It hardly seems possible that THREE years has gone by since I started this blog. Wow! Seriously, just wow!

My first ever blog POSTS appeared the last week of November 2007. I remember frantically setting up a website (which has undergone two major renovations) and beginning to blog on my now inactive MySpace page as I try to establish my corner of the Internet as a new author. It was such a crazy time. My first book (then titled) “The Healer’s Garden” was scheduled for release at the end of December that year. Funny how that book has been re-released through ELLORA’S CAVE as “Healer’s Garden” and has also become my first book in print. Lots of firsts with that one. 🙂

Looking back it is amazing to me the things that I’ve learned in such a short time. The learning curve for an Environmental Educator thrown into the publishing world has been steep, but I really wouldn’t trade it. I love learning and being challenged by new things. But never would I have imagined this journey. I’m so happy to have it documented because even I couldn’t imagine the highs and lows of a writing career.

Hmmm, let me see some of the things I’ve learned and even taken time to blog about …
1. That being successful at a writing career means more than just writing … you gotta learn to market yourself as well
2. That the internet is full of people who want to help and eventually become really good friends
3. That sometimes RWA can piss you off, but by and large it’s a great organization
4. That being a contest slut can certainly get you some great and sound advice
5. That EDIT isn’t one of THOSE four letter words
6. That writing is rewarding … but it’s also really HARD
7. That sometimes in this business you have to have a REALLY thick skin
8. Even though you have plenty of excuses no one ever bought a story that was still in your head.
9. That editors don’t all do their jobs the same, but they sure are important to putting out a great book!
10. That writing conference are far from boring.
11. That sometimes writers aren’t who we may think they are
12. That despite advice from others sometimes you have to go with your gut
13. That everyone loves a little eye candy now and again!
14. That EVERYTHING changes even publishing
15. That cover day is just as exciting as getting the contract.

I’m sure there is so much more, but those are the bigger things.

Well, I just feel in the mood for something fun in celebration of my anniversary. I’d like to give something away to my readers and writer friends. I’ll pull together a fun little box of goodies from my promo closet (including a print copy of “Healer’s Garden“) and choose one person at random from those who comments on this post between now and noon DECEMBER 6, EST. And just because I’m feeling really generous I’ll also give away an ebook of “Hearts of Fire-May” which includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire“.

Just tell me something you’ve learned as a reader or a writer since you started following writers on the internet or began writing. Something that surprised you or made you pause or you thought … yeah, well, dur … what did you think? I’d love to hear from you.

Oh my! I know everyone says the same thing, but I’m going to be that tired skipping record …. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE????

Next week Mr. Nina and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. This week 25 years ago I was living with my mom, waiting for my sister to arrive from Alabama and completely sweating all the details of my wedding. The dress was steamed and hanging at my brother’s house where I would get ready. All the bridesmaids were on their way and Mr. Nina was studying for exams. Yep, he was in his last year of college. (And the stories that come with being newlyweds living in a dormitory are very interesting … but fodder for another day!)

Anyhoodles … fast forward 25 years. We’re actually planning a sort of second honeymoon and I’m spending this week getting everything ready. We leave next week for a ten day trip to Ohio. What? You didn’t know Ohio was the honeymoon capital of the world? Pshaw. Of course it is! Well, okay, maybe it’s not, but please don’t tell Mr. Nina. 😉 Our actual destination is Ellora Cave’s first ever convention … ROMANTICON! Yep, there will authors and readers and cover models, oh, my!

We leave next Monday and will spend 2 days in Niagra Falls. We’ve been there, but only for a day to visit. We’re going to play it by ear, but I have a feeling there will a casino involved and if I have any say about it … some adventure in Maid of the Mist. (You know, the crazy boat that goes into the falls.) But you never know with us. We usually figure those things out as we go.

Then we head out to Ohio. It looks like Mr. Nina’s going to take in a college football game and perhaps the football hall of fame while I schmooze with author friends that I only know from online. Of course there are some awesome workshops being offered … it is a writing conference after all. Then the book signing and author hours where readers get to speak directly with some of their favorite EC authors. (I’m going to be a total squee-fan girl as I get to meet some of the amazing authors!) Of course there’s rumors that the cover models will be walking around and keeping things warm! It promises to be a very busy four days!

On the way home Mr. Nina and I are taking a more southern route and swinging through the Poconos. We’ve never been there and are looking forward to our first visit. Though it may become a quiet in the hotel, rest kind of day. But I don’t think we’ll be suffering too much if the hotel room looks anything like this …

I’m excited and just a little nervous. Mr. Nina and I have never taken a trip like this. Not that we haven’t traveled because I’m very fortunate to say we have. It’s just that we’ve never been in the car for ten days. Yeeeeeaaaah … this could be interesting.