I know I'm not alone in feeling stress right now: from my day job, family health issues, and things going on in the world around me. So I'm taking a weekend to recharge and take care of myself. I'm at one of my thrice-annual craft retreats with my lovely lady crafters, and you would not believe the amount of talent on display here! There are quilters and scrapbookers, and handmade card makers (me) with a smattering of other creative endeavor-ers. (That kind of got away from me.). My plan is to alternate writing and card making, but we'll see what happens.
There will also be wine-drinking and storytelling (not only by me) and much laughter. I know I can always count on giggles with this group. There will be good food, and music, and naps, and staying up late. If I can figure out how (because I'm such a freaking newbie to this stuff), I'll post pictures. I will absolutely be tweeting some pics, so you can check my Twitter feed.
So in these tumultuous times, make sure to take care of you. Get away if you can, put on some noise-cancelling headphones if you can't. Go for a walk. Read a book. Watch a movie. Watch a sunset. Cuddle a pet. Snuggle a child.
Be kind to yourself. You're worth it. #selfcare
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 15, is the debut of a romance-only book club at my local public library. I'm so excited! Usually, romance readers must stumble across others of their kind or go online to blogs and forums to talk about what they love to read. This is a real, in-person opportunity to hang with romance peeps, and I couldn't be happier. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, but how could it be anything but glorious?
In other news, I'll be at the Alaska Writers Guild Conference in Anchorage next weekend. I'm moderating a panel for AKRWA on Saturday afternoon (Sept 22), and we'll be talking about writing to market and writing cross-genre work. I'm looking forward to spending time with more writerly sorts, and doing a couple of manuscript reviews. I'm also expecting my head to be full to overflowing by the end of the conference, so don't be surprised to see some good writing stuff dripping out of my ears.
Because I have an article in The ECHO (a community newspaper) featuring local romance writers and members of AKRWA: https://www.echoak.com/2018/09/romance-writing-in-our-midst/
We have a very active and supportive chapter of RWA, and I wouldn't be as far along in my journey as I am without them. If you are writing romance, or thinking you might like to, please check out your local chapter. Most will allow you to attend a meeting (or three) without joining. It's well worth the nominal fee I pay to have the support, mentoring, and friendship I've found there.
It's been a rough month for a variety of reasons, most pretty minor but piling on each other, but I'm happy to say that it's been a banner month for me with regard to reading romance.
I know I'm late to the party--I've been hearing about this series for over a year now--but I finally started reading Elle Kennedy's Off Campus series. It features students at a small college not far from Boston, and all the male main characters play hockey. Confession: I'm a sucker for sports romances. Doesn't matter what sport. It may not even be one that I'm willing to watch. There's something about characters who excel at physical feats that I couldn't hope to do that really works for me. Anyway, I like how the drama and conflict feels real and appropriate to that stage of life, and the way the relationships unfold gradually, and with fits and starts. It feels real, and I like that in a contemporary romance. So I just finished the second in the series, The Mistake, this morning, and I'll be starting book 3 (already downloaded) later today.
Also, I think I'll be making this a regular post here. I read a lot, not even kidding. I passed the 100 books mark last week for 2018, and hit a total of 176 for 2017. And one of the things I love as much as writing romance is making book recommendations in the genre. It makes me so very happy! So if you want a rec, let me know. But I don't generally make them blind, so give me an idea of what you've enjoyed in the past, whether by trope, author, setting, subgenre, or other appeal factor so I have something to go on.