Friday, August 29, 2008

I Did It!

When I started exercising and working out last April 21st, I had a dream. Okay, I had several. I wanted to lose 40 pounds before nationals, I wanted to wear cute clothes again and I wanted to run a 5k.

I didn't quite make 40 pounds before nationals, but I did make 35. Yesterday, I went to Nordies and tried on cute clothes. I didn't buy anything... still paying off nationals, but I can wear cute clothes. (Even though I almost always get a size to big for me! I still can't believe my size!)

And yesterday I ran three miles, which I believe, is almost a 5k. Let me repeat that... THREE MILES! No stopping. No pausing. No walking. Just running. Three miles.


That pretty much made my day. Whatever I did and wherever I went, I said to myself, "I ran three miles."

I am strong. I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to. Damn that's a good feeling. I really love being over 40.

Today I go an see an academic advisor. I am strong. I can do anything. (VBG)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Writings Other Stuff

With both of my proposals in, I have been working on writing's other stuff, you know the stuff that may or may not bring in an income, but you do it anyway?

For instance, I'll be the class of 2k8 blog Mom for the month of September. Huge job and I am trying to get a lot of it in place now. Which reminds me, I am not doing that great of a job preparing and I had better get my butt in gear! I'm such a slacker!This doesn't pay, but it probably does in the long run, if that makes any sense... it's marketing and therefore important.

I am also putting together a brochure for school visits and working on the workshops. The amazing Stacy Nykios put together a comprehensive class for us 2k8ers on setting up and doing school visits. I have been going over the materials as I work and let me tell you, the woman is a genius. I also have to put together the info for a web page. This doesn't pay at the moment, it might end up paying well and something I want to do.

I am also working on two different presentations. One I'm doing with fellow class of 2k8ers for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Conference and the other one is for Wordstock. (take a moment for a fan girl squee here because it is by invitation only and I was SO invited!) Neither of these two activities pays, but both are incredibly important when it comes to promoting your books and yourself.

The writing isn't completely gone though. I have several ideas, percolating just below the surface, and my son and I sill want to work together on a book, so that is an option, too. Sometimes not writing can be just as creative a time as writing as long as you really are between projects and not just avoiding them! I try to write down what ideas come to me-- the good ones as well as the ones that seem a bit far fetched.

I figure with everything else that is going on in my life right now, a breather is good for me. LOL If you can call my to do list a breather!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit Presents Melissa Walker!

Eighteen-year-old son decided Mom needed to be put in her place after schooling daughter and best friend. It wasn't pretty. Let's just say that the Hare is the fittest one in this family. Snicker.

Now on to the GCC tour of the fab Melissa Walker! Love this women and love these books!

by Melissa Walker

Praise for Melissa Walker:
“It’s a hard sell, asking readers to muster sympathy for the congenitally gorgeous whose job it is to wear designer clothes and walk. In ‘Violet on the Runway,’ Melissa Walker pulls it off.”
—Holly Brubach, The New York Times

Is there life off the runway?
VIOLET IN PRIVATE (Berkley Jam Trade Paperback; August 5, 2008; $9.99) is the third novel in the series by former magazine editor Melissa Walker about Violet— the wallflower who blooms into an international modeling star—until she realizes there may be more to life than the runway…

Everyone knows her as Violet Greenfield, the supposedly cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with sky-high confidence because she’s done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling has done little for Violet’s self-esteem. And now that she’s finally headed to college, she’s terrified that she’ll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school…

Violet’s friends in fashion are only a two-hour train ride away in New York City, and they all think she’s crazy to stop modeling. But her best friend Roger hopes she’ll go back to being the girl next door. Of course, things have been weird between them ever since they kissed—and now he’s got a girlfriend. So the question is: if she’s not “Violet on the Runway” anymore, who exactly is she?

Melissa Walker has created a character that teens as well as adults can embrace and relate to. Readers have followed Violet through her highest highs and lowest lows in the modeling industry, and are eager to see how she fares as a regular teenager in college. This wonderful series is a fresh take on the real voice of one girl in the designer spotlight.

As a former editor at ELLEgirl and Seventeen magazines, Melissa Walker knows first-hand the ins and outs of the fashion world. She hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at, or at

Melissa is available for interview, and can talk extensively about the fashion world from the insider's view of a fashion magazine editor. And as a Young Adult writer who converses regularly with her teenage fans, she also would enjoy giving her take on the effects models and fashion have on teenage girls.

