Writing

RWA Nationals Road Trip: Are You Prepared for Awesomeness!

Denny's MermaidsI’m taking off for Atlanta this weekend to attend the RWA National Conference and I’m super excited. I’m going to spend a week with 2,000 other romance writers – sounds like heaven, right? In a hotel with an entire floor/lobby dedicated to mingling (okay, there is a really big bar at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis), and I guarantee I will be informed, inspired, surprised and exhausted within 30 minutes of checking in. And no, I’m not trying to make anyone who is not going jealous – but I’m excited and want to share.

Speaking of sharing, I volunteered (two years in a row:) to serve as the official Waterworld Mermaid reporter blogging LIVE daily from Hot-Lanta! But expect some of the other Mermaids to pop in, too. A bunch of us will be in town, and will either post here or on our own blogs – so stay tuned.

But I said ROAD TRIP in the headline  – so yeah, I’m…
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Guy Day: Firefighter Marcus Swims with the Mermaids!

Someone call 9-1-Fun because we have got a hot one in the lagoon today!  He’s taken ladies, (sorry) but I haven’t laughed this hard or sighed this much in a long time.  Please give your warmest welcome to Marcus, Oklahoma son, Firefighter, and our resident Mer-man for the day!

Marcus

 

Carlene: Hi Marcus!  Thank you so much for hanging out with us today!  Let’s get right to it!  Please tell us about your decision to become a firefighter and how long you’ve been doing it.

Marcus: Looking back when I was growing up I found myself looking at what was considered to my dad as work yet he never once spoke bad about it. Visiting him at the fire station and seeing the guys act as a family did when at home together was interesting to me for I had friends’ parents complaining of their own work and coworkers. I’m not so sure I chose to be a firefighter; instead the…
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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Susan MermaidThe joy of being a school librarian:  I’ve made it all the way to summer!  Yippee!  Twelve weeks of nothing!  No commute, no kids, no bells, no bag lunches!  Nothing! What could be better?

What could be worse?  I have twelve weeks of nothing, and I know exactly what can go wrong:

Summer  can be wasted.  On Twitter, Facebook, shopping (especially shopping!), lazing by the pool, etc. Friends call it “the time to relax that you need/want/yearn for.”  I call it “time wasted.” Time can be stolen, even though I agreed to the theft.  I will fly to Saint Louis next week and listen to several days of educational conference material.  But I want to learn something, so that’s good.  And I am happy for the bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, and other celebrations.  Still, it is theft. I will need additional time, once I return, to recover my writing mojo.  So far, I’ve started well, but I’m aware…
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Poll Results: How Much You Make and the Books You Write

So it all started out with me being my normal nosy self and wondering how much money everybody else was making. We put out a little poll in the lagoon.

That led to a bunch of questions from our fabulous commenters. So, we threw out those questions to everyone who dips their toes into the Waterworld Mermaid Lagoon. Here are the results. Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Please not this is not a comprehensive survey of romance writers. I’d love to see RWA or a chapter do that kind of survey.

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Money Matters: Experience, Digital First and Indie Writers

Coin Dropping Into Piggy BankA few weeks ago, the Waterworld Mermaids ran a poll asking authors how much money they made from writing romance novels. What we found is that 42 percent of the respondents had made $1,000 or less in the past 12 months.

However, the response in our comments section was so great that we wanted to ask a few follow up questions suggested by the Waterworld Mermaids’ amazing readers. Here they are.

If the polls – or vote buttons – don’t show up for you on this page (some internet browsers don’t like mermaid polls), click on the link under the poll to take it. Please only take the polls that apply to your romance writing income bracket.

And don’t forget to share these polls with your romance writing friends and tell us your thoughts about the results in the comments below.

http://poll.fm/48b4a

http://poll.fm/48b4h

http://poll.fm/48b4o

http://poll.fm/48b4y

http://poll.fm/48b51

http://poll.fm/48b54


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Contemporary Romance and Primetime TV (My Excuse to Talk “New Girl”:)

(New Girl – Season 2 Finale – SPOILERS!)

