Tag Archives: RWA

Making lists, checking them twice.

27 Aug

This post has existed in draft form for…well, yikes, almost two full years. Something came to light yesterday, that made me come back to it. And you, lucky readers, get to read my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before here and elsewhere, I do have a list of authors who, in my opinion, behave badly.¹  And, since my time, emotional labor, energy, and money, are limited, I quite simply refuse to even try their work. It’s still, at least in this small area, a free country.

By the same token, I have a much, much, much longer list of incredible people who are authors who will always get my support.

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This is what an exclusionary society looks like.

8 Aug

(This post has been edited to add more links

for further reading as I become aware of them;

there is a second edit to address my inaccurate reporting

of the ending of a book I have not read)

This rant, which has been percolating in my brain and heart since the morning after the Ritas were handed down,¹ is brought to you by the inclusion of the book For Such a Time, by Kate Breslin, into the list of finalists for RWA’s Rita Awards.

Why would that be a problem? you may ask. Well, a couple of reasons, which have been thoroughly discussed in several places, but let us start with a quick summary, shall we?

The novel, set during WWII, is about a blue-eyed, blonde Jewish young woman–described as Jewess in the actual blurb, I kid you not–who is ‘rescued’ from Dachau’s concentration camp by the SS officer in charge of Theresienstadt concentration camp, and how they fall in love. The book ends with the Jewish protagonist’s faith being healed by the Bible (New Testament included), and with the SS officer having been redeemed by the power of (Christian) love.

Chew on that for a second, if you would.

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Congratulations, Ann Aguirre!

29 Jul

Once upon a time, I beta read for author Ann Aguirre–which I enjoyed immensely.

The last novel I beta read for her was the post apocalyptic young adult Enclave, first in her Razorland trilogy.

I inhaled that story in one sitting and immediately emailed her to tell her how much I loved the characters, their journey and the world she created for both. If memory serves, the email was something along the lines of “holy fuck, this is absolutely amazing, you are going to sell it immediately” (which was a consideration, as it wasn’t written under contract).

Indeed the book and its (at the time) yet-to-be-written sequel¹ sold in a snap, to great success–and last night it was awarded the 2012 RITA® for Young Adult² at the RWA National Conference.

