Editor/Agent Appointments and I am a ditz.

The day started out like any other: taking medicine. (Gag me.) Then I went down to the bookseller’s tea.I met some really great people that were so nice.  I wish I could remember all the names!  I am so bad with names.  One person, however, I totally remember. I’ve written her name down I don’t know how many times.

Caridad Piñiero.  Hey!  I figured out how to put the symbol in! That took way too long. Usually I have to copy her name from one of her emails to get it right.  LOL This was very cool. She knew me first, since I’m so clueless, but we were friends right off the bat.

I met some amazing booksellers, who were all so interested in getting our books on the shelves. The only disappointment was that I didn’t get a chocolate covered strawberry before they were gone. That’s what I get for forgetting my name badge.

The rest of the day was filled with workshops galore, which deserves it’s own post, but there is one I must mention. She Said/ She Said Communication. I paid a lot of attention to this one.  The key highlights were:

Actively Listen –Don’t sit and think of what you want to say next. Really listen to what they are telling you. I’ve always been bad about not thinking ahead to the things I want to say. It’s because I don’t want to forget or to walk away with “Dangit! I should have asked her that.” Or worse, going um uh um and having nothing worthwhile to say.

Avoid distractions – Don’t get distracted by the busyness around you. It’s a conference, there’s a lot of people and the scenery is always changing.

I took these lessons to heart. So much so that when the four of us, Natasha, Heather, Craig and I, went up to the Reunion Tower for dinner, we sat, chatted about the scenery, then I had tunnel vision. I needed to listen, to pay attention and avoid any distraction which wasn’t dinner.

Before I forget, though, let’s talk about the food. Yum. I’ve never had a crabcake like the hors devour they served. The meat was so tender and juicy and mixed with some sauce that was perfectly sweet. All rolled into a ball and fried on the outside. My mouth still waters thinking about it. Then I ordered a shrimp dinner with pasta, that wasn’t, thankfully, covered in alfredo sauce. I did learn quickly to ignore the pasta, because though it tasted good, I cannot eat pasta neatly.

But, before any of that arrived, there was the bread basket with French bread and dark rye covered in nuts. My agent takes a piece. My editor takes a piece. Then I take a piece that turns into two. So I break it apart and offer it to my husband and he says, “No, I don’t want that one.”

“Oh,” I say, and reach for the rye bread.

“No, I definitely don’t want that one.”

I frown and finally say, “Well, I’m not going to touch each piece ‘til I find the one you want.”

“No, please don’t.” I don’t know how I missed the teasing in his voice. Usually it’s his sparkly eyes that give him away, but I was too busy frowning at the bread. I have no idea what Natasha or Heather thought, but their confidence in my brilliance must have plummeted a few miles.

So, we eat and we talk and I listen. And I tried not to look at the corner of the table by my editor’s elbow because for some reason, I felt dizzy every time I did.

An hour and a half later, I finally asked. “Are we moving?”

I’m just lucky I didn’t ask where the freeway went.

Changes Galore…

If you look through the site, you will see lots of things in progress.  Have fun looking through it. :)  Let me know if you have any changes to suggest or if you’ve found anything of interest.  :)

And thanks for your patience!


Wednesday Night at the Literacy Signing

There were incredibly long lines as people lined up for the absolutely huge literacy signing. Over 500 authors, I think? It’s a really great thing, but there is no way someone can buy all the books they want from their favorite authors.

Personally, I didn’t even try to go near the bestselling authors.  I would have wasted their time trying to say hi when they had people lining up to buy their books and meet them. And often have them sign books already owned.

It’s always so great to be able to put a name to a face. Over the course of the conference, I was able to meet Sylvia Day, a very beautiful woman who took the time during her signings on Wednesday night to give me loads of encouragement.

And I absolutely had to meet Lisa Renee Jones. Our husbands definitely hit it off the way we’d hoped, I think, though it took forever to be in the same place at the same time. Lisa held up a copy of my ARC (which I’d received copies of right before leaving for my trip.) and showed it to everyone around her. She is so supportive.

And, hey!  I got to meet Jo Beverly. My youngest is so incredibly jealous. I even told her I did it for her (she saw through me, though.) What can I say? That woman has captured two generations of my family completely.

Cab rides, The Hyatt and I am a ditz.

Motel 6 was nice, clean and cheap.  Just the way I like ‘em. After getting in after midnight, we decided to just sleep. So, though I am VP of my chapter, I did not go to the President’s retreat. Very bad of me.

Craig and I slept in to 8 am, which was 6 am at home, which was 4 hours before we usually start an “early” day.

