Back in sweats and flip flops...

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I'm home from the crazy, wonderful, wild, exhausting world of the writer's conference. I have to say, I had an absolutely grand time, seeing all my old girlfriends again and making a few new ones. It wasn't all a bed of roses, of course. All those women under one roof, trying to talk at the same time. I'm left with a voice that bears no real resemblance to my own. I sound like Merely Haggard on a bad night. And my eyes haven't stopped watering since I landed in San Fran. Why is that, you ask? Air conditioning, too much smiling, summer breezes? No. It's make up. All that mascara made my poor little local girl eyes cry out in horror. And of course, because I rarely wear makeup, I'm used to rubbing my eyes whenever I want; you can see the problem. By ten am every day I looked like a rodent who'd been crying. Make that a rodent in uncustomarily high heels who viewed every set of stairs as a potentially life threatening test of balance.

And speaking of make up. I say that there ought to be a new track of classes at these conferences. Sure, we want to learn about writing and publishing and blogging and self promotion, but I say hear! hear! for some other useful workshops. How about make up tips from Lisa Kleypas (thanks to Jill Landis for this observation), or style pointers from Jayne Ann Krentz (who always looks fabulous), or fashion emergency advice from Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who took one look at me in my oh-so-stylish wraparound dress and muttered, "double sided fashion tape," then yanked me up to her room for some much needed repairs. Thank God, too. In a windstorm I would have looked (not) like Marilyn Monroe. Yes, I say some new workshops would definitely help those of us who spend most of our lives in baggy sweats, flip flops, and sweatshirts that bear one's college logo. Just so you all know what I'm talking about, I'm including a photo of Christina Dodd (left, totally color coordinated and fabulous looking), Lisa Kleypas (middle--see why I want her advice? Gorgeous), and me. It was taken in the ear-splittingly loud lobby of the hotel. I have a bunch more photos to show you all, but I'll add them one at a time. More fun that way.
And while I'm thinking of all my great writer friends--most of whom I've known for twenty years; since we were all puppies in the business--I can't help but marvel at how far we all have come. Each one of them is living proof that writing novels is actually possible, and selling them is not impossible, either. I have been surprised by my emails lately, by how many of you out there in Kristin's blogland are aspiring writers. Wait. Cut that. By how many of you are writers who aspire to be published. Anyone who writes consistently is a writer in my book. I guess it's time for me do a few blogs about the craft and/or business of writing. Please, blog on and let me know what interests you. I'll try to mix my opinions about writing into the rest of it.
And now, it's time to run back into the house and make dinner because my son is home from college! How great is that? He blows in like a halftime show, changing everything, bringing noise and life and so much laughter. No doubt, I'll be exhausted in a few weeks when he goes back to college, but for now, I'm living large, playing Mom again.
How about you all? Tell me what's going on in your lives this summer.
ps: I hear from my editor that I'll have advance reading copies of True Colors in late August. What do you all say to another essay contest? With a special one chosen just from among my diehard blogger buddies? Maybe this one will be your favorite story about your sister...or the woman/girl who is like a sister to you...what do you think?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

I think you looked great in that picture! And how fun that your son is home for the summer!

Summer has flew by oh too fast this year, like it always does! The biggest crisis this summer I have averted lately. Getting my BF's family to come to a compromise of what they want to do and what I know he wants for his big 3-0 celebration! It's going to being great!

I am super psyched about the contest! Except. I'm not a writer. =( I'm a reader!!!

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys the last fabulous weeks of summer. Before cold (football, although technically PreSeason is already here) season begins.

August 7, 2008 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I'm jealous! Susan Elizabeth Phillips said on her bulletin board that she was with you, Jill Barnett and Jill Marie Landis and I secretly imagined I was nearby stalking.

My summer has flown by without much activity. I feel like I was so busy, but I can't really name one thing we did. We are taking an official holiday in two days to Maine. We're visiting my 102 year old great-grandmother and then spending a week with four generations under one roof. So, if you have an essay about sister stories, mine may not be that flattering after a vacation like this!

I'm taking a romance, the book on which the TV show Dexter was based, and possibly a mainstream fiction book. Oh and a magazine for my sister (which is heavy reading for her).

San Fran sounded great. I love reading all these stories on the web. Thanks for sharing (and continuing to share) yours!

August 7, 2008 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Leen said...

Hello again!

