Confessions of an RWA Virgin

That might be the last time you see my name associated with virgin…. but anyway…

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I attended the annual RWA (Romance Writers of America) this year. Prior to going I saw lots of comments and posts about attending and people saying how they looked forward to meeting people. I was so excited. I mean finally! I was going to get to meet these people that I became Facebook friends with and shared intimate details about my hectic life.

Like everyone else… I was excited… that quick-pulse excited feeling you get when you’re next in line at the county fair for the fastest right. And if this were a fair and a line … I did something I’ve never done before.Image result for scary roller coaster rides I chickened out.

Again… let me reach into my bucket of excuses.

I like to put things at school grade levels to give an idea. Y’all know the hierarchy I’m talking about.

I will equate RWA to my 10th grade year at boarding school—but for a moment just imagine RWA as the new school that goes 7th through 12th. When I first arrived at boarding school I remember seeing these really cool girls. We all had to wear uniforms yet somehow they managed to make their plaid skirts, penny loafers and cardigans look cool. So when I saw how awesome these RWA authors were together, I had them in my mind like the popular upperclassmen. Related image They walked around in their cool spiky heels and I kid you not… a heavenly clouds parted through the crowd. They were every John Hughes 80’s movie of cool crowds–the kind of people you wanted to hang out with, be friends with, or even be like. Related imageImage result for the craft gifRelated image

First day of the conference… The cool kids—I would put them at 10th or 11th grade with drivers’ licenses and being able to go off campus for lunch—sat on a welcoming committee in all fabulousity. Image result for fast times at ridgemont high  I lost my nerve to be like… “Hey! We are FB friends”…Because upon seeing them… I realized pretty much everyone on FB knew who they were.

But that was okay… some of the other folks I knew who were goingRelated image…. Well let’s just pretend we’d gone to summer camp together before I started this “new school” and we were all like.. yay! Cool! We’ll be at the same school.

<True story—I had the Joneses who lived across the street from me before I really did start 7th grade. I would hang out with them every summer when I came to visit my dad… and on the first day of school.. the girls did not acknowledge me at all. Strange… but I realized it was a their issue and didn’t want to be seen with me for one glaring obvious reasonImage result for iggy judy blumeImage result for sweet valley highImage result for sweet valley high the new girl>

Anyway-back to my tale of my first RWA. In no way do I mean to accuse anyone of anything. These are strictly my over exaggerated insecurities. But people drove to town together. They took flights together. They shared rooms! They had their own agenda and didn’t need me tagging along. Related image

I saw posts about “hey who wants to get drinks?” And me being my confident-internet-self agreed to drinks, meeting up, and lunch, and all other kinds of things. But when no one passed on any contact info & I saw these folks out and about with their new fabulous friends I was like.. Image result for invisible me“Oh, uh.. okay you wanted drinks or whatever with anyone else but me.”

Some of my friends stopped and asked how it was going ….sure I said I was horrified .. but left it at that because I didn’t want to be THAT girl. Image result for pity party gif

 

Image result for never been kissed gifI wore a tag that indicated I was a first timer… I was sure—thanks to the welcoming committee— it would be an ice breaker or conversation-starter for first timers. In my imagination someone fabulous would say.. “oh you’re new here, come sit with me” And then I would have lifelong friends…. But it didn’t happen like I imagined. I sat down Image result for writing and wrote—because this is an event for authors.

 

Image result for never been kissed gifI attended a pajama party and I wanted to wear my pajamas but chickened out because I would have to walk this long trek across the hotel. So I didn’t. I attended the party and no one else wore pajamas…whew! And then I saw her… a pretty blond in guess what?! Pajamas! I loved her instantly in the sense of… omg I could totally see myself calling you up and crying over a scene I’m trying to write… but of course I couldn’t tell her that.

By the 2nd day I was like.. whatever. I’m just here for the lessons, publishing houses and books (oh yes the books!Image result for books my precious gif). I sat in these workshops and listened to the authors on the panels and felt I finally found my friends. I wanted to be friends with THEM! They got me. They understood the anxiety of deadlines. They knew the guilt for feeding your kids pizza and the shame when the 5 boxes of pizza hit the curb for the neighbors to see. I took comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one who is introverted and just wants hide in a room and write rather than socialize.

