Denver, Here I Come!

Next week, I’m heading west to attend the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Denver, Colorado.  This year’s theme is Rethink, Revitalize, Renew – particularly appropriate as I start my reset this month.  I’m looking forward to spending time with my writing tribe, drinking margaritas, talking about the state of the industry, drinking margaritas, and determining the next steps in my writing career.

Seriously, though, while I know that when I talk about conference with non-writers, it sounds as though I’m going to a seven day drunken vacation, there is real benefit to these trips. There is something empowering about being in a room with hundreds of other people (actually thousands of people) who think like you do.  Who, when passing a man dragging a duffle bag down the street, have managed to develop a complete backstory and plot before he gets to the corner.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my non writing peeps something fierce. But only other writers understand talk of shrinking medalists and market saturation.  What’s more, when I leave for a conference, my Mom, Daughter, Wife, and Bookseller hats stay behind.  Simply being Barbara Wallace, Writer is a wonderful well-filling experience.  Let’s face it, after the past six months, my well needs some filling.

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Second Half Reset

This week marks the second half of 2018, so I’m hitting the reset button.  I know — I’ve said that before — but this time I really mean it. Largely because the first half of 2018 sucked. If I want the second half of the year to be better, I need to do some serious recalibration.

What I’ve realized is that over the past year or so, I’ve allowed outside events to erode my mindset. I focused on the many demands eating my time rather than focusing on how to make my new reality work for me.  In other words, I slipped into martyr mode, and what happens when you’re in martyr mode is that you tend to find more ways to be a martyr. Because nothing keeps a pity party going like more self-pity.

Problem was, by continually catering my pity party, I was destroying a vital part of myself. I’m one of those writers who needs to write. Yes, writing is a business for me, but writing is also what feeds my soul. I would write even if I didn’t make money at it.

Except, for the past year, I’ve been writing less and less. Writing took a back seat to other priorities. Which meant, my soul took a backseat to other priorities.

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A Few Words About Depression

I been thinking a lot about depression these days.  Partly because the sad ends of because of the sad ends of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shined a spotlight on the topic and partly because Leslie Kelly and I are giving a talk on Battling Writing Demons at RWA2018 in Denver. As a result, my desk is littered with articles on writers and mental illness.

Make no mistake. Depression is a mental illness.

Those of us who live with it will tell you that chronic depression follows us like a shadow. It is always lurking, waiting to wrap us in darkness. Keeping the shadow at bay is a constant battle. Medication and therapy help, but we have to remain diligent in using the tools we’ve learned. Grow complacent and the shadow will slip past your defenses.

Sorry if that sounds dramatic. Depression, however, liar that it is, feels dramatic.  It takes all your negative thoughts and magnifies them. Small problems feel huge. Small flaws become ugly gaping crevices that can never be fixed.

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As Featured in Women’s World Magazine

The Unexpected Honeymoon

Read the first chapter now for free! (Click Here to download)

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And, Coming Soon

It’s a whole new web of secrets to unravel as Sadie and Detective Dan Bartlett
try to clear Rob of a murder charge.

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Blackmail and Murder and Lies! Oh My!

When Sadie McIntyre gives a drunken Marylou Paretsky a ride home on a rainy night, little does she realize it’s the last time anyone will see Marylou alive.

Tragic accident? Or Murder?

The following morning, Marylou is found dead at the bottom of her staircase. What first appears to be a drunken tumble becomes far more complicated as Sadie discovers Marylou wasn’t as sweet and timid as everyone thought. Turns out Marylou spent her spare time digging up dirt on her neighbors and left behind a list of their secrets. Much to her horror, Sadie’s name is right on top.

Eager to keep her past buried, Sadie, with the help of her best friend Rob and Dan Bartlett, the town’s sexy new chief of detectives, sets out to who on the list was desperate enough to kill. Will she discover the answer before the truth gets out?

Or will the killer find Sadie first?

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