Denny's MermaidsThe TV fangirl in me must speak out! This week two of my favorite shows are having (or had) their season finale, and I am excited, filled with apprehension (somewhat resolved by “New Girl’s” fantastically romantic ending – spoilers – STOP now!). And a bit frightened by what Sondra Rhimes has up her sleeves for this Thursday night’s SCANDAL season finale.

These two shows couldn’t be more opposite in their viewpoint on romance. And what’s über scary for me is that I am A-okay on either side of the romance fence the writers have constructed. I’ve talked about SCANDAL and whether or not a central ‘love’ story could be ‘written’ and allowed in the romance novel cyber book bin when one of the main characters is married and having an affair with the other main character (so, let’s not go there again:). Some of us like edgy, but…?!

New Girl, a sitcom about four…
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Peter Andrews swims with the Mermaids and shares his tips on HowToWriteFast!

 

I’m thrilled to introduce Peter Andrews to the lagoon today for a different sort of Guy Day interview.  Peter has been writing and earning a living at it (!!!) for many years.  He keeps a blog on how to write fast, and teaches online courses on the same subject.  A writer, hubby, great dad, and all-around good guy, he even makes dinner!

It’s exhausting work, let me tell you!  So, first, let me offer the nice man a drink with an umbrella…  and let the questions roll!

1. What if you finally can sit down to write and realize you can’t get started?

Starting is dependent on preparation. Before you finish writing each day, you need to determine what you will work on the next day (or next definite session). This is a promise to yourself. And you keep it. You can still do other things, but you need to commit to work forward.

2.  What if you’re suddenly not in love with your book?  

Everyone falls out…
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How Much Do You Earn From Writing?

Avery-mermaidI remember when I signed my first book contract and a friend’s husband wanted to know when I was going to buy a second house. I still want to know the answer to that. I think I could swing Barbie’s Dream House (finally!), but I won’t be basking under a thatched roof on my own private island any time soon.

Maybe I should start a Kickstarter campaign for the Avery Flynn island dream home, I hear that works (Yay, Veronica Mars movie!).

Joking aside, we all want to know when we’ll earn enough from writing to give the evil day job the old heave ho. I’ve seen some averages for advances and earn outs. Check out this great post from Brenda Hiatt for breakdowns by publisher. I’ve talked to friends and eavesdropped on others. Yes, I’m that girl. Come on you cannot be shocked by that. And I’ve researched using my Google Fu skills. But everything I found looks mainly…
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The Waiting Game

I’m frustrated. There it is, I’ve said it.

At the beginning of March my thirteen-year-old daughter, Brenna, was one of the lucky few selected to audition to sing the National Anthem before one of the Washington National’s baseball games this season. Let me tell you, auditioning is not a walk in the park. First, we got the e-mail on a Wednesday afternoon that she was one of fifty people who would be auditioning that Saturday morning. After chanting, “Oh crap, oh crap. Yay, this is so exciting! Oh crap, oh crap,” a few hundred times I rearranged everyone’s Saturday schedule so my husband and I could take Brenna to her audition. Brenna was incredibly excited and spent the next couple of days practicing with the Nationals audition guidelines in mind… You must perform a cappella and you only have ninety seconds, which is not a lot of time for that song.

We arrived bright and early at National Stadium on Saturday morning where we stood in line, freezing our butts off,…
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A BAGEL, ANY KIND, TOASTED AND BUTTERED – JUST AS LONG AS IT GETS THE JOB DONE

from mermaid Susan Andrews:  SusanMermaid

There’s a problem I’ve experienced as a writer sometimes that just knocks me on my back.  Mind you, I can plot, draft, write and create.  I carve out time to write.  I’ve created a little space for my books and my papers.  I’ve learned to draft manuscripts on the train, to use my phone for making notes and jotting down ideas.  I have a nifty new keyboard for my iPad.  I’ve even discovered the charm of the Yonkers Will Public Library for its blissfully silent study tables.

But, every once in a while, right in the middle of things, I get stuck.  That one word, the one fact I was so sure I knew, escapes me.  It’s right there, ready to be typed and, at the same time, out of sight.

I’m frozen.  Stuck.  My dream of being A Productive Writer is smashed at my feet, at least for the moment.  And, frankly, I’m a little…
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