Thanks for the Lift!

After having five kids, many of you might think I’m talking about a lift of a different nature, but, no. I’m talking today about the wonderful chapter of WRW and the fantastic retreat this past weekend.

I thought after my first retreat last year when I met all the fabulous mermaids that any retreat would pale in comparison. I’m so happy to have been proved wrong. It doesn’t happen all that often (when I’m wrong), but once in a sparkly purple moon, I am.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some select people from this weekend who gave me a lift when I truly, truly needed one. Although the speakers and guests encouraged me to keep writing and fighting the good fight, I’m talking about those who through small measures made a personal difference to me.

1. Deborah Barnhardt: I bought one raffle ticket for a Tarot card reading. One. After I rubbed the ticket on Carlene for good luck, I put my ONE ticket in the purple bag. And I’m sooo glad I did. I don’t know whether it’s truly my energy that she read because I haven’t felt like I’ve had much of that lately, but she told me what I needed to hear. I thank her for that reading because clearly I needed someone unbiased to talk to about myself, and when I receive my first of several RITAs someday, I will thank her on a much larger platform.

2. Kerri Carpenter: She wanted a single room. God love her, she didn’t get it. I waited until the last days of registering, and by that time the single rooms were gone. I begged her to let me share her room, and she did. Thanks, Kerri for not making me room with some neat freak with a Type-A personality. I happen to like sleeping with books all over my bed. So what.

3. Mary Lenaburg: I don’t even know how to explain my thanks. Organizing such a wonderful retreat doesn’t even enter why I’m thanking her. Her happiness is so contagious. It was such a joy talking to her, watching her dance Flashdance to Fame and listening to her funny stories. What happens at Retreat stays at Retreat. Even stories about mirrors on ceilings…No, no, no. Don’t ask. I can’t tell.

4. Carlene Love Flores: She was gracious as gracious could be as we all rubbed our raffle tickets on her for good luck. She won so many of the baskets last year that we kinda figured she’d be good luck. Most of the mermaids won several baskets because of her. I happen to think that the raffle tickets really enjoyed being rubbed against someone so sweet and kind and absolutely wonderful. She completely deserved her free retreat next year!

5. Kimberly Kincaid: Holy cow, girl! Your yoga class was the bomb! As are you! I enjoyed that class so much, even after only three hours of sleep. Thanks for christening my virgin yoga mat. Happy 40th Birthday again, and Congratulations on your Marlene win. You rocked that retreat!

6. Angelina Lopez and Suzanne Kalb: I’m lumping them together since they appeared to be attached at the hip. Thanks to Angelina for introducing me to Suzanne, who was such a joy to meet. Thanks to Suzanne for being patient as she had to answer my questions three times before I remembered her answers. Thank you both for keeping me company at the bar and sharing your stories with me.

7. Linda Williams and Pollyanne Power: Our honorary mermaids. Linda w/a Willa Blair won our Mermaid for a Day, and we love her! Pollyanne Power let us scoop her up as our Newbie for Romance Jeopardy, where we won with the most points. Granted we had approximately seventeen people on our team, but, who cares??? That game is not fair anyway!

8. Waterworld Mermaids: This one’s a given! I’m so glad we all met last year, and it goes without saying (although apparently I’m saying it anyway) that you all mean the world to me. Who knew when we were all sitting around that table at the newcomer’s meeting feeling like fish out of water that we would feel such a sense of belonging one year later? Get it? Fish out of water??? God, I’m witty.

So, thank you, thank you WRW for giving my spirits a lift. For allowing me into your midst of awesomeness.

In the middle of all this sappy gratitude, it reminds me of a special post today on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog. Our very own Amanda Brice is hosting Shelley Coriell for her official launch of her debut YA—WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE. So, join them and tell the writing world who has supported you in your writing career. At the end of the day, they will draw two names to win a $50 gift certificate to a bookstore of their choice. Not for the person posting but for the person that has been in their corner. How awesome is that? So, hop on over to and give a public shout out for your critique partner, family member or just a friend who has supported you.

Good luck! A little gratitude goes a long way! Maybe even to a bookstore near you.

