Arianna's Blog

Come listen to the ramblings and assorted babblings of a crazed mother and newbie author. It might not always be helpful, but it should be amusing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Today was the first day of school! Yippee!!! I now have two children in all day school. Life is good! I still have my 3 year old to chase around, but having 6 hours a day without all three is a beautiful thing.

I really thought the summer was going to be nice and relaxing but it was so far from calm I can't even begin to describe it. Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun and did some great stuff, but man were we busy.

Last week my family went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was absolutely beautiful! We rented a house with two other families that my husband went to college with. It was a huge house right on the beach, well a 100 yards from it anyway. We had a pool and hot tub for those times we didn't want to be on the beach, and we had a whole lot of food to eat.

Far too much food for the amount of time I was in a bathing suit.

Did I mention that the women I stayed with were both size 2's?

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun but kept having to hide under big t-shirts. . .

Enough of that!
I have some good news to share! In a few weeks a book I LOVED writing will be coming out! Yippee!
Well, I guess I should clarify that, I wrote a short story in a book that will be coming out September 22nd. The book is an anthology called LENGENDARY TAILS 3 and I have a nifty little shape shifter story in there. I'm so lucky to be in an anthology with some FABULOUS authors who wrote great stories. It's very exciting to have a new release because it's been a while for me. I haven't had anything new out since January, and I've been getting itchy to have something new to talk about, hahahaha.

I should have some more stories coming out next year too, I'm most psyched about that as well.
More info about that later, the bus just dropped off my darlings buried under a mound of forms I need to fill out. . .

I'll post covers and stuff later! Honest!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Catherine and Rob Mann (take two)

pictures, take two

Catherine Mann, Christyne, and me at the Ritas

Catherine Mann and her yummy pilot hubby Rob at the Ritas, plus myself all decked out and my roommate and good friend Christyne.

Still with me?

Are you still with me? Sorry this has dragged on so long, it's been a busy month. . .

When last we left our bumbling heroine Ari, she was dancing and carousing with Harlequin authors at a kicking party . . .

Saturday morning we wisely slept in. I hit a few workshops and basically hung out with some friends in the bar for most of the day (I know you're so surprised at that!) Eventually we had to go back to our room and pack up because Kris and I were leaving at 6 in the morning so we planned to stay up all night after the Ritas ceremony.

For those of you who don't know, the Ritas are kind of like the Grammies for romance writers. There are a million categories and everyone dresses up and thanks everyone they know and cries and carries on. It's generally a lot of fun. I like dressing up sometimes and I had some friends up for Golden Hearts (the awards for unpublished authors) and for Ritas. (Oh, BIG SCREAMING CHEER HERE FOR MY FRIEND ROBIN WHO WON A GH!!!!!!! WAY TO GO!! YOU SO ROCK, even if you didn't thank me, hahahahahahha. You totally deserve to win and I'm so proud of you!)

Anyway, a bunch of us crammed into this tiny booth to watch the awards, it was RWA's 25th anniversary conference, so the show went on for quite some time. . .and that's all I'm saying about it. . .

After the ceremony ended, I hung out with kick-butt author Catherine Mann and her flyboy hubby Rob in the bar. I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. That crowd started to slow down around 2 in the morning, so I hooked up with other friends of mine and we had "breakfast" if you can call nachos and margaritas breakfast.

By 5 am we were quite punchy and feeling no pain. We checked out of the hotel and headed to the airport with a bunch of other folks who had obnoxiously early flights out of Reno. (side note here, flights in and out of Reno from the east coast BLOW CHUNKS) We waited in line forever before we hit the self-check in computer. I think I'm all set when low and behold my suitcase is 10 pounds over the limit! (This is all my editor's fault because I took home a bunch of books for her.) So I had to open my stuffed suitcase and move some books out of that into a carry on.
It was the quickest 10 pounds I've ever lost. . .

After the check in, my compatriots and I head to the security check point where guess what happens? I set off the machine. Now I purposly didn't wear an underwire bra or the undies that had little metal rings in them for just such a reason. (Read REVENGE GIFTS by Cindy Cruciger if you want to know why. . .) I take off some jewelry and still set it off. I now have to be "wanded" and patted down.

