Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thanks For The Good Karma, Bellas

So I thought I was pretty proud when I found out Romance: B(u)y the Book and this blog were gonna be moving to You know, professional milestone, honor to rep romance in front of Lifetime online audience and all.

But yesterday something really cool happened, a small moment that really lifted my spirit, and refreshed me on my mission, if you will, of simply writing about how great romance is, and letting romance readers know they more than count, they deserve respect for their choices in reading, in life, in love and stuff.

Lisa Kleypas gave the keynote address at yesterday's luncheon here at RWA national, and man, did she shine. She spoke of her career path, sure, and she described the "armadillo" theory of staying tough and determined and tenacious no matter what life or goofballs throw your way.

But mostly, she spoke about how we, readers and writers and industry folks who love romance can be proud that we choose to spend our time acknowledging our needs for simply escaping into good feelings and empowering stories. We understand that we can do it all, but sometimes we'd rather just have a sexy competent guy and a grand adventure instead -- maybe just for an afternoon.

Anywayz. There are hundreds of people at this event, authors and folks Lisa's met throughout 20 years publishing romance novels.

And she most graciously invited me to sit at her table. Yeah. I couldn't believe it either. But you know, I felt like maybe it was Lisa's way of saying "thanks" for helping gather romance readers who believe that romance matters, and that the way we talk about it -- and most importantly, how we respect each other when we do that -- is important.

During her speech, Lisa said something that really made me verklempt, but gave me a little "hey, this makes up for the online nastiness you've had to thicken your skin over lately" moment. She said something like, "sophisticated condescension" isn't powerful and doesn't have staying power. And it doesn't help the end goal of garnering respect for what we love: romance fiction.

So, no kiddin, I thought about you Bellas while I was sitting there and was thinkin not only, "gosh, I wish they could be here, too," but also, "I'm here because of the Bellas."

I don't always tell you about the cool things that happen to me because they'd seem like "name-dropping" or trying to seem much cooler than I am. But I just had to share this very proud moment with you.

What's one of the proudest moments you've had lately -- professionally, in parenting, within your family...?
Encore! Don't forget to check out and also to tell Jude I say 'hey!"


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Gotta keep movin, cause I'm on my way out. Stacy asked at end of day yesterday what's on this weekend.

Well, today we shoot interviews all day and tonight dinner w/ Avon and St Martins and Penguin cocktail parties.

But I may have to bag all if I'm too tired, cause I had no voice last night, but this am much better. All I needed was to show up w/ laryngitis at this shoot. Yeah, hi. I'm a professional. Professional goofball.

Sorry I don't have more time right now, but I'll check in tonite before bed to celebrate your great moments and small triumphs. My small triumph I'm proud of? I made myself get 8 hours of sleep last night. God, could I talk more about me?

See, that's why I hate telling you stories about stuff that happens to me.

Anyway, you're right. Nationals is a ball, even with the hard work. I feel really really lucky to be hear and don't take for granted for one second that I'm meeting the authors I know you love. And believe me, I keep telling them the Bellas say hi. And they all say, "wow, what a great group of women hang with you."

Oh, Anna Campbell says a big special hullo!

Anonymous said...

I was teaching my daughter to do laundry the other day, thinking this was going to be an all week thing. I came home last night and she had all the laundry done and right I might add. She's 15 and I was so proud of her.

Julie in Ohio said...

{{{BIG HUGS}}} You are there because of the wonderfullness that is Michelle. There's a reason authors beg you to review their book and we can't take credit for that. We're just happy to get to go along for the ride. :o)

I read someone elses take on Lisa's speech and they also said how wonderful it was. They said it was funny and informative. I can't imagine Lisa being anything else.

Rach said...

Okay, there's Michelle with the Squawkers (-Connie, but still) up there, ya'll! Go Michelle!

Thank you for taking the Bella show on the road, Michelle. And I'm so excited that so many SMART, funny and talented women are able to get together to celebrate feeling good about what they read and write. Thank you for keeping us posted. And Michelle, we may give you heck for the cool people you meet, but we really do like hearing about it. You're not coming off as anything other than what you are which is the Queen Bella :o).

