Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There’s a First Time for Everything!

There are so many firsts in life. Few are casually discarded. Most are unforgettable like a baby’s first word, a toddler’s first step, the first day of school, first date, first job, first car, first kiss, and saying, “I do”.

What makes a first time for anything special? Surely who you are with or what time in your life these events occur plays a significant part. In this, I am extremely lucky to be part of the Okay, Listen Here blog, and I thank my blog sisters, Jean, Stephanie and Cheryl, for inviting me to be a part of this great group. Today, as I branch out into the blogosphere for the very first time, I’d like to share some of my firsts with you.

In just two short weeks, I’ll be headed to Orlando for the RWA National Conference, where my book, PIRATE BY NIGHT, is a finalist in the Romance Through The Ages contest, a historical romance contest. Finalists will be judged by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. While this contest is not the first one I’ve ever entered, it is the first I’ve EVER finaled in. (There’s nothing like validation to thrum the heart, let me tell you.) There are 5 other books in my category. Though I’m hopeful PIRATE BY NIGHT will do well, I’m making sure to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground. Whether or not I win first place, second, third, or place even lower doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. (Though it would be oh! so wonderful to win!) What really matters here, however, is my writing finally engaged someone. A reader actually liked my voice and my story! A fantastic first!

Another first for me: I received a full request from Harlequin Mills & Boon for PIRATE BY NIGHT and appear to finally have a book that appeals to an editor too. Another gigantic step in the right direction!

Day in and day out, writing is a lonely business. Rejections defeat the muse. Solitude crumbles self-esteem. Whether you’re a writer, a hardworking businesswoman, or a housewife, validation comes in many forms: a kind word, a promotion, a kiss, or a mysterious letter in the mail.

I’ve found wonder in firsts this year. What firsts have you experienced? Let us know so we can applaud your efforts.



  1. Kathy, what a wonderful year of firsts! We are all so proud of you! Pirate by Night will win! Let it be written; let it be done. (and it will!)

    I got my first full request this year from Blaze (still haven't heard anything). It came in the form of a letter. I was checking the mailbox and there sat the letter. I was afraid it was a rejection for the partial but I opened it any way. I hooped and hollered so much that I started a stampede of cattle in the pasture across the road. My husband thought I had finally cracked.

    My other first is discovering that, unlike the legal profession (my other job), you can have wonderful friends in this profession- People who are sincerely interested in helping. Everyone at HOD have offered advice and help. I am thankful for that and for all of you!

    To everyone going to conference this year - good luck and have lots and lots of success!

  2. Firsts. They are important.

    This year:

    I spent my first Christmas away from home.

    I ate my first raw fish, though I've been eating cooked sushi for years.

    Stephanie and I got our first personal rejections letters that praised our work. (To anyone who is not a writer--this is a big milestone.)

    Like Kathy, I wrote my first blog.

    I also had a first in a long, long time. My team won the national championship.

    I'm sure there more but I have another first coming up: I'm going to my first live pirate show while I'm in Orlando at RWA conference. It probably won't be my last. Right, Kathy?

  3. Cheryl: A wonderful set of firsts for you! And I agree, HOD is the best source of encouragement a writer can have. Thanks for your support and mojo for my book too. Wish you were going to Orlando. :D

    Jean: You are braver than I am. I don't eat raw fish.

    Kudos on your personal rejection. Rejections sting, but rejections with praise are the best kind any writer can receive.

    Arrrrr! Pirate mania. I shall make it so, Jean. ;)

  4. Many of my firsts this year are so depressing because they're related to my divorce (my first) from my husband (my first) and living alone for the first time in my life. I HAVE enjoyed decorating my apartment (my first that's been just mine).

    I'll be at the conference too (not my first) but will have an editor appointment this year (my first time to pitch face-to-face instead of online).

    Another first was seeing my granddaughter (my first grandchild whose father is my first child) swim last weekend. I've been hearing for months about how good she is and by golly she is! She's a little fish. I think if they'll start giving out crowns instead of medals, we can convince her to swim competitively. ;-)

    Great first blog, Kathy! And I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you and your pirate.

  5. I have some great firsts. My daughter is performing in her first play, Annie, this week. I sold my first mainstream historical to Siren and I contracted my first young adult paranormal romance with Champagne!

    Nice post, Kathy!

  6. Great first blog, Kathy. Good luck with the contest. I will be there also and hope to meet you!

  7. Great post, Kathy. Good luck with the contest!

  8. Thanks for wishing me good luck everyone! With the stiff competition my book surely faces, I'm embracing as much karma as I can. :D

    Playground Monitor: I'm sorry the firsts you've experienced this year have been so terribly hard. I'm praying the rest of 2010 will bring you plenty of fantastic surprises that will boost your spirit and give you hope. :)

    Debra: Your daughter is in her first play? Annie too? How exciting! And you sold two books. Congratulations and best wishes for major success!

    Carole: Thanks for checking out our blog! I'm looking forward to meeting you in Orlando. ;)

    Julie: Thanks for stopping by and for your well wishes. Are you going to conference?

  9. I have my fingers crossed for you. An agent AND an editor. Maybe this is the book!

    I love those firsts. But I seriously need to get off the treadmill and hit the next milestone soon. :)

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  11. Yay, Kathy! So wonderful to enjoy those moments of validation. This can be such a solitary business, writing, that those external rewards mean that much more. Enjoy your time at the Awards Dinner. Bask in that moment when the chapter acknowledges its finalists. I'll be cheering you on (from my own Awards Dinner for the Stroke of Midnight contest--my first novella to final). :)

  12. Congratulations on this year's many firsts, Kathy. Many more loom on that "weathered horizon," and it sounds like this could be the year that your patience is rewarded!

  13. Yay on the firsts, Kathy! Best of luck in Orlando! This year has been punctuated by good firsts and bad firsts. I prefer not to talk about the bad ones, though.

    The good, however, was making the USA Today bestseller list for the very first time, and getting my very first 4 1/2 star Top Pick recommendation from Romantic Times. Those were pretty cool firsts. :)

  14. In a couple of weeks, I'll be a grandmother for the first time and probably the last time since it is twins! LOL

  15. Wow! So many fabulous first here. Thanks for sharing everyone. Sorry I haven't responded sooner. I was at the pool. ;)

    Angel: Good luck in the Stroke of Midnight contest! Wishing you the success you deserve. ;)

    Kate: Thanks for stopping by and wishing me well! Are you going to conference?

    Lynn: I heart you! Making the USA Today Bestseller list is no small feat. Kudos to you on the 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times. Here's to wishing you many more list firsts to come!

    Patricia: Twins! What a wonderful first and a fantastic blessing! I wish you all the joy that grandmotherhood brings and more. :D

  16. Kathy, my apologies for coming late to your post (I saw it on the beaumonde loop). I just LOVE it. Congratulations on your final and I'll have my fingers crossed for you! How have you liked your first blogging experience? Everyone's firsts above are so moving, you ladies have me all teary first thing in the morning, ack!!

    My first happens in twelve days: Avon releases my debut historical which just received a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. (Yay, Lynn, too!) :) And here's the thing: just over a year ago, I wasn't sure I would ever experience this first. It happens fast and furiously and I wish it for you with all my heart. Best of luck in Orlando, and to everybody else going (Playground Monitor for your pitch!).

  17. Katherine thanks for posting on our blog! I'd also like to thank you for your kind comments and best wishes for my book. I'm having the best time. :)

    Mega congrats on your debut historical release! Avon and a RT Book Top Pick. Wow! Your post gives all of us inspiration and we wish you the greatest success!

    Will you be in Orlando? If so, I hope to see you there. ;)