Wonderful blog post once again! I always feel tempted to reply to these, even though I have my own blog (in Dutch) where I don't write half as often as on here. I love writing, though. So that essay contest is something I definitely wanna do. If only just for the fun of it. Although the prizes are very appealing too!

Story about my summer? I'm a teacher, so I get six weeks off. Gotta start preparing stuff for school soon again too, but for now I'm just being lazy one day and totally energetic the next. The energy goes to all the preparational work for a Christmas concert I'm organizing with two favourite singers, who in the mean time are personal friends too. I go and watch all their performances (like concerts, but without a live band) too, so that also makes for a busy summer. And on days in between I just laze around, read a book or listen to some music, play around on my computer, ...

The most wonderful two weeks of the summer were the weeks of my Canada trip, though. I really wish I would have stayed longer. School will keep me busy until December after this, so I won't have a chance to go back anytime soon, but I already long for the day I can get back there. I have something I call "reversed homesickness" in that I never really miss my home when I'm there, but I miss my "home away from home" in Canada so much when I'm back home (in Belgium) again.

Good thing there's the internet to keep in touch in the mean time. I just had a chat with my friend yesterday and I wrote her a mail that most people would consider a book too, because of its length.

Oh and one more newsbit. I finally broke down and ordered the Dutch version of "Firefly girls" too. Got two copies coming to me, of which one is going to my friend, who then passes it on to her mother. Even though her mother will probably only get it by the time the book after "True Colors" gets to the stores, 'cause I just saw my friend's mother the other day and she told me that it took her daughter 3 whole months to pass on a book that I gave my friend for her mother, even though she had her own copy too. Mom threatened to contact me directly to hear where the book was supposed to be at and all of a sudden the book appeared again... ;)


August 8, 2008 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Cindy W said...

A woman who is like a sister would be a great contest! Great Pics and loved to hear about the conference.

I am a writer, I've written 3 chapters of my book contemporary or women's fiction or chick lit not sure just yet- but several other ideas for a young adult series that hasn't been tapped into. I see it like a movie in my head. It comes and goes. Or I see scenes and write around them.

I read advice from another writer who's advice was to write every day. It's been hard for me with 3 kids and working fulltime. My questions would be for what happens after you've finished a book? I know you need to write a query letter, but most agencies are not interested in unsolicited material. AND, what would be your advice to a writer?

I can't wait to see the cover art of True Colors. Breaking Dawn was a GREAT book, I was one of the crazies at a midnight release party.

August 8, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

It was great seeing you again in SF last week, Kristin! Thanks again for taking the time out of your conference to meet up for drinks and a chat! I always appreciate your great insight and advice. :-)


August 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin,

I am glad to find your blog !

A contest for an ARC ? How fun, I will watch your blog to enter !!!!


August 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Don't you just love writers' conferences?! I didn't get to go to one this year, but hope to again in the next year or two. I'd love to write a novel. Everything I've done so far is non-fiction, but I just know I have a good, juicy story in me somewhere. I'd love to hear more from you and your process and any tips you have, especially in the fiction writing area specifically.

Enjoy your son's visit! Isn't that strange? For your SON to VISIT!! Maybe you stay away from that word - I know I would, but let's face it, he's probably gone more than he's there these days. My son heads off to college next year and he is looking at schools clear across the country from us. I'm savoring every minute this year!

So glad to hear from you again. I love to read your blog.

August 8, 2008 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Chasing Inspriation said...

I've been living vicariously through many author blogs, reading about escapades in SF and wishing I had been there. *sigh* Glad you had a great time and, what is double sided fashion tape and can it help me with shirts that don't want to stay closed, er, up top? LOL

This summer has been a blur of activity. We are constantly renovating our house. It all started in 2005 and the end may be in two years. We'll see. We have to go slow because we're trying to avoid loans and we're also doing the work ourselves. Well, the Man is doing the work. I'm paying the bills. *grin*

So, the summer has been renovation fun, some time with family and the daily grind. No vacations. Unless you count the unexpected surgery. And I surely don't.

I have started heading to a coffee shop right after work so I can spend 30 minutes to an hour writing. It's a nice transition from work to home and gets the writing out of my head. I used to write before bed, but I was always so tired. I'm not an early morning person so before work didn't happen even with the best of intentions. This new arrangement works well and I'm already four chapters into the first draft of a more erotic romance. Go me! This book #4 and I have two more I'm playing with. Fingers crossed that one of these will actually be worth publishing, lol!

I think a contest would be great. I don't have a sister so an essay about sisterhood or a story about sisterhood would work for me.