Kimberly, I'm SO jealous of you! What an amazing daughter you have. :o)

amy kennedy said...

You take care of yourself. And we love the stories of "you."

I said to Nathan yesterday, "As soon as we get home I want you to read for 20 minutes." And then promptly forgot about it until Husband said, "So, is he reading?" Oops. I went upstairs and there Nathan was, on his bed with his glasses on reading a book--this is an 8 year who needs to be reminded of everything.

So--I'm proud of him--don't know that it had anything to do with me.

Rach said...

Yay, Amy!

I have the world's most independent 5 year old. EVER. I swear it. (Although I currently want to kill her, which is another story...) She can keep herself entertained for HOURS, has always been a dream in restaurants and shopping (even when she was two)and doesn't complain on long car trips, ever, even though we don't have a DVD player in the car to keep her entertained. She is a dream and I'm fairly positive it had *nothing* to do with me since her baby sister is her polar opposite. :oP

Portia Da Costa said...

We love hearing about all the cool people you're meeting! It's fantastic!

Proud moment... well this'll sound a bit strange, but it was on MySpace.

You know the bit where you have to say who you'd like to meet? Well, an erotica writing friend of mine, Lisabet Sarai, had put that she wanted to me *me*... because it was reading one of my books that got her started in writing erotica.

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

Sappy mommy moment.

My proudest moment, despite being blessed to have contracted with two major houses recently, a dream I've had for a while now, is still, after almost seven years (my baby's birthday is coming up) is when my daughter was born.

I have three babies in Heaven, and have dealt with more than my share of grief (still do) associated with that.

Often, when I look at my little "diva in training", I smile, or even laugh, no matter where we are or what she's doing. Even if she's being naughty, like doing daddy's hair while he's laying on the sofa to "surprise" him when he wakes up. The surprise is often...inspired. She uses all kinds of kitchen supplies and ingredients in her approach to hair styling. *g*

Vivi Anna said...

Michelle you are where you are because of the magic of you...

I too look at my daughter and think wow, she's so frickin amazing how did I ever deserve her. I'm proud of her every day for all the little things she does, because she's one of the most caring compassionate little person I know.

And I know a proud moment is coming when I finish this book I'm working on. it's been kicking my ass, but I'm kicking back and when it's finished I have a feeling it's going to rock.

*waving* hi Kimmie! big sloppy wet smooches!

Monica Burns said...

Glad you're having a great time in Dallas, Michelle. Sappy moments????
My kids always manage to surprise me. I can only think of one I believe I've posted before where Oldest saw an senior citizen with a cane looking for a place to sit down at a fast food spot we were eating at. We were almost done, and as the lady walked away because there weren't any open tables, Oldest asked if it was okay to go get the woman and bring her back to our table because we were almost done.

My heart just about exploded with pride. Maybe I'm not such a bad Mom after all.


Julie in Ohio said...

I've been trying to think of a proud moment. I keep going back to my kids. There isn't one moment that stands out in particular. They are just great kids.

I'm the first to admit they aren't perfect but my oldest has terrific manners.
Daughter #2 is mouthy but she doesn't let anyone walk all over her.
Daughter #3, well, what can I say about her? She is my most outgoing. Her motto is: "There's no such thing as strangers. They're just friends I haven't met yet."

Rach said...

Have you noticed that often once you have kids your identity is tied up in them? I keep going back to my kiddos as my proudest moments too.

I think my greatest sense of accomplishment came when I *finally* delivered the Monkey. She was an induction and I went into labor at 6:00 on a Wednesday night. She was delivered at 4:06 Friday morning. I had back labor the ENTIRE time and an epidural that didn't do *squat*. She came out sunny-side up so moving her through the birth canal was slow and excruciating.

Yup, getting her out was *definitely* the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

It's okay that we all have sappy mommy moments! *g* For many women, when we have little ones, much of our identity is so wrapped up in them!

