Sunday, April 10, 2005

Misc. Sunday Ramblings

How's that for a scary title? My posts that are targetting a definite subject usually ramble horribly and here I am going into a thread from the beginning with "rambling" on my mind. If you must run, run now, otherwise you're caught, stuck staring in horror and awe, like looking at roadkill on a Texas highway.

Consider yourself properly warned. If you chose not to heed the warning, you have no one but yourself to blame!!

So okay, it's Sunday. For those that read my blog daily (and thank you for the emails! They make me grin hugely!) I bet you're wondering just where the heck I've been for the last several days. Well, let me tell ya! For like Thursday and Friday of last week, I attempted to post as usual, but the stupid blog program wouldn't let me get to my dashboard!!! (Where I go to make my posts and crap.) I was a wreck!!! Blog Withdrawal is NOT pleasant to witness, let me tell ya! Finally, a kind soul on one of the loops told me how to fix the problem, and lo and behold, it worked. So I typed out this super long post, hit PUBLISH and found myself staring at the ever-dreaded "Page cannot be displayed" STUPID white screen. Why can't they make that page like...flaming red? I mean, they just burnt yer ass, so the color should be more appropriate to the action, I'd think.

Sooooooo, having it eat my long post, I flipped it the bird and stalked away. This is my first attempt since then, and thanks to the loops, I now know to save my draft before hitting PUBLISH. (I'm starting to believe the word PUBLISH has been improperly translated, and the real meaning is "to go away forever!")

So let's see. Friday afternoon I left here to go into Austin to meet my CP (HEYYYYYYYY CHRIS! ~waving~) to stay at her house Friday night and then leave from there to go to San Antonio way too freakin' early on Saturday morning. Since I'd never been to her home, we decided to meet at Gatti's where our monthly meetings are held. Sounds brilliant, doesn't it? So I get there at 7pm, and I go in, order and go to the room where our meeting is held, which on regular nights shows cartoons. Why I did this? I can only blame habit, and my thinking she's look in there first since that's where we usually are. Instead, I got my intelligence sucked out, ever so painfully, because some nimrod made an entire MOVIE of the cartoon "Kim Possible". I blame the bad drugs the creator's mother obviously took while pregnant.

Well, an hour passes. I go to my van to use the phone to see if she left a message at home. She hadn't. I sit there, wondering how long to wait before I try to decide what to do. I happen to look into my rearview mirror at the time and see this chick with long dark hair get out of her car, parked behind me, obviously.

It was Chris. She was waiting for me outside, since around 7pm. We are dorks. Finally together again, we go inside and gossip and eat (yeah, so I ate again, alright?! I was pretending it was Chinese, and since it'd been an hour since I'd eatten, I was hungry again already! Deal!) Finally around 9ish, we head to her house.

We go to sleep around 1am. We get up at the godawful hour of 5:30 (that should be illegal, fyi.) Hit the road at 6:45 and get to San Antonio at 8:15. All is well in the world. We sign in, get our tags in which both ours read "Merritt Finalist" (Woot!) and a folder stuffed FULL of promo stuff from other authors, and a program (or two) in which we are listed on finalists. (Another woot!)

So the day was great, mostly. Paige Wheeler spoke and if you all read me daily, you know I have agent issues to begin with. But she was good, and I liked her personality. The one thing I did NOT like that she said was that she bills back for copies, phone calls, basic working expenses. Uh. Hello?! McFly!!! WE have our OWN expenses, like printer ink, and paper, and phone calls, and that damn SASE! It's called a business. Write it off with all the damn lunches, okay? Okay. So a mental little line goes through her name on my mental list. Well, okay, I'm not really one that uses straight lines. My cross-outs are more like jagged scribbles to totally remove any trace of what was originally written. That, unfortunately, can give a major migraine if one is to make that their mental cross-off style, so therefore, we must use the mental straight line.

We heard Sharon Sala speak. Holy crap. I teared up like 5 times. She's great. I'd never read her before, but I came home with a signed copy of her newest release. Watch for it on my "What I'm Reading Now Link" to your right. And watch for the review on my other blog of book reviews. I cannot wait to dig into it, having met her. She is an inspiration personified. The only bad thing was what I was attempting to chew while listening to her. Why must we pay $55 to go to a conference that's going to feed us SALAD as a main meal?! I kid you not: lettuce, cut up chicken, and five croutons, with some kind of hard, grated cheese. That was IT. AND, they didn't leave the dressing on the table! They walked around, drizzled some on, and left. Nice. I wanted to stab the waiter with my salad fork, but didn't. I was too busy cuttin' up Chris' chicken for her (with no steak knife, at THAT!) Poor Chris...her knuckle was broken at school, and she has it all wrapped up. 100 miles from my kids and I'm still on Mom Duty. But for Chris, it was worth it, especially to see her jaw drop as she realized she won the Merritt.