My friends Lisa and Kris are laughing at me. The poor woman who has to pat me down is more nervous than I am. I get through it with a minimum of fuss and continue on my way to the gate with the rest of the wandering herds.

We get to the crowded gate and there's no place to sit, so the three of us plop down on the floor. It was very comfy actually. As we're sitting there laughing because we're so darn tired, we notice all sorts of high mucky-mucks and editors in the publishing business. Now I should probably be on my best behavior, but I'm so darn tired I don't much care. So I continue to giggle and chortle with my buddies until our seats are called.

Well, guess who had the poor misfortune to sit right next to us? Best selling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The poor woman. Here are three obnoxious woman in awe of her, watching her every move and hoping to glean some talent from her by osmosis. My friend Lisa made the mistake of saying how our friend Kathy Love idolized SEP and she would just die if she knew we were sitting right next to her.

I get the bright idea that we should call Kathy at 6 in the morning and tell her. Now here is the ultimate sign of class. Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes the cell phone and askes to talk to Kathy and gives her the wake up call. She talked to an astonished-- and naked I later found out-- Kathy for a few minutes before we had to turn off all electronic devices.

Susan didn't have to even acknowledge our presence, she could have done her work and ignored us completely. I'm sure she had much better things to do than listen to a bunch of idiot woman giggle obnoxiously. I may not have glommed any talent off her, but I sure learned a lot about how to act once you "make it". I've never read any of her books, but you can bet I'll buy every one of them now.

As soon as the plane taxied down the runway, all three of us passed out, much to the relief of the rest of the passengers.

And that's my RWA tale for this year. Lots of laughs, a little learning, a great deal of talking, and as always much fun with my friends. Next year will be in Atlanta, and THAT should be really interesting!!!

I'll be going to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week + so you can enjoy some peace and quiet without me!

I'm sure I'll have more stories from the chaos that is my world come September.
Take care everyone!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

pictures, Ari Rae and Kris and Ari Leigh and Kris


Yes, I admit it, I'm a blog slacker. I'm only up to Friday at the conference and it's now been almost 3 weeks since the darn thing happened! I've forgotten all the witty things I was going to write about when they happened.

Let's see what I can remember about Friday. . . *squeezing brain cells in a vain attempt at recovering half-drunken memories*

On Friday I was the moderator for my friend Leigh Wyndfield's workshop on structuring the novella length romance. It went really well and was quite interesting! Everyone behaved and I really didn't have to do much, my kind of moderating. Leigh writes for Red Sage Publishing and is in the Secrets Volume 12. In my unbiased opinion, her story ROCKS!!!! Actually, that particular volume kicks ass more so than some of the others I've read.

But, I digress. . .

Friday night was the Harlequin Party, and OH WHAT A PARTY IT WAS!!!! My friends Leigh, Kathy Love, Julie Cohen, Joanne Rock, Kate Bridges, Rae, Dee, Jayne, and about a million other people were there. The music jammed, the desserts were AWESOME, and the bar open. Unless they hired Chippendale Dancers you really can't get a much better party than that. I owe my friend Tanya huge, huge points for taking me. I took her to the Death by Chocolate and the Gathering parties, but those paled in comparrison! This was so cool and we danced and danced and danced!

In fact, we danced so much by the time we got home (they kicked us out after midnight) none of us could walk any more. My feet were KILLING ME! But it was so worth it. Somehow I'm either going to work for that company or get bought by them because they know how to put together a shin dig!!!

Okay, going to look for pictures. I'll finish the RWA advertures this week before I leave for vacation, honest!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Professional Ari

Crap, I can't figure out how to turn this. Hey, just because I was being professional doesn't mean I know what the heck I'm doing. . .

Ari, the speaker

Hey everyone!
I meant to get my RWA adventures down before I left for vacation but that didn't quite happen, so I'm blogging from CAPE COD!! I'm on the Cape with my three daughters so my brain cells are dying by the second. Please bear with me while I try to revive a few and form coherent sentences.

