Saturday, February 28, 2009

Working On Art

I've been working for the last few hours on updating my writer groups' website. Usually takes a couple hours or so because I'm always trying to improve it. If you get a chance, check it out and let me know what you think. www.southernmagic.org Also I redid my bio on my website. www.carlaswafford.com

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thankful Friday

Today I was thinking about all the writers conferences sponsored by RWA chapters I've been to in the last 10 years or so. They go like this, 3 in Birmingham, 3 in Shreveport, 3 in Atlanta, 1 in Melbourne, 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, 1 in Jacksonville, FL, 1 in Knoxville, 1 in New Jersey, and 1 in Pensacola. And to think all but two were in the last five years. That's 15 conferences, folks.

I've been to only 1 RWA National conference and it was in Atlanta and I do plan to go to this year's in Washington DC.

Of all the conferences, including the one in Birmingham I was chairperson of and I really should be ashamed of myself, but I have my reasons, the favorite one was the Moonlight and Magnolias conference in Atlanta last year. I'm sure it had a lot to do with me being a finalist and having my two best buddies with me to celebrate.

My second favorite was Ft. Lauderdale's because I came away with FIVE requests. It pays to be friendly to those you sit with at lunch and dinner.

Getting back to the thankful part, I'm thankful I have a job that provides the funds (though I've given up several other things to do so too) to attend the conferences. In some cases, I've even purchased air fare to attend them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another Funny Commerical


This is why I read when my hubby drives. I hate to nag and he'll tell you that I rarely do. Smart man.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love Me Some Bruce

I love me some Bruce Willis. Die Hard, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Live Free and Die Hard, The Whole Nine Yards, and The Sixth Sense are my favorites. Though I do like him in almost anything. Loved his Friends episodes.

The first time I noticed him was on an episode of Miami Vice. He played a wife beater. Too bad for him, but it was a great episode and his character was such an asshole. He let us see early in his career he could act.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Down The Yellow Brick Road

I'm working my way down the yellow brick road. I don't expect it to be paved with gold, but I hope to see a wizard at the end who will help me find a home for my stories.



In other words, I've sent out three queries to agents. They're the top of my list and I can only hope one will say, "Hey, I love your voice and story. Let's talk."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Are You THAT GIRL?

I'm the type of woman when I hear a noise in the back yard, I'll look out the window. If I can't see what or who it is, I'll step outside. Yep. I'm THAT GIRL. The axe murderer's perfect victim. Can't help it. Chances are it's nothing but a neighbor's dog.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And I Would Like To Thank...

Whenever you watch a NASCAR event and they interview the winner, he'll say something like "I couldn't have done it without my Coca-Cola, Mobil Oil, Pizza Hut, Goody's Powder Chevrolet team." Yep. The longer the mic stays in front of them the more sponsors they'll mention. Too funny. Even stranger is that I don't mind. And yes, I'm like so many NASCAR fans, I'm more apt to buy from my favorite driver's sponsor. LOL!

Just think if romance writers had sponsors and when they stepped up on the stage at a RWA National Conference to accept their RITA. Would they say something like "I wouldn't have done it without my Books-a-Million, Dell, HP Multipurpose paper, Lexmark, Charter Internet, [insert agent and publisher] team"? Yeah. I can see it. Patches all over my formal dress, shaking up a big bottle of champagne and changing out tiaras with different logos in rhinestones as I talk with the interviewer from Romance Novel TV. Oh, yeeeaahhh.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Super Heroes







I don't know why I was thinking of this today but of the numerous Batmans, I liked Val Kilmer the best. Then again, any man would look good in a black leather/vinyl mask. Just something about a man's lips. Though I have to say, George Clooney's looked stupid. He almost had a grin and I don't think of a happy man when I imagine Batman. Val's lips did it plus he looked might good in a tux too. Bale is too skinny despite the muscles and nothing pretty about him.



Friday, February 20, 2009

Thankful Friday

This week I received two phone calls that almost gave me heart attacks. One was from New York, New York to my cell phone and they hung up. I thought, "Oh, no! I didn't get to my phone in time and it was an editor!" Then I remembered the five manuscripts with New York editors were two to four years old. No way was it one of those. I Googled the number. Nope! Not an editor. Just a marketing call. Good thing they hung up.