Who has made a difference in your life lately? It doesn’t have to be a retreat guest—although it really should be! ☺

42 thoughts on “Thanks for the Lift!

  1. Kimberly, my Unsinkable pal, Retreat was indeed an awesome experience. What a joy to belong to a chapter of of writers any one of whom I’d be delighted to spend time with – and we got to spend time with them all! (Well, maybe not allll the chapter, but you get the idea!).

    Can’t wait until next year!

    1. Keely,
      I whole-heartedly agree. It was an awesome experience! I’m counting down the days until the next week. Since it was moved up a bit in April for next year, we don’t have as long to wait. 🙂

  2. It was an amazing weekend! I’m thrilled to have shared yoga with you, and even more thrilled to have shared your awesome energy and good laughs (and perhaps a glass of wine. Or two. Just saying). The ladies (and Tim) or WRW are bar none!

    How many days ’til next year, exactly?

    1. Kimberly,
      I keep remembering how you told us to move our stuff around because it belongs to us. LOL. I sure have a lot that belongs to me…unfortunately. Hopefully by next year, I will have lost some of the extra stuff that belongs to me. I’m just sayin’.

    2. Kim – I also loved, loved, loved your yoga class!!! You are a fantastic teacher! Even though I also got 3 hours of sleep – thanks roomie for keeping me up. 😉

  3. Thanks, Mermaids! I loved being in the pool with you and look forward to blogging with you sometime in the future. Could somebody send me the pix you took (assuming I didn’t break the camera)? It was a fantastic retreat and all the organizers deserve every bit of adulation that they get.

    1. Linda,
      I loved hanging in the mermaid pool with you. I can’t wait for your book to come out and when you blog with us. It was like that magnet under your chair was just meant for you. 🙂 I’m awful with pictures, but I will find out who has the picture and have it sent to you. I only have one on my phone from the entire retreat.

      1. Thanks, Kimberly! I can’t wait for my book to come out, either. Believe me, when I get a release date, I’ll be shouting it from the Mermaid Pool, the rooftops, my back porch…well, you get the idea! The Retreat sessions on marketing, publicity and what comes after you finish the book were well-timed.

        1. Linda,
          I just found you on Facebook and Twitter. It’s for those who need to find our Linda. I love the name of your hero in HIGHLAND HEALER. Just saying Laird Toran makes me smile. 🙂
          Scroll down to the bottom to Dana’s comment and she has a link for your photo. I did tell you that I’m awful with posting and creating links and all that stuff…

  4. Hi, Kim, SAME! I’m so glad I met you, and I’m so super glad I didn’t have that fifth kid I kinda wanted because we’d never have been able to make that baseball team together. What could we have done with 10 kids? That’d’ve just been stupid. I got a lot of inspiration out of this retreat–mostly on the business side, which I have been so reluctant to embrace (something about those 4 kids?). But honestly you Waterworld Mermaids make it look so fun to do a blog and Laura Reeth laid it out so nicely for me–well, and she said to suck it up and quit complainin’ since we’re about the luckiest people on earth considering we get to sit around in our pjs and write sex scenes all day. I guess she didn’t word it exactly like that, but you get the meaning. Thanks for the shout out! Be in touch soon!

    1. Suzanne – just want you to know that I did NOT steal any books. I was afraid of your wrath! Ha-ha! So fun to meet you! 😉

    2. I also didn’t take any books without giving one back. And I certainly didn’t try to steal the blue paper to make my own raffle tickets. The very thought! 🙂
      BTW, if you had five kids, we could have played both sides in basketball. Of course, my side would have been very small and not make any baskets, but still. Hmmmm. Have to think of a sport that doesn’t require one to be tall.

  5. Great post, Kim! As always, you were an amazing roommate. Who else would come armed with as much alcohol as me and then stay up late talking about old Guiding Light episodes. You must re-enact your Reva/Bud scene for everyone.

    Love you, love you, love you!!!!!!

    1. “Is this what you want, BUD?!?” Nobody could make a scene like Reva!
      I did come armed with pixie sticks too. And then you bring bananas??? What’s up with that healthy alternative stuff? Next year–only alcohol and candy. No fruit. Or veggies. Just.Say.No.

