Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To-Do Tuesday: Back to School

Welcome to today's edition of To-Do Tuesday. Across the country, children are heading back to school today. For those of us who love learning, it's a magical time of year: new school supplies, new beginnings, new books, and new experiences. Each September, the world seems filled with new possibilities, and I find myself hosing off the sweat and lethargy of the summer. This week is the perfect time to browse for new office supplies (who can resist scented pens, highlighters that double as necklaces, fur trimmed notebooks, and other goodies that you don't see the rest of the year?), and to think about finishing projects and tackling new ones.

I hope many of you are considering meeting Eli's challenge. I'm in a holding pattern for my own new beginning right now, but I'm still filled with the same giddiness that September always brings. (Apologies for my bloggy absences--I've been in & out of labor since Thursday, and all the false starts are wearing me down. Any advice or experience on that is welcome, and your concerns and emails were much appreciated!). If you're not taking her challenge, think about what other fresh starts you might like to make this fall. Is there a habit you want to start? Something you want to learn more about? A research trip you'd like to make? Conferences to attend? Contests to enter?

Luckily, I've got a few suggestions on that front, and good news from chapter members to help motivate you along the way! And of course, I've got a question of the day for you too!
Alice Sharpe Finishes Six Weeks of Hard Work!

Alice Sharpe just emailed me with late-breaking news: She's sent off TWO proposals to her editor. This includes over 100 pages of text, and two full synopses. Alice has really wrestled with these two for the last few weeks, so let's all cross everything and hope that they both sell & go on to bestseller status! Congrats Alice!
Loop Round-up: Good News Abounds

Our chapter has been blessed with a bevy of good news this past week. In case you've missed the loop emails, here's a round up of all the good things brewing:
Paty Jager Guest Blogs at Romance Party

Mark your calendars for September 12! Paty Jager will be guest blogging at Romance Party all day. Make sure that Paty doesn't party alone, and join this entertaining loop.

Paty (and a few other chapter members, I think) will be attending the Mary Buckham workshop in Portland on September 8th. If you'd like to join Paty and hook up with the Rose City Romance Writers, click here for more information about the workshop. Registration closes TOMORROW!
Question of the Day: Great Moments in Romance

What inspiring experiences have you had lately? An Aha moment in your WIP? A fan letter? A productive week? An epiphany? Or have you simply read a great book?

I read Portland author Shirley Karr's What an Earl Wants at the height of my frustration this weekend. Instantly, I was transported, and reminded of everything I love about romance and the genre. The book is pure Jane Austen and Audrey Hepburn magic. I really hope that some Hollywood producer already has the film rights to this one, because it plays like a wonderful Jane Austen comedy, and these are characters who deserve the silver screen treatment. What I found most inspiring though is how the book illustrates the basics of writing good romance: it uses sexual tension, not an abundance of graphic scenes to show passion, POV is clear and well-established, back story is used judiciously, and the plot is well-paced. Especially while my WIP(s) keep spinning in the mud, I live for such inspiring stories and for the moments that make me go, "THIS is why I wanted to be a writer."

What inspiring moments have you had lately? And what does September mean to YOU?

Enjoy your week and keep sending me your news and announcements!


wavybrains said...

Check out Alice's latest news--I added it moments after I hit "publish!" I'm so happy you're finished, Alice!

Paty Jager said...

Congratulations Alice, Karen, Chris, and Eli!

What a productive group we have!

I'm talking at the librarian conference with Terri Reed, Su Lute, and Jenna Bayle. We're going to put our heads together this weekend at lunch during the Mary Buckham workshop to figure out our line of attack at the conference.

The most inspiring moment I've had is the review from Fallen Angels. Just kind of solidified something I've thought about my writing, but wasn't sure.

And Eli making this darn challenge! LOL Really I was just getting ready to get into full swing on the new WIP so this is just fuel for the writing fire.

September means, yes, back to school and knowing that with this time of year comes cooler weather and more indoor time which equates to more writing time for me. I do most of my major writing September- May. The summer months have so much happening either with going places or haying/irrigating that I don't' have as many house in front of the computer as the fall/winter/spring months.

