ROMANCE WRITER’S OF AMERICA NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2017 ORLANDO, FL

ROMANCE WRITER’S OF AMERICA NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2017 ORLANDO, FL

Gail Ingis (using Beautycounter products)

July 26-29, 2017 Workshops, mentors, pitching editors, publishers and more:

Awards and Recognition Section Landing Page Photo Collage

CONFERENCES AND EVENTS

Join 2,000 romance writers and industry professionals from all over the world for RWA2017 in Orlando, Florida, July 26–29, at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. The four-day conference features nationally recognized speakers, special events, and more than 100 workshops.

CHAPTER CONTESTS, CONFERENCES
AND EVENTS

Local RWA chapers offer a number of conferences, contests, and workshops.  Click below to see the schedule for the coming months.

CONFERENCE WRAP-UP

CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE

  • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
  • Orlando, Florida
  • July 26–29, 2017

The RWA Conference is the place where career-focused romance writers meet, mingle, and get down to the business of being an author. RWA2017 includes over 100 workshops, the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing (open to the public); Keynote and featured speakers, book signings, and the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony.

WHO WILL YOU MEET AT RWA2017?

Maria Connor, my Author Assistant

Here are just a few statistics from past conferences:

  • Over 20 countries represented
  • More than 800 published authors
  • Over 50 agents
  • An average of 150 industry professionals

https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1691

Literacy signing on Saturday, July 29th from 3-5 pm. I’ll be there, with hundreds of authors and Maria Connor, so please stop by. Say hi, and buy my book to help support the Literacy organization. We all donate our books and our time.

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

SYNOPSIS

SYNOPSIS

After four desperate tries for my latest writings, a sequel to my Indigo Sky, I finally nailed down ideas in the form of a synopsis. I know, I know, a synopsis is supposed to be, well, sort of like a short story–beginning, middle and end. How do you write this thing without the story? Created as the preliminary to an outline, I left out the unnecessary, and kept in the necessary. In other words, my synopsis left out the B-ST.

Stephen King

Maybe what Stephen King says in his book,”On Writing” in his Second Foreword, is true, This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with B-ST. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do–not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less the B-ST. King suggests that every aspiring writer should read The Elements of Style. Rule 17 in the chapter titled “Principles of Composition” is “Omit needless words.” I tried to do that in my short synopsis, maybe three pages double spaced, based on someone’s probable expectation. Enough of this, I can see your eyes rolling from here.

So now how to create that outline? I am about to–finally–learn how to use Scrivener, created for us (writers) to outline. Wish me God’s speed . . .

http://amzn.to/2ji2Gda (Audio)

http://bit.ly/29xUJ1H (Trailer)

indigo sky cover6x9 72res.jpg

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE (buy link)

 

 

 

GONE ARE THE DAYS . . .

GONE ARE THE DAYS . . .

Bunny Win 12x12" oil

Bunny Win 12×12″ oil-on-aluminum

Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends, watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.

I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite in 2009. Captivated by how the painting came to life, Indigo Sky is an historic romantic adventure inspired by Bierstadt’s journey from the Catskills to Yosemite.

Indigo Sky Bookcover

Indigo Sky Bookcover

After extensive studies and writing workshops, among many was Carol Dannhauser’s Memoir writing and Michael Hauge’s, A Hero’s Journey. I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by, those several years. Consider, I could have acquired a PhD in writing!  Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!

One day, I looked up—Soul Mate Publishing published my book—suddenly, I was a published author.

You see, I had been painting full time, everyday, three workshops every week, sketching, photographing, scanning, framing, it is a full time job. Writing is the same. I did a ton of research before I even began to write. Then I wrote everyday, researched when necessary. Writing is rewriting. First draft, second draft, edit, edit and more edit. Then when the publisher’s editor got hold of it, we did more editing. We deleted down from 86k to 82k. It was not scary or sad. It was good. I knew it needed more editing, always, especially when a professional looks at your work.