Vivi, big sloppy kisses, right back accha, mi amiga!!! Your current WIP is soooo going to rock, girl! And yep, I want to read that sucker before you send it off to your editor ;)
I've been struggling, as you know, to finish my WIP and turn it in by next week. I think this will be my best work ever. It's my first full out erotic thriller, and MAN is it kicking my butt, so I'm feelin' you on that, mami!

xo bellas

ev said...

I am still jealous Michelle, esp after the really crappy day I had today.

Not the proudest, but the most recent one was just the other night (ok, 230 am) when we were leaving the premier of HP. We were in the top of the theater, where the handicapped seating is. There is a ramp and an elevator up there.
(I sometimes use a cane.)

When we were leaving there was a group of mostly gay guys and one female right behind us as I was going down the ramp. It is very narrow there. They were bitching that someone (ok, us) kept telling them to shush during the movie- they kept whispering loudly. It was rude and inconsiderate. They were crowding us and I was close to not only loosing my balance, but my cool. It was kinda scary actually.

I turned around to the mouthiest one of the bunch and picked up my cane and tapped him in the chest with it and told him to back off and get some manners. He started swearing and yelling at me. Daughter, who quit karate 10 years ago when we moved here (2 belts short of her black) immediately jumped in the middle, grabbed the a$$hole by the throat and told him to back off of me and not to use that language with me.

Now, that might not seem like a proud moment to most, but we have problems and a lot of them. To have her move as fast as she did and defend me was, well, emotional. And that fact that she still remembers her defence moves was the icing on the cake. It helps that unlike me she is tall and has a heck of a reach. It took 3 of us to pull her off of him, which I found amusing.

Never mess with ladies with canes. They actually may know how to use them.

Unknown said...

Ev I have to say I would be extremely proud of that moment!
It make me think of the movie Sweet Home Alabama where she hits the Mayor and tells her that no one talks to here Mama that way. To think of your daughter grabbing him by the throat and being able to put him in his place makes me want to go out and take karate lessons so I could do the same thing.

My proudest moment would be when I finally said enough was enough with my son's dad and told him that if he wanted to see my son then he needed to take me to court. And then finally telling him a few months later how I felt about it all and he finally just went away. The sad thing is he finally left me alone when my son was 1 and 1/2 and he still hadn't seen him since he was 2 weeks. I was just glad that I finally stood up for myself and spoke my mind and it worked.

ev said...

leeann- I understand completely. her dad hasn't ever really been a part of her life. Which is fine with me. We are however, off to see his family this weekend. I may have "convinced" him to sign off all rights and responsiblities (or got to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200), but his family didn't. Which really pisses him off. Makes me smile.

I think she gets it from me. Her father is 6'4" and was in the Army when we were together. He made the mistake when I was 6 months pregnant of hitting me. I hit back. Broke his jaw. Packed up and left. They threw him out of the Army. Go Army!!

Which is one of the reasons we took karate when she was older.

On the other hand, hubby (who took on all responsibility for her because he wanted to) and I had to fix our bed this morning after it broke. Too much laughing but we finally got it fixed. Or rather I did. He handed me stuff. Guess who the handy person is?? She laid in her bed and made comments about old people and rough sex. Smart a$$.

Rach said...

Go Ev, hitting the sumb!tch back!

LOL about the bed!

I really respect you and Leeann for sticking to your guns and doing what is/was the best for your children. Deadbeat dads should be publicly flogged and have their "manly bits" removed! Grrrrr. Don't get me started...

Julie in Ohio said...

Note to self: Don't tick off Ev or her daughter. :o)

Hey, Bellas!! I hope all are having a wonderful weekend. The weather here is absolutely beautiful. Although, Dallas is *the* place to be this week. ;o)

Reading some of the other posts on proudest moments brought another to mind: my marriage. From the word "go" we were a combustible pair, always fighting. There were many times through the years where one or the other of us said it's divorce time but the other wasn't ready. Long story short, the first eight years were hell but the last three have been wonderful. I'm so happy and proud of the way we fought for the marriage we have today.

Unknown said...

