Getting Excited

I leave on Thursday morning for the RWA National Convention in San Francisco, and I am looking forward to the whole experience so much more than I expected.

You see, originally, I didn’t plan to go this year. I attended my first national conference last year in Dallas, and while I reveled in every minute of it, I didn’t feel I could justify the expenditure or time away from my family again this year. Realistically, I thought my next conference would not be until 2012, when it’s being held in my hometown (San Diego).

But then, life happened (as it is wont to do). First, my dear friends Darcy Burke and Courtney Milan both finaled in the Golden Heart. I thought, “Well, maybe I can make it for the award ceremony. San Francisco’s not that far from here. I could get up and back in one day.”

A few weeks later, I sold BEHIND THE RED DOOR to Kensington, and suddenly, I wasn’t thinking about just attending the GH/RITA ceremony. Because, darn it, last year I saw and envied all those folks with their “First Sale” ribbons and, and I knew this would be the only year I’d be eligible to wear one of those myself. So, I bit the financial bullet (though I decided to stay with a friend of the family rather than at the hotel to ease the monetary burden) and signed up.

That all seems like a very long time ago now, and now the conference has snuck right up on me. And as much as I’m looking forward to wearing that “First Sale” ribbon and attending workshops, I’m even more excited about getting together with my friends in the writing community. Some of them I met in person for the first time last year, and some I’ll be meeting for the first time this year, including:

So, hey, if your name’s not on that list and you’re going to be at the conference, give me a holla and we’ll figure out how to make connections. The absolute BEST part of National is the people, and that means you!

Writer’s Log Jam

X-posted from the Manuscript Mavens blog.

Like Darcy, I was going to blog about my pre-conference preparations, jitters, and excitements this week, but another topic has been pushed to the forefront of my mind by recent events. You see, I’m in the throes of writing my two contracted but as yet unfinished novellas, and I’m realizing that I have a problem. It’s kind of like writer’s block, but not exactly. It’s more like writer’s log jam.

You see, I’m not suffering from a paucity of ideas. Quite the reverse. I have too many!

The novella I’m currently writing (the third chronologically in the anthology, but the second I “conceived”) is giving me fits because I’m afraid it won’t fit within its 25K-35K boundaries. I have at least a dozen more scenes rattling around in my head that could and/or should go into this story, but I’m already pushing 20K and I’m still miles from the Black Moment. The result is that I’m finding it difficult to decide which scenes I should write and which I shouldn’t. Worse, I’m an incredibly linear writer, so I can’t just write the scenes out of order and put them together later. I have to know for certain what happened before the scene I’m currently writing, or I can’t write it.

To make matters worse, other stories are plaguing me. Driving through the Black Hills on our way back from our vacation in Minnesota the week before last got me itching to write a Western historical (which I never thought I’d do, but the place is just do darned evocative!). Add that idea to all the others taking up space in my brain (there must be at least a dozen, if not more, begging to be written), and I’m finding it quite difficult to concentrate on the projects I’m actually obligated to complete! The words for the stories I must write are getting jumbled up with the words for the stories I want to write.

So, is there a solution to this dilemma? Short of just plugging away and doing what I have to do, I doubt it. But somehow, putting my finger on the root of the problem has me feeling a bit less anxious if nothing else. “Writer’s block”–the possibility that my ideas will dry up and I won’t be able to write anything at all–terrifies me. Being caught in an idea traffic jam doesn’t make me nearly as nervous!

YOUR TURN: Do you suffer from writer’s log jam? How do you overcome your selfish desire to set aside the project you’re currently working on to start a new one? Or do you just give into temptation?

P.S. I’m also blogging today at the Aphrodisia Authors blog and guest-blogging with my critique partner, Emma Petersen, over at Shiloh Walker’s blog. Drop by and see me if you get a chance!

Checking In

I’ve been AWOL for so long, I almost forgot I HAD a blog. That’s what a two-week cross-country vacation will do to you, I guess!

Now that I’m back, I’m putting my nose to the grindstone to finish up the last two novellas in my Kensington anthology. My plan is to write THE END on the one I’m further along in before I get to RWA National in San Francisco on July 31 (even if I have to write the last few lines on the plane), then finish the other in three weeks after I get back. It’s doable, although a bit of a press.

YOUR TURN: What have you been doing with your summer? Work, play, or a good mix of both? Going to San Francisco? Let me know so we can look each other up!