Monday, December 18, 2006

Fed-Ex delivery of someone else's dreams

In addition to Christmas deliveries from UPS and the US Postal Service, FedEx dropped off a rectangular box containing four entries into the Golden Heart contest sponsored by the Romance Writer's of America.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Golden Heart, it's a prestigious contest for unpublished writers of romantic fiction.

This is my first year participating as a judge. I'm excited to do my part, performing one of my responsibilities as a member of RWA.

When I opened the package and slid out the four manuscripts, they practically vibrated with the hopes and dreams of the writers who submitted them. I know I sound horribly sentimental when I feel somewhat honored to play some small part in nudging a colleague (or two or four) along on her career path. Each writer put their heart and soul into these novels, represented by a mere fifty pages and a synopsis. I know how it feels to work hard toward a writing goal, to see something through to completion. I know how unnerving it is to put that writing in someone else's hands and pin your hopes on their response.

I haven't begun to read these four entries yet. I'm still too busy reverently touching the pages knowing that each author laid hands upon them, gazed upon them one final time before tucking the entry into a mailer and sending it to RWA. We are connected not only by our shared passion for writing but by these very pages I hold.

I will do my best to honor your writing, your efforts and your passion, my dear fellow RWA members. Best of luck!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006


promo cards2
Originally uploaded by SallyAF.

My short story will be available at The Wild Rose Press this Friday, December 8. Because I'm not sure how long it will be available for purchase on their site, I'm feeling pressure to promote the story and garner some sales.

Other than blog entries, these postcards and word of mouth, I'm really at a loss about how to promote my writing.

I'm feeling a bit shy and embarrassed with the whole process. I'm a writer - it's a solitary profession. I spend hours on end with myself, creating imaginary characters and building the worlds they live in. Promoting my writing means I must step out of my comfort zone and into the business end of things. I've been absent from the business world since the year 2000 when I quit my job to stay home with my daughter. And to write.

I knew someday if my writing was ever published, I'd need to promote it. So, here I go. I'll start with postcards.

And of course this blog.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Any minute now . . .

. . . The Wild Rose Press will make A Date With Santa's Stand-In available for purchase. Here's a blurb of what it's about:

As a mall display coordinator, forty-two-year-old Mara Wentworth reluctantly goes through the motions of preparing the Santa set for the Jolly One’s annual visit. Although it’s Mara’s job to transform the mall into a dazzling winter wonderland, nudging shoppers into a festive (and free-spending) mood, she dreads her first Christmas as a divorced mother.

But when tall, wavy-haired contractor Sam Kendall arrives and buckles on his tool belt to remodel Santa’s old workshop, he drives Mara to distraction with his muscular build and constant flirting. Mara quickly chucks her “no more men” rule as she works on the Santa set with Sam. But when the mall Santa’s a no-show, Mara and Sam scramble to find a replacement, leading to a heart-warming and humorous conclusion.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Raised in Colorado and Kansas, I’ve spent my life in the small towns and wide-open spaces of the Midwest, living in Texas, Indiana and finally settling with my husband and daughter in Minnesota. I love to write about the sadly neglected “flyover states” because I’m so fond of the prairies, farmland and small towns where I’ve spent my life.

Like many writers, I took pen to paper at a young age and never stopped creating imaginary characters with lives far more fascinating than mine. In between writing sessions, I fumbled through a career of serial job-hopping. I’ve worked so many jobs that my daughter is astonished when I show her my résumé, which I keep on a thick set of scrolls crammed in the back of my bedroom closet.

When it comes to my recent writing history, I must give credit where credit is due: I had absolutely no direction or purpose until I joined the Romance Writers of America and my local Minnesota chapter, Midwest Fiction Writers. Without their guidance, I’d still be scribbling stories on scraps of paper and shoving them into my desk drawer, never again to see the light of day.