Thank you everyone for participating! I loved hearing what you look forward to. My winner is girlfromwva. Just email me at kathy @ katherinegarbera.com to claim your prize.
As you might know from some of the posts on the blog last week, several of the JQs were in New York City for the Romance Writers of America annual conference (that’s Times Square in the pic at the top). I was there with my hubby, and it’s always a highlight of the trip to see my buds from the Jaunty Quills.
We did, however, bring home an unwanted souvenir: the conference crud. In other words, both hubby and I ended up with nasty colds. Since I’m still a little under the weather, I thought I’d just post some pictures from the conference and other recent events, and then end with a contest. Then I will crawl back to bed and moan pathetically, even though that’s unlikely to elicit any sympathy because hubby is moaning pathetically too.
That’s Shana, me, Mia, and Kathy at an early JQ breakfast. As you can tell the ranks are a bit thin. Rumor has it that Jaunty and some of the other gals went to a wild party the night before and were feeling a bit fragile the next morning. My lips, however, are sealed.
That’s hubby and me at our first joint signing as VK Sykes. Fun!
A selfie with our new book at the big Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan. We’re so inept that it took both of us to get this picture done.
This was at an event last month in Ottawa. Kristan taught a class and did a keynote at the annual luncheon of the Ottawa romance writers. We’re joined by my pal and critique partner, the talented Debbie Mason. Kristan’s keynote was fabulous, and we really had a good time celebrating with her.
And now for the giveaway! One person who comments will win a print copy of my latest historical romance, HOW TO MARRY A ROYAL HIGHLANDER. Tell me about any summer plans you have (or don’t have) for a chance to win!
The hero of the novella I’m working on right now, THE BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET, is a landscape architect. I love writing hunky Declan Muldoon because he is a wealthy man who can’t stand to be stuck in an office. He’d much rather be outside, growing things, getting hot and sweaty and earthy and channeling Lady Chatterley’s Lover when the heroine…
Wait…wait. I think I’m wandering off point. Right. My real point is I love writing about the landscapes Declan creates and nurtures because I, too, am a little in love with all things Garden. I don’t have any actual talent, but (as I discovered long ago re: singing) it isn’t strictly necessary to be good at something to love it.
And I am good, really good, at buying garden stuff. I’m not crazy about wandering malls, no threat at all to the family budget or schedule when I’m at Dillards, but I can spend forever in a garden store.
We have a wonderful nursery in town that is so much fun…it’s like my personal version of Disney World. It has acres of beauty, adorable knick-knacks, garden furniture, and a gift store. It even has an adjoining Butterfly Encounter, an enclosed area in which your whole body can end up covered in butterflies!
I used to tell myself that one of the great virtues of spending my weekends there instead of at Disney was that the nursery was cheaper. But I’ve learned that’s just not true.
Every time I go, I find some new tree, flower, plant, vase, wind chime, garden statuary or fountain I really must have… And these things add up. Obviously, I’d have been far better off, financially, buying churros and mouse-ear hats.
Last time I stopped by, these are a few of the beautiful (and sometimes goofy) things I found:
Fairy houses! Must have.
Shells with air plants and mosses, strung to hang like jellyfish. Must have.
A rainbow of orchids. Won’t buy, as an act of mercy. They didn’t realize how close they came to dying in my care. Or did they? Did they tremble as the shadow of the Grim Reaper passed them by?
This flowered pot. Isn’t it cheerful? Must have!
This adorable frog. I seriously want him.
I am not kidding! (Did you think I was? )
A bench with horse-head arms. Okay…getting weird now…
A…T.rex? See? You just never know what you’ll come across in a garden shop!
Just for the record, I don’t actually have any pink Flamingos in my yard…YET. But if I found the perfect one, I wouldn’t hesitate to display him proudly. Or at least as proudly as His Highness’s self-respect would allow, which might mean the back yard.
How about you? Do you like regular department stores and malls, where you can get pretty clothes and shoes and purses? Or do you, too, prefer something quirky? Bookstores? Office supplies? Antiques?
As much as the annual conference for the Romance Writers of America is about business and al ot of business does get conducted, it’s also about fun. It’s one of the few times a year when most of us get out from behind our computers and mingle with other writers. So here is my top five best moments from RWA.
Seeing Friends: I attended my first RWA conference, which happened to be in NYC, back in 1994. Each year I get to see some of the people I met at that first conference and I always meet new people who become friends.
Business: Every year I make a long list of goals. I think I’ve confessed on this blog before to being a chronic list maker and get a real charge when I check them off.
Learning: This is the best part of the conference. I seldom get to attend a lot of conferences there are always a ton of meetings to attend and of course friends I want to see. But I always pick one new nugget about the writing craft and the industry in general at the conference. This year for me it was a feeling that this is the best time to be in publishing.
Awards: A lot of contests are held during the conference including the prestigious Rita aware. I was nominated for the Bookseller’s Best and though I didn’t win got to sit at a table with some good writing friends and editors. We really had a great time.
Parties: Every publisher throws a party and my publisher’s I think is the best. We get out on the dancefloor and shake it all night long. It’s fun to have a conference moment where you can just relax and be with your “sisters”.
Do you have an annual event you attend? Or maybe something you just look forward to each year? When my kids were young sometimes it was the beginning of the school year! Tell me for a chance to win a electronic copy of my upcoming release Eye Candy!
This is a blog about this blog.
I joined in 2008, when I was a brand-new, unknown author. Cindy Kirk invited me, and I was so grateful because I’d never blogged before. My agent told me I should probably “get out there.” I didn’t personally know any of the other authors except Cindy, and they had never heard of me.
Since then, I’ve fallen a bit in love with the JQs. My fellow writers here are thoughtful, kind, hardworking, intelligent women. In a day when writer blogs have decreased in popularity and most group blogs have disappeared, we’ve stayed. And we’ve stayed because we love each other, and we love you guys, and the community we have here.
Whenever we see each other at conferences, as we did this past week, it’s a moment of sanity and a rush of happiness at the same time—we all have dozens of friends in the writing community, but the blog binds us in a special way. We write to each other about personal problems, professional issues, familial happiness or turmoil. When one of us hits a milestone or gets a great review, we’re so stinkin’ proud of each other. When Jesse became a mom this past year, it’s fair to say we all had a little god motherly love for Wallaby.
And then there’s you. Our faithful readers who laugh with us, who buy our books, who take the time out of your busy lives to comment on a new book or a guest author. When I wrote my last blog about being fat-shamed, you guys had my back. You share our lives, and you’re part of ours.
I just wanted to say thank you for that. You are so valued, more than I can say.