Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Announcement: June Online Class!!


"Extreme Pitch Makeover" with Kelley St. John

June 19-23, 2006

Eastside RWA is proud to present their new online workshop, "Extreme Pitch Makeover," with Kelley St. John.

Kelley St. John can describe her first pitching experience in much the some way as a witness would describe testifying in court. She told the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book. So help her God. Since that time, she's learned that there's no reason to sweat while pitching. In fact, pitching can be FUN!

<>During this course, Kelley will define three types of pitches and help writers decide which method works best for their particular book. She'll start with the "Naked Pitch," her nickname for the "High Concept Pitch." (Take the workshop, and you'll see why she's dubbed it "naked.") Then you'll learn how to give a Mini Pitch, or GMC pitch. For those who are fans of Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation and Conflict, you'll find this pitch is perfect for you. And finally, Kelley will cover the Multi-hook Pitch, or Cover Blurb Pitch.
Kelley St. John's previous experience as a Senior Writer at NASA fueled her interest in writing action-packed suspense, although she also enjoys penning steamy romances and quirky women's fiction. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a double-finalist in the 2005 Golden Heart Contest. Kelley recently sold two books to Warner, with the first release, Good Girls Don't hitting the shelves in December. Kelley enjoys finding new and inventive ways to pitch her books and is excited about sharing her approach with fellow writers.

Price per class:
$ 15.00 (RWA members)
$ 30.00 (non-RWA members)

Classes are free to Eastside RWA members. Join Eastside Romance Writers for $30 and get all online classes at no cost. In addition, members can attend monthly meetings for more fabulous workshops.

Register for online classes or for Eastside Chapter Membership at or send payment with name, e-mail address, class preference, and RWA number (if applicable) to:

Eastside Chapter RWA
P.O. Box 333
Bellevue, WA 98009

Dark Side of the Moon

Or how I self-medicate after a really bad day.
It's rare that I have such a bad day, that I feel the need to escape it all. I've had the yucky days where I just wanna come home, make some tea and relax. I've had the crummy days where I turn on the t.v. and call all my friends in an attempt to cheer up. But the truly bad days call for something more. They call for...A Book.
Before I go on, let me point out that yes, I'm doing much better now.
The reason? My license tabs still have not arrived. I'll save you the long boring story of what happened, but suffice it to say the possibility of becoming free game to every cop in town in a matter of days did not help me stay happy.
My solution? Self-medicate. I went to Borders where I knew they were holding my copy of Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I wandered up to the movie section where I debated the merits of buying my own copy of the Firefly complete season dvds, vs. continuing to borrow Serena's. I finally settled on the first season of Grey's Anatomy (another fave), which was also cheaper and on sale to boot! The complete with my book, dvd, bad & cheap chinese food, and an iced tea from Starbuck's, I let the story take me away.
And oh, my...this is one kick ass book! Without giving too very much away (cuz Sherri would not like that) I can say this...the entire Dark Hunter world is gonna get rocked. Nick's story is a big secondary story line, and the Nick you knew and loved is gone. In his place is a very angry, very bitter man...and he's in for a world of hurt. Otto is back, and you get to see a much more serious side of thim. Savitar makes a couple of guest appearances, and we love him for it. And Ravyn...what can I say about Ravyn? This is one fabulous Dark Hunter. Hopefully we'll get to see a little more of him. Especially considering how many DHs are in the Seattle area. He's gotta make a guest showing in the future.
This book also has a special place in my heart because Sherri was researching this book last summer when she came out to Seattle for a couple of speaking opportunities. I spent an afternoon with her traveling around town. We went on the Underground Tour of Pioneer Square, hit up Capital Hill in all its glory, scoped out the U-district and downtown. Basically hit the highlights. Sherri, my hat is off to you. You portrayed my city as well as anyone could.
Now, a Note to the rest of you: Go out and buy this book!

Leave Already!

I know it's mean of me to say. Really, I do. And I'll miss Katie Couric just as much as the next person who rarely watches the Today Show. But c'mon people! She announced she was leaving about a month or two ago...and ever since they've been saying goodbye to her. So leave already! I'm so very tired of watching various celebrities say goodbye to her...not to mention the clip montage this morning.
The good news is that today is her last no more montages. Finally...