August 8, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear god, please have another contest! I was so very bummed I didn't catch the last one!

I'm getting ready to go back to school in a few weeks. Sigh. I don't know where summer went. And after today's rains (did you get those? we sure did on the peninsula!) it seems like summer has ran far away. A contest would be a welcome distraction from impending school.

If you wouldn't mind, could you please blog a bit about the publishing process? I've always wondered how you go from sitting at home making a story to getting in put on shelves. I only have a muddy concept of how the process works....

Glad you had a good time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Must be nice to have your son home, I'm at home with my mom and really enjoying family time.

best wishes,

August 10, 2008 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I love the comment about your son "blowing in like a halftime show." If that's the case, then my three year old is definitly the tornado. Speaking of which, we were in a home furnishing store yesterday and she saw on old bicycle prop and dutifully exclaimed so that the entire store could hear, "Look, Mommie! It's Ms. Gulch's bicycle!" It brought such a smile to my face and giggles to others!

I finally got my hands on Firefly this week and I am loving it!!

August 10, 2008 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Wendy--

I can't BELIEVE you're mentioning football in the middle of summer. It's such a short sunny season here in Seattle, I can't look forward to the end of it yet! However, I must say, I won't mind the cooler nights. :) Sharpen your pencil for the contest.


August 12, 2008 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


We definitely missed you at the literacy signing, and yes, I had a ball with the Jills and SEP!. I'll post pics soon...


August 12, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


thanks for ordering the books! Let me know how the translation is. And Canada is one of my fav spots--in fact, we're taking a boat trip up the Vancouver coast in Sept. Maybe I'll post photos, if I can figure out how to use my new camera.

August 12, 2008 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Great to see you, too! Tell Kelli I said hello...


August 12, 2008 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Cindy--

I will definitely post a writing/conference thing when I'm home next week. I'm off again to Vancouver BC this time. Crazy summer schedule, but with my son home, we've got to do the obligatory family road trip. :)

Will post the TC cover as soon as there's a final...


August 12, 2008 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Kay and Lynne--

Great to hear from you. Glad you're enjoying the blog. I'll post on contest updates soon...

keep reading!


August 12, 2008 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear naomi and sheila--

I PROMISE to blog about both writing and the publishing process very soon. In fact, I think I'll do a series of columns throughout Sept. I can't focus on that now with the 20 year old whirlwind home. I really just want to hang out with him for this short time. In fact we have musical tickets next week!

Keep going to that coffee shop, Naomi. Find the time wherever you can. GO, girl!


August 12, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Lol about Mrs. Gulch! Don't we love it when our kids begin to connect to the same moments/images/characters that moved us as children?

Keep in touch,

August 12, 2008 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Bingo said...

Oh, please have an essay contest about sister's or those who are like sisters to us. I might have a better chance than just luck of pulling a name since I never win anything! We spoke recently when I wrote you an email and you may remember I was the one who ate raisinettes during those last few weeks pregnant and not allowed out of had shared about your pregnancy with me. Anyway, we also talked about Izzy and Tully being our favorites. Any clues about a favorite in the new TRUE COLORS book?? I have been doing reviews all summer for the first time in my life, right after reading your book and love it! I did 20 so far, but have to cut back as I returned to teaching this week for preplanning! UGH! Next week, however when the kids are back, I am having my gifted Middle school reading students study and then write reviews of their books for their first book report. I am going to share all about the ARCs I have been getting and reviewing with them. Hopefully, a few lifelong lovers of reading will emerge! I am so angry that I missed a chance at the first bound galleys....drat! So PLEASE do a contest for some ARCs! Thanks and can't wait until True Colors is in my hands! Thanks for listening, Kristin!
OH, and I love the description of your son being home! Mine that kept me in bed pregnant is 30 and working in Finland right now so wish he would whirlwind in! Take care!
Karen Haney

August 14, 2008 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Karen--

How nice to hear from you again. I do remember talking to you, and I definitely want your input on the next ARC contest, so sharpen your pencil--or practice up on your typing--and get ready to share a story about your sister or near-sister. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :)

And good for you for doing the middle school reading program. I did the same thing when my son was in school. We adapted a favorite book into a play and then performed it for the class. Talk about a headache-inducing trial that made me nearly insane. :) But I loved every minute. I'm sure you'll love every second, too.

Thanks again for all of your reviewing. All of us writers appreciate it.

Keep in touch,

August 22, 2008 at 1:32 AM  

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