Okay, let's see. . .
Wednesday night after the book signing I changed out of the dress from hell and met up with my fellow EC authors for a little get together. While sitting there talking to this great group of ladies my lack of sleep finally hit me and it was all I could do to make it up to my room before I passed out. My roommates were more than a little surprised to see me in bed before dawn. . .

Thursday morning I gave my workshop on fire fighter/EMT speak and I think it went pretty well. There were some things I wish I had said or done differently, but overall I think I got my point across and didn't look TOO much like an idiot. I even wore a suit for the occasion! I'll try to post a picture of me doing the "professional" thing.

Later Thursday night my roommate Kris Star and I stopped by THE GATHERING, the FF&P chapter party. From there we went to DEATH BY CHOCOLATE, the Kiss of Death chapter party. I have never seen so much chocolate, it was incredible. From there we went to the eharlequin pajama party. That was much fun catching up with folks that I visit with on the e-harlequin message boards. I'm still figuring out how to download those pictures here. . .
And then from THERE we went dancing. I think we were out until around 2:00. There's something to be said about a hotel that has bars and restaurants open twenty-four hours a day.

Hey, I couldn't be professional ALL day now, could I?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Revenge of the dress. . . or the dress part deux

If you've been following my blog you know I barely escaped with my skin intact after struggling mightily with my dress before packing it for Nationals.

Well, the dress struck back. . .

I wore what I call my "June Clever" dress to the book signing. I thought it stood out and looked demure and pretty. It was a tad snug, but I was sitting so it wasn't too noticable. Plus I wasn't wearing a bra so it kept everything "in place".

As some of you may know, I get a little bit excited about book signings. I love seeing everyone and it totally geeks me out when someone I don't know buys one of my books. Granted, most of the books I sold were to people who know me, but hey they still shelled out the cash for my book and it was awesome.

Anyway, as I enthusiastically jumped over my table to hug people the dress picked that moment to get its revenge. Remember the little tooth of the zipper I cut to make sure it didn't stick again? Well, that turned out to be a pretty necessary tooth. As I hugged one of my friends, the entire zipper let go.

That was absolutely the wrong day to try out thong underwear. . .

Luckily for me, one of the friends I was hugging was wearing a sweater which she quickly handed over (Bless you Tanya!) and I was able to hide the fact that the only thing holding up my dress was the tie around my neck. Needless to say, that entire zipper is getting replaced the next time I go to the cleaners!!!!

My friend sent me a picture of me in the dress from hell, but I can't get it to download right. I'm working on it though so you should be able to see it and laugh.

Tomorrow, the saga of my first attempt at giving a workshop. . .

Thursday, August 04, 2005


sorry, I couldn't get it uploaded! I suck at computer things. There's a reason I teach English. . .

Goober Alert!

I am such a goober, I admit it freely and openly. On Tuesday morning I went to Wal*Mart with my friends Terri, Chaos, and Isabelle. On the way there I spied a Borders and badgered them into going inside with me. They were very good sports and went in without pretending not to know me. They were even sweet enough to take a picture of me with my book! I was rather excited.

I'm sure the folks at Borders wondered what the heck I was doing, but they were understanding enough to let me sign their copy of my book and they even said they'd put it on display!!! It was very cool to see my book on the shelves of a store across the country from me. Of course I couldn't walk out of a bookstore without buying something so I picked up a hysterical book called BOYS WILL PUT YOU ON A PEDESTAL (SO THEY CAN LOOK UP YOUR SKIRT) A DAD'S ADVICE FOR DAUGHTERS.
by Phillip Van Munching
Since my husband is the very nervous father of 3 girls I figured this was a good book for him. I of course read it before I gave it to him, hahahaha. It was a fabulous book that reminded me a lot about things my father had taught me that I never listened to until too late. It was really amusing and I hope my girls will take some of the advice to heart since it's not coming from their parents. Maybe I'll hide it and tell them they CAN'T read it, which will ensure they do, hahahaha.

