Notes from the James River Writers Conference


Two wonderful things happened to me at the James River Writers Conference this weekend. 1. An editor asked me for a partial. 2.An opening I wrote was savaged publicly.

“Ok, Carol. We get #1, but how can #2 be a good thing?” Because, aside from the searing pain of public (although anonymous ) rebuke, I looked at it and said, “They’re right.” And then I went back to the hotel and spent two hours on one page and I think it’s at the “pretty good” stage, if not the “This is so great I want to be your agent” one.

Left my phone at home


I decided to leave my phone at home while I wrote today. I’ve gotten so much more accomplished today, I’m going to do this on a regular basis.*

*As in “when I forget to take my phone.” Because that’s what actually happened today. However, I did get a lot more accomplished.

Famous author I didn’t technically meet


I heard Nelson DeMille speak Sunday at Politics and Prose, our spectacular independent bookstore* I was thrilled to learn that his writing process is the same as mine, except for the part that he’s sold millions of books, and I don’t have an agent yet.


*If you visit DC, you must go there, or, as Shaw said, “The angels will weep for you.”

The creature that ate my writing time


You know it’s a bug. I know it’s a bug. EVERYBODY KNOWS IT’S A BUG. Except the Apple tech support guy. He must be working from a manual entitled “Waste the maximum amount of time trying to supposedly help the pitiful helpless person on the other end by suggesting unnecessarily complicated processes e.g., making me go through 21 steps instead of “Open Utilities then click on terminals” and fixes absolutely nothing.

Then he gives me the wrong code for taking a screenshot (even I know it’s shift command 4) and tells me to right click on my trackpad. And the fact that hesd never heard of CommandW is not encouraging.

After over an hour of this brain melting session he lets me know he’s just contacted the developers and they’re “Aware of the problem and trying to fix it.” Shouldn’t that have been step #1?

There. I feel better now. Sort of.

Shameless family promotion


My husband’s Fourth Symphony will be premiered and recorded at the Alba Festival in Alba Italy, June 2 and his American Symphony will be performed at Monticello (Jefferson’s home) sometime spring or summer 2018 and may be part of a PBS special.

I believe this absolutely requires me to publish a novel, right? Working on it.