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Friday, October 30, 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

Before I get started on Vegas I wanted to share an update on my last blog.  My computer problems are not as behind me as I thought.  Turns out that I got my laptop back with NO WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM!  AHH!!  I have no idea how it got deleted but Microsoft Works is GONE.  Sad.  But, Felicia Lynn may be coming to my rescue on that one.  Phew.

But now . . . on to Vegas!  I don't know about you, but I love vacations!  Especially when you're going from somewhere cool to a warmer locale.  And, that's just what I did last week when I went from New Jersey to Las Vegas.
I hadn't seen my friend Deb in several years since we live on opposite sides of the country and we decided Vegas was the perfect place to meet for a few days of fun.  We both started playing MyVegas a few months prior to the trip which earned us buy one/get one on the monorail.  We're both going to keep playing so we can put the points toward a discounted room rate for next year.

If you've been reading for awhile you'll know that I do love my shows.  I've been addicted to live theatre for as long as I can remember and I probably always be.  Deb and I arrived around dinner time on Wednesday and left early Saturday morning.  During that time we packed in five shows.  Penn & Teller at the Rio , Vegas! The Show  at Planet Hollywood, Tony & Tina's Wedding at Bally's, Showstoppers at the Wynn , and Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah's.

This was the fifth time I'd seen Million Dollar Quartet.  I'd seen it twice on Broadway, once Off-Broadway, and once on tour.  Out of those five times I got to see Victoria Matlock four times and I'm always happy to see her.  She's tremendously talented and artistic.  She was recently part of a successful Kickstarter campaign for the movie Meet Love Hope and I can't wait to see the fruits of those labors.

Not only did I get to see Victoria but I also got to see Derek Keeling as Johnny Cash.  He did the tour but had left the role before it came close to me.  So, I'd heard good things about his portrayal but had never been able to see it myself.  I was so happy to finally say I saw him take on that great role.  And, I hope it's not the last time either.

But, back to Vegas.  Deb and I stayed at the Excalibur and I don't think we spent much time there except to eat, sleep, and change.  We definitely spent more time out of the hotel than we did it in.  Maybe next time we'll actually check out some of the shows there.

We stopped by the Flamingo  to see the flamigos, MGM Grand to experience CSI and solve the crime (which we did).  MGM is the start of the monorail and the closest stop to our hotel.  So, we ended up spending a lot of time there.  We were even talking about staying there next time so we can be closer to the monorail.  And, I don't have to go as far if I leave my ticket in the room (which I did one night *sigh*)

All in all we had a lot of fun even if we came back from our trip very tired.  It was worth it to see a friend after a long time and have a lot of great, new experiences.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Back in Business

I've been absent for a long time - I know that.  I went from blogging nearly every week to not blogging at all.  I needed to step back from things for a bit for several reasons.

First off because I needed a little wound-licking time.  I usually bounce back pretty quickly and stare down rejections with a Sally Brown "Oh yeah?  That's what you think!".  But, bouncing back after QueryKombat turned out to be harder than I thought.  I guess it's because it was the first time I'd gotten past the contest slush pile and into the first round.  Did I think I was going to win the whole thing?  No, but I also didn't think I'd be out in the first round.  I had 32 other people to keep me company though.  At least I wasn't lonely.

Around the same time I had a little accident.  My laptop fell off the bed.  It survived but I lost my entire WIP and the edits on my manuscript that I had been making at the time.  HEART ATTACK-AKC-ACK-ACK.

I brought it to  my computer savvy coworker and he wasn't to find them.  Panic was starting to set in.  But, he knew someone who might be able to do it.  It would take a long time but the hopes were high.  I kept on trying to move that rubber tree plant while waiting for the news.  Could they?  Couldn't they?  Finally, last week I got word that they could!  And . . . today I got my precious files back!

My files have been returned to me and I can continue making those edits and working on that first draft.  This delay gave me time to catch up on my reading and I was glad for that.  We writers cannot writer unless we read as well.  I feel like I spent my time wisely.

But, the wind actually returned to my sails last month.  Getting the files back is just the cherry on top of that.  Last month I attended the first annual WFWA Retreat and I found so much to be grateful for there.  I admit that I had been a little nervous about going and I was afraid I was going to be outclassed by all these published authors.  But, that wasn't the case at all.  I was welcomed and people seemed to like my work.  Before last night I had been climbing the rocky terrain on my own.  Pulling myself up inch by inch with only bloody nubs where my nails had once been.  Now, someone's standing at the top of the mountain with their hand held out to me.  I'm no longer alone.  I have a tribe.

We had a fun workshop with Kimberly Brock and had lots of small discussion sessions on topics that we face as published and querying authors,  We had a lovely dinner on the last evening of the retreat where Darynda Jones was our keynote speaker.  I was lucky enough to sit next to Darynda for both Kim's workshop and for the dinner.  She's funny, very smart, and I am so grateful to have  met her.  I'm grateful to have met ALL of the writers who attended the retreat.  We came together in such wonderful and amazing ways.  At this point I'm almost ashamed of the fear and trepidation I had prior to attending.  I'm so glad I went and I can't wait to see how the organization grows and how we grow with it.

I'll be jumping back into edits very soon as well as preparing for the The Book Splash Cruise in February.  I've been very active in the group helping Felicia Lynn and Harper Sloan  get a lot of the first time cruisers in the group prepared for what to expect.  I've had a lot of fun working with them and I cannot wait for what the facebook page has in store for the group and for the cruise itself (of course).