Keeping my fingers crossed this baby decides to make an appearance soon!

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Wavy, for the plug on my #1 bestsellerdom. I'm still in a daze over that one.

I love September, too. The changing season inspire me, change inspires me, so September is a nice jolt to my creative muse. Speaking of supplies, I have a new filing cabinet, I just need to get it into my office, but I have to make space for first.

September also brings around my most favorite writing conference, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold. So I'm off to Denver next Thursday the 13th.

I'm also looking forward to the EPIC (Electronic Publishing Internet Connection) conference in March. It will be held in Portland this year so I'll get to go. I've entered Desert Guardian in EPIC's EPPIE Awards in the romantic suspense category. I'll know in December whether or not I final.

Wavy, false labor sucks!! I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions when I was pregnant with my son and they were kind of scary, but turned out to be harmless. When's your official due date?

Yay for Alice getting your proposals turned in! Woo hoo!

wavybrains said...

Wow, Paty & Karen--you've certainly had inspiring weeks!

Karen, my due date is the 12th. I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow. Luckily, I'm full-term, so the contractions aren't scary, they're more just frustrating.

Alice Sharpe said...

Wavy, thanks for sharing my news.

I had the Braxton Hicks contractions, too. I think they get some of the work done ahead of time don't they or is that just a memory that got distorted with time? Anyway, yea for being full term, everything else is gravy. But getting ready to go and then everything quitting is frustrating. It'll all be over soon.

Man, this is getting exciting!

Piper Lee said...

Woo Hoo Wavy for the contractions! I know this is irritating for you, but it's just that baby moving things along so everything is nice and ready for the decent. ;) Hang in there! It's going to be totally worth the pain. :)

Congrats to Alice, Chris, Elisabeth, Karen, and Paty on all your accomplishments and success! You're all such good little writer girls! :) You make us here at MWVRWA so proud!

Good luck Paty at Librarian Conference with Terri, Su, and Jenna. This event sounds like it's going to be great!

For the questions of the day...

I can't think of any inspiring moments lately. I've been up to my hair follicles in garden produce that needs to be canned and getting the brood ready to go back to school.

September! Yea September! Gotta love it!

September means cooler days. Fewer arguments from the kids or hearing that someone's bored.

It means the garden is almost finished so I can till it under and go get my nails and toenails manicured again.

It means October will be here soon and I'll get more time to myself because the first weeks of school will over with and it'll be rainy enough that I don't have to go many places or do many thing outside the house.

September is the start of Autumn for me and Autumn is my favorite time of year. There's something so romantic about the colors and the crisp air. You get to put on sweaters and cute boots and fun socks and pretty scarves. Drink hot cocoa with a gooey melted marshmallow and not feel guilty. Decorate the house with pretty fall colors. There's just so much that September brings on for me. I LOVE IT!!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks for the shout out, Wavy. ;) I feel productive (finally!) so that's something. I'm - I think - about 2-3 scenes from finishing the wip from hell (please, God), so hopefully (at the pace I'm going) I'll have good news to share in that regard next week.

As to your question...inspiring moments...hmmmm....

I think anytime my agent emails me and tells me how wonderful I am is inspiring (ROFLMAO. Doesn't happen often). When a writer friend says, "Wow! That's a cool idea, I can't wait to read it!" When I feel excited about an idea (like the new idea I can't wait to start working on) I think has merit. When I read a book - a really good book - and know I write as well as the author of that book. When I reread one of my fav books (I just reread two for inspiration) and fall in love all over again.

Great question. And great blog as always! Here's hoping Beta is here before next week's Tuesday check in. ;)

Genene said...

Hi, all!

September always brings positive changes for me. Perhaps because it's my birthday month and so I feel upbeat and energized. Beside, I love the September weather -- warm but not hot days and cooler at nights.

Alice, congratulations on your weeks of hard work! Good job on everyone else who is working so hard and getting great reviews and sales. Sorry this is so abbreviated. I'm just taking a break from my WIP to touch bases. I'm in the final editing stages so don't have a word count, but should also have good news soon!

Wavy, thinking of you and the baby a LOT! You are going to be an awesome mom!