Domes of Yosemite (Ode to Bierstadt) Ingis Claus

Domes of Yosemite (Ode to Bierstadt) 24×36″ acrylic on canvas

 

Finally, when the book was published, I finished my painting project. I love to paint! Now, literally, with the show on the road, I am seriously thinking about writing my next historical romance, maybe in and around Coney Island. This blog sees the culmination of my Coney Island painting project, on view, until September 30 at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT. Come party with us on Thursday, September 8, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Clap along with us as we demo a swing dance (Lindy) just like in Coney Island way back when, to the big band mix of, ‘In the Mood, Sweet Sue, Rockin’ the Rock named “Jive Bunny.” See the invitation here:

Coney Island: Visions from the Boardwalk
Meet Artist-Writer Gail Ingis Claus at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
Artist Reception and Book Signing Party, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 pm Enjoy exotic aged cheeses, grapes, berries, and veggie crudites generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering

Cyclone, Oh What a Ride 12x24 OilConey Island’s Cyclone: Oh What a Ride 12×24 Oil-on-Anodized-Aluminum

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is pleased to present more than 25 paintings
from artist-writer Gail Ingis-Claus. The artist will be signing copies of her new
book entitled INDIGO SKY. During the reception, the Lockwood-Mathews
Mansion Museum will be offering the book at a special show price.
Unique Offer: Enter at the reception to Win A FREE Book and a Coney Island
print! Attendees of the Artist Reception and Book Signing Party on Thursday,
September 8, 2016, will be entered to win a complimentary copy of Gail’s novel in
paperback and a Coney Island print from her art collection. The drawing will take place
shortly before closing at 7:15 pm. The winning ticket holder must be present to
receive the free book, bookmark, and print of Coney Island.
Founding Patron
The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown
2016 Distinguished Benefactors:
The Maurice Goodman Foundation
Sponsor: www.investmarkfinancial.com
RSVP by Friday, Sept 2, 2016
203-838-9799 ext. 4 Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com
295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
203-838-9799

Free, win an Indigo Sky eBook download. Winner chosen from those who comment! Deadline, Wednesday, August 17th at midnight.

 

FOLLOW YOUR HEART WRITERS & ARTISTS

FOLLOW YOUR HEART WRITERS & ARTISTS

K.M. Weiland, Author

K.M. Weiland, Author

K.M. Weiland writes historical and speculative fiction. Following are her ten habits of the successful writer (with her permission to reblog) along with my thoughts as an artist.

Write everyday. Treat your writing like a job, even if it isn’t yet. Writing something everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph, keeps your creative pump primed and your inertia at bay. (Nora Roberts says this too, I heard her chat with Nora Roberts at RWA.)

GI Paint everyday, just like writing.

 Complete stories. Discipline yourself to finish every story you start. If you quit whenever the going gets tough, or whenever the shine of a new idea beckons, you’ll never finish a story. No one reads or buys half-finished tales.

GI  Complete your paintings.

Learn the writing rules. Writing is a craft that must be learned. There are excellent workshops and seminars online conveniently available and inexpensive. Read voraciously—all kinds, books on writing, join a writing organization online or local.

GI Learn the painting rules.

Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

Break the rules. Once you have a solid understanding of the principles of fiction, don’t be afraid to step beyond their confines. Experiment. Think outside the box. Fiction is based on a set of basic tenets because they’ve been proven to work. If it stagnates, it dies.

GI Painting is the same.

Create your own inspiration. Pinpoint what inspired you and surround yourself with stimuli. Discipline, creativity, and persistence are a cure-all for writer’s (painter’s) block. Don’t allow writer’s block to become an excuse for giving up.

GI Create your own inspiration for your painting.Don’t slack on the hard stuff.

Not all of writing is fun and games, but if you want to create a polished story, you have to submit to the hard stuff, as well as the fun stuff. Don’t cut corners on research, outlining or editing. The extra work always pays off in the end.

GI Don’t slack on the hard stuff for your art.

Follow your heart, not the market. Art is a deeply personal expression. Write the story your heart has to tell. Conforming your work to the market, just for the market’s sake, will cheat both yourself and your readers in the long run.

GI  Follow your heart, and not the market for your art.

If we're growing . . .

If we’re growing . . .

Develop a thick skin. Criticism of our work can seem like a personal attach, but criticism—especially when coming from critique partners, agents, and editors—is a vital part of the process. Accept constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to make your story better.

