In the summertime, when the weather is high

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I was going to write a post today about what it’s like to be a mom who is also a writer. But as I began to flesh out that idea, thinking about how I try to balance my writing with my full-time day job and family, guilt flooded me about how much of my home time is spent in front of the computer. I decided not to touch that topic with a ten-foot pole. (*grin*)

Instead, I thought it would be less emotional to talk about summer writing plans. I know, it’s not summer yet, but it’s going to reach 65 degrees today here in Seattle and that blinding ball of light in the sky that Southerners tell me is actually called “the sun” is shining brightly. Summer is on my mind. So, grab an iced latte, pull up a chair, and tell me about what’s going on with you.

Do you find that the sunshine makes you want to go outside and play, or does it energize you to write more and really get busy on the career building front? Some people suffer from depression when sunshine is lacking. I actually feel more energized in the dark and enjoy the clouds and rain and long dark winter nights, but I realize that I’m not completely normal on that front. My coworkers refer to me as “the Vampire” and are kind enough to put black poster paper over windows near me so that I’m a happy camper at work day in and day out.

Do you have big writing conference plans this summer? There are several writing conferences going on—Romance Writers of America is having their national conference at the end of June; the Pacific Northwest Writers Association is having their yearly conference at the beginning of August (I think that’s when it is—I’m out of town, so I can’t go, boo hoo!). The writing conferences I’m attending this year are in the fall—the South Dakota Festival of Books invited me to attend and give some workshops/sign books in early October in Deadwood (I am thrilled to go to this conference for the first time this year!); and at the end of October is one of my favorite conferences, the Emerald City Writers Conference, put on by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America chapter.

Are you doing any other writing-related fun stuff this summer? Going to any retreats, workshops, book signings, writer picnics? I’m heading to Deadwood, South Dakota, where my current romantic mystery series is set. I’ll be there for two weeks at the beginning of August during the huge Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to do several book signings, visit with lots of town folks, and meet new friends and fans. I’m dragging my family along on that one, and we are all excited to get to spend a couple of weeks in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

I’ll shut up for now. Tell me about you.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! (Viva la Mexico!)

16 responses to “In the summertime, when the weather is high

  1. Raymond Bolton

    You are not entirely alone in your love for the gray damp. I was born and spent my early years in Santa Monica, CA less than a mile from the Pacific where foggy overcast was the rule much of the year. Days like that, for me, are akin to returning to the womb. Far from depressing, they are comforting and I am quite productive when the day closes in around me.

    On the other hand, the sun is energizing and I am likely to be out and about for longer periods when the days brighten and lengthen. As I think about it, I am generally an up sort of person and very little gets me down.

    Sorry you can’t make it to PNWA, Ann. But your invitation to South Dakota as a presenter is quite an honor. Nonetheless, we will miss you.

    For any of you yet-unpublished ones out there, you should know that conferences are miles ahead of query letter slush piles. A face-to-face with an agent or editor is far more likely to result in a request for your full manuscript.

    • Raymond, I love your description of gray damp days and returning to the womb. Well said! We are much alike on this. 🙂

      I would have loved to meet several of you at PNWA, but maybe next year!

  2. Jar O' Marbles

    I’m going to California this summer for a week’s vacation to enjoy good food, great friends and the beach. =) And maybe some see fine art and take some fine photography of my own.

    • No maybe about the fine art. That’s a definite. Picasso for the win!!

    • That sounds like a lot of fun! Food, friends, and beach–perfect summer vacation. I hope you have a marvelous time! (But first, you have homework I’m about to post for tomorrow’s class–evil teacher Ann LOL).


  3. I’ll see your ten foot pole and raise it by two. Let’s just not go there together, okay? =)

    I’ll be at PNWA and I’m jazzed. I was at Emerald City for one day several years back, but didn’t pitch because I was immersed in screenwriting and had nothing to pitch. I’m nervous about that bit, but I’ll have my fellower blogsters to hold my hand and pass the scotch afterwards.

    • Raymond Bolton

      “I’ll see your… ” Glad you decided to keep it G-rated, Lisa. You never can tell, though, when the scotch starts flowing.

    • I look forward to hearing about your PNWA experience this year, Lisa. I don’t know that I’ve actually drank scotch yet in my life. One of these days, I need to sit down at a bar and try a few different drinks just to see what they taste like.


      • Raymond Bolton

        Should you make it to next year’s conference, I will gladly introduce you to at least one of the finer single malts. The wrong choice can turn the uninitiated off. I intend to make you an afficianado, Ann.

  4. Mostly I just want to survive the summer. 😀

    Seriously though, we’ve got plans for a possible house buying mission this summer so I suspect a lot of my time will be taken up with that. Also, given that I’ve been desperately missing the SUN I’ll be outside whenever I have a chance.

    We are hoping (please, oh please) to make it to PNWA but the final plans are still pending. Other than that I’m not all that big on conferences frankly as large crowd of people freak me out a bit. 😛


    • Raymond Bolton

      “We are hoping (please, oh please) to make it to PNWA”. Please, oh please work on it. I just have to meet you face-to-face.

      Actually, this is such a kick-A group I really have to meet each of you at one point or another.

    • House buying mission–ugga bugga! I wish you luck on finding the perfect house at the perfect price early on in the process.

      I’m not a big fan of the national conferences due to the amount of people, but I like the local ones because they are a little smaller and have more authors I know. Makes for a fun time with old friends.


  5. Two conferences for me this year – the first next weekend right here in Vancouver – Michael Hauge is coming to town to do his one day workshop on Story. He’s terrific and always inspiring. And then PNWA – looking forward to the Scotch!


    • I met Michael briefly last year down in Vancouver WA for the Rose City RWA mid-winter conference–he was so kind and friendly. No GSRWA this year, Kate? Dang! At least I’ll get to see you in Sept. when I take a trip up north to talk about plotstorming with your RWA chapter. 🙂


  6. Just wanted to tell you all I’m sorry I was so late showing up to reply and hang out. Work today plus keeping up with the online class I’m giving and judging the Daphnes and prepping to release book 2 in my series this next week has me spinning in circles. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate it.


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