The second one happened today. It was a call from Ontario, Canada. Now that was a possibility. I sent a partial to SuperRomance (Harlequin) on January 3. The person asked, "Is this a business number?" I said, "Yes." They said, "Sorry." Then hung up. Of course, I Googled that number. Nope. :::sigh:::

So what am I thankful for? For having the hope that one day one of those calls will be for real. And for not having a heart attack.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Come On Over

I'm talking about favorite hooks along with other things at Southern Magic's blog. Come on over and comment. Click here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All Work and No Play Makes A Writer

I haven't gotten much writing done lately. Been working on a synopsis and editing another finished book to get it ready to send out to agents. I wish I didn't have a day job. This would go so much faster, at the least on my part.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Southern Nicknames

On one of my contest entries, the judge said, "Smooth and Evil simply are not realistic names..." I couldn't help but laugh. Smooth was my husband's nickname for about twenty years where he works until he was promoted and then the guys changed it to Evil. LOL!

You're probably asking why do they use nicknames. Think about it. How many Steves, Toms, Jeremys and Matthews you know? Yeah. That's right. Bunches. So instead of saying, "No. The other one." They use nicknames and I can tell you, there are some doozies.

If you're wondering about the nicknames: 1) Smooth was from his time as a forklift driver. Now this forklift wasn't the little things you see at Home Depot or Lowe's. They can lift around 65,000 lbs. They're huge. Anyway, he was one of the best because he could lift and load trucks "smoothly" and quickly. 2) Evil is his current nickname because he loves to pull pranks and tease mercilessly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Judges and Critique Partners

Something I've learned over the years about contest judges and critique partners is that you don't have to take their advice. I use to change everything the way they would tell me. But I've learned two people can feel two different ways about the same area in a manuscript. It has so much to do with their experiences and their personal perferences.

So when I read comments, I correct any typos, missing words, and areas where they said a sentence wasn't clear. Most of the other stuff I read and think how it would affect my story. If I can easily see where changing or deleting it would improve my story, then I do. If I can't see how it would really help, I ignore it and go on.

I figure if I make a wrong decision and it doesn't sell, then it's no one's fault but mine. If it sales as is, well, it proves I know what I'm doing when it comes to my work, my voice.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm Back!

I've been cheating the last few days. You probably noticed I had set up several days worth of posts by using YouTube. Hubby and I went to the mountains and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Love it there! Plus I got lots of writing done. No internet. But would've done more, if not for blanking out and playing Spider Solitaire. Bad, bad, girl!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Kindred

I'm so happy I have the whole DVD set. The show had a wonderful Romeo and Juliet storyline. Such a shame it was cancelled way back when. It always happens to vampire TV series. Wonder if it will happen to True Blood soon?



Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 13, 2009

Moonlight

With the success of True Blood, I wonder if they regret cancelling it?



I'm thankful I have two of my favorite episodes on my iPod.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friends

Favorite scene from Friends. Can you tell I'm busy doing something else?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fools Rush In

This is my week for YouTube clips. Love this scene. It's a little blurry but still funny.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tombstone

Tombstone is my favorite western. The other day at lunch, some fellows at the table next to mine was testing each other with quotes. Loved it! Was hilarious!
My favorite scene is at 5 minutes and 55 seconds into this clip.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Big Bang Theory

The new prez was talking. Rather had watched my guys.

Right. I'm not a political animal.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grab The Bull By The Horns

I understand why people (especially contest judges) pick on those tired and true idioms and ask for newer and fresher ones. Personally I don't see a problem using them as long as I don't use too many. I know it gives my little Southern town a realistic feel to it. CONSIDERING I LIVE IN A LITTLE SOUTHERN TOWN. LOL!

Just my opinion.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Contest Blues

Got some scores back today. LOL! I swear one judge tried her best to rewrite the whole entry. Most of what she did was unnecessay and changed the story. ::shaking head::

Well, I've sworn off contests. The big problem I had in the past are pretty much gone as the judges pick on stupid stuff. Too funny when they tell me Southerners don't talk or do certain things. LOL!