GI  Painting criticism is crucial to make your paintings better.

Set your stories free. When the time comes to send your stories into the world, learn to let them go. Your characters are yours no longer. They belong to everyone who reads them. Rejoice that you’re able to share them, say goodbye, and move onto the next story.

GI  Set your paintings free, give others the pleasure of your paintings.

Love what you do. We writers are a blessed bunch. Don’t ever forget that. The writing road has its own set of speed bumps—Isolation, loneliness, rejection—but benefits of spinning these webs of color and fantasy are more than just compensation!

Gail painting and writing

Gail painting and writing

 

GI Love doing your art, painting or writing.

 

 

 

 

What are some good tips for aspiring writers of fiction?

What are some good tips for aspiring artists?

My book, Indigo Sky, will soon be published by Soul Mate Publishing. I will keep you posted.

Below is my invite to my art show this Sunday, August 9, 2015

You are Invited . . .
Gail Ingis-Artist Invitational
Bill Millers Castle
Gail’s Exhibition is Indoor

Free admission
SUNDAY AUGUST 9, 2015 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Jungle Mania 11x14 oil/bd

Jungle Mania 11×14 oil/bd

 

Bill Millers Castle

Bill Millers Castle

 Directions to Bill Millers Castle
Bill Millers Castle is located at 834 East Main Street (Rt.1) on the Branford/Guilford town line between
Exit 56 & 57 on 1-95
Traveling North from New Haven on 1-95
Take Exit 56, turn left, travel ¼ mile and turn right at Chowder Pot Restaurant. Travel 1/4 mile to the Castle
Traveling South from New London on 1-95
Take Exit 57, turn right at bottom of exit and travel 2.3 miles to the Castle

Quote of the day from Goodreads:

The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

At the age of 16, English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (born August 4, 1792) was expelled from Oxford University and disowned by his father. The reason? A little pamphlet he wrote called “The Necessity of Atheism.”

SO–YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER!

SO–YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER!

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Connecticut Writers Welcome Bestselling Suspense Author to Teach Multi-Day Workshop

Cherry Adair to teach master class workshop to writers of all genres this fall

Meriden, CT–July 28, 2014–Connecticut Romance Writers of America (CTRWA) is pleased to announce they will be welcoming author Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair, Author

Cherry Adair, Author

to teach a master level workshop, “Everything and the Kitchen Sink.” The workshop will take place at the Four-Points Sheraton in Meriden, CT, on September 13-14, 2014. Writers of all genres are welcome and can benefit from this workshop.

Adair will be teaching writers how to build 3-D characters who leap off the page, how to create luminous dialogue, and how to layer and texture your novel so that every word does at least two jobs. Students will learn the elements of plotting in order to write faster and smarter. Adair will even discuss how to construct a viable career plan so writers can have the career they want. Many CTRWA members have attended Adair’s workshops in the past and can attest to her passion for both writing and teaching.

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Cherry Adair has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels which have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. She hates first drafts, has a passion for mentoring unpublished writers, and is hard at work on three series – T-FLAC, CUTTER CAY and LODESTONE.

For more details on how to register for the workshop, as well as information about the hotel, please visit www.ctrwa.org and go to the heading “Cherry Adair Master Class.”

Cherry Adair is Imaginative, inventive, innovative and, oh yes. . .fun. She is patient, yet stirs things up. I speak from personal experience, Cherry was one of my teachers. She is lovable and as personable as it gets.  And to add to the pot brewing great stuff, the writers you will meet at this workshop are some of the nicest, kindest, best people you will ever shake hands with, hmm, bump hands. (To avoid 90% of the germs you get with our traditional handshake.)

It’s easy to register, see the link above, or here it is again: www.ctrwa.org and go to the heading “Cherry Adair Master Class.”

What do you think? Want to have a wonderful day learning about writing? Now’s your chance. Go for it!

