Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Brainstorming in North Carolina

I was invited to a brainstorming weekend in North Carolina in early November. It was six of us: me, Lynette Eason, Pamela (Pammer) James, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Missy Tippens, Cheryl Wyatt.

We got to stay at his rustic cabin (read: no internet, no long-distance calls, no cell phone service). It was the perfect place to brainstorm together and write!

I flew into Illinois, and Cheryl and I drove down to North Carolina. While I was at Cheryl's place, she got her Steeple Hill Love Inspired book club shipment, and guess what was in it? Her debut novel, A Soldier’s Promise!

These are Pammer's kids, Shadow and Gregory. They and their grandpa drove Pammer to Cheryl's house. Aren't they handsome? They're very gentlemanlike boys, let me tell ya.

Me, Pammer, and Cheryl went to meet a friend of Cheryl's in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Afterwards, we met Lynette before driving to the cabin. Before we set off, we had a DELICIOUS bite to eat at the Mellow Mushroom. BEST mushroom pizza I've had yet! The decor was totally 70s and very cool!

Driving through North Carolina

Okay, yes, I'm a dork. We went to Fat Buddies (in Franklin, North Carolina) and I had one of the best racks of baby back ribs I've ever eaten.

We stopped by Dalton's Christian Bookstore after Fat Buddies and I got to sign stock. It was really cool talking to a bookstore owner. They were gearing up for Christmas at the time.

These are the woods in the back of the cabin. Aren't they gorgeous?

There are more pictures here:

Lynette's blog
Jennifer's blog

Friday, October 12, 2007

2007 ACFW conference - Dallas

This are pics from the 2007 ACFW conference. I don't have as many as I'd like, I had a new camera and ran out of battery life way too quickly.

Pamela James, Cheryl Wyatt, me, and Danica Favorite-MacDonald. Pammer is ACFW Vice President, Cheryl was the 2007 Book of the Year coordinator, and Danica taught a terrific two-hour workshop on taxes for the writer (she works for H&R Bock). These are my buds.

Pamela James and Kelly Mortimer. They're both so gorgeous, I want to kill them. ;)

Sarah Mahar, Dianne Burnett and me. Sarah and Dianne both work for CBD (Christian Book Distributors, or I met Sarah by chance at ICRS in July (thanks to a random introduction by Robin Jones Gunn), and I got a chance to chat with Dianne for a taped interview while at the conference. They are both fabulous!

Chip MacGregor and me. One of these days, we will co-author an Asian Scottish chick lit.

Sarah Sumpolec and me. Sarah writes incredible Young Adult fiction--she was a finalist in the 2007 Book of the Year contest. She and I sat at the same table for the public booksigning on Saturday afternoon. We shamelessly threw chocolate at Ginny Smith, who was sitting at a nearby table.

Me and Cynthia Hawkins, also known as Synner from the Steeple Hill discussion boards. Synner is one of my 2008 Genesis contest category coordinators!

Here's a pic (taken by Ronie) from the booksigning.

Ane Mulligan and me. I love love love this woman. Ane is one of women behind the popular writers blog, Novel Journey.

Pamela James and Dineen Miller, Dineen (Designer Girl Graphics) was the graphic designer for the entire conference, and she did a stellar job! She's also the designer who did my business cards and my bookmarks.

Pam Hillman and me. Pam is not only the ACFW Treasurer, she's also the winner of the 2007 Genesis contest in the Historical Romance category! When we took this picture, I had to keep from screaming, "You won! You won! You won!"

Betsy St. Amant and me. Betsy is on the ACFW Moderator Team with me and she's a sweetheart! She's always cheerful and upbeat.

Me and Georgiana Daniels. I was so glad I got a pic with Georgiana! We've been friends over the internet (via ACFW) for a couple years now, and I finally got to meet her in person!

Me and Tricia Goyer. If you don't know already (and if you don't, shame on you), Tricia is an award-winning author and a way cool friend (so why does she hang out with me? Who knows.)

Me with two of my favorite people in the world, Sherrie Ashcraft and her daughter Christina Berry.

I stayed with my good friend Ronie Kendig after the conference! We had lots of fun writing together and just hanging out!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My parents' puppy, Kuro

My parents just got a new dog, a miniature poodle named Kuro, which means "black" in Japanese. According to my parents, he's very naughty.

2007 Oregon Conference

I had a great week in Oregon (July 30th through August 4th)! I taught at the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference--it was my first time teaching!

My first workshop on "What is Chick Lit?" went okay ... I talked WAY too fast and I didn't have as much information as I thought I had, so I ended after only 20 minutes! Luckily, I had a few friends in the room like Donna Fleisher and Judy Gann, who asked questions and made comments, and we kept the conversation flowing until almost the end of the hour. I ended only 5 or 10 minutes early.

My second workshop on "Internet Marketing for the HTML-Challenged" went really well, partly because I'd already done one workshop, partly because I had more content for this workshop, and partly because my friend Robin Parrish sat in on the class and was able to make some comments.

Karen Ball (B&H) and Chip MacGregor (agent)

These are pics from my very first class on Chick Lit!

Me and Ernie Wenk, who picked me up at the airport to take me to the conference. Ernie's way cool.

These are pics from my second class on internet marketing.

Me and Tami Meier, who was picked up at the airport with me. She's totally nice.

Me with Sherrie Ashcraft and her daughter Christina Berry. These two ladies are fabulous!

Donna took me to Tillamook and we visited the cheese factory!

My first view of the Oregon Coast.

We drove up and down the coast on Friday.

I saw whales! It's hard to see anything b/c my camera has too much of a lag time so I missed a pic of the tail above the water.

I saw sea lions!