Dec 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, December 29, 2011 2 comments

Every year I make New Year's Resolution/s - and this year is no different. For 2012 I resolve not to make a New Year's resolution! It isn't that I'm not striving to achieve something. I am. But I heard this quote by Henry Moore and thought it was one to live by. So this year I will:

 ...think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s. 

What about you? To resolve or not? And do you succeed? Would love for you to share your thoughts.

Dec 26, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, December 26, 2011 0 comments
The measure of artistic merit is the length to which a writer is willing to go in following his own compulsions - John Updike

Dec 25, 2011

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, December 25, 2011 0 comments

Dec 22, 2011

What I Want for Christmas...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, December 22, 2011 3 comments

Dec 19, 2011

Guest: Author Rachel Johns

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, December 19, 2011 8 comments
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, a supermarket owner by day and a writer by night. She rarely sleeps.
As an active member of Romance Writers of Australia, Rachael has finaled and placed in a number of romance writing contests. Each success is uplifting and publication is her dream but even if none of this happened, she’d still write. It’s a much better option than ironing, which she refuses to partake in. Ever.
Rachael received The Call from Angela James telling her Carina wanted to publish her book on April Fools Day and, when she told her friends, half of them wondered if it was a big joke. Luckily it wasn’t.
Special days seems to be a theme for Rachael as her debut book (One Perfect Night) *released today* has a Christmas theme.

Below you'll find an excerpt from One Perfect Night, details of where to read more, purchase the book and enter to win a copy.

Thanks for visiting, Rachael.

Excerpt from One Perfect Night

“Don’t look now, but Mr. McSexy just entered the building.”
“Blast.” Peppa Grant spun round and did exactly what her best friend and colleague Izzy had ordered her not to. Her breathing faltered at the sight of six foot plus of unadulterated male who now towered at the entrance to the company’s function room. An anxious hush fell over the previously buzzing room. As all eyes snapped to him, she tried not to quake in her costume’s fairy shoes.
Until half an hour ago, Cameron McCormac had meant nothing more to Peppa than the new name at the very top of the office food chain. Now he was the man who owned the car she’d sideswiped in the car park tonight.
The dangerously handsome man who was making her pulse spike simply by standing in the doorway. “Oh, God.”
As Peppa pushed her barely touched glass out of reach and let her head fall onto the table in front of her, Izzy giggled.
“It’s. Not. Funny,” Peppa declared when she finally looked up. Her eyes sought the company’s new CEO again and she felt her heart collapse into her stomach.
“You’re right,” Izzy said, reaching out and stroking Peppa’s hair like a mother over a sick child. “If I’d just put a prize-winning dent in the big boss’s red, convertible pride and joy, I’d probably be at Sydney airport boarding a plane or planning to hitch a ride with Santa back to the North Pole.”
“Hilarious.” Peppa shot her friend a sarcastic smile. “Please tell me McSexy has just vanished up a chimney?”
Izzy took a sip of her chocolate mocktail, her sea-blue eyes sparking with laughter as she peered theatrically over Peppa’s head. “No can do. Looks like he’s doing the rounds, handing out candy canes or something to all the children. Molly must have put him up to it.”
Molly, although old enough to be his mother, was Mr. McCormac’s personal assistant. Rumor had it when he did anything remotely human, she’d put him up to it. She’d been with the company longer than anyone and was the brains behind this event, the annual Christmas party for children of Lyrique Recordings’ employees. Peppa had a fleeting fantasy of leaving a message with Molly about her little misdemeanor in the car park but that wouldn’t be right. And she hadn’t been brought up to take the easy option.
“I’ll do it now,” she said, resting a hand on her queasy belly as she pushed herself off the stool and onto quaky feet. Although whether her shakiness was from trepidation or her gorgeous boss’s sexy gait and air-of-confidence, she couldn’t be sure. “Confess before I’m due on stage and then, if he has any sympathetic bones in his body, he’ll let me entertain the kids before the crucifixion.”
“You’re such a drama queen,” sighed Izzy. “The top job pays well. He has enough money to line his undies drawer in gold. You apologize. You give him the details of your insurance company. You get on with your life. Simple.”
Simple. Right. But Izzy didn’t know that Peppa had just switched to a budget insurance provider. As she had never needed to claim in seven years of driving, the switch had seemed a good decision at the time. The upside was low monthly rates. The downside? A mammoth deductible on claims.
Well, that faux-pas may not only have cost Peppa her car and her job, but paying back the damage to the boss’s vintage Lamborghini would seriously endanger her ability to pay her mortgage. Not to mention she’d have to put her plans for an overseas holiday on hold—a holiday that had been all about helping her mind and emotions recover from the battering of the past few months.
“I think he’s looking at you.”
Izzy’s words broke Peppa’s reverie. And of course she looked up, across the room, only to find her gaze colliding with the Head Honcho himself. Her heart hitched a beat. Despite the distance she could see the roguish tilt of his lips, the slight frown of his distinguished black brows and that his devilish licorice eyes were trained on her. Dark-chocolate hair, speckled with naturally sun-kissed spikes, framed a face so chiseled it could have been carved from stone. A man so in-control of his world he had no reason to question it. Heat flooded her cheeks and, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention, Peppa forced herself to break her gaze.

