DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) Writer’s Conference

Me and James Rollins - How cool is that?

Me and James Rollins - How cool is that?

This event was enormous and awe-inspiring in the range of publishing professionals available to speak with. As a life-long, card carrying wall flower guild member, I’m proud to say I approached four agents and received four requests for submissions. The wine helped, but only a little bit. LOL Two of those requests were done while sober, folks, and I was not sloshed during the other two.

I hope I have the chance to return to another DFW conference someday. I hope it’s as a speaker.  The keynote speaker this year was James Rollins and he was cool, funny, down-to-earth accessible and a great motivator. If a guy who removes genitalia (cats) for a living can become a best selling author, so can you.

They had tons of classes to choose from, some better than others, of course, but many had difficult topics to cover. Believe it or not, Stacy Barney, editor at Putnam, had an easier time conveying voice than pacing. We all seemed to struggle to define pacing, but then, I’ve been told it’s something I need to work on.  The good news is, Stacy and Eddie Schneider (agent extraordinaire at JaBerwocky) agree that they’re willing to fix pacing and characterization if the voice is too compelling to let go. Comforting, yes?

I went knowing I’d meet Rashda (Mina) Khan, an online friend, but I made so

Vic and Author, Rashda (Mina) Khan

You Can't See Our Aching Feet On the Table

many other friends, I’m still humbled by the kind and supportive behavior. This was an uplifting place with authors GIVING THEIR PERSONAL EMAILS OUT. Yeah. No snarks creapt into the building.

The conference was not held at the hotel, which was mine and many others’ biggest complaint. It was a beautiful conference building, but it was also two city blocks from the nearest hotel. I didn’t mind the exercise, but my traveling buddy needed a walker and that distance wore her out on the first day after the hotel’s one and only van driver didn’t show to pick us up. Also, what happens to the conference’s reputation if one of their attendees gets into an accident walking or driving there? Needlessly tragic, in my opinion. I hope they use a larger hotel with conference rooms in the future. That said, great time. More details next week. Right now, I need to implement the critique I received from the amazing Ann Collette and hit submission mode. (Cue Mission Impossible music.)

And Now For Something Completely Different

I hinted at this AND the job change several months ago, (Changes Are A-Comin’) and both events happened sooner than I’d expected. Well, the job change was more or less on schedule, but I honestly thought the website might not happen until the end of the year. I’m happy to say Tessa Elwood, friend, website guru and awesome author was able to put this up for me despite her overwhelming workload. I can’t thank her enough.


It’s perfect timing, too, as I’ll come back from the DFW writers conference next week with all sorts of news, tips, etc and it will all go here on my beautiful new blog and website.

All of my previous posts are here and it’s much more tidy now, too. I think I’ll buy Tessa something large and chocolaty. ;D


Due to Difficulties Beyond Our Control…

Like loss of paid work, I will need to cut back on my blogging schedule.

Yup, I lost my job last week. It’s not a surprise. (See my previous posts on Fear.) It’s even a blessing in many ways. The job hasn’t suited me for years and my managers and I hadn’t seen eye to eye – ever – on many issues. Also, seventeen + years of employment at one location, one job means I am severely burned out of anything remotely resembling office administration and clerical work. Better to start fresh now and they were generous with the severance package.

So for those of you wondering, I am interested in freelance writing/editing/proofreading work. I have experience writing marketing and training materials.

So why do I think I’m going to slow down here? Because I can’t afford to rely on finding said freelance work all the time, which means I will continue to look for full time employment AND continue to write fiction and whatever else I think of. All of which means, I suspect this blog will suffer.

My apologies and I promise if I run across opportunities and/or stories that must be shared, you’ll be the first to know. I hope this won’t take long, but I simply don’t know what God has in mind.

That’s part of the adventure. 😀

Travel Scholarships to Southeast Asia

I think I may have posted about this in a past year, but it’s worth noting again:


This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change. The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have a high degree of proficiency in written English. The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own. Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application closes (April 23, 2012). A current passport with at least six months before expiry. You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in any way; you must be available for the entire assignment. You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!) and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer! Deadline April 23, 2012.

Winner of the Stop The White-Out Giveaway

I want to thank everyone who commented on last week’s giveaway opportunity. I think it received the most comments I’ve ever seen on a single blog post over the last three years and it was all loving, supportive remarks.

And now to announce the winners!

The first name chosen by the Random number generator at random.org was Suzan Harden. The second name was Natalie Aguirre! Ladies, I will contact you privately to find out which books (The Dragon and the Pearl, Liar or The Silver Phoenix) you’d prefer. Thanks so much again to everyone interested in buying a book to support accurate depictions of race in literature.