I'm working on my new WIP. Once my buddies finish reading my most recent paranormal, it's time to send off queries to agents. Yeah, I know. I have lots of completed manuscripts but with each finished book, I feel more confident that it's my best.

Wish me luck.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thankful Friday!

You have no idea how hard it is to say I'm thankful this Friday. So far in two weeks I've not finaled on five entries! That's harsh. But what the hey, it firmly tells me I must concentrate on what's more important! Getting my manuscript in front of an interested agent or editor and the chancy road of expecting contest judges to not be bias is slim to none. See my blog from last month. Judges are crazy and I rather have a crazy editor reject me. That I can handle better.

I kept telling myself last year to quit entering them, but I would final in one about that time and then there I'd go again entering the suckers.

So I'm thankful I don't let all the crap drag me down. I'm thankful I have friends that are there for me and I'm thankful I know if I set my mind to something I can do it. AND I WILL BE PUBLISHED (UNDER CONTRACT) WITH AN AGENT AND EDITOR BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.

See. You have to be brave in this business. ::gulp::

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Take a Moment

If you're like me, the last six months have been crazy scary. You know what's been happening around the world, so I won't go into it. No matter what I did to keep my spirits up, turning off the news, stopping my RSS feed from MSNBC, and exercising (yes, you read that correctly), I'd still found myself heading toward a funk. For those wondering what funk means: 2) a dejected mood (1735-45) per Dictionary.com.

On a CD about thinking positive, the narrator tells me whenever I start to feel that way, I should think about something that makes me happy. It can be my children, a favorite pet, a special day or whatever you believe will pull you from the edge and keep you on an even keel. I love my kids, but they're grown and I get sad because I miss them. I see one every day as she works with me and the other, I see every other weekend, but it's not the same. All my pets are gone or dead, and with the way Steve and I love to travel, I don't foresee us getting one for many years. Well, you can see how it's going.

So I told myself I had to have something that would make me chill (youthful slang here, might be out of date now though). I couldn't think of anything until last week. Friday was a rough day and I felt my blood pressure hit the roof to the point it scared me. I wasn't mad but upset about a couple things. Anyway, I knew I needed to calm down. So while I listened to the CD again on the way home, it came to me.

When my maternal grandmother was still alive, she owned a home with a wrap around porch on three sides. In the front, she had several white rocking chairs and a wooden swing. From the time I was five or six when she and my granddad moved there and whenever I visited and the weather permitted, I would sit on that swing. Grandmother taught me how to sew and cross stitch on that swing. My cousins and I would giggle until we cried while on that swing. I'd watched rain pour from the eaves while snuggled up to the pillows and reading on that swing. I'd ate homemade ice cream from hand churn buckets while on that swing. I'd listened to Northern Bobwhites and swatted at flies while sitting on that swing. My mom has a dozen pictures of me sitting in that swing.

So Friday, I sat on my couch and closed my eyes, imagining myself sitting on that swing. It was a beautiful clear day. Through my memories I looked at the gray painted board beneath my feet, the front entrance with the dark screen door, and the line of rocking chairs. I smelled the dust from the dirt road and the newly mowed grass. Grandmother's flowers were in full bloom and the bees were buzzing. I was there. I was a preteen again with little to no cares enjoying the peace and quiet.

I actually felt my blood pressure drop. My flushed face cooled off. The high strung feeling melted away. I had found my special place.

What's your special place/memory to help you forget your worries, to mellow?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh, Oh, Stephen

Stephen King is a talented man with numerous opinions. I don't always agree but respect him for them. This time he may have bit off more than he can chew. Click here and read, and you may understand how my prior sentence was a pun.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thought For The Day

I was wondering today, how many people are giving up writing? With the bad economy and publishers cutting back, even letting go of authors, what are the chances of getting a wonderfully written book in front of the right editor who's willing to take a chance with a new author?

Well, I plan to keep writing and keep submitting.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Month of Love

I love this website. Great info on so many subjects about history. I can read it for hours and never get enough. The History Channel has a whole page plus more devoted to Valentine's Day. They also tell you how they make chocolate. Yum.