Friday, July 20, 2007

59 days to my next CRUISE

Gee time flies!! This year on our birthday cruise we'll be off to the Virgin Islands, Antigua, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. I remember the Bahamas like it was yesterday but its actually been nine years! My husband calls it a "return to the scene of the crime" since we were married there. On the beach. In our swimsuits. Not sure exactly what day - those fruity drinks were free you know.

I'm now working full time at the writing, my stint in corporate America finished for good. It's weird to finally get to do something you've wanted to do for twenty years - and fabulous. Speaking of which, I am swamped with Projects but I am also deferring more to our other writers as they are able to handle more projects. I can't even tell you how great its been to have so much good help from the writers and editors. They take a huge load off of me.

Tomorrow Liz and I will be speaking at the PPW meeting on ghostwriting and answering questions about how The Amarillo Group (TAG) works. From a conceptual standpoint its very different than most other freelance or writing associations and sooooo many people are interested!

My friend, Jodi Thomas is back from her hop across the pond and did a little promoting of our ghostwriting book at a conference in England. There seems to be just as much interest over there as here. I also had lunch today with a Brit who is interested in being our UK connection and I think the arrangement shows promise since we have so many UK clients and their needs are so specific.

On the home front, our garden is nuts this year. We're actually giving away tomatoes and it's only mid July! Everything is producing abundantly and keeping up with it is quite a chore - but worth fresh veggies.

The collegiates will be home the second week in August so that will be fun. They so rarely get to come home anymore. We decided that since all four kids were getting older, we need to take one big family vacation before the are all gone for good. Jen's already a grown up, Ryan graduates college next spring, Kaci graduates high school and Kayla will be 17. The only vacation that makes sense to us at this point of course is a cruise. The kids can run amuck on the boat all day and we can still do our thing. We also decided that we'd invite both sides of the family and if they want to join us, they are welcome to. We're calling it the Virden-Burks family cruise (like a Chevy Chase movie with sharks instead of a dead granny). We're planning a tour of the Caribbean (without Jamaica if we can avoid it) but don't know if we'll go out of Ft. Lauderdale or Tampa at this point.

That's all the news for now, must get back to the writing that actually pays!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Is it summer?

I hear it is, but haven't really looked out lately to see! Busy as always. Since Austin, I've written three (almost four) books, been chewed out by two clients, loved by two more. Pretty average I'd say. I've been amazed at my ability to ramp up and meet the increasing management demand for TAG even to the point of engaging in administrative overkill (long story). We've taken on two new writers, and are talking to two more next week. Our project load has doubled in the past two weeks and I have to say I'm really proud and encouraged that our existing writers have stepped up production and are handling everything that comes their way.

The last freelance/ghostwriting class is next Wed and as busy as I've been I almost hate to see it end. There are several promising writers who I think you will be seeing in print shortly. I really enjoy the class although more and more people are asking why I do it with all the projects we have. I must admit part of it is just being able to spend a few hours talking to writers who are serious and want to get into the business. I remember when that was me and it has completely changed my life for the better and I hope it does the same for them.

I read a short essay a while back about finding your purpose. That purpose being what you were put on the earth to do. I have to say writing is it. It's something I do into the wee hours, not realizing the time has slipped away. Something I think about constantly and can't wait to get back to. I wish I could describe it better, but it's an acknowledgement that what I've know about myself since I first picked up a pencil in grade school was right. I was born to put words on the page. It is truly who I am whether I am helping someone else complete their book, or working on my own i know that people world wide will read words I've written and hopefully take them to heart.

A recent event reminded me of how short life is and how sad it would be if I didn't spend my time doing what I love. So I've decided to let the weeds grow, ignore the dust bunnies and spend my time immortalizing thoughts and dreams by putting words on a page.