Image result for new kid in the lunchroom I skipped the luncheon (I paid for it in the registration) because the room was crowded… tables were shoulder to shoulder and there was no way I could possibly sit down at an empty seat next to groups of people who traveled out of state together for this conference. A few of the kids from my “summer camp” suggest I just sit down somewhere (which I interpreted as sit somewhere else just not near me). So I ate my hamburger by myself at a bar seated across from another author on one side and a group of more popular kids… let’s just refer to them as the Related imagemythical angel club to my left (editors—yes I eavesdropped—and you know good and well I wasn’t going to open my mouth and talk to them!)

Later on that evening after a pep-talk from my hubby who asked WWYCD (what would your character do) and I swallowed my pride, donned my long yellow gown and headed over. I didn’t let the broken escalator stop me. Although I was tempted to turn around.Image result for new kid I walked right into the room and found a table of ladies and asked if I could sit and they all welcomed me. They were from Dallas. One of them bought a bottle of champagne for the table and I started to feel a lot better and included.Image result for popping champagne gif Thank you for that!!

Back to the hierarchy of this event… There were the upperclassmen seniors (not age) I got to hug and talk to Ms. Bev Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor and I got to see and hug RITA Finalist Synithia Williams  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, selfie and closeup Oh! And let’s not forget Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, indoor and closeup. BTW.. someone saw a picture of me at this party with Ms. Bev, Brenda, and Farrah Rochon and commented… “Three of my favorite authors”……. um Image result for chopped liver meme

 

lol

By Friday I still had the mentality of being here for the books and workshops  Image result for college classes gifBUT…I was able to smile and the now somewhat familiar faces. It helped to walk through the lines to get autographed books and talk to people who encouraged me. I developed a girl crush on another one of the ladies in the cool kids group simply by her to-die-for shoes (that’s normal, right?)

Image result for rush week gifI attended the publishing houses and looked at it like Rush Week (y’all know my Kimani line is ending the end of 2018).

 

I attended my current publishing house’s annual party Related imageand ran into a fellow friend from on line and was brought into the circle. Look…. We even did a group pictureImage may contain: 12 people, people smiling, text and outdoor I met up with other with the fabulous authors

Cathy Mann  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Brenda Jackson Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup

Christy Jeffries Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoorYahrah St. John  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Taryn Leigh Taylor   Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeup and Katie Meyer

Janet Lee Nye Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, closeup and indoor

And I saw my in-my-head-BFF who said the magical three words …

Dance. With. Me.

Here is the in-my-head-BFF. Her kindness.. and my imagination really helped me overcome my insecurities and introvert-ism (that’s a thing, right?) Thanks Chica!!

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I danced until the end of the party.

By Saturday morning I entered workshops with a bit more pep in my step. I even had a few people tap me on the shoulder and say hey and sit down next to me like we’re friends (which by now we are).

Needless to say by the end of the conference I wasn’t as overwhelmed.  I survived and I came home with A TON OF BOOKSNo automatic alt text available.

New Knowledge

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And great places to look for dresses!

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Until next time!

The Beauty and the CEO is on sale $1.99!

Click here for your copy of The Beauty and the CEO

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Makeup artist Zoe Baldwin can’t believe the gorgeous guy she flirted with on the way to a job interview was her potential boss. So when Will Ravens, CEO of his family’s cosmetics company, tells Zoe her innovative approach isn’t right for his brand, she agrees to work alongside him at a beauty pageant to prove her skills. But where there are sparks, there’s certain attraction…

Will is fighting to keep his family legacy afloat. He’s going back to basics at Ravens Cosmetics, leaving no time for romance or Zoe’s avant-garde ideas. But despite his intentions, he finds himself falling deeper under Zoe’s sensual spell. Amid the chaos caused by company sabotage, can both their career dreams and passionate fantasies come true?

Of course I like to cast my books to help me as I write…. Here’s my vision for Zoe and Will…

Tiara-clip-art-to-download-clipartcowA lil’ teaser of the chemistry….

……As she bounced backward with a prolific apology, the wooden rails creaked. The last thing she needed to do was fall into the water with her tablet. She welcomed the strong pull around her was, and she reached for the impeccably muscular arms.

“Whoa,” the deep and now familiar voice said into her ear.

“Mr. Ravens.” Zoe gasped. Once her eyes began to focus, she narrowed in on his lopsided smirk.