Praise for the VIOLET series:

“Part Cinderella, part girl next door, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY is a story for any girl who ever wondered what it would be like to have her wildest dream come true.”
--New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen

“Violet is a hero for all of us wallflowers out there. A fun, fashion-filled, fast-paced read!”
--Carolyn Mackler, award-winning author of Guyaholic

“On the runway or off, Violet shines.”
--Ally Carter, bestselling author of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

“Violet is wonderfully witty and sweetly sensitive. She’s not your typical top model; she’s more like your best friend—only prettier.”
--Kirsten Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s

"Violet on the Runway is a novel about fashion, but it's also a sensitive portrait of adolescence--simultaneously funny and painful. Walker excels at characterizing those moments that we've all experienced, from bumbling in front of the cute boy to being misunderstood by ones parents."
--NYLON Magazine

"This novel is a perfect read for teens who want to see what lies beneath the glossy veneer of what seems to be a picture-perfect life."
--Family Circle

"Teens will love this fun fashion read."
--OK! Magazine

"Take a peek into a model's life with this hip novel!"
--Teen Magazine

"I couldn't put it down! You're kind of rooting for her to make it big, and kind of rooting for her to just go home before the biz ruins her."

"Funny, engaging, and eye-opening, Violet on the Runway is an addictive read full of all the juicy insights about the fashion industry one could hope for, as well as meaningful layers and observations about the importance of knowing one's self."
--Venus Zine

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lessons from the woo woo zone

Note: crawled on the scale and after a month of gaining and losing the same three pounds, I am finally down one new pound. Woot! That is 35 pounds total. But considering I was in san fran for five days and spokane for four, I think I did pretty good!

On to the topic of the day which is NOT my weight. Nor is it the fact that I went to the track yesterday with my daughter and her bf and I SCHOOLED them! They started out so cocky and fast and I just trotted along behind them, watching their tight 17-year-old butts leave me in the dust. Fine. Whatfreakingevah. Hare and the tortoise anyone? Cause those skinny ass girls could not keep it up and though they attempted to make up for it by alternating walking and sprinting, they finally had to stop and watch the turtle keep going and going and going. I am so going to be ready for the race for the cure! Well, if the race was held at a track, but that's another story!

No, this post is actually some lessons I learned from the woo woo zone, my new yoga classes. Now, I am a natural born skeptic. I don't cry during commercials. I have a gut feeling that most charities are out to part me from my money. For someone who has a lot of hope and wants to change the world, I really do look at stuff with a jaundiced eye, so to speak. Not to mention that I'm an evangelical Christian, albeit a fairly liberal one, so gongs and Oms are not really for me.


I am loving me some yoga class. In a weird sort of way, (and I hope God gets what I am saying and won't strike me dead at my keyboard) yoga class is a little bit like a woman's bible study. At the beginning of every class the instructor gives a little speech that is strangely like a five minute devotional that you get at church meetings. It's all very positive stuff about how yoga relates to life and what we should be thinking about through class. Some of it is a little too woo woo for me. Or as my son would say, floaty. But I am loving the way yoga is teaching me to read my body, quiet my mind during exercise, and be aware of and control every movement. And I love the stretching. Since I am running and doing aerobic exercising, stretching feels way good. Plus, I think it's actually helping my running. Instead of concentrating on something else to make the time go by faster, I am focusing on my breathing and what my body feels. That makes the time go by just as good and I am more aware of the process.

Yesterday, our woo woo message was really good and can be used in any stressful situation whether physical or emotional stress. Breathe, relax, feel, watch, allow.

In yoga that means, breathe during your pose, relax what muscles you can even though others are highly engaged, do an emotional and physical scan, watch for reactions to what you are feeling and allow the emotion or physical sensations.

I guess this makes sense in real life too, during a stressful situation. Remember to breathe, mentally relax what body parts that you can, check what you are feeling, watch how you are reacting and then allow the feeling to be.

I think once you go through that process you are better equipped to deal with the situation. I'll try to remember that my next rejection. HA!

Monday, August 25, 2008


How do you know when you are on the cusp of a life change? How can you find your way though all the assorted thoughts that flutter through your mind to snatch up those which are true? It's trying to find God's will for your life. What signs are from God and what is wishful thinking?

Several months ago, I shocked my best friend of many years by telling her that I wanted to change the world. She didn't laugh. She just knows me like that.

Why would a 43-year-old, self educated woman suddenly want to change the world? Mid-life crisis? I don't think so. Honestly, except for an on again off again addiction to nicotine, I am one of the sanest people I know. (And no, that isn't denial! HA!)

