June Rodriguez
DORI: I missed being with everyone last week, but I’m so glad I went to Left Coast Crime. It was a great four days. I learned a lot and met a lot of other writers in my genre. Walked about feeling both inspired and unworthy. I realized that all of those writers I was listening to all had to start somewhere. They too had to write between jobs, family, and other life demands. That meant there is no excuse for me. On the other hand, listening to established writers reading from some of their work, I questioned my ability to write as well.

JUNE: Glad to have you back Dori. I’m not sure why genre writers seem to be so much nicer and more helpful to each other. All my experiences at conferences and workshops have been like yours. Someone is always willing to share what they have learned and eager to learn from others as well. I think that is why I am looking forward to signing up for more opportunities as soon as the funds will allow. You just have to remember that now that you are back to only remember the useful stuff and forget the downer stuff.

SARAH: I'm glad you had fun, Dori! You deserve the break. I can only imagine what a conference is like. I'm very excited at the prospect of attending the RWA Nationals when it arrives in Anaheim summer 2012. Long time away from now, but hopefully, I'll be going as an author! lol

If you let yourself get bogged down with the reality of writing, you're gonna be a candidate for the coo-house! Your voice is YOUR voice, just like those Big Dog writers. It's hard not to compare your writing to the glitzy work of the revered, believe me, I'm right there with ya! But they had to put their undies on one foot at a time, too. As a person who has read your writing, Dori, I don't think you have anything to worry about!

JUNE: We had more problems with computers again this week. I’m not sure where I got my original manuscript formatting information but I have followed the same guideline for years. Sarah’s computer keeps changing her spacing between paragraphs. After several attempts at correcting the situation the problem still persists. Working with more than one operating system and switching work back and forth has also caused problems. Widows and orphans is a strange little formatting elf that helps to allow the full use of your page but can be difficult to find.

SARAH: A good web site for formatting of manuscripts is http://www.passionatepen.com/formatarticle.htm It was one of the first sites I found when I started googling "writing". Lol Jenna Petersen has a mega-load of information for writers of all walks. It's worth the click over.

My problem was completely operator error. LOL For years, I stuck with Windows 98 and now that I've upgraded to Vista and more recently, Windows 7-- I'm stuck within the trenches of the learning curve. Thanks go to Dori and June for showing me where the prompts were within my software. Whew! You gals made it look easy!

JUNE: This week I took another small step forward. I am still doing some research but reading more in the format I have chosen is on my list of things to do.

DORI: I came back from LCC with stacks of books, to add to my already huge stack of books. I wish I had time to read them all. Every book I read certainly helps me as a writer. Guess I'm going to have to carve out time to read in addition to writing. Can someone create a 48 hour day?

SARAH: I don't know if this is a brag worthy tidbit or a confession of sorts! Since December, I have read and listened to close to 25 books. Yeah, my writing suffered, BUT I was able to pick up a feel for my genre's flow. I know the books I read were technically written the year or two before, but there was still a wealth of information to be had.

I know for my genre of Regency Romance there is a very distinct flavor to the stories and that was what I was "researching". LoL My writing is better for the exercise. I decided to redo the beginning of my MS and the extra work paid off. The first five lines of my MS were selected as one of 12 finalists in the New Beginnings Contest sponsored by author Jennifer Haymore. My first chapter and synopsis will compete for the grand prize of having an agent read the material for possible consideration!

JUNE: What I’m working on has its own set of perimeters. I plan on doing something along the same lines as you Sarah. I need a better feel for the rhythm of the movement of the story.

Big congrats on the contest finial and we are cheering you on.
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