Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Warriors?

How did your weekend go? Peaceful, busy, lazy? I finally finished texturing the walls in the kitchen. I did such a good job...I kinda screwed myself. LOL. Now I've been nominated to do the rest of the building. *sigh* I guess I'll try to work on the pantry today. The laundry room will be next. We can't finish one of the walls in the kitchen with the beadboard because we realized the 3rd floor window is leaking down the back wall.

And more progress...I found the images I want to use as our restaurant logo.

I talked with the talented artist and he's going to replace the pig with the cowboy. I can put the restaurant name on the wooden board. Hubby hasn't been home to approve it but says he trusts me. Even our teen said he would be ok with wearing it as a uniform shirt. And that's gold coming from that kid. of today...we are legal, girls!! I filed the corporation papers and trademark this morning. It's a done deal. As soon as I receive the certification in the mail I'll file for a federal employer id number. Then the state tax commission is next for a resale certificate.

I didn't get any writing done this weekend...I took a break to read a western historical. I'm halfway finished and not real excited about reading more. *sigh* Makes me regret not working on my own. But today I need to shave off another two pages from my synopsis for my contemporary category romance. My OKRWA weekend retreat is coming up in September and I have to submit my chapter, synopsis, and query letter to the guest speaker. She's a reader for an agent and she'll work with each one of the members attending the workshop.

Hope everyone has a productive day with whatever you're working on!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finally a Bride Contest

****Eighth Annual Finally a Bride Contest****

Get your manuscript in front of TWO EDITORS!!!

Fantastic news!!! Jennifer Morey, the Finally a Bride 2006 Romantic Suspense winner SOLD as a result of the FAB contest. This year, she is a 2009 Double RITA Finalist for Best First Book and Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure.

Breaking news!!! Ruth Logan Herne, Inspirational Winner of last year's FAB, sold to Steeple Hill as a result of her contest win.

Congratulations to both these ladies!

***1/3 of the Finalists in last year's contest received Editor Requests***

Sponsor: Oklahoma Romance Writers of America

***NEW - Young Adult CATEGORY***

Fee: $25 (RWA Members) - $30 (All non RWA Members)
Deadline: September 4, 2009
Eligibility: not contracted/published

Entry: First pages of MS (30 pages max) that has finaled, but not won, in a previous RWA or RWA chapter-sponsored contest. NOTE: Finalists ONLY must provide a no more than 5 page synopsis for the final editor round. Manuscripts finishing in the top quarter of GH also qualify.

Judges: First round: experienced, pubbed, and/or RWA trained judges.

Final Judges: Two Editors and/or agents judge each category.

Inspirational/Traditional: Melissa Endlich with Steeple Hill and Nicola Martinez with White Rose Publishing.
Series Contemporary: Patience Smith with Silhouette and Wanda Ottewell with Harlequin.
Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic: Margo Lipschultz with HQN and Leah Hultenschmidt with Dorchester.
Romantic Suspense: Charles Griemsman with Silhouette and Alex Logan with Grand Central Publishing.
Historical/Regency: Deb Werksman with Casablanca Sourcebooks and Chris Keeslar with Dorchester
Mainstream: Keyren Gerlach with HQN and Megan McKeever with Pocket Books
Young Adult: Anne Bensson with St. Martin's and Leah Wilson with BenBella Books

FMI, entry form and rules, go to or send SASE to OKRWA FAB contest, 9805 Red Oak Lane, Parkville, MO 64152,,

Alice Clary
2009 Finally a Bride

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


WooHoo!!!! I actually made progress today and pushed through 19 pages of revisions on an old ms. My OKRWA chapter has a contest that I qualify for. It's the FAB...I'll make it my post for tomorrow. It's a wonderful opportunity for unpubbed authors to get that revised ms back in front of an editor. It definitely feels good to accomplish something though. My goal today is to finish contest revisions by getting the 8 pg sucknopsis down to 5 pages.

Business wise...I'm frustrated because I've been trying to find an image to use for our logo. The restaurant name we decided on is...drumroll please... The Hungry Cowboy. Ta-daaaaaa. Please tell me it doesn't suck. I did a trademark/business search in Oklahoma and we're safe. But there is a restaurant with that name in Texas. Hopefully it won't cause any issues in the future. But I'm slowly pushing forward with the little details that go along with setting up a business.

