Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Road Trip!

This Thursday, before the butt crack of dawn, I will be getting in my car and starting a road trip toward Hungtington, West Virginia. Why? Because a friend and I are heading to Lora Leigh's Reader Appreciation Weekend, that's why!

I think this event started last year. It was designed to be a way for writers and readers to get together and have fun, without a lot of agendas or workshops like most writing conferences have. I didn't go last year, but I had heard it was a blast so when a friend told me about the registration window for this year, I jumped at the chance!

So my friend and I got in and on Thursday we are hopping in the car and driving about 14 hours to West Virginia. It's going to be fun. I love road trips. I know there are people who don't but I do. There is something wonderful about getting in a car and just driving somewhere. I love cranking up the radio and singing loudly. And badly. I love watching the world as I whiz past in my car. There is always so much to see, even if what you're driving through is farm land or open plains or cities get it. You have to be willing to see, to look, to observe. I love doing that.

My friend and I are bringing music, food, books, knitting and perhaps even movies. We'll split the driving. Which means I hope she takes the first leg because I have to get up earlier than her so I can get to her place which is an hour away, lol! I'm going to need some strong coffee.

I have no idea what to expect when we get to WV. I just know that it's going to be fun and I can choose to participate as much or as little as I want. It's not a conference. It's a gathering. And right now, I'm all about the relaxation aspect of gathering together. *g*

I will blog about the weekend when I'm done. Or perhaps while I'm there. While I'm gone, you all have a great week!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cubicle Blues

They moved me from my nice, quiet office to a row of cubicles in a new building. I'm sad but adjusting.

I have a cube near a window. It's very sunny in the mornings and relatively light in the afternoons. And the set up is nice. I have enough space to spread out in, though I'm trying to keep things neat and not horde paper and stuff. Sadly, it's just outside my manager's cube. No sneaking in and out. *sigh*

I miss the office. Mostly because I could shut the door. I enjoyed shutting the door and keeping the world out while I worked. Okay, while I played.

Still, being out in a cube means I'll interact more with my colleagues, right? Well sure, if I get stop listening to music on Pandora and rip the headphones away from my ears. Let's face it, I may be a social creature, but at work I just want to hunker down, get the job done and then do some writing, some blogging, some networking. I'm not a cubicle kind of girl.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thinking Sideways - Ah Ha Moments

I'm starting month two of Holly Lisle's six month course on How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School For Writers and I've had some interesting "Ah Ha!" moments. I want to share some of those with you.

For copyright purposes I am not going to share details on the exercises and materials. I do recommend you investigate this course. Seriously. It's the beginning of my week six in this self-paced course and while I'm "behind" in the lessons, I'm definitely not behind in the learnings. The first month of the course is filled with so much information and guidance that I had to give myself some extra time to work through it all. That and my life is a big scary mess at the moment. But that's a discussion for another day.

One of my biggest Ah Ha! moments so far has been what I'm drawn to as a writer. Holly had us do some cluster maps on things that we're drawn to, or make us happy and things that we're not necessarily drawn to when it comes to writing. I struggle with why genre I fit into as a writer. Holly's exercise helped me to let go of the labels and to look at what motivates me write. What gives me those cool little butterflies and you know what? I can write those elements in practically any genre out there.

I'm not a romance writer. I'm not a women's fiction writer. I'm a writer. A storyteller. And that knowledge has been incredibly freeing!

I am loving this course! And I recommend it to you as well. Please check it out on Holly's site. She is taking registrations for a new offering of the course and if you are serious about the business of writing and career development/survival, this is for you! Check it out here - How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School For Writers You won't regret it!

Books Read in August 2008

Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy -- The first book of her Negotiator trilogy, which focuses around a human who becomes the mediator between several paranormal races.

The Wild Road by Marjorie M. Liu -- this is book 8 in MML's Dirk & Steele series and revisits some characters we met in Dark Dreamers and Soul Song.

Flashback by Jill Shalvis -- The first book in a new mini series by Jill. Hot firefighters, need I say more?

Pitch Black by Susan Crandall -- Susan's first romantic suspense has everything you love about her women's fiction with a believable suspense plot that kept me on the edge of my seat.

In Deep Voodoo and Finding Your Mojo by Stephanie Bond -- Fun, fast reading about live, love and murder in the Deep South.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen -- a whimsical and haunting debut novel.

The Darkest Night and The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter -- The first two books in Gena's Lords of the Underworld series.

Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs -- read this!

Term Limits by Vince Flynn -- Vince's first book and a great reread for me.

Superb & Sexy by Jill Shalvis -- The third book in Jill's Sky High Air series.

Sweet Spot by Susan Mallery -- Book 2 in Susan's Keye's Sisters/Keye's Bakery series. I hope to read book three in September.