“Let’s see, we’ve shared a plane, shared a seat on a plane, and I’ve walked in on you taking a shower.”

Heat burned her cheeks. Zoe held her index finger up to correct him. “Almost in the shower.”

Will inclined his head. “Okay, almost. However, I do believe we are beyond the formalities. Please call me Will.”

Zoe bit the right corner of her bottom lip. “Alright, Will. You’ll have to call me Zoe.”

“It’s a pleasure, Zoe.”

He had no idea what a pleasure it was to still be in his arms.

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Back in July Will did an interview with Kimani Press on Facebook

Click here for Will’s interview

 

Happy Reading!

images (2) Carolyn

 

Hurricane Irma #HelpingHands

Under the wonderful leadership of Griffin Middle School’s coach, Coach Brett Stanley… some of the members of the Griffin Tigers’ football team were inspired to come out on Saturday (9/9/17) and help the community by bagging sand for Tallahassee residents at Dade Street Community Center. The amazing thing was it started off with just the football team.. and then folks who came to get bags…stayed to help shovel. It was an awesome sight to see.

My feelings are still a little hurt that the City of Tallahassee workers wouldn’t let me back up the truck or dump the dirt just because I 1-did not work for the city or 2-did not have some special licence or 3-they listened to the betrayal of my children who said I can’t even back up in our car that has a back-up camera. Ugh. Just kidding. These guys were great and manned the never-ending-sand bags.

 

 

 

Stay safe y’all!

#GriffinMiddleSchool #GoTigers #TeamWork #BeInspired#HurricaneIrma Griffin Middle Information Technology School

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Yes ladies and gentlemen…it is that time of year again. School is back in session for the Galaxy Boys. I love it. After a summer of staying up all night long..sleeping in late… not having a thing to do… they’re finally back on a schedule. Related imagewhich means I am back on a schedule. Sure.. this means PTO meetings…SAC meetings.. DAC and TAC meetings but   Image result for challenge accepted.  I thought I would be back on my schedule yesterday but alas.. no. The school I planned on sending my son to somehow didn’t have his paperwork. It was a special program for kids but it was set at a traditional school. I sent email after email.. follow up with followup stating in the subject line..”Are we set”… “Do you need anything else?” And each time the director assured me everything was okay. Well guess what?Image result for i was wrong

Trying to speak to a person was trying to get help on a return on Black Friday Image result for black fridayRelated image

I had two kids at one high school orientation across town, my son at this other orientation… both from 8-10 and then a middle school orientation from 10-12 where my husband and I are on the PTO and we spent the time outside in the hot sun trying to get people to join the PTO.  Which btw… trying to get parents to stop by our PTO table …. Image result for i don't see you I baked cookies just to get the parents with kids to stop by. (Don’t get me started on the one kid who helped himself to 6 cookies.. I mean he had so many cookies he couldn’t even hold them in his hands!) But as the parents walked by I reminded them the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) is for 30 minutes once a month AND WE FEED YOU!!! Sigh.

But back to Friday.. and spending 2.5 hours at one school… by Monday.. the same lady in the office where I spent 2 hours looked at me yesterday and said.. “Oh.. the directors of that program don’t fail to tell parents that the child has to actually enroll.” DUDE!!!! YOU forgot to tell me this while I waited in your office and could have filled that information out and picked up that info on Friday! And she even remembered me sitting there on Friday and being there for so long. We pulled him out of the school… but did we really since he was never enrolled?  But whatever.. Now 3 of my high school boys will attend the same school and my 2 middle school boys… who couldn’t be more opposite… Are going to be in every single class together this year. All advanced classes. I had to remind them it’s because they’re so smart.

Well.. it’s time for me to finally get back to work. Until next time!!

 

 

 

Guess What’s Available in Paperback Today!

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Amazon http://amzn.to/2d4L9E8

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2dhxK8p

BAM! http://bit.ly/2cHPxq1

KOBO Books http://bit.ly/2d2fzEf

iBooks http://apple.co/2cpaNTk

Google Play http://bit.ly/2d07Kkc

 

Want to more about #BlackBeautyQueens?

Check out Ken Patterson’s article on Black Beauty Queens (<–see the video there)

https://blackmattersus.com/31088-black-beauty-queens-of-passed-years-these-ladies-will-make-your-day/