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Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Christmas. Mine was quiet, and I must say this year, I was happy.

Over the years, as the kids got older, I found myself unable to get into the holiday spirit. It seemed all that mattered was how many presents were under the tree, and with all the hype that goes into shopping for that perfect gift, the Christmas season flew by and the day was over. Pouf! For what? Kids that won’t tear themselves away from a video game or they’re so bored they complain endlessly.

It’s time to remember what the real meaning of Christmas is all about. It’s about family and friends and spending quality time with them. It’s about donating to the food bank or your favorite charity. Helping others who are less fortunate and can’t afford a turkey dinner or to get their children a gift for under the tree.

It’s a time to put ourselves on the back burner and offer our time and services to those who need it most.

I think Christmas at our house next year will be a bit busier…

surrey writers conference

The Afterglow of SiWC

What an amazing weekend!!! It went by so quickly it’s hard to believe I’m at home again. My mind feels like it’s going to explode with all the information I absorbed over the last three days.

From the morning keynotes to wonderful lunches where you got to chat with friends and most importantly make new friends, as well as, networking with all the wonderful agents, editors and authors that surrounded us at every turn.

From Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne Perry to Robert Dugoni, Ivan Coyote and Julia Quinn (oh, but to name a few) – it was a star-studded event.

Agents from New York, San Francisco and across Canada – it was an authors dream come true.

The workshops were great and loaded with invaluable information to take home and add to our writer’s toolbox.

On Saturday they put on a Mystery Guest lunch were they placed an author, editor or agent at each table and we could pick their brains, ask advice or chat about anything and everything we wanted – of course writing is always on the brain at this conference!

I had the pleasure to sit with agent Laurie McLean from Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. She was such a warm, friendly and wonderful person, her excitement about being there and talking about the thing she loves – writing – was contagious.

I got the chance to speak with Nephele Tempest from The Knight Agency in New York and Valerie Gray from Harlequin.

A real special treat was getting the books I had purchased signed by the authors who wrote them.

We were also invited to the Romance Writers of America cocktail party on Saturday night and I met a couple of wonderful girls there who I really enjoyed talking with.

Sunday came along way too fast. The morning keynote was Author Slade and he talked about treadmill desks!! What a picture he painted for us but his message was clear. We as writers need to get off our butts from time to time and exercise-take care of ourselves and be healthy.

After two more workshops we had our final lunch and then our afternoon keynote was Robert Dugoni. His Aragon speech from LOTR Return of the King as they stand in front of the Gate of Mordor – will forever be changed for me as he interpreted it for a writers destiny. “And we WRITE!” I had goosebumps!

He inspired me, as I’m sure he did for everyone there, and when I left that banquet hall I wanted to turn right back around and go back inside so my time there could never end.

I’m already making plans for SiWC 2011!!!!

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Castlegar Pipe Band Competition

We leave for Castlegar tomorrow morning for their pipe band competition. The long 6 hour drive in a van full of teenagers should be fun! I’m looking forward to the beautiful scenery, the lake and hot tubbing.

Hopefully it will be as warm there as it’s supposed to be at home this weekend.

Wish us luck!

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Enchanted Evening

Last night we had our Interior Authors Group summer social located at a serene lake just outside of Kamloops. Besides a few mosquitos; a good time was had by all. The weather was perfect, the lake was calm and the food excellent. We sat/stood around and chatted, played frisbee with the dog and sipped tea.

The highlight of the evening was when one of our members pulled out her instrument, along with her friends that came to play for us. They enchanted us with their lovely melodies and soon people out on the lake in their canoes and kayaks pulled up close to the shore and listened to the magic filling the air.

What a wonderful night to end a great year of writing, learning and friendship. See you all in September.