    2. Guiding Light? For reals? I used to write the synopses for soaps, and I became an adoring fan. I watched it all the way up until the end. Okay, don’t judge me. I was EXERCISING. What else is there to watch at 10 am?

      1. Suzanne,
        I loved Guiding Light for really reals. I missed the last few years because life got in the way. That darn life. I used to sit at the bus stop with my battery-operated little portable television and watch it. Then those things became obsolete. Grrrrr.

  6. Kim,
    I am so glad you enjoyed retreat. Sorry I couldn’t make it this year but hoping to be there in years to come. Hopefully I might find time to make some WRW meetings too this year.

    It’s always great when you find those people who inspire you. Last year at WRW when I was nervously prompting for my first pitch to editors/agents I met fellow Mermaid Susan who was a great help–and by accident met Mindy Klasky who became my ‘angel unaware’. I ended up with two out of three submits because Susan and Mindy were just so relaxing and guided me along. But I also had a wonderful friend, Gail Barrett who guided me (and was my roomie) into my first ever WRW retreat last year. I had so many angels around me to lighten my journey! That’s how blessed we are as a group of fantastic writers. I have yet to meet a romance writer who doesn’t support of her fellow writers (pub or pre-pub). Cheers to Romance Writers and the angels they are to others!

    1. Loni,
      We truly missed you! Our mermaid pond didn’t seem the same without you.
      It’s so nice when we meet people who help guide us. I know Carlene and Kerri felt that way about Jennifer last year. You should pop on over to the Ruby blog and give a shout out to the one who’s been in your corner. She could get a $50 bookstore certificate. What a nice surprise for someone. And a great idea to show appreciation for the people in our lives. We should have a gratitude day every year. At the very least. 🙂

  7. Kim,
    Awesome post and awesome retreat. I just got home a few hours ago — and am ready to crash. There’s only so much fun a mermaid can have before she has to return to her lagoon and sleep for a few days! I, too, am counting the days until next year… And maybe I will finally win something in the raffle. I now know where I went wrong, however – I forgot to rub my tickets on Carlene!

    1. Pintip,
      I didn’t realize you didn’t rub your tickets on Carlene. *shakes head sadly*
      There’s always next year. Of course everyone will probably rub their tickets on her, so it might not work then. LOL.

  8. Excellent post Mermaid Kim. It was wonderful seeing you and hanging out. The retreat was fabulous but I always have a good time hanging out with my fellow Mermaids. I’ll see Pollyanne this Friday, and will let her know she needs to stop by if she hasn’t done so already!

    Again, love your post.

    1. Denny,
      It was great swimming with you! 🙂 And thanks again for lunch!
      Definitely tell Pollyanne hi from the Mermaids! We heart her for having the patience to deal with our obnoxious group. She was probably the only one at our crazy table who didn’t pelt poor Avery with candy. She has maturity. What was she doing with us??? LOL

  9. Kim,
    I am smiling and tearing up because you are so thankful to those around you when YOU own the most special moment for me at retreat. I will always treasure my mermaid bottle top pin. I love her and I love you.

    1. Carlene! You’re so cotton-pickin’ sweet! 🙂
      I’m so glad you liked your pin! I hope you had a great time and weren’t too embarrassed by the obnoxious mermaids. And by obnoxious mermaids, I mean myself. LOL. At least we all know in advance that you’re coming next year. It’s hard to turn down a free retreat.

  10. Although I am not Mermaid, my BFF Kerri is and as a result I read this lovely blog and live vicariously through your creative minds.

    Kim, I am glad you had a great conference and we all need a ‘lift’ sometimes. I am also glad tha you survived a hotel stay with Kerri. She tends to steel unsuspecting roommate’s pillow in the wee hours of the night. Just kidding!!, well kind of… Happy writing to all and thank you for sharing in your creative process.

