by Carlene, Dana, Diana, Robin and Susan Mermaid
Carlene: Holy abalone fishy sisters and friends! The Waterworld Mermaids are two years old which means it’s been two years since what was easily one of the best experiences of our lives—The 2011 Washington Romance Writers Spring Retreat. Which in turn means it’s been just as long since we made these precious memories at that retreat. Keep in mind…we were all FIRST-TIMERS! The Contemporary Genre Mermaids hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane:
Played Romance Jeopardy for the first time…with Roxanne Rustand as my teammate! I jotted down something beautiful she said at the Unpublished Author Roundtable: “God doesn’t give the desire if he doesn’t give the talent.”
Pitched for the very first time…to Jenny Bent, who was awesome and let me know it was totally okay that my book was driven by the characters rather than the plot. Seriously important because as a newbie, you’re not sure if these sorts of things are okay or not! They are!
While attending fellow WRW member Michelle Butler’s “Healthy Writer” session where she referenced Bridget Jones’s Diary, I totally thought she was the real Bridget Jones who the movie was based on! She looks remarkably like the gorgeous Renee Zelwegger so of course my newbie self jumped to that conclusion!
Cried. A lot. Cried even more when I saw that Kristan Higgins was also crying while Sherrilyn Kenyon gave the most beautiful and inspiring keynote speech I will ever hear.
Dana: What did I take away from my first WRW Retreat…
WRW Retreat was a much more intimate conference than anything I had attended before. I loved having the opportunity to sit down and chitchat with other writers, editors and agents. It was so great finding a group of people who didn’t think I was crazy for having conversations with fictional characters.
I kicked off that retreat by assisting my friend and critique partner, Anita Clenney, at her very first book signing ever at Turn The Page bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland. I’ll never forget it, because she sold out. I also met Alethea at that book signing. I was awestruck with her glitter princess awesomeness.
I am a huge Sherrilyn Kenyon fan and had a huge fan girl moment when I accidently wound up sitting by her in the bar one night and talking about her car collection. She is apparently as much an autophile as I am. Then, the next night, Sherrilyn was our keynote speaker. She was so incredibly poignant as she spoke candidly about the obstacles she faced before getting published, and then the long road she traveled and hard work it took to be where she is today. I remember looking around and realizing there weren’t many dry eyes in the place. So now, every time writing gets hard, the words won’t come or some obstacle lands in my path that makes me question what I’m doing, I mentally go back to that night and remind myself of all the reasons to keep writing.
Romance Jeopardy is NOT FAIR! But so much fun!
And the best thing I have taken away from that first WRW Retreat is all the great friends!
Diana: I remember feeling totally overwhelmed that I was among such incredible writers and people. The women at WRW were smart — I mean Ph.D smart, funny, talented and beautiful. It was like being thrown on stage at the Miss Universe contest (times 10!) — at the last minute and totally knowing you couldn’t compare. But, they made me feel so very welcome and I am thrilled to be part of this chapter and this group. I’ve learned so very much and am very grateful to everyone at WRW.
Robin: – Rooming with someone you do not know can be a wonderful experience. I roomed with my soon-to-be fishy sister Pintip and she helped me with my first pitch.
-Everyone at the retreat was so supportive and took the fear out of pitching and submitting your work to American Author.
The speakers were awesome and they taught me that the definition of success is different for each person and you need to find your own definition and make your own goals.
Susan: I’m incredibly grateful to be a Mermaid. How can I be anything else? This was a pack of newbies, all coming in on their very first conference, many of them new to writing, who bonded over two days and decided it just wasn’t right to let that go. They even accepted a past-published Mermaid who’d clipped her own fins years back and was finally dipping a fin back into the waters.
They kept writing, not just their own stories, but excellent blog posts and emails to one another and here we are, two years later! My hat’s off to all the lovely Mermaids who swim in this pond. Happy Anniversary!
Thank you so much for swimming at our party today! Do you have a favorite contemporary romance book or author? Let us know, we’re always on the lookout to make new memories. What better way to do that than with a good, tried and true love story?
The Prize Pack! Books, A Nightie, $25 Amazon Gift Card and a WWM Bottle!
19 thoughts on “Mermaid Blogoversary: Contemporary Day!”
Good morning everyone! Happy Contemporary Day of our Blogoversary!!