If you’ve enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the first chapter of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at Rachael’s website, here.

Or, you can buy the book at Amazon (hereor Carina Press (here).

And to celebrate her debut release, Rachael is blogging today at the following places, giving away a copy of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at each spot:
·         Get Lost in a Story
·         Chick-lit Central
·         Novel Thoughts

Dec 15, 2011

My First Guest Author

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, December 15, 2011 2 comments

I'm very excited to announce that on Monday, instead of my normal motivational post, I have my very first guest author visiting my blog.

What a wonderful way to finish off 2011. I hope that it is the lead-in for many firsts in 2012 (maybe a first sale? *wishing hard*).

Back to my guest. To find out who it is, to read an excerpt, and to find out where you can win a copy of her new release, you'll have to visit Monday.

Dec 12, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, December 12, 2011 2 comments
A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. 
~ Eugene Ionesco ~

Dec 8, 2011

Never Say to Writers...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, December 08, 2011 0 comments

Dec 5, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, December 05, 2011 1 comments
Only a person with a Best Seller mind can write Best Sellers - Aldous Huxley

Dec 1, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, December 01, 2011 2 comments
It's done! All my Christmas presents are bought and wrapped and hidden away. Such a relief. I start my Christmas shopping in July and usually like to have it squared away before December, so I've just squeaked it in.

I love giving presents, and love planning what to get everyone so I (hopefully) can give them something that makes them smile. So for me shopping in advance lets me contemplate each and every gift - no last minute rush.

This year I am giving lots of books - no surprise there. The Hub is the exception this year - he's getting some (very) expensive rope for his rock climbing instead. Probably the first time he won't have any reading material under the tree. But for everyone else, mixed in with the toys, cds, sporting gear etc are books.

Lots and lots of books.

Nov 28, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, November 28, 2011 0 comments
Plotting isn't like sex, because you can go back and adjust it afterwards. Whether you plan your story beforehand or not, if the climax turns out to be the revelation that the mad professor's anti-gravity device actually works, you must go back and silently delete all those flying cars buzzing around the city on page one. If you want to reveal something, you need to hide it properly first - Colin Greenland

Nov 24, 2011

Selling Synopsis Finalists

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, November 24, 2011 0 comments
Congratulations to Marilyn Forsyth, Clare Jude, Eloise Shannon (twice!), Christine Taylor and Allison Withers who made the final round of the Selling Synopsis contest. Their synopsis entries are now with Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency for their final judging. Best of luck!!

Competition was a lot stiffer this year - I entered the same synopsis I entered last year and scored an almost identical score but dropped 6 places in the rankings. Like my High 5 I seem to have split the judges with very high scores from two judges being counter-balanced by a low score from a third. Considering I would rather go to the dentist than write a synopsis (in fact, I remember setting aside 2 weeks where I set the goal of writing my synopsis, and it took me the full two weeks to do so), I'm pretty happy with that.

