Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm here but I'm not....


I hope you’ll forgive me for the fly-by posting this month. I’m writing this blog entry ahead of time and (fingers crossed) setting Blogger to post it while I’m gone.

Right now, I’m getting ready to leave for the annual conference of the Romance Writers of America, being held this year in Washington, DC.

Getting ready?!?

Well, that’s a bit optimistic. I still have clothes to buy, suitcases to pack, and pages to write, so I’m nowhere near even contemplating the idea of thinking about possibly starting to get ready. (grin) However, the plane leaves tomorrow morning, and--prepared or not--I’ll be on it.

I’m looking forward to meeting with my editor, as well as the other Harlequin American Romance editors, chatting with some of your favorite Harlequin American Romance authors, and cheering myself hoarse for our two RITA finalists.

And maybe even saying hi to you!

If you’re attending the conference and see my name among the mass of nametags out there, please say hello.

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zen Golf

Zen Golf

My daughter has been struggling with her golf game lately, so I picked up the book, Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent in hopes that it might help the mental aspect of her game. Anyway, while I was waiting for my husband at the train station I began reading Zen Golf and found myself twenty pages into the book by the time my husband knocked on the car window. Okay, so you might be wondering... how does Zen Golf relate to writing?

Examples from Dr. Parent's book:

1) Think outside the box (for example a golfer might intentionally hit into the rough because it gives him a better approach shot to the green) This advice reminded me that allowing a character to act "outside the box" adds another layer of depth to the characterization and makes the character more intriguing.

2) Par for the course (sometimes a golfer needs to set their own par for each hole for that particular day on the golf course. The golfer will become more relaxed when he approaches a difficult hole because he knows he has an extra stroke or two to make his personal par.) There are times I feel pressured into writing or revising a set number of pages a day--if I don’t make that goal, I see it as a failure. But if I set my page goal a little lower I guarantee myself success. If I exceed my goal--even better.

Dr. Parent believes Confidence is necessary to succeed at Golf--the same goes for writing.

1) Conditional Confidence (This kind of confidence depends on recent results on the golf course. A golfer is confident on the condition that he or she continues to play well.) I'm guilty of this. I catch myself feeling more confident after reading a great review of one of my books and less confident when I read a not-so-complimentary review.

2)Unconditional Confidence (Dr. Parent says unconditional confidence arises from connecting with our basic goodness. We believe in ourselves as decent people and in our golfing skills for our level of play.) As a writer I should be able to handle whatever the result of my latest book's success is or isn't. With unconditional confidence my self-worth as a human being doesn’t depend on how well or poorly my next book sells.

How about you--what kind of self-help books have you found useful?

Samantha's Cowboy (August 09)
A Cowboy Christmas (December 09)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Can Relate

I can relate to so much that has been discussed on the blog the past couple weeks. Michelle, I can certainly relate to having no time. We’ve moved this summer, a move that includes moving my 82 year old mom in with us, buying a new home and getting two ready to put on the market. Plus my very first book, Last Resort Marriage, is out this month and I had a book signing and have been blogging to promote it. See my beautiful cover to the right. Romantic Times gave it a 4 star review. Not too shabby for a first book, huh? WooHoo! I can relate to Lisa’s eco-friendly cleaning tip as I’m trying to get on board with a sophisticated septic system for the first time. City girl in the country. I can double relate to Lisa and Linda’s jitters about National. This is my third conference, but first as a published author. Literacy book signing and meeting face to face with editors and fellow writers. Extremely private person in an extremely public world. Whoa! Megan and Lisa, I am so in awe of you for presenting workshops. And Linda, I’d love some stress relieving tricks myself. As I’m traveling today to National, please excuse my delay in responding to any posts to the blog, but I will answer when I return from National. Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Pamela Stone

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Miscellaneous Stuff

It's been a crazy summer in the Dunaway household. Unlike those headed to RWA, I'm staying home. It's not that Washington DC doesn't hold appeal. In fact, I'll be there in November, same hotel, for a high school scholastic journalism convention.

It's hard to believe that for me, summer is almost over. It's been so busy, and I haven't done anything or really been anywhere. But look at this week.

While everyone is at RWA, I'm going to write the book that's due Aug. 12. My younger daughter has an arts day camp that week to learn how to draw art and anime--and I have to drive her the 40 minutes to get there and then find somewhere to pull out the laptop and work as it's only 3 hours, and not worth my going home.

My older daughter is spending three weeks at Truman State University, living in a dorm with other 7th-9th graders. I drove her there yesterday (7 hour round trip for me). Her class is computers in art and design. However, the entire experience is phenomenal and she grew so much as a person last summer. My good friend Jenny (from high school) arrives into town July 16 for a ten day stay with her daughters. My birthday is July 14, so I might celebrate that. Maybe not. :) I can't pass for 29 any longer.

Next Monday is is a yearbook camp I need to be at for a day. There's still that proposal I need to write. Books to read. Exercise to do. Errands to run. That book that I must finish.

School for me starts July 28, so my "full time" writing days are numbered. But I got a lot accomplished this summer, even though it's the miscellaneous stuff. But when you add it up, it seems more significant.

I have had time to relax, something I don't get to do since 9 months out of the year the alarm goes off at 5:20 AM. I've been reading. There's nothing like finishing a good book about one a.m. and not having to worry about the alarm in the morning.

Michele Dunaway