Posted in Thoughts

Happy Woman’s Day

International Woman’s Day
Are you a feminist? No, I never considered myself a feminist. I am old fashioned, I believe in putting home and family first. I write romance, always dreaming of happily ever after. How could I be a feminist?
I come from a long line of big shoulder broads, women who did what needed doing to survive, to make sure their families thrived. I vote because I owe these women for the sacrifices they made that I would have the right to vote. I believe that whoever is best for the job, no matter the gender should have the chance to prove themselves. That equal work deserves equal pay. That women all over the world should be valued and given the opportunity to be educated. I believe that all women deserve to have a voice: to make decisions affecting their lives and the lives of their families. Am I a feminist?
I have been blessed to have strong women in my life. My sister-in-law Denise Toler who never let her size keep her from doing whatever she wanted to do. My little sister from another mother, Robina Norman who pushed me to commit to my writing and taught me what friendship was all about. My friends Vickie Jones, Alice Norman, Mary Hill and Peggy Mers who have shown grace under terrible conditions and shown me true strength. My mentors Marni Graff, Glenoria Jennette, Joan Walker and Pat Jordan who have given me strength, courage and confidence to seek my dreams by showing me the way. My childhood friends, cousins, aunts and grandmothers who all helped mold me into the person I’ve become. You have each taught me about womanhood, character and given me my voice.
I am blessed to have the influence of strong women but it is also the understanding, confidence and faith of my men that have allowed me to grow and discover my strength. Men of the world hold the illusion of power. But unless they are willing to see women as equals their power is that of tyrants. It is only as equals that we can all be free. Am I a feminist? I guess I am.
To all the women of strength and courage who have touched my life, you are too many to name but you have a place in my heart. I thank you for all that you have taught me. Happy Woman’s Day!

Posted in event

HCRW & Maya Rodale Workshop

I returned home exhausted but still excited, the Heart of Carolina Workshop I attended in Durham with speaker Maya Rodale was an amazing experience. Weeks before the workshop I started reading Maya Rodale’s two series The Bad Boy Billionaire and The Wall Flower Series. What an amazing marketing concept, you have no choice but to read all six books, they are so good and linked together it is impossible not to finish these series. I fell in love with the characters, the way she intertwined the two series, the modern series with plain Jane librarian good girl and sexy bad boy who needs a PR change only she can give him. She needs a life. They both get more than they bargain for.

At the workshop, Maya showed how to romance our readers and write faster with the idea of writing the book we want to read. We learned so much, not only from Maya but from the other experienced authors who were willing to share their information and inspiration to make the workshop much more than could be found anywhere else in the world.

The Heart of Carolina Romance Writers is a group that embraces its members and willingly shares knowledge and experience. Even after two years, I was welcomed by several who remembered me, others who knew me from on-line classes and posts. It was a joyous day of meeting, greeting and learning. I am so thankful for this group who have done so much to help me hone my writing skills.

I had a table full of talented authors to learn from and share with, my wise women from the east Kate Parker and Hannah Meredith kept me laughing as we traveled to and from the workshop. They are working on a Christmas Anthology that is destined to be a winner and will be hosting a Facebook party. It is exciting to learn how they are bringing it all together.

I also had the chance to meet Katharine Ashe who will be a presenter at the Pamlico Writers Conference in March 2015. She is another rock star writer who I’ve enjoyed reading…”The Prince Catcher” Series “I Married a Duke” and “I Adored a Lord” as well as, “Kisses she Wrote” are part of this series, I can hardly wait for the last one.

Seeing Virginia Kantra writer of the “Dare Island” series was another joy, her books feel like coming home.

Jennifer Delamere just back from Moonlight and Magnolias was so excited to share her experience assisting new writers perfect their pitch. It is this kind of excitement that I’ve experienced as a member of HCRW, people aren’t just willing to help, they are excited to share their experience and knowledge.
Maya Rodale Workshop 2014 013

Posted in Thoughts

A Note of Encouragement

Some play by ear, others by note but to make the music beautiful you must have passion and you must practice. Like any art, some have a natural talent while others have to learn the mechanics. As a friend was encouraging me to continue my writing despite several set backs and heart breaks, he told me a story. His mother played piano, she could hear a piece one time and go home and pick it out on the piano. Any time she had a free moment she was at the piano playing and practicing. She played for friends and for her church, the piano was her joy, her passion. As an adult my friend decided to buy a piano and learn to play. Unlike his mother he did not have the gift of music, he could not hear a song and played it. He had to learn the notes. Learning all the notes takes time but he finally managed it, now he can play anything he wants as long as he has the notes. His talent isn’t the same as his mother’s who made it look so easy but hard work and a passionate drive to succeed gave him the joy of music. While each of us have different talents, passions and muse, we can all improve by practice and learning.

My friend doesn’t play his music for friends or at church, his music is for his own pleasure. As a member of several writers groups I have learned that not everyone wishes to publish, they just enjoy writing. As I struggle to get published, I sometimes forget that it is the love of writing, the joy it gives me and the release of passion that is it’s own success. No matter how you express yourself, remember their are different degrees of success, do not measure yourself by others works but by your own truth.