Nov 21, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, November 21, 2011 0 comments
Plotting is like sex. Plotting is about desire and satisfaction, anticipation and release. You have to arouse your reader's desire to know what happens, to unravel the mystery, to see good triumph. You have to sustain it, keep it warm, feed it, just a little bit, not too much at a time, as your story goes on. That's called suspense. It can bring desire to a frenzy, in which case you are in a good position to bring off a wonderful climax - Colin Greenland

Nov 17, 2011

High 5 Results and Finalists

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, November 17, 2011 2 comments
Firstly, congratulations to the six finalists: Anne-Louise Dubrawski, Bernice Greenham, Cornelia Kamp, Dorothy Martin, Melissa Smith and Jennifer St George. At the moment their High 5 entries are in the hands of Harlequin's Charles Griemsman who is judging the final placings. Best of luck to all of you!

Now for my results. Another mixed bag (seems to be the norm for me). For my current wip I received two very high scores, but the third was quite low so dragged down my overall score - I seem to have that happen a lot! I think (reading between the lines of the judges' comments) that I have a good story and voice, but perhaps there were some elements of craft that let me down. So two judges went with the story and voice (hence the high score) and the other pulled me up on the craft (hence the low score). But I am not disappointed. The craft issues were pointed out to me before the results came back so I was expecting it, and I am thrilled that my story was loved.

What more could you ask for?

Nov 14, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, November 14, 2011 0 comments

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it  -  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nov 10, 2011

SYTYCW #2

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, November 10, 2011 1 comments
Harlequin are again running their "So You Think You Can Write" week. It started Monday - but it isn't too late to join in and catch up.

This year they have a dedicated website (here) for the event, so it is much easier to follow and participate. Best of all, this year the big contest can lead to a publishing contract (you just need a full manuscript by Dec 15th).

This is the place to learn all you wanted to know about writing series romance!

Nov 7, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, November 07, 2011 0 comments

To the composition of novels and romances, nothing is necessary but paper, pens, and ink, with the manual capacity of using them. ~ Henry Fielding ~

Nov 4, 2011

The Perfect Job

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, November 04, 2011 0 comments
I've heard it said that ...the perfect job is the one you would do for free... I guess that just proves that writing is the perfect job for me. After all, I am doing it for free. At least for the moment I am. I hope that one day I'll be paid to write the stories in my head - to me that really would make it the perfect job!

What job would you do for free?

Oct 31, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, October 31, 2011 0 comments

The ideal view for daily writing, hour for hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible - Edna Ferber

Oct 27, 2011

Your Man Reminder

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 27, 2011 2 comments

Now if that doesn't get you thinking about giving your breasts some TLC - nothing will!!

Oct 24, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, October 24, 2011 2 comments
~ Raymond Feist ~

Oct 20, 2011

Contests so far...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 20, 2011 3 comments
I've entered both the High 5 contest (the first five pages of any category manuscript) and the Selling Synopsis contest so far this year. I'll be very interested to see how these go, as I have put in two entries in both: a new story and an old one.

I think my newest story shows growth with my writing, so am curious to find out how they go with the judges to see if they agree with me. I'm also curious to see how my old story (which has been entered in these contests previously) fares with different judges.

Seemed like fairly logical reasoning at the time.

Oct 17, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, October 17, 2011 0 comments
At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance--that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is to be--curiosity--to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don't think the talent makes much difference, whether you've got it or not.
~ William Faulkner ~

Oct 13, 2011

*guilt*

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 13, 2011 0 comments
I love to write. But finding the time to write without the burden of guilt is really difficult. You see, at the moment it is hard to justify the time I want to spend writing - instead I should be spending time with the family, doing housework, working in a job that pays actual money.

But I want to write. So I see my goal of being published as a solution to that guilt. If it is a job, a paying job, I can justify spending my time writing.

What about you? Do you feel guilt? If not, let me in on your secret so I too can write guilt free!

Oct 10, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, October 10, 2011 0 comments
Nothing, not love, not greed, not passion or hatred, is stronger than a writer's need to change another writer's copy - Arthur Evans

Oct 6, 2011

Nature or Nurture?

