Friday, September 27, 2013

Women's Fiction Writers Association

I am so thrilled that the Women's Fiction Writers Association has launched! What a wonderful new resource for those of us who write in this genre! I decided not to renew my membership with RWA after they dropped Women's Fiction from their list of sub-genres and as a category for their annual writing contest. I recognize that Women's Fiction doesn't quite fit into the Romance category, but, at the time, there wasn't a writer's association dedicated to the genre. I absolutely loved my local writers' association, GSRWA, but after leaving Seattle last year, I've been pretty out of the loop on fiction writing, focusing on other pressing projects and adjusting to my new home in New Orleans, LA. I'm looking forward to getting back in the loop and back to my writing!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Amy Tan in Seattle

Last Thursday I attended the UW Graduate School series Amy Tan lecture: "Creative Minds Do Not Think Alike." Hearing Amy speak was a strange and wonderful experience! She is an amazing storyteller in person as well as on the page and shared with the audience many bizarre stories from her childhood with a mentally-ill (my word, not hers; I believe hers was "crazy") mother who, at one point, held a meat cleaver to Amy's throat and threatened to kill her. Sobering stuff. Yet, Amy shared these stories in such a funny way that the audience was laughing as she described these macabre moments.

A few words of wisdom that stayed with me:

Amy said that she was motivated by asking herself every morning the existential questions of "Why am I here? What am I doing that makes a difference?" She said this helped her stay true to herself.

She said it was important not to try to analyze your own work, that "deconstructing" creativity is antithetical to the creative process, which she described as "constructing something from disparate sources."

Creativity is unconscious, she said, made up of a combination of "nature, nurture, and nightmares."

She closed her lecture by saying that the purpose in life is "to think deeply, feel deeply, and live deeply."

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Orleans and Pensacola

Faulkner House and Bookshop in Pirates Alley, New Orleans

Pensacola Beach, FL

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now, this is what I call a goodie bag!

Compliments of Emerald City Writers' Conference 2011. This bag is filled with books from a variety of publishers and sub-genres, chocolate, writing pens, bookmarks, and other assorted knick-knacks. But the bag was only the beginning of a weekend packed with great workshops, inspiring key-note speakers, delicious food, and tons of fabulous raffle basket give-aways (sadly, I didn't win any, but there's always next year!).

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Stiletto Contest Finalists

Results for the finalists of the 2011 Get Your Stiletto in the Door Writing Contest are in! Final results will be available in December. (Finalists are in alphabetical order by last name. This order does not reflect scoring.)
Single Title 
(Judged by editor Esi Sogah of Avon, agent Paige Wheeler of Folio Literary Management and E-Publisher Amanda Bergeron of Avon Impulse)

A LIFE OF PRIVILEGE by Kristy Harvey

THE EX-LOTTERY by Kimberly Sanders

Women’s Fiction
(Judged by editor Junessa Viloria of Ballantine, agent Victoria Sanders of Victoria Sanders & Associates and E-Publisher Rhonda Stapleton of Carina Press)

TRUST ME by Kimberly Swaak 
LIVING ON AIR by Lucy Taylor
CLASS REUNION by Sandra Tilley

(Judged by editor Toni Plummer of St. Martin’s, agent Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency and E-Publisher Kelli Collins of Ellora’s Cave)

SMALL TOWN STORM by Elise K. Ackers 
SHADES OF GRAY by Kimberly Sanders

(Judged by editor Leis Pederson of Berkley, agent Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Agency and E-Publisher Jennifer Miller of Samhain)

HEXED: DEAD VAMPIRES DON’T DATE by Meredith Allen Conner
HARBINGER by Peta Crake 
CHERUP’S PLAY by Steven Moores

Young Adult
(Judged by editor Leah Hultenschmidt of Sourcebooks, agent Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency, and E-Publisher Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing)



Louboutin Stiletto Award
(Judged by agent Lois Winston of Ashley Grayson Literary Agency)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dublin Town

Still recovering from jet lag after returning from Ireland and Northern Ireland last week. It had been a few years since I'd traveled overseas and I remembered how invigorating being in a different country is, as well as how tiring air travel is! Overall, it was a great trip and I managed to squeeze in plenty of sight-seeing that included a visit to the beautiful Trinity College Library in Dublin that I was hoping to post a photo of, but alas, they don't allow photography; as well as a walk through Merrion Square Park to see the famous statue of Oscar Wilde! Yes, that's a Starbucks cup in my hand. No matter where you go in the world, it's impossible to get away from Seattle's great(est?) contribution to popular culture!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Remembering Laurie O'Brien

Cleaning out my files earlier this week, I came across a folder of my poems dating back to 1995 when I was studying English literature and creative writing at the University of West Florida. On one of them, my poetry mentor, former Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida Laurie O'Brien had written "Please send this one somewhere!" And I did. To a glossy stylish magazine that promptly rejected it. Afterwards, I filed it away and forgot about it, although I have continued to write poetry, largely because of Laurie's lasting influence. In the classroom, she didn't suffer fools gladly, but she created a supportive environment for fostering creativity and introduced me to my poet self, for which I will always be grateful. Her own poetry is elegant and honest with the kind of attention to detail that transforms a poem into a tiny word painting, which is how I remember her describing what poetry should be. Sadly, Laurie passed away in 2004, but her work lives on, both through her poems and through the many lives she touched.