 

THE EDITOR

THE EDITOR

Today we are interviewing Sandy Tritt of Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

Sandy Tritt, President Inspiration For Writers

Sandy Tritt, President Inspiration for Writers

Gail: Good morning, Sandy.
Sandy: Good morning, Gail.
Gail: What can you tell us about Inspiration for Writers, Inc.?
Sandy: IFW is my heartbeat. We’ve been in business since 1999, and, at first, “we” consisted of “me.” Now we’ve grown and we have twelve editors and writers onboard. We’re different than most editing companies because we never bid on projects or give projects to the highest bidder. Instead, I handpick the editor best qualified to work on each project.
Gail: What genres do you edit?
Sandy: Just about anything! Our editors have quite the variety of backgrounds. Jimmy Carl is a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and university professor. He has an EdD in history. After three tours in Vietnam, he’s a great resource for war scenes. Charlotte Firbank-King is the author of fourteen books, most of which are historical romance. She’s also a world-renowned artist. Rhonda has a background in medicine (as well as a master’s of fine arts in creative writing). Sherry teaches creative writing both online and locally. And on and on. Our editors represent every age group and cover every genre. We live or have lived in five different countries. We all give workshops. We’ve all been published.
Gail: I wanted to interview you because of a blog you posted on the Inspiration for Writers, Inc., site. Is it okay for me to print that here?
Sandy: Sure.
Gail: Then we can finish up with the rest of your questions.
Sandy: Thank you.

She smiled.
GRRR . . .
And Sandy frowned. In one page–in approximately 250 words–the characters in this manuscript have smiled seven times, laughed four, grinned twice, and frowned once. Oh, and between all that smiling and laughing, there were four sighs. FOUR SIGHS! (Not counting the ones coming from me).

And, no, these characters were not in the audience of Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, or any other show. They were eating dinner and discussing a recent murder.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common problems I see in manuscripts. In fact, I’d be willing to say that at least 90% of the fiction manuscripts I see overuse the common actions of smiling (always the worst offender), laughing, frowning, nodding, shaking a head, and grinning.

Most writers are not aware they do this. They’ve been told to use action, use body language. They’ve been told to cut passive verbs like was, were, is, are and so forth. They’ve been told to omit helping verbs like could have, would’ve, beginning to, starting to and so on. They dutifully have scanned their manuscript and cut back on these things.

I challenge you to do a FIND for the word “smiled.” See how many times you’ve used that word. Surprised? Try “laughed.” “Grinned.” “Frowned.” “Shook.” “Nodded.” Oh, oh, oh. One more. “Felt.”

I challenge you to replace as many as you can with more descriptive body language. First, consider the emotion this character is actually feeling. Is he bored? Joyous? Frustrated? Then, figure out a unique way to show your reader this emotion. (Or, cheat. Pick up a great book like The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi or Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Dr. Linda  Edelstein). Then, have your characters scratch a mole until it bleeds or drop pieces of steak on the floor when no one is watching or polish the diamond on their rings. Or growl.

“Doing this one thing will bring your writing up to the next level,” Sandy said and smiled. “I promise.”