Perhaps I'm finally at a place in my life where all the good and bad parts have finally worked together to sharpen my focus. To give me more to offer.

I know my fiction is a part of it. I know teens are a part of it. Though I have considered writing for adults and actually tried it a couple of times, teens are where my heart is. After a great talk with my agent, I went to the hotel room and wrote out a mission statement. It's been evolving ever since.

To write entertaining fiction that encourages and inspires today's teen to live authentic lives filled with determination, vision and joy.

But that isn't enough. I think I need to work with teens in the real world, as well. But how is a woman with no "academic" qualifications going to do that? I could volunteer of course, and perhaps if I were at a different point in my writing career that would be a viable option, but I'm not there yet. Making money is not an option.

I know myself well enough to know that I can't write fiction, write nonfiction, and work with teens at the same time- not and keep up with the working out which has become a necessity for me. Oh, and clean the house and be there for my own teens, not to mention my husband.

So what to do? My nonfiction seems to be drying up a bit... is that a sign? I just applied for a really cool part time job working with teens and they seems open to all my diverse experience... if I get the job, is that a sign? My agent just wrote to tell me she adored my proposal and is sending it out... is that a sign?

How do you know when it's time to make some changes in your life? When you are on the right path? I am absolutely sure about my fiction... it's just everything else that's up in the air!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Win a copy of Read My Lips!

Tera Lynn Childs is having the coolest Olympic Contest ever and you can win a copy of my book, Read My Lips, A copy of, Oh. My. Gods., (by Tera, fab book!) and an advance copy of Princess of Gossip by Sabrina Bryan (The Cheetah Girl!) and Julia Devillers. You can check it out here!

Good Luck!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

GCC Presents Stephanie Kuehnert

The lovely and talented Tera Lynn Childs, helped me pick out presents for my kids in San Fran. My 17-year-old daughter scored an adorable Juicy Couture key chain, (She recently began driving again) and my 18-year-old son, who loves a wide range of music and books, got a copy of Stephanie Kuehnert's debut book, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, wrapped in a vintage Ramone's T-shirt. How cool is that? Now I am touring Steph!

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (MTV Books; July 2008; $13.00) is a raw, emotional story about growing up punk and living to tell from brilliant debut novelist, Stephanie Kuehnert.

Sid Vicious isn’t exactly a role model in the wholesome, small town Midwest. Neither is Louisa Carson-Black, who has earned the position of the proverbial black sheep of Carlisle, Wisconsin by hightailing it out of town to pursue the punk rock scene. After all, what go better together than the restlessness of youth and punk rock? The only problem is that in her exodus, Louisa leaves behind her four-month-year-old daughter Emily…

As Emily is raised by her father, the only way she gets to know Louisa is through her abandoned records. It’s no CBGB’s, but Emily witnesses the evolution of punk in an old warehouse called River’s Edge, and she even develops some fist-pumping, anarchist mannerisms of her own. Although Emily would like to pretend that it is, her life is certainly no carefree “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Deep down inside, she has a burning need to find her mother. Emily sets out to follow the musical trail that Louisa leaves behind, which ends up leading her to fame and glory that she never imagined!

If Louisa wants to live on the cutting edge of punk rock, then what better way to attract her than to be the next best thing in punk? Emily realizes that she has to become Sleater-Kinney’s “queen of rock and roll” to bring her mother back to her. Emily transforms into punk royalty as she starts up her own widely acclaimed band She Laughs. The last thing that she wants is be taken for granted by her mother, but when the music does eventually guide Louisa to Emily, Emily discovers that there is whole lot more to Louisa’s flight than just youthful impulsivity!


Stephanie Kuehnert works at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing, but is a writer through and through. She has published short stories, interviews, and essays in Hair Trigger and No Touching magazines, as well as for websites such as,, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She was recently named to the Lit 50, the list of Chicago's hottest writers by NewCity, the renowned list also includes Studs Terkel, Elizabeth Berg, Scott Turrow, Aleksandar Hemon, and Audrey Niffenegger. Stephanie received her Bachelor’s in Fiction Writing at Columbia College in Chicago, and went on to earn her master’s degree there in 2006. She was awarded Third Place in Traditional Fiction by the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association for “Fairytale”, an excerpt from her novel I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. Stephanie currently lives in Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, with her boyfriend and three cats. Stephanie’s heart and soul will always reside in Chicago, and her up-and-coming work Ballads of Suburbia has been divinely inspired by the Windy City.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm baaaack!