Then it was time. The time. For the awards. For the placements. Talk about a nasty time. Done with this horrible salad in which my jaw is still throbbing (I have extreme TMJ) from attempting to chew what they liberally label as CHICKEN, my stomach feeling like wet cement invaded it instead of bad cuisine, and waiting for my name. And then they didn't even go in order of categories, so we were kind of waiting and getting more and more nervous. Finally, it was time for the Romantic Suspense winners. I got third. I was thrilled. Chris, my fabulously talented CP, won 1st!!!! I was sooooooo happy for her. (And she and I have a secret agenda, since we didn't place in another contest...neither of us did, but the one that placed with us at Merritt DID place in the other contest, leaving us behind, but Chris smoked her butt anyway! HA! Just teasing, btw.) Then it was picture time and our Austin chapter did so well! I'll post the pictures soon, promise.

So then we heard from an editor at Harlequin. Both the editor and with Paige Wheeler, I asked specific questions on comedy vs. chick lit. On Crusie vs. Evanovich. Neither gave specific answers, which points back to my thread on "definitions" on the blog. And when the editor said to send her a proposal in our meeting, I asked what length of synopsis she preferred.

~blank look inserted here~

She couldn't answer. Everything she DID answer was with "Whatever works for the characterization". Ugh. So guess what? How about I send you NOTHING. 1) She does Supers. 2) She couldn't provide answers to specific questions!!! Bah.

So I leave for the above editor appointment at 4, because the appt was for 4:10 and they said come ten minutes early, and I do understand basic math. Now, I sat in the SAME SPOT the entire conference. Same. Spot. I go at 4 right when Chris is coming out of meeting with Paige (whom she really liked) and she decided to wait up there for me. I'm done at 4:18. We go to the main conference room to gather up our stuff to leave, and lo and behold (that's the phrase of the day, can you tell?) my folder is gone. Guess what I'd slid into my folder? MY FIRST EVER CERTIFICATE. My FIRST validation that my writing was GOOD! Some flaming twit took it!!!!!

We search. We ask. Then they say "We can print you a new one." Nice. I realize that they're printed. I'm not stupid.

No, I'm not.

But still. I don't want to hear about how easy it is to print a new one. That makes it sound so...insignificant or something. Uncool. And I had wanted to rush out to Walmart today and pick up a frame. Walmart frame? See? I'm really easy to please. Simple. Cheap, even. But I want my damn certificate back!!!

So there ya go. You're all caught up. Wish you'd heeded the warning, don't ya?


kaaau said...

Sounds like you had a great time (mostly) ;-) That's awful that someone got your folder and hopefully they will notice soon. Glad your able to get another copy.

You had quite the adventures and I was so happy to hear you had won. I look forward to reading about your next steps in this process and how they go. Sounds like you had a great time and have learned so much in such a short time.

Amie Stuart said...

ARGGGGG now you're making me wish I'd gone! LOL Glad ya'll had a great time though

Manic Mom said...

Brenda--I bet the guys with the salad dressing stole your folder! Apparently, they don't like anything left behind! Congrats on third place--what a great accomplishment! I have a friend who has Paige as an agent. Interesting to learn she charges for stuff. Not my kind of agent!

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Steph, I'm right there with ya. To me, those are the basics of having a business and I won't deal with someone like that, no matter how great their personality or their connections. My critique partner, Chris, really liked her though, and I guess that didn't bug her. Hopefully it'll work out for her!

Cece, are you located down here?! I don't remember you being located in Texas!

Dragonfly47 said...

Congrats on placing 3rd in the Merritt! That's a tough contest! And you're obviously a great CP for your CP to place first. :) Hope you get your replacement certificate back asap! I know I lost my Daphne one and never did get a replacement, so I know how you feel. :(
Laurie Wood

Brenda Bradshaw said...

OMG, Laurie, that sucks!!! They SAID they'd do it, I just hope they do. I wanted to get it framed SO badly. It's the first...I dunno...validation, I guess?..that I'm a real writer. ~sigh~ Oh well.

And no, Chris is fabulous all by herself. She marks my chapters up allllllllllll over the place and then on hers, I'm always writing "Great word" "Love that line" etc. RARELY find anything that needs "correcting" on hers. She's going to be published, and soon. She's one of those writers that'll whip out 3 books a year. So, I'll live vicariously through her until August, when I'll be making my real committment to my craft. Sounds far off, but it really isn't, and that'll be coming down from the National high, and I'll be shoving kids into the school room and running (okay, hobbling) back home to glue myself to the keyboard. THEN we will see if I have a scrap of talent in this "voice".

~daunting thought~

Anonymous said...

Speaking as one of the Kim Possible nimrods, thanks for insulting my mother!

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Right. You're a creator of Kim Possible.

Yeah, and I'm Nora Roberts.

Try again.