writing life

I’ve been absent from my blog since the Romance Writers of America convention at the end of July. The conference, as always, was amazing.

A few days after the conference, however, I found out my Dad was going to be transferred from the hospital where he’d gone for a simple procedure, to hospice for end-of-life care. I headed back home from vacation and started making my way to my Dad. I called him while on the bus from NYC to NH and he asked, “Are you writing?”

At the hospital I pinned the 2012 Golden Heart finalist firebird pin to his pillow and explained how the finalists had connected to the firebird imagery of transformation and rebirth. I knew he’d understand–he was an artist and musician who when I was 5 lost three fingers on his right hand in an accident. Determined not to lose the things that brought him joy, he taught himself to play the piano and paint again.

During his brief time at hospice my mother, my sisters, my brother-in-law and his partner, my nephews and my niece were joined at his bedside by a steady stream of family and friends. When the time came for him to go, he was surrounded by the love he created. We celebrated his life in a memorial held in his beloved back-yard, and butterflies danced around the tent as people told stories about the ways he inspired them.

My Dad is the source of my love of history and story-telling and my infatuation with romance as a genre. No, he didn’t read romance…but he did celebrate romance everywhere he could find it–in movies, art, novels, musical theater as well as in the lives of those around him. He loved a good love story.

My answer to his question “Are you writing?” was “Not at the moment, but I will.” And, now that the memorial is over and the many changes that must come have been put into motion, I know it’s time to give him a different answer.

Yes, Dad, I’m writing. I’ll keep writing. Because love really is the most important thing in this life.


So when the lovely Diana designed this blog for me, I purchased matching business cards that looked like this:

 Pretty, right?  (Well, apart from my blacked out address, anyway.)

I thought I was set. Then, the 2012 GH Finalist Group started talking cards. Several finalists who had finaled before suggested we add our status (for this year only). I started to teeter as the discussion continued. Some of the more general points raised were:

  • The back of your card is a good place for your pitch and tag line. Stickers are fine for this purpose, but be sure to leave room for new friends to jot notes. 
  • Using your author headshot on your card is a way to help jog the memories of card takers and cement connections made. 
  • Before you order glossy cards, consider that they are harder to write on, and may prevent people from taking notes that remind them of your meeting.

I had pretty, matte cards but they were utterly unconnected to me or to the manuscript I’m pitching.

In other words, my cards probably weren’t doing the only job cards are meant to do: create a connection.

Having a card with my headshot seemed a bit “me, me, me” but then again, I loved getting photo cards from others. Yes, my friends, I decided it was time to suck in my inner wallflower and go for it. And I headed to Vistaprint to design and order my cards.

Introducing Wendy’s Card, 2.0 (I suck in, wincing):

They will arrive sometime this week.  If you are on your way to nationals, have you ordered cards? What did you include?

Well, the GH Class of 2012 has chosen a name:

The Firebirds

 Forged in Fire, Rising Higher

On learning the name, Elisa Beatty’s talented daughter gifted her this image

Beautiful, isn’t it? I feel so blessed to be a part of this talented, resourceful, resilient group of women.

In other news, the brilliant Ashlyn Macnamara has helped me whittle down my pitch for Scandal in Spades…

Desperate to restore his family’s honor, a marquess plans to lose his inheritance in a high-stakes card game. Instead, he wins the most unmarriageable lady in all England.

Yay! I’m truly getting excited for Anaheim.