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 06, 2011 0 comments
I've always thought it would be a combination of both and that was confirmed at a workwhop I attended recently. Dr John Barletta, clinical psychologist, presented the workshop which examined how both nature and nurture can influence the development of behaviour and personality.

I loved the following quote from Dr Barletta's presentation:

It doesn't matter where you plant a pumpkin seed, it will always grow into a pumpkin. But how big, hardy and tasty it will be depends upon...?  As our nature is a type of genetic endowment, nurture is the experience we have during our life time.

How does this relate to writing? I see it as being very strongly related to a character's behaviour and personality - and quite possibly the basis for the formulation of the internal conflict: It is a fallacy to believe that any behaviour that is genetically inherited cannot be modified over a lifetime...

So what has influenced your hero and heroine throughout their early years, combined with their genetic inheritance, will be what forms them as adults. And it is this behaviour they have to overcome to reach their Happy Ever After.

I can now see the possibilities for my heroes and heroines through consideration of the psychological aspect of their character development. Dr Barletta has a book coming out next year 'The Home Therapist' - a practical, self-help guide for everyday psychological problems. I think this is definitely a craft book I will have to buy.

Oct 3, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, October 03, 2011 2 comments
Every novel should have a beginning, a middle, and an end - Peter De Vries

Sep 29, 2011

Changes in Time

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, September 29, 2011 3 comments
A little over 3 years ago the twists and turns of life meant I was given a window of opportunity to focus seriously for the first time on my writing. With the fabulous support of my family my dream of being an author sparkled with a glimmer of hope.

In the intervening years I have learnt a great deal about the craft of writing and (hopefully) my writing has grown to reflect this.

Following from this I thought I'd share with you the openings of two stories - the first I wrote in September 2008 and the other which was rejected by Mills and Boon in May 2010 (my more recent writing is still being entered in contests so cannot be posted):

SHERIDAN glanced around the almost empty room, sighed, and wondered again over the events that had pushed her to this life.  Running a speed dating agency in the backwater of Garagula was a far cry from the affluent lifestyle she had led as a Prescott in Brisbane.  She missed the Café lifestyle, the designer clothes, partying with the rich and famous.  The easy life, she reminded herself. 
   It was her impulsive nature that had got her into this, and her pride that was stopping her from returning home.  It had all come to a head a month earlier, when she’d had another fight with her soon-to-be-husband Richard.  He was so unreasonable, just because she’d wanted Cooktown Orchids for her bouquet.  Alright, it was out of season, and it was going to cost three times as much – but surely a girl should be able to have the best for her wedding day?   Their relationship had become more and more hostile of late, but this time it just got ugly.  The memory of those last bitter words that had been hurled by her fiancé… ex-fiancé, still hurt, it panged her to admit.  She wasn’t a spoilt little rich girl and she didn’t need Richard Delaney telling her she was.

PRINCESS Brigitta Von Vasa’s stomach churned as she glimpsed the dark suited man striding down the aisle of the Boeing 737. Peering between the seats in front of her, she tried to see his face, but the gap gave her nothing but a view of his torso. Even so, familiar broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist were enough to cause her worry.
He was almost upon her.
She buried herself behind her glossy magazine, oblivious to the words, but well aware of every movement behind the pages.
The footsteps stilled beside her. Flicking her eyes to the aisle, she could just make out gleaming leather shoes below sharply creased black trousers. Had her uncle already discovered her ruse? With heightened senses, she felt the cold chill of air-conditioning on her sweat drenched body. Heard the muted chatter of her fellow passengers, and smelt the spicy cinnamon fragrance of cologne.

Sep 26, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, September 26, 2011 0 comments
If procrastination was a religion, I’d have been discovered by village monks at age 3 and raised as a demigod, in seclusion, by monks.
Sara Hess

Sep 22, 2011

Juggling Life...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, September 22, 2011 2 comments
School holidays again. Anyone with a better idea please let me know!