Later on that night I went to Catherine Mann's book signing at Walden Books where she was signing CODE OF HONOR. That book TOTALLY ROCKS! Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Love thos military men! I also couldn't resist trip to Claires where I bought some cool fairy stuff which I have since lost. I should not be allowed to have money in my pocket. . .
While at Cathy's signing I couldn't help but look to see if they had BHB on the shelves, and what do you know, they did!!! Two different book stores had my book! I was so excited!
I was even more excited when Anna DeStephano bought it! Talk about exciting! She was one funny lady and I had a great time meeting her.

Oh, I also won a book at Cathy's signing, WORTH EVERY RISK by Dianna Love Snell, who was also there. The book KICKED BUTT as did the author. Dianna, and I later found out her husband Karl, are wonderfully funny and so very sweet. I had a great time laughing with them during the confrence. It seems like at every conference I meet new friends that I then don't get to see until the next conference. At least Anna, Dianna, and Cathy are going to RT in May. That should be exciting!

If I can figure it out I'll post a picture of me at Waldens, one of my friends sent it to me and I don't know if I can get it up loaded. I'm such a computer guru. . .

By Honor Bound in Borders, Reno

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Other view from my window

View from my hotel window

And so it begins. . .

Okay, I figure I'll start at the beginning and hope I remember everything. . . I'll try to give you only the pertainent details. Spelling does not count. . .

Let's see, I left for Reno on Monday afternoon. I'd cleaned the house, made dinner for the family and left it in the crock pot, masked my face, shaved my legs, and even put on make up. I was ready to go.

Unfortunately, the plane wasn't. My flight out of CT was about two hours late. No big deal, I started reading SEDUCED by Beth Ciotta and got totally lost in it. The flight to Chicago flew by as I turned the pages as fast as I could on this book. I'm sure the person in the seat next to me wondered why I'd suddenly start laughing, but I didn't care. I couldn't have asked for a better book to get me through that flight.

Luckily for me I packed two other books because my flight out of Chicago was also delayed. I read another book waiting for that plane at my gate because the restaurants were packed. As I got on the flight to Reno I met up with some other folks headed to the RWA conference and we chatted for quite some time. We had plenty of time to chat as we sat on the plane and waited for the thunder and lightning to pass. That morning my sister had sent me an email with a picture of a plane being hit by lightning. I didn't mind waiting on the runway one bit. Sure beat getting zapped in the air.

We finally took off and the flight was anything but smooth. By the time we landed in Reno, it was midnight Pacific time and we were supposed to land at 9:00. My friend Terri picked me and a few others up at the airport because the shuttles had stopped running at 11:00. God bless Terri, she had to drive all over the place to figure out how to pick us up!

When we got back to the hotel I was surprised to see how many people were still up. I met up with my friend ChaosCat from Romance Junkies and Isabelle whom I had met at the last conference. We got dinner-- or breakfast for the others-- and tried our luck at the nickle slots. (I lost a buck twenty.) By the time I hit the sack it was 2:30 Pacific and 5:30 Eastern. I was most tired.

When I woke up I got my first real view of Reno, and man was it gorgeous! I'm posting pictures from my hotel room next.

Tuesday was pretty much the only day I saw the outside of the hotel. . .

Monday, August 01, 2005

So very tired. . .

but boy am I happy!!! I had a great time in Reno at the RWA conference. Things went AWESOME all around. Now I'm trying to organize my thoughts, not to mention my laundry, and get ready for the next trip. This time I'm going on a family vacation. First we're going to the Cape to visit my mother in law, then to the Outer Banks for a week with some of our friends. That's a twelve hour drive with little children, should be interesting. . .

Thanks for all the comments everyone, glad I could keep you laughing at the chaos that is my life. I have LOTS more stories and adventures to share from RWA and tons of pictures. I'll do my best to put them all down here. I have to tell you there were so many moments when I was thinking, "man, I can't wait to blog about this." hahahaha. Hope I'll remember them all!

Once I get my pictures downloaded and the laundry done, I'll be back to fill you all in on the trip!!!