It's been a long time. *hangs head in shame*. I keep promising to blog better, but I still have these long jags where I don't blog at all. The truth? I'm not so good with the balancing. I tend to get hyper focused on one or two things and let others go completely. This blog is one of my regular sufferers. So I think I'm overdue for an update.
Here's what's been happening:
1. Texas Writer's Retreat: I left my family for FIVE WHOLE DAYS to go hang out in Texas and it was AMAZING!!! Basically, I started the whole experience by flying into Austin and within half an hour of getting there, jumping into a cab with Gretchen McNeil and Anna Carey to go get some killer Mexican food downtown! They were so easy to talk to and so fun that I forgot to be the nervous newbie writer altogether. I basically just sat there smiling like a fool going "this is my life now" WEIRD.
Here are some of the highpoints:
--Watching Myra McEntire sing Shoop by Salt and Peppa.
--Talking serial killers and all things dark and twisty with Brenna Yovanoff (so nice to talk about all the creepy and not have the other person look at you funny)
--Listening to Gretchen McNeil sing opera
--Reading reviews for some very dirty, very disturbing books on the boat dock out loud with most of the group. Two words: timetraveling toilet. A key object in one such book.
--Nightly talks where we discussed our goals, fears, and firsts (in and out of publishing).
--Eating ALL THE FOOD. Seriously. These ladies were good cooks. One of my very favorites was Tara Hudson's jalepeno chicken. SO GOOD. We actually compiled all the recipes at the end and I've made most of them since I got back.
Here's a pick of me with the lovely Gunning for Awesome ladies, my closest writerly buddies--we're missing five of us: Lacey Edwards, Lori M. Lee, Deborah Hewitt, Ruth Steven, and Gemma Cooper, but someday hopefully I'll have a complete group photo. For now, this is (left to right: Corinne Duyvis, Stephanie Winklehake, Michelle Krys, Amy Tintera, Kim Welchons, Moi, and our fearless leader, Natalie Parker).
2. ARCS!!!!!!: I got GATED's arcs last week in the mail. Yippeeeeee!!!! SO completely cool to see my story in book form for the first time. This was quickly followed up with a giant stomache ache when I realized that a ton of authors I admire A LOT were now going to read it. And then there are the reviewers, eeep!
3. First Pass Pages: I've been going over GATED one last time this week and it's very cool to see how it's been refined and polished until it shines! Can't believe how close things are getting now!
4. Book Proposals: This is where I write down all my shiny new ideas and hope that my editor loves them. I'm dying to hint at what they're about....Buuuuut I think I'll keep it secret just a wee bit longer. CREEPY. That's all I'm going to say, but of course if you know me then you aren't surprised by this.
Next up? Getting in shape for my book's release because whoa, all this "butt in chair" business has me less than camera ready. I think I've eaten my body weight in Pull n Peel Twizzlers the past few months. Seriously.