My busy busy list is as long as my arm, but it feels good to be home with no more trips this summer. Of course, there's only a couple of weeks left of the season, so that doesn't mean much.

I decided to look back and see what I have accomplished so far.

1. Laguna proposal done. YAY!

2. Soap proposal done. YAY!

3. Articles done. Okay, I'm still working on that one, but to date I have finished a gazillion of them.

4. Book signing. I didn't die.

5. Speaking in front of a bunch of students. Ditto. Didn't die.

6. Lost weight. I think I have lost like seven pounds since June. Not too bad considering I spent five days in San Fransisco. Good eats there in San Fran!

7. Took Mom to Spokane. Again, it didn't kill me and I reconnected with a cousin which was fabulous!

8. Came up with two new ideas for books and one anthology.

Note: I actually met with the amazing Regina Scott while in Spokane. She's the author of the fabulous La Petite Four, which I just read and loved! We bounced some ideas back and forth and came up with an idea for a killer anthology. Woot!

9.Got a fab new critique partner! YA Baby!

10. Came up with a personal mission statement that will help me tweak my ideas to fit or discard them.

So yes, it has been an incredibly successful summer! How was your summer?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking off!

Am going to be MIA for the next few days as I make the trek to Spokane, WA. to visit my aunt!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Road Trip and Girlfriends Cyber Circuit

Made an impromtu road trip day before yesterday. Seems my "indpendent" son isn't so independent. He decided to go camping on his own and locked his keys in his car on the way up. I had to make the 100 mile trip to rescue him. It was so cute though, he begged me to stay the night up there with him and I caved even though I wasn't prepared to camp. I'm glad I did. It was a fun, funny, very special time with my son who is on the verge of adulthood. Not a lot of moments like that left.

In writing news, Laguna is done and sent off to my agent. I also joined the Girlfriends Cyber circuit and am excited to feature Megan Kelly Hall for my first tour. I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

From the Press Release
Megan Kelley Hall’s debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY (Kensington; July 28, 2008; $9.95), is a modern-day gothic novel complete with witchcraft and runic mythology. This novel launches Kensington’s Young Adult line. Like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, SISTERS OF MISERY appeals to both young adult and adult readers. It tells the story of Maddie Crane and her quest to unravel the mystery surrounding her cousin Cordelia’s disappearance.

Hawthorne, Massachusetts, a seaside town borne in the shadow of the witchcraft trials, has not changed much throughout the years, and persecution and ostracism are still an active way of life within this cloistered community. So, when Cordelia LeClaire and her quirky, free-spirited mother, Rebecca arrive, the community’s brief curiosity over the newcomers, quickly turns to disdain and jealously.

It is no surprise that The Sisters of Misery—a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school, with the vindictive Kate Endicott at its helm —trick Maddie and her cousin into spending Halloween night on Misery Island. But when Cordelia disappears, questions arise as to what happened. The town would like to believe that Cordelia, always impulsive, simply ran away. But Maddie knows that more is at stake and others have something to hide. Now Maddie must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin.

Fans of Alice Hoffman and Stephenie Meyer will be haunted by this story of three generations of women and their struggles against each other and a town ruled by fear.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Losing weight

So my fabulous Cp's confirmed what I already suspected. Laguna has a couple of issues. Completely fixable issues, but issues nonetheless. So hopefully one more pass will fix it.

I've had a few people ask my about my running or my diet. I'm happy to report that I have lost the two pounds I put on at the RWA Nationals.(No, Ann, it wasn't just alcohol weight. Sheese, y'all think I did nothing but drink there!) So no harm, no foul. Yes, I am still running and working out, though I pretty much took last week off to recover from my "vacation." So back to it. I'm in OLYMPICS mode so you better watch out. I may take my snail pace up to the lightening fast pace of a slug. Wouldn't that be radical? I run three days a week and walk and do a dvd workout on the days I don't run. I like workouts that combine both cardio and strength training, because I have illusions of becoming Mrs. Olympus someday. I also throw in Abs/Pilate's work because the core strengthening has made the running so much easier. (Well, that and the loss of 34 pounds!) Plus, if the sad shape of my tummy is any indication of things to come I had better do a few more crunches or something. Luckily, (or unluckily as the case may be) my husband is the only one who has to view my tummy and he doesn't really care if it looks like sodden crepe paper. Honest, cause if he says anything, all I have to do is rub his tummy and scream, "Bring me luck, Budda!" Shuts him right up.