Awww! This brought back so many memories–like the corners of my mind….misty water-colored memories….of the way we were….
Okay. I’m back. But I guarantee you that you’ll be youtubing Barbra Streisand’s song later. Or maybe I’m just showing my advanced age to the group…
Anyway, I, too, remember Sherrilyn Kenyon’s speech, and I thought, “Hell, if she can do this writing thing after overcoming so many obstacles, I can, too!” She was absolutely ah-ma-zing! I remember the fire alarm going off right in the middle of Kristan Higgins’s speech when she was talking about her grandfather. That was kinda spooky. But more than anything, I’ll remember meeting all of the first-timers and walking away feeling like I might have made some new friends.
I’m so happy to report that I did. I made the best!
Happy Blogoversary to us!!!
Awww, Kim Mermaid, I had forgotten about that fire alarm! But I will never forget about “hand kissing”. Remember that one?
Hi Diana Mermaid! I wanted to say how much I loved and agreed with what you said about being a first timer around all the WRW ladies who are indeed PhD level smart. It’s just so amazing to sit in a room with them and soak it all in. Happy Anniversary fishy sister!
I’ve taken classes on how to pull back memories for use in writing, those emotional tugs that you’ve experienced that give the Margie Lawson ‘visceral’ response:)…Reading this post brought back so many memories from the first retreat I’d forgotten. And contemporary mermaids – I am one of you guys, too! Excellent post, fabulous memories. Happy Blogoversary to Us!
Yes you are Denny Mermaid!
I’m so glad I choose to attend that particular WRW Retreat. I feel so blessed to have made so many special friends within WRW and within “I’m-crazy-right-now-when-can we-get-together-for-a-drink?” distance! 😉
This week I’ve been thinking about how much I didn’t like the movie Waterworld, but it fits your blog beautifully.
Hahahahaha, best response yet Mary Jo!!
Happy blogoversary, mermaids! What a great post today! I love all these memories your musings bring up, and I especially loved being Robin’s roommate that first year. We had so much fun! Come to think of it, I’ve had incredible luck with WRW roommates, as I got to room with the lovely Carlene the next two years. Not that it helped me with those raffle baskets. 🙂 But it doesn’t matter because I’ve “won” something so much more important — the friendship of everyone here in the lagoon. Have a beautiful day, my friends!!
Pintip, this must mean you weren’t rubbing your raffle tickets on my whilst I slept…for which I thank you 😉 I wouldn’t put it past some of these Mermaids 😉
Happy blogoversary mermy sister!
Back at you Masha Mermaid xoxxox
Happy Anniversary – Day 3 – to us!!!
I was at that unpublished roundtable, which I LOVED, but I don’t remember that quote: “God doesn’t give the desire if he doesn’t give the talent.” It’s amazing – I love, love, love that!
Prepping for our anniversary, I found some notes where I’d written that down. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was.
I love Dakota Cassidy’s contemporary romances (Waltz This Way – which I won at last year’s WRW retreat) and, of course, Lori Foster. You know what a fangirl I am for her. 🙂 Happy day three – good luck to all who enter the giveaway!
Avery Mermaid…You? A Lori Foster Stalker, I mean Fan Girl? Nah. 😉 I will have to check out Dakota Cassidy.
Ah so many memories. That was the year of my first book signing ever. And there I was at Turn the Page sandwiched between Sherrilyn Kenyon and Lori Wilde. Honestly, you want to talk about fan girl moments? Of course no one knew me, so I ended up taking a lot of fan pix of Sherrilyn with her peeps, and getting advice about life and career from Lori Wilde, who is, by the way a wonderful contemporary author you should check out.
I love the WRW retreat. So many great friends. Happy anniversary mermaids. I’m honored to call you chapter-mates.
Oh my goodness Hope! I would have passed out or acted really strange out of nerves! But how cool to act as SK’s personal photog? Love it. And I really love Lori too. She was my first romance writing instructor and the first book I read by her was Addicted to Love. I also loved the First Love Cookie Club. Thank you for the anniversary wishes and for swimming by 🙂 We are honored to be counted amongst you!
Carlene, We have had a wonderful blogiversary so far! Thank you for an amazing two years, the prettiest apple pie I’ve ever seen, and your marvelous skill in pasting my post in at the last moment! Here’s hoping life calm down and writing gets done and mermaids continue to RULE! — Susan
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