and to hear her say, “Send me the full”?

Oh, Gosh yes, RWA11 was all of those, and more. One of the few things I remember from the bleak hours I spent in FSU science classes those many years ago is a professor saying “the sum is greater than the parts thereof.” Still don’t know what that had to do with the subject of the class (physics, biology, chemistry, who knows?) But it describes the energy generated at the Marriott Marquis over the past week.

Still, there is one aspect of Nationals that stands out to me more than any other, and I believe it is what made everything else at the conference come together in such an overwhelming way. The camaraderie amongst RWA members is something wondrous to behold. There were people I had never met before who I now think of as close friends. There were people who are at the very top of this industry who were sitting in the bar and the restaurants at all hours, giving advice and a sympathetic ear to the rank newbies like myself. There were professionals sharing their knowledge just because they want to help others achieve their dreams. And that kind of collegiality is a rare and wonderful thing.

So, amongst the many memories of RWA, I will always cherish are these:

Two Yankees (from NY and NJ) who took me under their wings, threw me in a taxicab, and ate the most expensive soup ever with me at the Plaza, all because I needed to research a scene in my WIP. Jenn and Evangelina, I love you two, and I’ll never forget our O.I.A.B. and eating pizza and calamari under the stained glass at John’s with you!!!


Sitting next to a smiling woman at breakfast, and suddenly realizing that she wrote the fabulous book I’d been reading on the plane on the way up. I told her I was pitching that day, and she not only coached me on my pitch, but talked about an inspiration for another book. So when the editor asked “what ideas do you have for future books?” I was able to throw that one out there, and she asked for a paragraph on it along with the full for the one I pitched! Thank you, Kieran, for being so encouraging and helpful – maybe one day I’ll get to pay it forward!

20110704-111425.jpg Gushing like a crazy mad fangirl when I met one of my long-time favorite authors, and she not only didn’t look at me like I was a stalker, she had her assistant take our picture and gave me a “Mojo hug” for good luck on my pitch. Thank you, Jacquie – your Mojo is powerful!

Hearing that a friend had gotten an incredible 5 – yes, FIVE – requests from pitches! I know there where times when she was down and wondered why she kept on, but the answer is right there: because her stories are fabulous! Jillian, it is just a matter of time!

And of course, hanging in the hotel room, looking out at the lights of the big city and dreaming of the day we make it there, cause we can make it anywhere! Micki, it was the best – we have to do it again!!!

That’s enough, but that’s far from all. There are so many other people I want to mention: Vanessa, Vickie, Carolyn, Heather, Stephanie, Cyndi, Joye, Jamie – OMG, I know I’m leaving someone out, but I can’t list everyone who made the week one I will always treasure.

The only question is, how can I convince Hubs that I really have to go to Anaheim next year . . . .?

Getting Psyched for RWA 11!

     As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m in full prep mode for the RWA National Conference in NYC June 27 – July 1, 2011.  I’m gonna be rooming with my chapter mate, YA author Micki Gibson, at the beautiful Le Marquis Marriott, overlooking Times Square.

     Now, kids, I am as Southern as they come. Atlanta and New Orleans are pretty much all the big city I need. But I have raised two teenage GLEEKs who are crazy mad for drama and musical theatre.  My girls have been to NYC lots of times, with Dear Hubs, their godfather, drama troupes, and anyone else who offered them a plane ticket. I have spent a grand total of eight hours in the city, back when I was a college student, on my way to and from Israel. The highlight of my visit was when the Air Traffic Controllers strike rerouted me from JFK to Newark, and I had to find my way unassisted to the wilds of New Jersey. Needless to say, there was little in the way of sightseeing that trip!

     So my girls are eagerly giving me advice about the things one absolutely must do on a trip to NYC, while I am looking at the RWA calendar and seeing no free time at all. I want to attend two or three sessions simultaneously every day of the conference. If you hear a news report about a woman whose head explodes in the middle of the Marquis meeting rooms, you’ll know it was me! There’s just more to do than can ever be done, to quote The Lion King.

      I’ve been rabidly following the RWA – PRO loops, which have been chock full of advice about everything from perfect pitches to travel arrangements, but I’m sure I’m missing something.  I found out I should take prepaid USPS boxes to ship my new books home, pack a power strip so we can recharge all our electronics, build in some down time (yeah, right!) and wear comfortable shoes.

     What else? As a double virgin (first real trip to NYC, first RWA National), I have no clue what I’m doing here. What’s your best advice to a nervous newbie?