As far as diet goes, I eat foods that are nutrient dense. Spinach and grated beet salad, Naked Juice Protein Zone, Green Machine and Mango Madness. OMG! LURVE Naked Juice. Lean proteins, lots of fruit, red wine a few nights a week and dark chocolate for treat. Cottage cheese and pineapple, pomegranate juice. Green tea, lots of it. Super foods.

I figure the better my body is running the more efficiently it can burn fat and build muscle. Nothing really new or momentous. Lots of antioxidants. I also take a multi vitamin, extra fish oil for the omegas cause I really hate fish, and, on my doctor's recommendation, extra vitamin D.

Oh, oh, oh... and I track everything I eat at the Daily Plate. It's great and you can friend people. That way, my BFF Ann can look at what I eat. Every damn day. And say things like, "Was that pizza good? I hope it was good because it was like a gazillion calories each and you had twenty pieces. Did you see what I ate? A quarter of a walnut, a raisin and I waved the cheese in front of my plate."

So it's real helpful like that. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Fond Farewell and New Direction

Last night my Rose City Romance writers, the Portland Chapter of RWA, said a fond farewell to longtime super member, Stephanie Rowe. She is moving back to Boston and taking her lovely baby girl with her. She's missed her home town for a long time and is now moving back to be with friends and family. We are so going to miss her... she just has that supportive nature, you know? But our loss is the New England Chapters gain... and like she said last night, it's not like we're not going to see her. We writers are a mobile bunch!

Good Luck Stephanie!

In other news, I finally finished the rough draft of Laguna yesterday. Or the revised rough draft... is that an oxymoron? I still have some tweaks to go through, and my Cp's need to tear it apart, but I'm pretty happy with the new direction.

Speaking of new directions, I had a lovely long talk with my agent over nationals and we did some excellent work. As a result of that, I now have a clearer picture of where I'm going. I even created my own personal mission statement that will help me narrow my focus down. Really positive stuff! If I only brought that back from nationals with me, it still would have been worth it... luckily, I brought back so much more, good business contacts, great memories and new friends.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Networking at the RWA

Yesterday I promised to blog about networking at the RWA. I found this to be the most valuable part of the conference. But maybe I am just incredibly lucky?

First, was my run in with Maggie Crawford, senior editor or or director of Pocket Books. We had a wonderful chat before I even knew who she was. Turns out she was going out to dinner with my agent after the Trident cocktail party that night. She asked for my business card. And brought one of her authors over to meet me. Serendipity.

Then I shared a cab with a man who turned out to be Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident. Nice guy! Serendipity.

The next morning I had a conversation with a wonderful woman who turned out to be Alexandria Kendall, publisher of Red Sage. Now, I can't see myself ever writing erotica, but still... serendipity.

I also had a chance to talk at length with Andrea Doering, Senior acquisitions editor for Revell. Very useful as I want to write inspy YA as well as my secular YA. That meeting was not so much serendipitous as it was planned... I went down to the Revell/Bethany house spotlight early to catch her. And that brings me to the silliest question asked at the conference... asked at the spotlight: "How much erotica is okay in inspirational romance?" I thought the editor from Bethany house was going to choke trying to keep the laughter back. To give the asker credit, I actually think she was looking for another word!

Now on to best T-shirt seen at the conference...mine!

So how did your networking go?

Monday, August 04, 2008

RWA National Highlights

It was so much fun!

A few highlights:

1. Rooming with Brook Taylor, author of Undone. The perfect roomie, Brook is so funny and the perfect combination of social and independent. She also brought the magic bullet-a drink blending wonder that, along with two bottles of premixed margaritas, gave us the coolest room in the hotel. Just ask Lynda Sandovol and Terri Clark, which brings me to highlight #2.

2. Meeting with Lynda Sandovol and Terri Clark, two kindred spirits who made my conference. Terri is as sweet as she is lovely and Lynda is absolutely hysterical. I wanted to take her home with me. Total BFF's.

3. Meeting and hanging with Rachel Vincent. What a doll!

4. The gorgeous doorman who helped me find my misplaced phone. Twice.

5. Shopping with Tera Lynn Childs. She's not only my agent sistah, she's a remarkable shopper and helped me find my teens the perfect gifties. I adore her.

6. Amanda Ashby and Sara Hantz. I love these women!

7. Young adult writers rock. Rosemary, Kelly, Kelly, Bethany, Ally, Simone... young adult writers just rock!

8. Flying home with my chapter sisters. That three hour delay would have been unbearable without ya!

Tomorrow I'll post about the networking opportunities, plus, the best T-shirt and the stupidest question of the conference.