Wow Ev good for you! I think that it’s great that his family stayed in touch. My son’s dad’s family was just as big of a disappointment as he was. He was one of those where we weren’t in a serous relationship but I really thought he was going to be there because his dad wasn’t. Oh well I guess it runs in the family. But my son has more family than anyone could ask for with just mine. I thank God every day for my family you couldn’t have ever asked for a better support system. And who knows maybe someday I will meet someone who is worth of us. LOL ; )

Portia Da Costa said...

Everyone's proudest moments are very inspirational! Bellas and their loved ones are strong and wonderful people... :)

Am having a very nice weekend, but not achieving much workwise... Am going to buckle down tomorrow, though, as I have a to do list that's truly frightening. Eek!

I wonder how Bella Michelle is getting on? Has the conference finished yet, or is there more? I'm dying to hear more of her news!

Jude said...

Hi Michelle!

Loving your posts from National, and looking forward to more. :)

Just a slight correction to the URL you provided, there is no "www" in the front (though common, web pages are not required to start with "www"). Your link works for me, but from experience at work, not all browsers can render it correctly.

Correct URL:


Stacy~ said...

Reading all these proud moments is getting my all emotional - you ladies are seriously something' special. Whether you're a mom who's proud of your child or able to stand up for yourself against someone who's trying to intimidate you whether verbally or physically, it's definitely something to shout out about. I am so proud of you Bellas for having enough respect for yourself to know you do deserve a good life, and that you have good kids because you are each a good person in your own right. I love that you're teaching your daughters to not cower and be dependent on a man, and that you're teaching your sons to not hurt women in anyway but to honor and respect them for the amazing accomplishments they do, no matter how small. None of those moments is insignificant.

I'm proud of being a Bella, and for having such wonderful online friends who've taught me so much, who I've laughed with and gushed with and even talked naughty stuff with. You guys are incredible.

My little moment is that I work for a Credit Union and when I had temporarily left to go work at another office, my heart was filled when people would ask where I was, wanting me to come back because they missed me. Now I am back, and knowing they come to me because they trust me and believe I will do right by them, well, that means a lot. It's why I love what I do so much.

Rach said...

Aw, Stacy, you made me all weepy. Yeah, we're a pretty great group of women, aren't we? :o)

Playground Monitor said...

I hate blogger! I typed up this long comment about lunch with Michelle and how's she's just as warm and giving in person as she is online. And how I went totally fangirl on Suzanne Brockmann and told her how I cried over the dedication in HOT TARGET (which I got the last copy of at her signing -- and she autographed it to me). I also got 5 autographed copies of a booklet that has a side for writers (info on writing in deep POV) and a side for readers (new short story and FON info). They'll be up for grabs sometime on our blog.

Also talked about all the great authors I met and lined up to either guest blog for us or do interviews -- Tara Janzen, Eileen Rehndall, Karin Tabke, Julie Leto, Gena Showalter and Eloisa James to name a few.

I'm zonked, but it's a good zonked. What a fabu week topped by seeing my dear friend Rocki St. Claire win a Rita. My flight home was delayed 2 hours, and then I had a two-hour drive home.

OH!!!!!!!! Almost forgot my good news. We were interviewed by Barbara Vey of Publisher's Weekly. You can read a little blurb about us here. Just scroll down to the July 13 post. Our full interview will be posted at a later date. Don't think we weren't over the moon about this. And totally freaked. But Barbara is just the best and made us all feel at ease. It was more like a conversation with an old friend than an interview.

Nighty night, Bellas.


Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Marilyn!

Your RWA experiences sound fabulous! No wonder you're zonked, having all that fun... I'm so envious, but so happy that you had such a great and very rewarding time.

Oh how I would love to have been a guest at your jolly lunch with Michelle... I bet that was brilliant!



Julie in Ohio said...

Good Morning, Bellas!!

Marilyn-- I saw the Playground's blurb on Pub Weekly's site yesterday. How exciting!!! After your busy week, you deserve 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. :o)

Michelle-- Thank you for remembering how to use your camera. It was just as good as being there. You're the bestest!

amy kennedy said...

How exciting Marilyn--sounds like a wonderful time at RWA.