Friday, May 26, 2006

A sign?

I decided that since I don't have to be anywhere until this evening, I would take myself off to see the new X3 movie. On my way there I heard some mumblings on the radio about an attempted bank robbery in the general vicinity of the theater. According the report, the police were currently determining if the backpack the alleged criminal had contained the bomb he spoke of.
That's right...a bomb.
What do I do? Easy, I assume that by the time I get to the area, it will all be taken care of and continue to drive toward my destination. Upon arrival I realize my critical mistake when the volume of traffic is roughly 4 times what it usually is at this time of day. So I turned around and came home.
The lesson here? I probably was not supposed to go to the movie today. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fitting? Yiddish Phrase returns!

I'll let you decide...

Es past nisht: meaning Not Fitting; Improper.


Somehow this feels a little bit fitting as the phrase of the day on my calendar for my birthday.

First let me say!

Happy Birthday to Megan. No idea what UofM was thinking when they paired us up, but they did good babe. There's no one I'd rather share my birthday with than you.
To the rest of you...I know, I know, I've been obnoxiously quiet. In my defense I've been finishing off two portfolios, prepping for my presentation in 2 weeks and taking care of all the other school-type business.
For those who are curious IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! And I have the prezzies to prove it. I have new purses, pens, gift cards and notebooks. But by far one of the best was the mousepad Ms. K got me. This girl has taste! I think it's safe to say my friends know me.
Let's see...what else do I have to catch you up on? Went to the movies the other night with Mom. We were looking and looking through the paper for a theater playing Friends With Money. Finally found one, but neither of us had heard of it. We called up and discover it's what Mom calls "An Adult theater, the theater not the movie." Basically it's a 21 and up movie theater that has a full bar and serves it's popcorn in champagne chillers.
Hmmm...still haven't received any calls about jobs, but that will change very soon. I just know it!
So happy, happy day to all of you.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Further proof I must be losing my mind...

I swear I had a pile of student papers on my floor. the plan was to scan them, and then add them as attachments to my portfolio for school. Um...except I can't find the pile. No idea where they went. It's like the paper fairy came through while I was at my GK meeting and hid them. It wouldn't be so bad, except I spent 20 minutes a few days ago desperately searching for my memory key (which has my book on it), only to discover it on my kitchen table after I'd already emailed Serena in a panic to see if I left it at her house.

I must be losing my mind.

In happier news: I have the bestest friends. In honor of my upcoming birthday I got some wonderful prezzies...I'm all giddy with joy :D

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Play it again, Sam...

nAll of us have those songs from high school. You know the one I'm talking about. Those songs you're embarrassed to admit you ever listened to, let alone worshipped. Those songs that evoke so many memories, both happy and sad, of all your friends and the trouble you got into together. Those songs that take you back to a specific moment in time. We all have 'em, whether we admit it or not.

For me it's the CD Heart of Chicago 1967-1997. Why? It's simple really. My senior year of high school I had a friend totally in love with the bad Chicago. We found out they were coming to town for a concert that summer, and decided to get tickets. Hey, at that time, any concert you got to take yourself to made us feel all grown up. We convinced NYC to join us on our adventure, and bought ourselves lawn seats at Pine Knob. The night of the concert came around, and like the slightly controlling friend I am, I made us go early. Hey, if you didn't get there early (like before the opening band started) you were bound to get sucky seats on the lawn, since it was all open seating. NYC drove The Little Car that Could, and we made it there in one piece. Hee's where the adventure really begins. The opening band? Crosby, Stills and Nash. Now, thanks to my dad, I was very familiar with CSN (and sometimes Y), and the crowd they drew didn't surprise me all that much. That they were the opening band for lily pure Chicago? Okay, that suprised me a little. Still, when everyone around us (mean age=35+) started lighting up their "special" cigarettes? Not too bowled over, though I could have done without the smell. NYC and J, though, they had no idea what was going on. You've never seen such stunned girls in your life! We managed to bop our way through the rest of the show without anyone (to my knowledge) offering to share with us, much to the relief of all.
The real adventure was on the trip home. Pine Knob was about 45 minutes away from our hometown. In theory very easy to get to and from, however when dealing with I-75 and all it's various detours, it's easy to get turned around. Or so we told ourselves. Especially when we found ourselves lost in the heart of Pontiac (not the nicest place to be on the best of days, let alone around midnight on a saturday), without any real idea of how to get ourselves the heck out of dodge. Needless to say, whenever I hear Chicago, I think of that night, and the three of us in the car, driving in circles (probably yelling at one another), trying to figure out how we were going to explain to NYC's parents why we were so flippin' late getting home.