Gail: Thanks, Sandy.
Sandy: You’re welcome.
Gail: Shall we get to the rest of the questions?
Sandy: Sure!
Gail: What do you love about being an editor?
Sandy: Everything! It is my dream job. After more than 15 years in this business, I wake up each morning and think, “Yes! Another day to work!”  I can’t wait to get on my computer. This company is my heartbeat. Why? First, the people. I get to work with talented people from all over the globe. So many of our clients—and all our editors—have become personal friends. Second, the work itself. Editing is a combination of everything I love doing—writing, reading, and teaching. Third, I get to hold in my hands the books my clients published. What a thrill! Fourth, did I mention the people?
Gail:  What annoys you most about the publishing industry at the moment?
Sandy: I try my best never to be annoyed. So, let me put a spin on this question. What do I love about the publishing industry? That it is changing, that it is evolving, that today, writers have so many choices. Just a few years ago, there was only one way to publishing success, and that was to score a high profile literary agent who could, in turn, unlock the doors to the NYC publishing houses. But today, there are many ways writers can have publishing success. The e-book phenomenon has sprung open the doors for writers. Additionally, mid-level publishers, who were once swept to the corners, have become viable and approachable alternatives to the agent-protected Big Six. Today is a great day to be a writer.
Gail: What do you think new writers should know that they don’t seem to?
Sandy: Writing is a craft. Writing is something we get better at the more we study and the more we practice. If a writer is serious about writing, he/she will invest in his/her career—take classes, attend workshops, read books on the craft of writing, and practice. Writers conferences are a great place to meet other writers, attend workshops, and learn about what is going on in the publishing world.
Gail: What mistakes do you see new writers making?
Sandy: (laughs). When I first started editing, I found myself telling writers the same things, over and over. So, I wrote some “tip sheets” and included these in the package when I returned the manuscript (In the 1990s, editing was done through snail mail. Now, 99.8% of our edits are done through email). Eventually, I put the tip sheets on the Inspiration for Writers website.  Later, I combined all the tip sheets, added in some worksheets, and created the Inspiration for Writers Tips and Techniques Workbook. I’m happy to give a free download of our e-workbook to the first ten of your readers who email me at IFWeditors@gmail.com and ask for it.
Gail: Thanks, Sandy. One last question. What kind of plot do you think has been done to death?
Sandy: Since long before Shakespeare, writers have worried about plots. Some academics say there are only three plots: man vs. man, man vs. machine, and man vs. himself. Others say there are seven. The one thing no one argues is that truly, there is a very limited number of plots. They ALL have been overdone. And, yet, at the same time, any one of them can be new all over again. What makes the difference? The writer. A skilled writer can take any plot, no matter how many times it’s been done, and make it fresh all over again by using an intriguing writer’s voice, sharp dialogue, and just plain excellent writing skills.
Gail: Thank you, Sandy. I appreciate our time here today.
Sandy: You’re welcome, Gail. It’s always a pleasure to visit with you. If any of your followers have a question for me, I’m happy to answer. Ask away! And don’t forget to email me to receive a free download of our Tips and Techniques Workbook. Thanks for having me on your site today.
Gail: My pleasure, Sandy. I have your Tips and Techniques Workbook, thank you. If it were a hard copy it would be in tatters from use. Every writer should have one!

Website: http://www.inspirationforwriters.com.

STORAGE STORIES

STORAGE STORIES

From the beginning storage has been sought after.  We accrue, amass, and accumulate.  No matter how much space, we fill it, and need a place for more.

Dining room cabinet in the wall

Cabinets in walls, cubbies in stalls, cubicles in closets.  Did you ever think of a cabinet inside a wall?  It is done with medicine cabinets all the time.  But how about a larger cabinet to store stuff?  Like in the dining room. Instead of a buffet cabinet sitting in the room on the floor, how about putting a cabinet in a wall?  It can have a serving area, as it is here in the middle of the cabinet, as well as storage. All your dishes, crystal, silver, serving pieces. everything.  Everything is away, and still convenient.  This one is a contemporary version, but it can be any design of your preference.

Take a wall out, making two rooms into one.  One large one, and build cabinets around the supporting columns.

Cabinets (open) hiding columns

Cabinets (closed) built around supporting columns

Now you have a party room, with two cabinets housing all your party stuff, right there where you need it. I designed these based on the clients requests so that beverages and refreshments could be served while mingling with guests.

The cabinets are made in wood, olive ash burl, with a special gloss polyurethane finish that is indestructible.

Here’s some back-story.  Let’s call it history.  In the 17th century, William of the Netherlands married Mary of England.  They had their own style for storage.

William & Mary cabinet

These amazing works of art served them well, to store and to view.  Cabinet veneered with burr maple.  English, c. 1690.  The trumpet-legs, typical of the style, are restored. The floral marquetry panels show the Dutch influence.  This period of William and Mary is most characteristically known in English cabinetmaking history as the “Age of Walnut.” See this in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

What about my writer friends.  Do you have a desk?  Where do you keep all your papers?

Here’s one for you.  The writing section can be pulled down, and look at all that drawer space in the walnut-veneer

William & Mary Secretaire-cabinet c.1700

secretaire-cabinet, with bun feet and teardrop hardware, typical of the William and Mary style, with panels of arabesque marquetry and a central panel of flowers in etched and stained woods. Perhaps made in England by an immigrant Dutch craftsman, c. 1700.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Where do you keep all those papers?  Would you have enough space for a secretary like this one, or would a smaller one work?

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