Wendy/Portia--I took two weeks of vacation just to get to my to-do list. But as I was doing my to-do list I found more things to do. A vicious, vicious circle--one I'll need a vacation from.

Marilyn--I'll check out your interview--and those booklets sound cool.

Can't wait for Michelle to check in.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hey Amy

I've come to the conclusion that to ever catch up with my to-dos... I need to clone myself!

And I can't wait for Michelle to check in too.

Rach said...

Marilyn, sounds like you need a vacation from your vacation. :oP

Amy, Portia, I gave up on the to-do lists--I just don't make them any more. So much to do and no time to do it...

Playground Monitor said...

What vacation? Conference is work. Well... there are the great lunches with friends. And the Harlequin party. And meeting all those authors. But that's work you know -- maintaining a professional demeanor (except when you get all teary-eyed when you tell Suzanne Brockmann you cried over her dedication to her son). But she understood. It's the "mom connection."

But yeah... I need a REAL vacation now. Just me and a good book on a lounge chair under a cabana on a nice quiet beach somewhere.

A girl can dream, can't she?


Anonymous said...

Hello, Bellas. This post is totally unrelated to anything, but I had to share. My friend is a make-up artist who does a lot of TV work. Anyway, she was working on a shoot the other day with a guy she thought was absolutely beautiful. They got to talking, and he was oh-so-nice...not just a pretty face. They chatted a bit more and he mentioned that he's a cover model for romance novels... Anyone wanna take a guess as to his identity? Yep...Nathan Kamp. My friend spent an entire day in close proximity to NK's abs, LOL!

Rach said...

O.M.G!!! Are you kidding me, Eve? Your friend got to be thatclose to The Snaxy One?!?!? How did she manage not to drool all over his gorgeousness?? Oh, wait, she's a professional. Gotcha! Lucky Bella! :oP

Marilyn, hm, I always assumed Conference would be a break from it all. Work, sure, but still a break nonetheless. Color me surprised! :o) Did a snaxy little cabana boy happen to play into that vacation dream of yours?

Playground Monitor said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh yes. Cabana is not complete without a snaxy little cabana boy (but he better not be too little, if you get my drift -- wink, wink).


Anonymous said...

rachd, I never said she didn't drool, LOL! Yeah, she said he was amazing and definitely didn't need any make-up help from her.

Rach said...

LOL, Marilyn! :wink:

Eve, but of course he didn't need any make-up help. The man is just snaxy incarnate. ;o)

Stacy~ said...


...(15 minutes later) I'm okay, fine, just got a little woozy there for a minute imagining getting that close to Mr. Snaxy. And ya know, the more I hear about him and how down-to-earth he is, the more I like him. Not that I have such deep thoughts when it comes to my favorite cover model. Nuh uh. Nope, definitely very shallow and UATW thoughts. Eve, bless your heart for sharing that tidbit of information :)

ev said...

Well, I had typed a long comment to Leeann and it never would post. I hate blogger too.

As an aside to how proud Daughter makes me- when I picked her up today from her grandfather's, she showed me her new acquisition.

A Tatoo.

Of a skull and crossed swords.

I think she was shocked I didn't have a fit.

Keira Soleore said...

Bellas, good Monday evening. Love the picture of Michelle with the Squawkers.

National was so-so-so much fun. There was energy, excitement, warmth, laughter, and learning everywhere you turned. From a larger perspective, it looked like a huge number of well-dressed women getting drunk and gossipping. But that's a totally incorrect image. So much business gets transacted in those five days that it's really a dense conference.

I unfortunately, didn't have the opportunity of meeting our fabulous Michelle, but I kept hearing tidbits about her and whom she was interviewing and how fab she looked.

LisaK...I only thank God that I didn't fall in a dead faint at her feet or fall in a gushing fit over her. She's WOW amazing.

Julie in Ohio said...

"LisaK...I only thank God that I didn't fall in a dead faint at her feet..."

LOL, Keira!! You have just pointed out a good reason I should *not* go to these events. :p

I'm so happy for all of you that went to RWA. It sounds and, by the pics, looks like a good time was had by all.

