Sunday, May 30, 2010


On Friday and Saturday, I attended a writer's conference called Write-On Vancouver.

For those of you in the Race-Horse world, this is rather like attending a Sale. A day and a half in the company of your piers, slightly outside your normal racetrack setting, wearing your other clothes, working hard to get it right.
Yes. I'm that tired!  But like a good Sale, it was well worth it.

Published Authors gave workshops on honing the craft of writing. Editors shared Industry News such as what the publishing 'Houses' are looking for, or not.  And there was lots of socializing - think several hundred trainers at the Sale.

For me, the best part of the whole thing was the Keynote Speaker.  Laura Resnick is a multi-published author who has bumped her way through numerous potholes on the road to success. The key word being SUCCESS. Listening to Laura's stories of ups and downs and how perseverance is the only way to succeed as a writer, was inspiring - on steroids.

I already know and understand the value of perseverance - insert picture of Kathy paddock schooling a two year old delinquent filly that went on to win nearly a million dollars!

So along with a picture of the filly - Inish Glora - Laura's book,  'Rejection,Romance&Royalties' will sit close to my keyboard for those moments when I wonder if I will ever get published.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

contest win

Well, it's not that I've been putting this off, exactly, it's just that I keep writing it, then pitching it out as not good enough. sigh... You see that's the problem when you're a writer. It is NEVER good enough and always needs to be tweaked - or so it seems.

So today, before it's really OLD news, I'm going to just tell it once, to heck with perfection, the right tone, etc etc.

On Monday, on the blog there it was! MY name, at the top of the page, announcing that I was the winner of their 'Hook, Line and Sinker' writing contest. And what does that mean? Happy Dancing! Fist pumping! Giggling, jump up and down, scare the cats excitement! I felt like Sally Fields, "they like me!" not the exact quote but you get my drift.

It means, that the work I submitted was judged and determined better than the other entries. How many you say?

Step one: The contest began with 50 writers submitting the opening line for their story. These entries were read by 3 or 4 judges and 20 entries/writers were cut.

Step two: the remaining 30 people, submit the last line of their first chapter. This line is what draws the reader into the next chapter. (you know, the one that makes you keep the light on for a little longer because you just need to know what happens.) A new set of judges, and they cut another 20.

Step three: The remaining 10 writers submit their 'blurb'. That is... using only three sentences, tell what the book is about, in a way that makes a person REALLY want to read it. This last round was judged by a very successful Literary Agent, Christine Witthohn.

As winner, I now get to send Christine my entire first chapter which she will critique for me. That in itself is a HUGE deal. But, there's room for more because if she happens to LOVE my chapter, she may want to read more and then, if the planets align just perfectly while I'm sleeping on a bed of shamrocks, under a rainbow, with a bunch of lucky horseshoes shoved.... well, you get it.... maybe she would offer to represent me.

Here's the important part to know, securing the representation of a good agent is almost the ONLY way to get a novel published.

And of course, if I get published one day, (fingers and toes crossed), then I can share my stories with all of you!

Here's my winning entry.

Opening line:
Friggen appropriate, the bathroom door opens and my life goes down the toilet.
Chapter 1 - closing line:
My real life -- the one in which I live simply, work hard, and don't sleep with strange men --is about to come apart, ugly.
The blurb:
He's in the business of helping people disappear and she's making a lifework out of finding them. He plans to shut her down using trickery and seduction but she twists him up like a pretzel and he can't derail her from her mission. Their battle of wills is put on hold when another player rudely steps between them and starts shooting.

Yes, I've already sent the requested Chapter off to New York. Now I have to wait for a month probably before I get a response. (Literary Agents have huge waiting lists and although I've been bumped up a long way, I don't expect to be at the very top... yet.)


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strolling Eagle

Last week when we went walking on the beach, I took these pictures of a bald eagle. He watched me but never moved as I inched closer and closer. So regal.

The fun part is that when I downloaded, it looked like the perch he was on was actually legs! Cool.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meet Gracie and Rocky, two foals who beat the odds.

Gracie, was born on a Sunday afternoon, at nearly the exact moment her mother died. So terribly sad. Her mother's parting gift to her must have been her great heart, as Gracie wasn't to be held back by details!
She was happy to take a bottle, right from the get-go, and after two failed attempts, (hours and hours of work), to get her nursing from surrogate mares, she convinced her humans that she prefers her milk from a bottle or a bucket - thank you very much!
She has a lovely old companion mare in the paddock with her but would rather hang out with humans and dogs.
Last Saturday we had the privilege of baby-sitting when her people went to a wedding. But I felt like a substitute teacher in a room with a six year old boy stomping his feet and telling me 'that isn't the way we do it home!' Gracie only drank half her formula (she gets 5 cups every 3 hours) and turned her adorable nose up at the rest as if to say, 'you aren't my mom.'
Of course, when her 'human' parents came home, she emptied the entire bucket and a bottle without coming up for air!

Then there is Rocky, named for the scary start his life had. After a long awaited birth - he was several weeks overdue - he was unable to pass food from one end to the other. He was in terrible pain and his life in danger. He was shipped to a vet clinic right away, where they medicated him through his pain while they fought to get his digestive system up and running.
Just when it appeared that he couldn't be saved and his people were faced with that daunting decision to stop his suffering, he made a remarkable turn for the better. This picture of him playing with his mom was taken about a week later!
Rocky is happy, healthy and gaining weight by the day!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

another beginning

My first blog!

I'll be sharing lots of pictures, and tidbits about the books I've been writing.

I've tucked my first three completed manuscripts into the bottom drawer. I love them and their characters. Most of all I love the lessons they taught me about writing and one day I will rewrite them so that their stories aren't forever lost.

Number four, a romantic suspense with a light paranormal thread, sits waiting for interest from an agent or an editor. It is already a contest winner, so I have my fingers crossed.

My latest project is a cheeky romantic suspense. My heroine is a funny, kick-ass kinda woman who can handle 'almost' anything that comes her way.

In the meantime, I get to walk on the beach every day... who couldn't write in a setting like this!