Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Orleans, Spring, and Titles

Hello, New Orleans!

It's my first visit to the city, and my first Romantic Times Convention. It's also the first time since 2005 that I've attended a conference by myself. Left Coast Crimes, Bouchercon . . . always I have my best friend/soul sister Katie at my side. Making wisecracks, drinking Diet Coke, and generally lessening my anxiety that I will make a massive fool of myself. (Because if I do, she's right there with me and humiliation shared is humiliation lessened.)

Honestly, I'm 45 years old! I thought I'd be over this kind of fear by now. I'm not, but I've learned how to fake it. To remind myself of my husband's wise words: "People are thinking about you a lot less than you think they are." To make myself smile and look outward. To squash my fears with a genuine interest in those around me.

So that's what I'll do. First thing tomorrow. Tonight is put-on-pajamas, write-a-blog-post, answer-emails while snacking alone in a hotel room kind of night.

I think it's also a list-as-blog-post kind of night. Here's my list of Spring 2014 Favorites:

1. Finishing Book One of the new trilogy. Signed, sealed, and delivered to agent and editor. Now awaiting revision notes and mightily relieved that the bones of the story have received approval.

2. Snow melt. Finally I can see my front lawn. Honestly, I thought that ten foot snowdrift in my driveway would never melt.

3. Seeing friends and family. I took the three kids still at home to Utah for spring break, primarily to visit Grandma and Grandpa Andersen. It was a lovely visit, full of laughter and some tears, and included a soul-healing night with my dearest writing friend, Ginger Churchill. I love you, Ginger! (You should check out her picture books--Carmen's Sticky Scab and Wild Rose's Weaving. Now she's working on a novel that has me all a-flutter!) Although we adore Boston and have no desire to leave, we spent thirteen years in Utah raising young kids and those kinds of memories leave a mark.

4. Second child accepted to college! Jake, who graduates June 1, waded through seven acceptances to decide on BYU for his undergrad work. He's starting summer term, so we're down to just a handful of weeks before he leaves home. (That is not on my favorites list.)

5. My parents are coming to Boston :) They'll spend ten days visiting for Jake's graduation--which actually falls on their 49th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the younger kids will still be in school, but I have plans for their entertainment.

6. New-ish activities. After reading an article about how writers benefit from having a hobby or activity that does not involve words, I returned to two things I haven't done for a while: sewing and playing the piano. I've played the piano since I was eight years old and one of my prized possessions is the Yamaha grand piano my parents let me have when we bought our first house. I studied for ten years and have always continued to play, but in the last couple months I've tried to make it a daily break. Sewing is something I did for fun--I have lots of family costumes made over the years but it had been some time since I'd done anything other than mend hems. But since late March I've made my daughter an Easter skirt, curtains for my son's room, and have assembled patterns and fabrics for a bunch of new projects. Playing music is an instant release; sewing is a wordless creation that instantly shows itself as either working or not.

7. I suppose I should end with Titles, since I teased it in the subject :) Once the new book was turned in, Tamar and Kate and I had a fast and furious email conversation over several days debating titles. It was my first experience with this, since The Boleyn King was the title under which I sold my first book and the subsequent titles were my first suggestions. This was a more lively discussion and intriguing looking on it from the inside. I'm very excited with the new title and promise to share it as soon as I have the go-ahead.

And there you go :) Spring 2014--it just barely arrived in Boston, and already summer is looming. A summer which will see our household reduced to half our kids, a summer in which I need to write book two in the new trilogy, and a summer of perhaps bittersweet family moments.

I'm. So. Unbelievably. Lucky.

1 comment:

  1. This post really should include a pic of one of the gorgeous costumes you've sewn! Don't I remember an Anne Boleyn costume that was simply a show-stopper? However, given that you're blogging from on the road (something I always seem to find impossible) you're excused, so long as it shows up in a future post one day soon. ;)

    Have fun at the convention--I'm sure you will!