    1. Danielle,
      I’ve seen a picture of you on the beach, so you can be a pretend mermaid with us today. 🙂 I don’t know anything about her stealing pillows, but Kerri did make me stay up until 3 in the morning talking about every soap opera that ever aired. I believe she used to watch one after school with you and taped the other one??? She’s a crazy girl, our Kerri.
      BTW, she truly wrote “Go Steelers!” on the mirror in the bathroom so that when the room steamed up you could see it. She somehow believes that the Ravens will see that message when they come for training camp. Kerri lives in a whole different reality! Like the hotel staff isn’t going to clean the mirror ever. *sigh* But God love her loyalty to Pittsburgh Steelers!!! Go Steelers!

      1. HAHA I told Kerri that she should have wrote ‘Go Steelers’ on masking tape and stick it in side the drawers but the mirror is a great idea.

        1. Ahhh, Danielle,
          I forgot that you were the mastermind behind that evil plan. 🙂
          I thought of writing “Go Steelers!” in the Bible beside the bed because housekeeping probably wouldn’t look there. But, neither would the Ravens. Haha.

    1. Hugs back, Robin! What are you doing commenting on my post? Shouldn’t you be getting your book ready for release? For shame, for shame!!! 🙂
      But thanks so much for swimming by…

  11. Miss Kim,
    There are many more stories my dear and I look forward to sharing them in time. Too much too soon and you would think I was trollop material. LOL!
    Thank you for your kind words and the ’80’s movie help. I will never mix-up Jennifer and Irene again. Besides leg warmers make my ankles look fat. I look forward to next years retreat as well. I will have to adjust the mirrors before then …Happy swimming in the mermaid pool of awesomeness!

    1. Mary!
      Trollop material? Now I’m all ears. What some call trollop material others call research. Haha.
      I think you should wear leg warmers and a ripped up off-the-shoulder sweatshirt to the next WRW meeting. And nothing else. Wouldn’t that give people something to talk about?!

  12. WRW rocks and so do the Mermaids! Love love loved that retreat, even when transportation malfunctioned again on Sunday and I got home at 10:30. As in, p.m. Yeesh! It won’t keep my away, though, it feels like home.

    1. Susan,
      We really do rock. All of us at WRW.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your transportation issue. Hopefully next year you’ll get here and back in record time. You should stay later and prolong the retreat for the write-in. Or better yet….just move here. That solves several problems. 🙂

  13. Kim, darling, I’m right there in the same boat with you. Last year’s retreat was wonderful, but this year’s was AMAZING. Thank you for making us all laugh and keeping us humble. I love you so much…and every single one of those 17 kids!!! Xox

    1. Alethea,
      As always, it was a pleasure to have been in the company of a Princess. Thanks for your kind words. I think laughter comes to all of us easily in this group! Thank God! There’s nothing worse than laughing when nobody else is. 🙂

  14. Great post Kim! I agree with everyone above… last year’s retreat was a lot of fun and a fabulous new experience, but this year was a whole new level of amazing because of all of the lovely women (and Tim) that have come into my life through WRW. Thank you so much for taking the time to make us those amazing mermaid pins!!! I really am in awe!
    Thanks to everyone who made retreat special this year… the food, the drinks, the laughter and support, and above all the friendship… I love you all!

    Oh yes, and I took a couple of great pictures of our lovely “Mermaid for a Day” so swing on over to my Facebook page and feel free to copy it Linda. ;-D

    1. Dana,
      You’re very welcome for your pins. Making them was a nice distraction from revising. LOL.
      Hopefully Linda will see this info! Thanks for posting the picture, Dana!
      I can’t believe retreat is a whole year away. What’s up with that???

      1. I would totally be up for sequestering in that same hotel for a few days sometime this winter, if anyone else is up for it!

        1. Alethea,
          That would be great except that those roads might not be the best in the winter. 🙂 I would love to sequester myself anywhere other than my house. LOL. We should definitely look into that!

  15. Diana,
    I laughed out loud just now! My grandmother would march my butt straight up to my room after ANYTHING to write a thank you note. And it’s funny that my friends always said their moms loved me because of that. And now? I NEVER write Thank You notes for anything. Ever. I suppose I thought if my grandmother was hangin’ around after departing this life, she’d find some way to remind me to write them. No such luck. She’s probably stomping her invisible foot behind me right now, and I’m just clueless. LOL

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