We showered and took a ridiculously expensive cab ride to the Hyatt.  I mean, seriously. 20 cents for every 1/9 of a mile? I know gas and wages are expensive, but 1/9th? Then it’s 45 cents if we are stopped at a stoplight? Or in a traffic jam? No wonder movies show New Yorkers always hopping out of cabs and running.

We get to the Hyatt just dreaming of unpacking and taking a nap in our room. Until we discovered I’D ARRIVED A DAY EARLY.

Well, crap.  See why I shouldn’t plan trips?

The room was expensive enough to give me heart palpitations. Then they wanted to charge $5 for a bottle of water? And $80 for incidentals? What incidentals?  Making the bed? Fresh towels? Isn’t that what the first two hundred dollars should have covered? Good Lord. I am a seasoned traveler, but now I know why I prefer to drive.  Well, ride.

While we waited for room arrangements, I checked in to the conference. From there, the trip started looking up. (For future reference, please remember I am short. Even out of my wheelchair.)

Right off, we met Justin and Amy Knupp! They recognized me from my picture!! I’ve had decade-old friends  that have looked at my pic and told me it doesn’t look like me. Of course, they are oblivious to how insulting that is. It’s the best pic I’ve ever taken, yes, but it is me and was taken just last summer.

I made an appointment with Justin to talk about my website and our chapter’s website (which went extremely well.  Justin is awesome.) and we continued about the business of checking in and meeting people.

And, within a few hours, guess what arrived? My bookmarks and business cards! They are so pretty and definitely worth all the work put into them.  I owe a huge thank you to Theresa DeLucci and Megan Barnard at Tor.  :)

The first day passed in a happy blur as we learned our way around and met a few people and settled in to our very nice, comfortably firm but soft beds with their thick feather pillows (since we’d forgotten our pillows, :), this was quite nice. Usually any other pillow gives me a headache, but these weren’t bad at all. We were able to sleep very comfortably all week.  :)

RWA National and I am a ditz.

Okay, yes, I am a blonde. (Yes, with an “e”. Blonde is a girl, blond is a boy. I like the specificity of it. Check if you doubt me.)  However, I hate my idiocy being blamed on my hair color. The blonde jokes are cute, sometimes funny, but when you have a child whose hair color exactly matches yours and she adamantly rejects any thought of being blonde, it grows old. I am stupid on my own, okay? It’s not my hair.

So, for example: I bought my plane tickets at We arrive at the airport an hour and a half early. We stand in line at American Airlines because that’s what the itinerary says. We go through the line, try to check in and they say, “Go to Alaska Airlines. That’s where you should be.” Now, picture the irony since we are supposed to go to Texas.

We stand in line at Alaska Airlines and make it through and they say, “Oh, not this one. Go down [a block] and be in that line.”

Okay, good thing I have my scooter, but I feel bad for my poor hubby. He had to push the wheelchair with three pieces of luggage loaded on it. (Yes, it was a trick, but really neat how well it worked.)

So we stand in line and go through it and they say, “Oh, you have a scooter.” Like I didn’t mark handicapped on the plane form when I bought the ticket? Geez. So we went to Customer Service. The shortest line of all.

We stood there for 45 minutes and missed our flight.

We hadn’t even gotten to Security yet.

After getting through Customer Service, Security was a breeze. There are some advantages to being in a wheelchair, (skipping long lines) as long as you don’t mind the much more thorough, although respectful, search. And having every single bag looked through.

So, we go through and we are free! We loaded on to the plane easily, though it turned out to be a tiny one. There are times when I really wonder if heavy people, like me, should register their weight. Do you have any idea how many times I was asked how much my scooter weighed? And all I could think was, “Not as much as I do.”

Well, it all worked out well. We arrived in Dallas early. All we had to do was get our luggage, call the shuttle I’d already paid for on Expedia, and go to the motel I’d reserved for the night.

If only I’d printed the Expedia vouchers. I took my now-broken scooter (the handle on the lever that makes the steering column go forward or backward, came off. Only my husband can adjust it now. Yes, we’ll get it fixed and it was registered with the airline right away.)

It turns out, not printing the vouchers is a really bad thing. It took four hours to find somewhere we could print them. Finally, they just had to fax them. Then we get on the shuttle and learn how bad a shuttle through Expedia is. The Shuttle Bus is normally $17/person/trip. Expedia charged $20. And out of that, they only give the shuttle $13.

Expedia made $7/person for an online buy that took them virtually no effort.

So, two lessons: Expedia is a rip-off and PRINT ANY VOUCHERS.

Price: 4 more hours at the airport and $150 on my cell phone. (It was after 9 pm Texas time!)