Back to work...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone is well! Hubby has left the building. LOL. His company is finishing up the job in Memphis and should head to Oklahoma in a few weeks. Cool beans. We've made a little progress in the family business department. We've settled on a restaurant name and theme. I'm in the planning and organizing process of setting the business up and trying to finalize a menu. I'm soooo excited that we've all come to an agreement as to what we'll do and now it's time to start the actual process. Finally!! Mom and I ate at a place today and my mind was going crazy as to how we could make it better.

On the writing front...I was able to make my monthly OKRWA meeting and came home energized!! Several of us made a promise to recommit ourselves to our writing. The incredibly talented Merline Lovelace encouraged us to submit something...and soon. My issue is more time management than NOT wanting to write or being blocked. School starts soon for my teenager and homeschool will begin at the same time for my 6 yo. Hopefully I can get up before the kiddos and set aside a block of time every morning to write. It's nice having Mom downstairs and she's offered to help in any way she can.

Okay...I think I'll sneak away and try to scratch out some words toward my crit group daily challenge.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up...

Deep breath. OK. You guys know that I've been going back and forth with my family about opening a restaurant or shop...or both. Well. We've been having work done around the building upgrading the electrical and gas so we can at least have utilities while living there. We keep playing a stop and go thing with the restaurant business idea because I'm not sure I can do this by myself. My husband works out of town 9 days at a time and only home for 5. My mom is still battling exhaustion and plagued with health problems from cancer treatments. I'm not sure how much help I'd have unless we hired full time people.

We have a decision to make. We ran up against a major obstacle which is forcing a final decision. The city code enforcement dude came by to inspect the gas line work we had done so we can have heat this winter. The plumber was able to pull a permit and do the work. But our building is zoned commercial. Which means...the work passed inspection but we can't have the gas turned on unless we go ahead with our business and have complete architectural drawings for both buildings. We just spent over $10k to have the utilities upgraded but it's worthless unless we go ahead with the business. We'd have to sell the building and move if we don't push forward.

I guess I'd better start exercising to build up my stamina. Ugh. I can do this. Other writers have full-time jobs and families. I've enjoyed a couple of years off from working outside of the home. At least this way...I won't have to drive to work...I'll be right next door or downstairs.

Now the decision is which business do I do first?! The restaurant or the shop? I wonder where my writing fits into the big picture...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Proud Moment

Guys...I'm a little teary-eyed right now. I'm so proud of one of my crit partners and have to share something with you. Several years ago when I began my journey to become a published author, I was fortunate enough to become a member of a great crit group and met some talented women. Several of us moved on into a smaller, more intimate group. I also joined a second group of dedicated, creative women and there was one common factor, my friendship with Jennifer Shirk. I was so proud and excited for her when she published The Role of a Lifetime with Samhain Publishing. But the girl is on a roll!! She's just heard from Avalon Books and she will soon join their ranks as published author.

She is a true testament to perseverance. She's got a hectic schedule like many of us do...and she hits those days like we all do...where she'd rather just toss the computer out of the window than fight with the words needed to finish the book. But she pushed on and kept her butt in the chair, hands on keyboard.

Proud of you girlfriend. Just sayin'. Congrats!!!


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Road Trip

Well guys...I'm back in Memphis with the hubster and little man. I had a brilliant idea and had to follow through. School for the man child begins on the 26th and I knew this would be my last chance to do anything sightseeing worthy in this area. Of course we'll have to visit a few of the more famous BBQ joints.


Sunday the hubster will have a day off and we're planning a road trip. I've traced my family's Native American history back to the 1700's and some of it is actually documented in the history books. This is also where I got the idea for my historical. My 4th g-grandfather was a Chickasaw Chief and lived the last days of his life with his married daughter...the woman I am modeling my heroine after. Unfortunately I don't have story details to work with, but something in my writer's brain clicked when I read the genealogy comments about this particular daughter. The history is documented along the Natchez Trace Parkway along the Mississippi-Alabama border. It's just a two hour drive from here, so off we go with a picnic loaded ice chest, full tank of gas, and a camera. I'm pretty excited. Not so sure about little man. He asked if they had an amusement park. *sigh*