Sep 19, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, September 19, 2011 4 comments

Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.
~ William Faulkner ~

Sep 15, 2011

My Hero and Heroine

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, September 15, 2011 2 comments
Thought I'd share pictures of the people who inspired the hero and heroine of my latest manuscript:
Eric Christian Olsen

Jillian Michaels

Sep 12, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, September 12, 2011 3 comments

Sep 8, 2011

The Contest Season is Here

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, September 08, 2011 2 comments
The first RWA contest closes in just 2 days. High 5 is for category writers and requires just the first 5 pages of your mansucript - after all, if these don't capture an editor the rest of the pages won't matter.

Not for you? RWA also has the STALI (single title and loving it), Selling Synopsis, Emerald (judged by readers), First Kiss and Valerie Parv Award. Amongst that mix there's a contest for everyone.

Why enter? There are a number of reasons to enter contests... getting your manuscript in front of an editor/agent if you final, anonymous feedback on your writing and incentive of the deadline.

If you want to know more, visit the contest page of RWA's webpage.

I'm going to be entering some contests again this year - wish me luck!

Sep 5, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, September 05, 2011 1 comments
The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write,write."

~Ernest Gaines~

Sep 1, 2011

Spring is HERE

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, September 01, 2011 2 comments
I've done it, survived another winter.

I understand why the birds are preening and chirping like crazy... I feel a little bit that way myself.

Aug 29, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, August 29, 2011 0 comments

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.  All I must do is find it, and copy it. 

~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895 ~

Aug 25, 2011

Writing Goals

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, August 25, 2011 5 comments
September looms and with it the start of another writing year.

For the year just gone I didn't achieve all I set out to - but sometimes life throws curveballs you just don't expect. Even so, taking into account those curveballs, I am happy with what I have done. I entered 3 contests, submitted to Harlequin, completed a manuscript and started another. Not bad for a year with more ups and downs than a frog with hiccups.

What for the year ahead? The next twelve months are already shaping up to have a number of life challenges, but even so I'm determined to keep my writing steaming ahead. I may be reaching for the stars but I'm going to do my darndest to get them:
  • complete my wip (#1) and write a second manuscript (#2)
  • enter #1 in at least four Aussie contests
  • enter #2 in one contest
  • enter #1 in at least one US contest
  • submit #1
  • attend conference and pitch #2
In addition, should Harlequin run SYTYCW or Mills and Boon another New Voices I'll join in.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Aug 22, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, August 22, 2011 4 comments

Aug 18, 2011

Post-RWAus Conference 2011

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, August 18, 2011 4 comments
Me in my Roaring 20's costume for the cocktail party.
Conference is over for another year, and what a weekend it was. There are so many amazing moments from the weekend it is hard to pick my favourites. From a non-writerly perspective it was so nice getting all my meals prepared and cleaned up for me, my bed made and linen washed and no-one to concern myself about except me. Definitely the icing on the cake as far as the weekend was concerned.

One of the highlights was meeting all my cyber-writing friends in the flesh - whether it was the first time or catching up again. I also met some absolutely lovely people I hadn't known before conference, but am very glad I have now. This may be part of the reason I have returned home with no voice!

My brain is swirling with all the new information I'm trying to absorb from the sessions I went to. For the first time I didn't automatically go to all the craft sessions and so have taken away from conference a lot of new information on other aspects of writing (but I did buy 4 new craft books...).

Overall, I think I loved conference because, like everyone says, it's the chance to be in a room full of people who get you.

 See you all on the Gold Coast next year!

Aug 15, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, August 15, 2011 2 comments
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.

- Jane Yolen -

Aug 11, 2011

RWAus Conference 2011

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, August 11, 2011 2 comments
Today is the official first day of my 2011 conference experience. Yippee!!

I actually arrived in Melbourne yesterday, but today it begins. I get to register, attend my first workshop session and start to catch up with all my writing buddies who spend most of the year existing only in the cyber world.

The workshop session is "Taking the terror out of pitching" (and if you read last week's post you'll know I'm really hoping this session will prepare me for my pitch).