Huge congrats, Ann!

~~~ * ~~~

¹ Said sequel, titled Outpost, will be out on September 4.

² In case you don’t know, the RITA® is quite the big deal for romance writers.

Congratulations, SuperWendy

9 Mar

Much, much deserved: our very own SuperLibrarian has been named RWA’s 2011 Librarian of the Year.

Congratulations bannerGo on over to the BatCave and congratulate our fantastic friend on this honor.

RWA 2010: my second time around the block (sad Sunday)

8 Aug



It was a very sad (and still exhausted) aztec who dragged her ass out of (a very comfortable) bed around thirty minutes past oh-dark-hundred along with Kristie(J) and SLWendy. Both of them and Rosie had ungodly early flights back home, so the plan was to vacate the room, check out downstairs and be in a taxi (along with Rosie’s roommate, L.B. Gregg) by 5:30am. Despite the fact that no bellperson was available (I don’t think the management of the Dolphin realized how many of the 2100 conference attendees were leaving before dawn…) we managed to drag ourselves and our possessions downstairs and to the front desk without incident.

There I stayed with the bigger suitcases while Wendy and Kristie got in line (yes, in line—did I mention a bunch of people checking out before dawn?) to check out—and managed to catch a greeting, a goodbye and a hug from Beth Williamson, who was also leaving.

Once Wendy and Kristie had straightened their hotel bills out, we took thirty seconds for a picture, and then it was time for schlepping books, boxes, backpack and weary body to the car for the half hour drive home—then crash for something like six hours straight.

Exhausted and sleepy aztec, Kristie(J) and SLWendy

Exhausted and sleepy aztec, Kristie(J) and SLWendy

In no particular order, all the things I forgot in previous days’ recaps (or, memorable moments throughout the conference):

Chatting with the lovely L.B. Gregg (still have a crush on you, missy!) during the first Blogger Bar Bash, about life and kids and books and… some good news I’m hoping to be able to share soon.

Stopping for a moment at Alyssa Day’s table during one of the signings and getting a signed bookplate for my copy of Atlantis Redeemed—while pouting at the fact that she didn’t have any handy ARCs for Atlantis Betrayed (I wonder how many writers I scared during these short four days…).

Walking from the Berkley signing to the lobby, talking with Vivian Arend, who is both gorgeous and cool—she didn’t even mind that I kept knocking off her hat every time I hugged her (yes, more than once).

Learning that SBSarah (aka Sarah Wendell) is letting her gorgeous black hair grow long in order to donate it to Locks of Love. I love this—I have done it every two years or so for about a decade now, and my daughter has done it twice as well. Also, watching her amazing video of the Literacy Autographing—many of you, I’m sure, have already seen it, but I can’t resist:

I actually forgot to mention before that I spent some time with Ann Aguirre in her room, after the Berkley signing on Friday, sharing in the excitement of some really good news (once again, details when I’m free to share them). By the way, Ann can dance like nobody’s business.

Having the lovely May give me a precious little doll/cell phone charm to commemorate having met.

Visiting the goody room, repeatedly, every day (greedy beast that I am!)

Finally, getting away without paying parking ($12 a day—which may not seem very expensive to some, but which I had not budgeted for) for all but one day—Friday—due to a combination of factors, including equipment breakdown.

Oh, and the books—pretty, shiny, wonderful, exciting, new books! Wanna see?

Most of the loot (holy shit!)

Most of the loot (holy shit!)

(Of course, this doesn’t show a few duplicate titles which I have already mailed out to my sweetie—look forward to more joint reviews!)

To console myself I drove out to my coworker’s house to pick up the lovely kitten—who, by the way, has conquered the new shiny book pile…

All your books are belong to us.

All your books are belong to us.

…and got himself a name too!

Intrepid explorer and avid hunter, he’s been christened Pounce de León—Pounce for short. What do you guys think?

* * * * * * * * * *

Gratuitous Pounce pics:

All your shorts are belong to us.

All your shorts are belong to us.

Size comparison - Pounce and Alana

Size comparison – Pounce and Alana

No fear.

No fear.

"I iz gorgeous, yes?"

“I iz gorgeous, yes?”

Yes, that is my shoe.

Yes, that is my shoe.

Being gorgeous IS hard work.

Being gorgeous IS hard work.

RWA 2010: my second time around the block (Saturday)

7 Aug



Mapquest tells me that I live some 37 miles from the Dolphin, which makes for a good forty minutes drive on weekdays—plus, the fuel gauge in the rental car was dipping perilously close to the big E—so I got myself up and ready at some truly ungodly hour in order to be at the hotel on time for… yeah, you guessed it: the second edition of continental breakfast, Dolphin version.

Adding weight to my desire to be on site early was the fact that there were going to be five (yes, you read that right: FIVE) publisher signings on Saturday, the first (Ballantine) starting at 9:00am—and the line, oh yes, the line! was bound to be fierce. I confess that it made me a bit sad that I had to skip Writing Fight Scenes, a workshop given by Angela Knight that started at 8:30—but priorities are priorities, and this is where it’s truly clear that I’m a reader, first, last and foremost: the lure of books! shiny! books! free! books! signed to me!

No contest, really.

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RWA 2010: my second time around the block (Friday)

6 Aug


You may wonder why on earth, after going to bed totally wiped out in the early hours of the morning, I would want to wake up before seven am. The answer: continental breakfast, included in the registration, and scheduled for 7:30 to 8:30 am. Being frugal *coughcheapcough* I made sure I was there early enough to avoid the rush of like-minded fellow conference attendees, but perhaps I shouldn’t have bothered: the buffet tables were not opened until about 7:40, and the waitstaff started clearing out the first one (which was empty as the desert) at about 8:15. Mind, the food offered wasn’t anything to write home about—some fresh fruit, Dunkin Donuts Krispy Kreme donuts (thank you, Kim in Hawaii!),  a couple of fruit breads—but I confess that I’m still puzzled by how little of it there was, considering that there were 2100 registered attendees. (This is not a swipe at RWA, by the way: I blame this entirely on the hotel2)

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