Come join me at the James River Writers Conference in October!

JRW Conference LogoAfter waiting months to share this exciting news, I’m beyond thrilled to announce I’ll be presenting a Cash & Creativity: How Cleaning up Your Finances Can Spark New Creative Success master class at the James River Writers 2017 Conference on Friday, October 13 in Richmond, Virginia!

The list of conference speakers and master classes plus all the registration details just went up online  – I’m so honored to be included in this stellar group of writers (including the brilliant Meg Medina, one of my all-time faves) and industry professionals.

Hope to see you on Friday for my master class, and throughout the weekend at the main conference, too!

Advertisements

Unexpected Inspiration

Photo credit: Angele McQuade
Photo credit: Angele McQuade

While at the annual retreat of the Washington Romance Writers chapter of the Romance Writers of America this past weekend, I had a lovely conversation with some equally-lovely writer friends about those moments when inspiration zings you, when ideas come so unexpectedly you have to grab at whatever’s closest to scribble them down before they fly off again.

For me and many of my fellow writers, our muse shows up while we’re in the middle of otherwise mindless, mundane tasks like driving, doing the dishes, or taking a shower. That’s definitely true for me, and the reason I now keep a stack of note paper and a pen in a bathroom drawer.

Some writers swear by waterproof note boards or writing on tile walls with crayon. I’ve tried dry-erase markers–both on tile and on the bathroom mirror–but it turns out steam is not exactly friendly to that type of ink. So now I depend on the humble, practically-timeless combination of pen and paper whenever a spark of an idea hits.

Of course, I have to actually jump out of the shower to write those notes, and that’s exactly what I did the morning after the retreat, when I’d just barely rinsed the shampoo out of my hair when idea after idea for the young adult mystery I’m revising slammed into my head.

Trust me when I say it’s tough to write notes when your hands are soaked and water’s running down your arms and right onto your paper. As you may be able to tell from this picture, my counter ended up completely soaked and my notes did, too, but all that mattered was that I could read them.

You may also notice that photo’s pretty blurry; I did that on purpose to save you all from spoilers. I am writing a mystery, after all. Someday, I promise, you’ll thank me.

Just like I’m keep thanking my personal shower muses for some many, many  new ideas, water-logged or not.

The 5th thing I love about living in Arlington, VA…

The incomparable Victoria Schwab reads from Vicious at One More Page Books, September 23, 2013
The incomparable Victoria Schwab reads from Vicious at One More Page Books, September 23, 2013

Authors from other places!

I’ve mentioned before how stuffed the DC area is with local writing talent. As if that isn’t enough goodness for booklovers like me, this area is also a hotspot for author visits.

Like this one, the first I attended after moving to Arlington. I didn’t know Victoria (V.E.) Schwab‘s books before heading over to One More Page Books & More but she barely had to start speaking before I became a fan for life.

I bought a copy of her then-latest book, Vicious, and also her YA book The Archived to get signed, and then somehow I found myself invited along to dinner (!!!) with the author and a slew of other writers. SO much fun, even if I was a bit shy about not knowing anyone. Continue reading

The 4th thing I love about living in Arlington, VA…

ShutUpWrite10.13
Nico, Jessica, Diana, and Jon

Local books and local writers.

(SO MANY local writers!)

One of the things I love most about our new library is how many events it hosts. Of course, the speakers I’m most interested in are the writers, especially those writing young adult (or YA–you may have heard of it by now?) novels for teens.

You can probably imagine how excited I was to learn about a new writing series (Shut Up and Write) created by local writers Jessica Spotswood and Jon Skovron and made possible by superstar librarian Nico Piro. The first panel featured Jessica, Nico, and author Diana Peterfreund (killer unicorns!) in a terrific discussion on writing moderated by Jon.

The audience was pretty terrific, too, and I was thrilled to squeeze in a bit more chatting time with some fellow YA writers I’d met at book signings (more on those later!) the month before.

It didn’t take me long after moving to Arlington to realize there are more book and writing events in the DC area than I could ever hope to attend. Not that I’m complaining.

Nope, not even one bit.