You're turn. What song does it for you?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Certain Inevitablities...

There are certain inevitabilities in life. Death, for one. Taxes. Telemarketers calling during dinners and naps. A little known one, however, is the therapeutic benefits of the bookstore.
You see, I've reached a reading slump. Everything I pick up lately just will not hold my interest. I have 4 or 5 books on my shelf that I've started, but can't seem to make it to the halfway mark before I realize that like a bad date, I'm just not that into them. Add in that I'm supposed to be working on the final piece to my portfolio, edits on my WIP and my Integrated Arts notebook, you'll start to notice the general state of malaise. Or is it PMS? there's something to think about.

Needless to say, I reached a point today (after waking at 4:30 to go to work, and returning home to sleep for almost 3 hours) when I realized that nothing here was making me feel better. So what did I do? I did what any sane girl took myself off to the bookstore. Now I know what you're all thinking. "Erin, why in the world would you go to the bookstore when you really shouldn't be spending the money? Especially when you should be waiting to spend your book allowance on Dark Side of the Moon!" Well, I'll tell you why...because I wanted to!
I walked in, and immediately I felt calmer. I strolled over to the table that carries the new releases, and what do I see? Thunderbird Falls, the sequal to CE Murphy's Urban Shaman (insert happy dance here). Then I stroll over to the romance section and see that they have one of Gena Showalter's newer books (which I've been thinking about reading for a while now). So I grab a copy of that too. Now I have two books, and a much happier outlook on things. Let the reading commence!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Well, the good news is that I don't think it's broken...

*sigh* Really, I could win an award for klutziest moments. Usually they are spectacular flipping over my handlebars, or riding in to poles. Occasionally they are the more mundane smacking of my head against the wall while sitting back in bed to read. But today's really takes the cake. While nannying this afternoon, I was making a scramble to catch one of the kids. In the process I managed to smash my baby toe in to the foot of the couch. In and of itself fairly normal. It's like my feet see an object and aim for it, completely separate from the rest of me. Alas, I smashed it so spectacularly, that for a while I thought it might be broken. There was blood involved, and let's just say my pedicure for Nationals this summer won't look quite as nice on that foot, and intense pain. Thankfully, I can bend it (sort of), so I'm pretty sure no broken bones. Of course, I could be horribly wrong, in which case the pain may be around for a bit. Mostly I'm hoping I'm right, and that the pain goes away by tomorrow a.m. I'm supposed to go on a very long walk with Ms. K, and she'll be sorely disappointed if I cancel on her.

What I'm waiting for...

What am I waiting for today? Among other things, I'm waiting for the new X-men movie. I grew up on the comics, and while they are gone now, I still remember all the afternoons spent wondering if they were ever going to grant my wish and put Gambit and Rogue together. While the movies play with the basic histories of some of the characters, I can forgive them. But the movie better be good!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I really thought I was done. I thought I was on the home stretch. I haven't committed any crimes, so really, what could possibly go wrong?

Oh how wrong I was. I got a phone call not too long ago from the Certification Specialist in my program. Apparently the Washington State Patrol couldn't read the last batch I sent.

So what does this mean for me? It means I get to go visit the happy Police Department yet again, to have my fingerprints taken yet again. Like I'm some kind of criminal.

Does anyone else see the problem here, or is it just me?

What makes me happy?

