Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Fun, Friends & Good News

First off, more good news. My West Houston chapter mate, Sarah Andre, just signed with an agent. WTG, Sarah!

So it's been a few days since I promised to blog again after announcing my first sale, but it's been party central at Chez Dreiling - actually at various restaurants & friends' houses. What can I say except it's been a blast ... and well, this isn't a surprise to anyone who knows me. After all, I once inadvertently started a party with complete strangers on a plane (the flight attendants bemoaned they were on duty because they wanted to join the fun). Another time, I went to Georgia RWA's Moonlight & Magnolia conference all by myself (I was a Maggie finalist). I lasted as far as the hotel shuttle bus where I met two new best friends. I just don't know a stranger.

Where the RWA conference is concerned, however, you don't have to be an extreme extrovert like moi. The cool thing about writing conferences is that we all have the same thing in common. It's so easy to start up a conversation with anyone - where are you from? what do you write? Honestly, I think RWA writers are the friendliest bunch of folks I've ever met. And while my cyber buddies & I have arranged meet-ups, I fully intend to make new buddies, too. So if you see me (I look like my photo), stop & say hi - and join me if you have time.

If you're going to DC, don't just hang out solely with your roomies or chapter mates. At the luncheons, sit with a group you don't know. Heather MacAllister suggested this to me years ago, and boy, do I thank her for it. You wouldn't believe the cool people I've met at the luncheons. And if you're at the bar or one of the hotel restaurants & see a writer alone, invite her to join your group.

Sure we go to conference for the workshops, agent/editor appointments, publisher spotlights, etc. But if you were to ask me what I remember the most from previous RWA conferences, I would tell you about all the friends I've met & often see at conference every year. See you in DC!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Sale!

It's official! I sold my first book and two more to Grand Central! All three are slated for release in 2011!! I'm soooooo thrilled!!! More tomorrow ... still have many posts & phone calls going on tonight.

Mega thanks to my brilliant agent, Lucienne Diver. You're the best!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Writeaholic Turns Shopaholic

I am a binge shopper. Every summer before the RWA national conference, I get an itch to buy clothes & accessories. Those of you familiar with the RWA national conference know that attendance requires a variety of outfits. This year, I canvassed my closet and realized I did not need new clothes. All those lovely outfits I bought last year are still lovely & perfect for conference. Given the difficult economic times, I should have rejoiced.

I pouted.

Pouting turned into an itch. The itch turned into a full-blown craving. I resisted for 2 whole weeks. Then came my first trial - the nice folks at Coldwater Creek mailed me a catalogue and a coupon. I told myself one new purchase wouldn't hurt. And I remembered I actually needed a tank top for a jacket. It was a legitimate reason to shop! So off into cyber space I went with my credit card dangling from my itchy fingers. About a week later, the package arrived on my doorstep. OMG, there must be a mistake! How did those 3 shirts and those shorts get into the package?

It must have been a shopaholic blackout!

Naturally that was Not the end of my shopping binge. Last Sunday, I realized I was almost out of that Mineral based makeup. So I called Mom who loves shopping year round. Off we drove to the Candy Land of Makeup and Hair product stores - Ulta.

I might have escaped yet another binge if I had not seen saw someone getting a makeover. I lit up like a Xmas tree at the idea of learning the Secrets of Correct Makeup Application. Now I confess I was a trifle nervous because my Makeup Arteest just happened to have rainbow eyeshadow on - a rather sweeping rainbow. Nevertheless, I gave myself up to Makeup Girl's expertise. First, she looked into my shopping basket and pitched everything out of it, including the copper and beige eyeshadows. Makeup girl and my mom claimed I need violet eyeshadow for my *blue* eyes. "Uh, Mom," I said, "my eyes are green." Mom & Makeup Girl insisted my eyes are blue. I decided this was one time to pick my battles, so I surrendered.

Next, Mom & Makeup Girl insisted I needed contouring. There are plenty of things on my wish list, but contouring never even made the top 100. This is because I am an Ignorant Daughter and do not know the importance of contouring - according to Mom. So I sat still while Makeup Girl brushed some powder all along my cheeks & dusted my forehead. Maybe even my nose, but I digress. Makeup Girl & Mom waxed enthusiastic over the difference contouring made in my appearance. I looked in the mirror and ... saw no difference at all. I looked pretty much as I do Uncontoured. Mom claimed I looked ... Dewy. Makeup Girl agreed. I was outnumbered.

I am very proud that I did not swoon or gag when the Ulta clerk rang up the purchases. (I will, however, admit to a bit of buyer's remorse.) You might be thinking that was the end of my binge. I'm sorry to say it was not.

You see, the lovely folks at Coldwater Creek have brick and mortar stores - one of which happens to be not too far from the Ulta store. As we pulled up into the parking space, I grabbed Mom's arm. "OMG, there's a Sale!"

Naturally I only intended to try on that adorable violet skirt (to match the eyeshadow, you know), tank, and knit jacket. But of course it fit perfectly - and it was On Sale! Then I rummaged through my purse. To my horror, I realized I'd left the latest coupon at home. Mom said I should just come back the next day. I clutched my new outfit to my chest. Clearly I did not have any intention of leaving the store without it. So Mom told the sales ladies that her spoiled daughter needed that coupon and suggested they might want to honor it. The sales ladies looked at me - no doubt a little afraid of the manic expression in my purple shaded eyes. And they said, "OK!"

Hey, I got 25% off!

I swear that's the end of my shopping binge. Before all of Cyber World, I will repent. My name is Vicky Dreiling, and I'm a Binge Shopper.

Are you going to conference? If so, I've got a contest for you. The first person to guess how much money I spent on makeup at the Ulta store gets a free drink from me at the DC conference!

Cheers & Happy Shopping!