Michelle-- We didn't see *the* dress. Did you get a picture of it?

Julie in Ohio said...

Eve-- I can't believe how lucky your friend was!!

Rach said...

Since even TSO couldn't drag Michelle out of hiding, I'm going to start a pool as to when ya'll think she'll post again. I say this evening. Anyone else? :oP

Aside: Michelle, we know you are probably exhausted from your travels and experiences (see Marilyn's post above) so whenever we hear from you again is fine. I'm just chomping at the bit for more RWA pix and gossip!! ;oP

Julie in Ohio said...

I'll say this afternoon while the kids are eating lunch.

Kati said...

Rach - I was getting ready to put an APB out on Michelle too, but you know how susceptible she is to cooties. My guess is she picked up something at the conference and is laying low.

I emailed her yesterday and haven't heard back, which is unusual. I'm sure she'll check in when she can. But yeah, I'd agree, it'll be this afternoon or tonight, depending on how crappy she feels and whether the kiddies are making her nuts.

In the mean time, what's everyone reading??

I'm reading La Nora's newest HIGH NOON. It's spectacular. Seriously amazing. I wasn't a huge fan of ANGEL'S FALL, so I was really, really glad to see her bounce back. The hero is yum. Also, I really like the heroine. Plus, Nora does the southern thing so well. Also, it's ginormous. Which is nice. I've been reading it two days, which is unprecedented for me. Usually I devour Noras in a day, but this is a BIG book!

Julie in Ohio said...

I really hope she didn't catch anything. That would just be a bummer. I like to think that she's developing more pics to share. :o)

I'm doing a BDB re-read. I'm on LR.
Can I just say that I CAN'T WAIT FOR SEPTEMBER?!?! And not just because the kids are back in school. ;op

Rach said...

I was thinking a similar thing, MK. A conference full of people and low immunities makes for a lethal combo sometimes... Fingers crossed Michelle is just super busy and not sick as a dog!

I'm reading THE LEOPARD PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt. Okay, I only just started it. I'm planning a BDB reread soon as well in preparation for September. I think I may set aside TLP and pick up my HPs for a quick reread before Saturday. YAY!!! So, who's gonna die? Ev, not one word from you here! :oP

Kati said...

Rach - HP6 is my next read. I went and saw HP5 on Sunday after the 50th party, and it was fantastic. I didn't really like HP4 (the movie, not the book), so I was thrilled to see the film bounce back. It was SCARY though! I couldn't believe the number of little guys in there. It would have terrified me, had I been a little kid. It's PG-13 for a reason people!

My roomie will be getting her HP7 in the mail on Saturday. I expect to not speak to her at all this weekend. All I remember about her reading HP6 was looking over at her on the couch with tears rolling down her face. LOL! I imagine she'll be inconsolable on Saturday or Sunday, depending on when she finishes it.

Rach said...

My copy arrives Saturday by mail as well. Hubby and I pace ourselves and limit ourselves to only two chapters a night. We put the kids to bed, lie on our tummies on our bed and share the book. Thank goodness we read at pretty much the same pace, lol. :o)

Yes, I too cried my eyes out reading HP6 and I expect no less from this one. To go from such a fun book in book one to this is just amazing. Talk about world building! And, funny thing, I LOVE the books but don't really enjoy the movies at all.

One of my pet peeves is people who take children to movies that are entirely inappropriate for their age! I saw the same thing last summer with Pirates of the Caribbean.

Julie in Ohio said...

Daughter #1 loves HP. She's seen all the movies and has most of the books. I've tried to read the first book and saw part of the second movie but just couldn't get into it.
She agrees with you, MK, on this last movie. She said it was great but darker than the other ones.

The movie I want to see is "Transformers". They're more than meets the eye... :p

Rach said...

Jules, my sister couldn't get into the books or movies either. Definitely a for some and not for others series.

Transformers, robots in disguise? :oP
Yeah, my best friend's boyfriend wants to see it too. I liked the toys, but wasn't much into the cartoon. See, different strokes for different folks! ;o)