The other night I was told I was laughing a lot. I confess, it was true. In general I'm a happy person, though I do succumb to the anxieties many other people fall prey to as well. But this morning I began thinking about all the little things in life that make me happy, and I felt like sharing.
  • fitting into a pair of pants (yes, most of you ladies out there know this one well.)
  • dinner with my friends
  • revising 2 pages of manuscript (and we won't admit to how many more I have to go.)
  • one brand new page o' stuff, to help further my new subplot
  • sunny days (especially in the Pacific Northwest...we've been waiting a while for these.)
  • Eastside RWA meetings (I laugh my tuches off every time.)
  • Goalkeeper meetings
  • presents! (hee hee...the birthday total so far is at 2...and the big day isn't for a few more weeks.)
  • not having to wake up at 5 a.m.
  • a bike ride on a sunny day
  • knowing that I only have 3.5 more weeks until graduation
  • Dark Side of the Moon will be released on May 30th (yay! More Dark Hunters!)
  • ummm....There's more. I know there's more, I just can't think of it right now.
So, what makes you happy?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Better late than never...

Here was the view from my chair at the beach a couple of months ago...wish I was there now.

How to turn Friday night into an Adventure...

Step 1: Don't read the directions carefully.
Step 2: Drive to the opposite end of town from where you're supposed to be. Drive in circles.
Step 3: Call the host. Ask where in the world his street is. Wonder how everyone else found the non-existant street.
Step 4: Drive to the correct end of town through friday night traffic.
Step 5: Arrive just in time to stop EVERYONE in mid-sentence.
Step 6: Apologize and get down to the business of final introductions.

Add a dash of discussion about: goldfish (and their 3 sec. memory), utility belts and grappling hooks, giraffes, giraffes in shopping carts, giraffes in shopping carts swimming through the water like the Loch Ness Monster, hockey and why in the world do they play Hava Nagila during some breaks in play? (a Jewish song, sung mostly at parties like Weddings and Bar/t Mitzvahs) and you have the beginnings of a very fun (yet very odd) evening.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Super Secret Launch Party...

Last night Serena's husband threw her a Super Secret Launch Party. It was so secret, none of us even knew about it until last week when he emailed me about contacting the girls. Now I'm sure I do not have to tell any of you how much I love being in on the planning of any kind of surprise party. It just tickles me. So last night we all met up at the nearby Krispy Kreme (which plays a small but important role in her book), to wait for her husband to bring her by. None of us knew what he told her to get her over there, but we couldn't help but laugh when rather than notice the relatively large (okay, about 10-12 people) crowd of grinning fools inside, she headed straight for the goods. It wasn't until the hooting and hollering began that she even realized we were there. But oh, when she did, we had fun...complete with dramatic reading of said key scenes by her hubby.

(from the left: me, Elizabeth Boyle, Kelli, Karen and Christina...and that's Serena smiling in front.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

All Aboard!!

I got some bittersweet news from NYC the other day. Her company (the Big G) has asked her to move to Singapore for 3 months to head up their marketing department. They gave her a promotion in title, and for her sake I hope more money. I'm so very, very proud of her. I'm kvelling!

But this also means that our sporadic phone calls will be even harder to place than before. *sigh* This is what happens when you have friends in high places. Hmmmm...I'm sure there's a book idea in here somewhere.

Launch of a book...

Or how to find your book when no one seems to carry it.

On Monday I drove to Borders and Barnes & Noble to try to find an early copy of B2B...nada. I checked with another independent store who told me they had 2 copies coming, but they weren't in yet. Did I want to order a copy special? Heck no! Do you know how long I'd have to wait if I did that? Nope, that won't work.

Christina and Serena called all over trying to find someone carrying it, and Christina finally managed to find it at a B.Dalton. So off we three trooped to go oooh and aaaaah over the shiny new books. Not to mention C. and I needed to buy ours! While there Serena got to meet the woman in charge of their Teen Fic section, plus sign additional copies of her book for the store. Then it was off for drinks and appetizers at the local burger place. Yum! Frou-frou drinks! And (at least for me) non-alcoholic as I was supposed to come back and do homework for today. Um...yeah, that didn't happen.

Unlike Christina though, I did not start reading the book last night. I'm exercising what little self-restraint I have and saving it for the bus ride, so that everyone around me can see the fun, cool cover and wonder...Who is that mystery author? Of course, this self-restraint might be aided by the fact that I've already read the book. But we won't brag about that part.

Now, YOUR assignment, should you choose to accept it...go buy this book!