I've chosen not to do the Warrior Writer workshop tomorrow (motivation I don't need - more hours in the day, yes... but I don't think the workshop will provide that, lol). The decision also stems from the fact that towards the end of conference my brain starts to fry - am hoping that this will help me pace myself. I am doing the slush pile session though, and of course tomorrow night is the cocktail party (which I am looking forward to).

Then the Sat/Sun workshops (and that was a difficult choice when deciding between sessions) and of course the awards dinner Sunday night.

This is also the first year I have stayed at the conference hotel (very exciting) and I hope this will make things a little more relaxing.

Before I know it conference will be over for another year, but I intend on enjoying every moment of this one!

Aug 8, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, August 08, 2011 0 comments

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.


- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

Aug 4, 2011

Pitching At RWAus Conference

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, August 04, 2011 5 comments
In 6 days I fly to Melbourne for RWAus conference where I am pitching. Even though this is my 3rd conference it will be my first official face-to-face pitch. In 2009 it was an e-pitch and last year I elected not to pitch as I had just completed 5DI (RWA's intensive 5 day mentoring program) a few weeks earlier and conference was much too close for me to be ready to pitch.

So far my experiences have been very positive. Following my pitch submission in 2009 I was asked for rewrites before getting the dreaded rejection, and in 2010 I ended up talking with an agent at the cocktail party and being given their card and a request to submit upon completion of my manuscript (so much for not pitching, lol).

But I think the reality of a formal face-to-face pitch is going to be very different. I'm going to the bonus Thursday pitching session - I'm hoping it will help to get me over the line.

Good luck to anyone else pitching next week!!

Aug 1, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, August 01, 2011 0 comments
All the information you need can be given in dialogue.

- Elmore Leonard -

Jul 28, 2011

Melbourne in Winter - I Must Be Crazy!!

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 28, 2011 4 comments
I don't do cold.

It's that simple. I spend my entire winter trying to get warm. Be that as it may I am going to Melbourne in winter. I must be crazy!! I'm not worried about being indoors (in fact, indoors in Melbourne is probably warmer than indoors in Brisbane as our houses are designed to stay cool in hot, humid summers - and also have no internal heating). It's the outdoor bits I'm worried about. Mind you, I can probably keep them to a mimimum. Even so...

I have stood looking at my wardrobe and am certain I don't have the right sort of clothes. I've never been to Melbourne so have no idea what others wear. Anyone got any suggestions on what I should pack?

Jul 25, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, July 25, 2011 0 comments
You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer...

- Stephen Leigh -


Jul 21, 2011

My Virgin RWAus Conference

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 21, 2011 3 comments
I attended my first RWAus conference in Brisbane in 2009. I'd only been a member of RWA for a year and was both nervous and excited.

There are so many fabulous memories of that weekend (I don't think you ever forget your first *grin*) but one experience in particular stands out for me. I'd entered my first RWA contests in the lead up to the conference, and while not a finalist, was eagerly anticipating the announcements of those who were.

That night opened my eyes. There was a writer who not only placed - but placed with multiple manuscripts in multiple contests. Kylie Griffin managed 3rd and 4th in First Kiss, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the Emerald and 1st and 3rd in the Valerie Parv award. With only 1 manuscript behind me, and little experience, I was amazed and determined.

The next day Kylie walked past me between workshop sessions. I gathered up all my courage, tried to hide my awe and said congratulations. As everyone says before you go to your first conference, don't worry, everyone is friendly. Absolutely true for Kylie. She stopped, smiled and said thanks. After that I have no recollection of a word of our conversation, lol.

Of course since then Kylie has continued to move onwards and upwards in the world of writing. Last year she came to conference with a new necklace - her prize for taking out a Golden Heart at RWAm's conference. This year she will be receiving her first sale ribbon (the cover of her first book with Berkley is pictured). Kylie still leaves me amazed and determined, but at least now I'm not terrified about saying congratulations.

Nearly two years on and I am no longer a newbie. I can't wait for the next conference in a few weeks time - I know what to expect and can't wait to catch up with everyone, including Kylie.

Jul 18, 2011

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, July 18, 2011 0 comments

It's better to write about things you feel than about things you know about.

- L. P. Hartley -

 

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