I am convinced that the (lovely, brilliant) people who conceived NaNoWriMo were not parents of small children. Because any parent of small children knows that November 1st – the day after Halloween – is an inauspicious day to embark on any grand enterprise.

Surely, were they parents of small children, they would know that one’s toddler, coming off a sugar high like a junkie comes off smack, will spend the day growling and spitting and writhing and refusing to eat anything that is not wrapped in cellophane. Certainly, had they young children, they would have understood that one’s spouse would have to pay for coming home a few hours early on Halloween by staying late every day for the rest of the week and working on Saturday. Of course, if they were parents, they would understand that the best you can hope for on the day after Halloween is to scout around your house for unwrapped, once-licked lollipops before the ants find them for you.

I wrote an 1800-word synopsis today. Does that count? Please tell me it counts.… Read More »

So this morning, this greeted me in my inbox:

Congratulations Eve!

You’ve won the Chapter Winner Grand Prize:

A Day with Avon
Awarded by random drawing to one (1) of the six previous chapter winners, this prize package includes travel, hotel, and a day at HarperCollins. You’ll meet with an editor, get an introduction to our art department, and learn about the promotion of a title. Plus, you’ll receive a $250 saks.com shopping spree.

Thank God for that Saks card, because I have absolutely nothing to wear!

Shortly after receiving that email, I sent another one to my employer. I quit my job. Well, one of my jobs.

Sure, it’s just a little part-time, independent contractor gig that brings in about $1000 a month. But I’ve been working with this woman for over 2 years, and I really like her. It’s a very scary move, to quit a paying job to devote my time to writing. Especially when I have two very young children who are quickly filling the world’s landfills with disposable diapers.

This day at Avon is a golden opportunity, however, and I don’t want to live the rest of my life wondering what could have been, if only I’d been better prepared. I have to believe that I’m doing the right thing. Fortunately, my husband is A) fairly well-paid at his own job, and B) very supportive.… Read More »

Wow! I won the random drawing of the six chapter winners! I get to go to New York for a day at Avon! ***insert squeals of joy here***

Congratulations to Sarah/Sienna, who won the Fox Studios deal!
And to Sara_Lindsey, who won chapter 6!
And to Gillian, who won the weekly chapter bonus!

So now I will have something to actually blog about, other than the life in Mommyland and my brief escapes into the world of Romance. Watch this space!… Read More »

Hey, everyone!

I felt like I needed some way to stay in touch with all of you after the madness that was FanLit!

I’m gearing up to try NaNoWriMo for the first time, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you over there in the AFL Nano’ers group.

I suppose for my first blog post, it might be mildly interesting to share how I adopted this name, “Tessa Dare.” The day I learned about FanLit was September 16, the Saturday before submissions closed for Round 1. I read about the contest in a nifty WSJ article that featured our very own ErvinA. The article was passed on to me through a group of friends I’ve made in the Jane Austen fandom. On the recommendation of the same friends, I had just started reading Middlemarch by George Eliot – one of the many classics I am embarrassed to admit I have not read.

So there I was, reading the Prologue and chapter 1 of Middlemarch, in which the heroine, Dorothea Brooke, is introduced and her fascination with mystic and writer St. Teresa de Avila is mentioned. I put down the book, checked my email, read the WSJ article, and logged on to FanLit immediately. I was so enraptured with the beginning of Middlemarch, I almost chose Dorothea as my screen name – but I decided it sounded a bit old. So I took my inspiration from St. Teresa (who has always fascinated me, as well) and changed it … Read More »