Verdict: Ridiculous and largely my fault.



As I Promised…

Okay, by now I should know better than to name dates for anything.  My sense of tomorrow is sometime next week.  Or somewhere thereabouts.  I try so hard to make deadlines. I write them on calendars, I make to-do lists, I sneak into my husband’s planner and mark a few things…Nothing works. It’s not because I don’t try to be organized, but because I forget what day it is. (Even though there is a huge calendar on my desktop) Or, because (shocker here) things happen.

My desk consists of my laptop and whatever I can fit on the two cluttered tables on either side of my recliner. There are pictures in the cryptarium. This, seriously, is my work space. If it doesn’t fit, well, that’s what God made piles for.

However, there are a few things I really try to keep track of. One happens to be mailing trackers.  You’d think I’d get smart and insert the tracker in my One Note. (I love One Note. No naming and organizing files through my windows system. No pushing save.  Type it and it’s there.)

Well, the page proofs for Betrayed were misplaced through some comedic (Yeah, right) system of errors. I mailed them, but not to the precisely correct address. They may have even arrived, but not on the desk they were supposed to. Here is where a tracking code is seriously vital.

I can find every tracking code for everything I’ve mailed this year (because sometimes I really am that good. lol) But not for the page proofs. Go fig, right?

So, for the last few days, it’s been all about the page proofs.  I swear, Betrayed is such a demanding little sucker. Every time I think I’m done with it, guess what? Things happen.

RWA National was wonderful!

I met my editor!  I met my web designer! Most people don’t understand what a challenging business doing your work from a distance can  be. They go to work and spend hours every day with their coworkers and boss.  I don’t.  My agent I saw for the second time ever and I’ve been working with her for two years now.  Okay, remind me.  Our anniversary is August.  I don’t want to forget again. Bad Jamie.

So, I met lots of people in person that I only get to see online.  I still have the wow-factor buzzing through me.  Ahhh, so much to write, but I’m being eaten  by mosquitos.  Tomorrow I shall tell you about what a complete ditz I am.  LOL  It’s  amazing.


RWA National was wonderful!

I met my editor!  I met my web designer! Most people don’t understand what a challenging business doing your work from a distance can  be. They go to work and spend hours every day with their coworkers and boss.  I don’t.  My agent I saw for the second time ever and I’ve been working with her for two years now.  Okay, remind me.  Our anniversary is August.  I don’t want to forget again. Bad Jamie.

So, I met lots of people in person that I only get to see online.  I still have the wow-factor buzzing through me.  Ahhh, so much to write, but I’m being eaten  by mosquitos.  Tomorrow I shall tell you about what a complete ditz I am.  LOL  It’s  amazing.

RWA National and page proofs

Yes!!!!  I am going!!!  It took a lot of hoops, but I am set to go!  I’m so incredibly excited. July 11-15, Dallas, TX with my husband, my agent and my editor!  This is too cool.  Please stop by the literacy autographing, there will be a lot of really wonderful authors there signing awesome books.  I won’t be signing this year as I’m still waiting for my 1st release, but I hope to do so next year!

So, stop by and look for the blonde with a dark red scooter trying not to run everyone over and beeping when she backs up.  LOL

Also, I read the final page proofs for Betrayed last week and they are in the mail and should reach my editor tomorrow!  This is so cool.  So much closer to holding my book in the palm of my hand.  :) 



It’s summer!  Both my kids are out of school.  Last Friday, I was the proud Mama watching her youngest graduate elementary in her beautiful blue formal.  (we’d gotten it for her uncle’s wedding.)  Then Saturday was my oldest’s sweet 16. She just wanted to hang out with family, so we saw Pirates of the Carribean 3 and had dinner with the grandparents.  Father’s Day was simply hanging out at the grandparent’s, also.  It was a really nice, relaxing weekend.  :)

So, I’m still trying to update things for the website.  For some reason, I, who can usually figure out software and web stuff, can-absolutely-not work my way around Go Daddy.  I’ll be finding a new host soon.  One I’ll have an easier time of navigating.  I did send my bookmarks to print and am currently learning Adobe In Design to create a better resolution graphic of my business cards.  I will also be sending out my newsletter, eventually.  LOL 

I hit one of my Friedreich’s Ataxia low-energy points last month.   I’m still catching up on it.  So, I have galleys to get in, pages on book 2 to write, the business cards to design, the newsletter to send out, two gifts I have ready for my newsletter list.  I set something aside and will be choosing 2 winners at random to make up, hopefully, for no newsletter in April or May.

BTW, anyone who will be at RWA National in Dallas this July, come look me up!  I get to go!  **snoopydancing**