Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Eat Hard for Breakfast

I still feel in celebration mode, so I'm mostly going to post some more photos of Molly on her big night, but I thought I'd mention one of the messages I took away from the conference, one that came from none other than la Nora herself. "Eat the hard." "Ride the hard."

Tittering over the possible sexual connotations of "romance writers eat hard for breakfast" I completely got what she was saying. Suck it up. Stop complaining. If writing and publishing were easy, then everyone would be doing it.  You can't beat Nora Roberts for telling it like it is. At past conferences I've also heard her say that there's no such thing as writers' block, just lazy writers. And you can't argue with the woman's success or work ethic.

But back to the fun stuff.   :)

I really did have a great time this year, in spite of the football-field-long steam room that those of us in the Swan had to walk through to get from our hotel to the conference. And in spite of the fact that I went to the conference in limbo about whether or not my First Sale ribbon was actually going to pan out (no pun intended) into actual books on the shelves (more on that next week, or soon).

Some highlights. One was the chick lit chapter's party on Wednesday night. I remember their parties in Dallas (2004) and Reno (2005) where there had to have been 200 writers in attendance, plus numerous agents and editors. I actually first met Eileen (she doesn't remember) at the chick lit party in 2004 and I met my former agent at the chick lit party in Reno in 2005, where Diana Peterfreund, whom I'd just met but who's now a great friend, pitched my book to her agent -- the first step to her becoming my agent, too. Here's a photo of Diana, Molly, RITA and me. (Diana had read my work, even though we hadn't met. It wasn't some random pitch. So don't hunt her down and tell her to pitch your book to her agent. LOL.)

This year, as a reflection of the current market for what a few weeks ago Eileen so wittily called post-feminist-humorous literature, there were about 20 of us at the chick lit party, I think. But it was really fun and great to catch up with some people I haven't seen for a long time and meet some new friends, too.

Next highlight was the Daphne awards where one of Molly, Sinead and my critique partners won her category!! Here's the lovely Ann Lethbridge at the Harlequin party. I didn't have my camera the night she won her Daphne for best historical with a suspense/mystery element, but did manage to take some with her camera you can see here.

And then the GH/RITA awards! Here's a snap of the four drunk writers in attendance, after the RITAs. The only thing that would've made this conference complete would be if Sinead could've been there. :( We missed you, Sinead. Sorry for the drunk messages and calls during the conference. :) Or you're welcome?

And then my all time favorite picture I took this year, Eileen gettin' some from Molly. :)

Or is it the other way around? Hmmm...

Anyway, great times. And so, so, so, excited about Molly's big win!


Maureen McGowan said...

I can't believe I left the Harlequin party off my list is highlights. What a night. Thanks to Molly for taking me as her guest. Made me want to write for Harlequin, big time. Those gals know how to party!

Megan Frampton said...


To reiterate what I said last Saturday: Your dress was awesome! And it was great to see you.

Kwana said...

What a wonderful post and huge congrats to Molly for the Rita win. Wish I could have been there at the chicklit party.

The Girl You Used to Know said...

I miss you already, Maureen! We just need to start meeting in the middle during the year. Once a year isn't enough! And it was fabulous finally meeting Molly. And Eileen! Two great gals that I kinda wanna stalk now. (shhh. It's not stalking if it's on the internetz, right?)

Congrats Molly for the big win! Wish I had been there to see it, but I ended up taking Saturday night to myself.

Leia Rice said...

Love the pictures!

Anonymous said...

I so wish I could have been there. but I do love the Eat Hard, ha ha! I do love how straightforward that is. I don't trust a book that writes easily... and it's been a long, long time since I've written one I thought was easy to write.

Danica Avet said...

Congrats on the win!

I just had an you suppose Nora Roberts is going to make a T-shirt that says "Eat the hard", or "Ride the hard"? Cause I would so wear it.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh, I'm getting it from Eileen - to be sure. That's a wonderful picture.

I want an eat the hard shirt - I thought the speech was great and frankly, as much as people might begrudge her her success, the woman works really hard. Eight hours a day, most days. I don't work that hard.

The congrats are wonderful guys thanks so much - and the photos are awesome! Thank you Maureen!

Stephanie Doyle said...

The photos are awesome... except for the ones with ME IN THEM!!!!

I really hate being confronted with the truth.

But in the immortal words of Roxanne St. Clair... "You don't want to wear spanx... go to the f***ing gym!"

That was so awesome. And kind of speaks to the "hard" thing.

There is no easy. You want success... write. You want to publish... keep writing. You want to look fabulous... go to the gym.

Is everything in life worth having... hard???

Wow... that's so profound.

Eileen said...

The photo of me kissing Molly is the best picture of me from the entire conference I love it!

And, oh, yes, Ride the Hard! I thought we were getting it as Tramp Stamp tattoos, though? No possibility of THAT being misread, right?

I did like Nora's speech. I often skip those luncheons, but she made enduring the rubber chicken totally worth it.

Maureen, I remember the very first chick lit party from before there was a chick lit chapter and it was just a loop run by Deanna Carlyle. NYC 2003! There must have been 40 of us in her hotel room, drinking champagne shoulder to shoulder. You couldn't move. It was awesome.

Eileen said...

But next year could someone tell me take off me freakin' name tag?

Travis Erwin said...

Three cheers for bi9g nights!

Maureen McGowan said...

LOL. Steph, yes, that quote from Rocki was another highlight of the conference, (even if it was in the lobby after), "Go to the f**cking gym!"

Words to live by.

Re the name tags... I got home and noticed that all my dresses are snagged at the front. :( I wish I'd been one of the smart ones who clipped them up higher.

Eileen said...

Oh how I wish I could have been the other Eileen in the room. It sounds like you had an amazing time.

Marilyn Brant said...

Maureen, it was WONDERFUL to get to see you at the conference (I'm mad at myself for not snapping a photo of you and Molly Saturday night...) and, Molly, CONGRATS again on your RITA -- I was thrilled for you!!

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen C. ... We wish you were the other Eileen in the room, too. It's been too long since I've seen you!!!

Marilyn, as always LOVELY to see you, too. You're always a calm in my conference storm.

Eileen said...

I would be so happy to share the Eileen Spotlight with you, Shoop! Can't wait to see you!

Alli Sinclair said...

Awesome stuff, Maureen! I wish I had been there. NYC is marked on next year's calendar! I've already picked the shoes. :-)

L.A. Mitchell said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time. I hope to catch up with you, Maureen, next year. You all looked so beautiful :)

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