Wednesday, March 23, 2011

News! News! News!

Note:  There is BIG NEWS about 2/3 of the way down this post, so if you're in a hurry, scroll down and at least read that!  And then come back here later, because honestly, you don't want to miss this post.  I'm serious.  It's like the 'Magna Carta' of blog posts.

"Settle ... settle ... thaaat's better."

Hey!  I'm back!  I'm here!  It seems like ages since I blogged, which is sort of like saying it's been ages since I - ok, I was going to say 'breathed' but that would have been hyperbolic even for me - let's go with 'made fudge and ate it straight out of the pan.'  Believe me, that's way too long to ... hang on, now I'm thinking about fudge. 


What were we talking about?

Oh, yes - way too long since I blogged.

But things have been happening, there is NO denying that!

First, I went to the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego, and it was beyond excellent.  I'm telling you, I learn more in one weekend conference than I learn in ... which fudge would I make, anyway?  Stovetop.  Definitely stovetop.

Gaah!  Sorry!

These blogging conferences really are so informative, and I'm not just talking about the lunch I shared with the professional d*min*tr*x.  Totally not kidding; it says that on her business card, only it includes all the vowels.  She was one of the nicest people I met at the conference.  And holy platforms, Cat Woman, did she have some hot tamale shoes!  Made my three inchers look like ... I wonder if I have any evaporated milk.  And cocoa.  I may be running low on cocoa.  Blast.

While there, I gave a whole-group presentation on "Narrative Arc and the Writer's Voice," which went extremely well and received a gigantic round of applause at the conclusion.  I have decided that this was because the audience was hanging on my every syllable, completely agog at the verbal masterpiece that was being woven before their very ears, and not, as some have suggested, because they served lunch when I was done.

That slide behind me says, "I promise to e-mail you this entire power point presentation if you'll just look at me while I talk to you."  I tend to get distracted when everyone is writing on their laptops, iPads, stone tablets, papyrus leaves,
or backs of their hands with black Sharpie. 
If all I know about the 125 people in the room is which side they part their hair on, it's hard to connect.  But these gals were awesome; one of them even e-mailed me on the spot: "I'm looking at you right now!  Please send me the power point!"
See?  Eyes totally glued...wait a minute...

Then, as if that weren't fun enough, in the afternoon I joined forces with Mama Kat for a two-hour writers' workshop, which of course meant I was palling around with one of the biggest blogging celebrities in the room.  And she was palling around with, well, me.  So it was totally win/win.

Here we are.  I'm the young, thin one with the beautiful long hair. 
MK's the old lady who looks like she tends to eat too much fudge straight out of the pan.

I really do want to send out a great big "Thanks, girls!" to Tiffany and Francesca and all the other women who made that conference so great. 

I took my husband and two youngest with me, and we had us some face time with the Pacific Ocean, which we poor landlocked Las Vegans need every now and then in order to reoxygenate our souls.  Sort of the same reason orca whales breach, only, you know, in reverse.

Brett and the kids at this cool seal beach in La Jolla, which is pronounced "lah-JAH-lah" for those of you who don't speak Americanized Spanish.  Look at how their souls are totally stuffed with oxygen.

This mother and baby seal were trying to get me to join their Pilates group, but I said,
"No.  Shut up about the Pilates already."  So then the baby smacked me.

OK, this is cool.  See that baby seal?  She's just four hours old! 
And she was already grounded for playing her iPod too loudly while her mother was trying to nap. 
I'm telling you, you can't take your eyes off those baby seals for a second.
Seriously.  You can't.  They're freaking adorable.

After the conference, Brett and I drove approximately 726,912 miles north to help Melanie Jacobson party over the launch of her first book, which is called, ironically, "How to Google Distances so your Friends' Clothes Don't Go Out of Style on Their Way to Your Book Launch Party."

Ha!  I kid.  It's really called "The List," and I'll be reviewing it here in a few days. 

See? "The List."  And look!  Sand!  And a beach!  Right there on the cover!
How can I not love this book?

Melanie and me.  Melanie's the one in pink, and I'm the one who looks like she's smuggling grapefruits in her neck waddle.
It had been a long day, true, but sheesh woman - put on a veil or something.

Melanie autographing a book.  I already have a copy of "The List," and when Melanie autographed it she wrote - and I'm not even making this up - "Dear DeNae.  I hope you like this book, because lord knows I'll hear about it if you don't." 
I'm beginning to think I was a little, um, thorough on the beta read I did on her last manuscript.
I regret nothing.  NOTHING!

Anyway, one of the great things about attending conferences is they get you all pumped up to go home and do more of the thing you went to the conference for.  Wasn't that an awesome sentence?  Don't try writing like that at home, kids.  Leave it to the professionals.

Which brings me to my next bit of news!  Oh, this is SUPER EXCITING!!

I have finally started a copywriting business!  And it isn't just copywriting - it includes social media management; editing, proofreading, and manuscript critique for professional writers (ask Melanie how totally awesome I am at that job!); and coaching and one-on-one help for new writers.

Too busy running your business to tell people about your business?  Let me tell 'em for you.

Want help writing the perfect essay, story, or blog post?  I'm your gal.  

Searching for your unique writer's voice?  I'm listening. 

Need someone to speak to your English class, book club, professional sports' arena filled with adoring writing fans who were expecting David Sedaris but he somehow, inexplicably, ended up bound and gagged in a broom closet?  Hey, you've got my number.

There's also a Facebook page where you can, you know, go 'like' my business and stuff.  I know!  It's like Christmas in March, huh?

Please go check it out!  And if you or someone you know could use 'DeNae Handy: Professional Writing Services,' just say the word and we'll get to work!

That is, we'll get to work as soon as my fudge reaches the 'soft ball' stage. 

After all, a girl's got to have her priorities straight.


Dixie Mom said...

Congrats on your new'll go places with that one girl!
Bloggy conference sounds fun...but the whirlwind around it?....Just breathe! :)

Lara said...

Love the new biz, DeNae. Congrats! Perhaps I will employ you to help me get my desire to blog back?

My mom grew up in La Jolla, just walking distance from that beach. I used to swim there all the time as a kid, before the seals took over. Such great memories! And that baby seal! Got my cuteness fix for the day, thank you!

I love that you got to go to Melanie's launch party...from the sounds of it, she knows how to put on a party!

Garden of Egan said...

After reading this post I'm tired. I need to go sit on the couch with a pan of fudge just to recover.

Looks like you've had a a ton of fun. You met famous people and are a more famous people than you've ever been before!

Cute pix of the family in the warm summer beaches of Cali.

Kristina P. said...

I LOVE that slide. You and me, my friend. We are on the same wave length about that. I am super, duper proud of you. You were the star!

And I'm not even going to mention how jealous I am that you met Francesca, since I am super classy and not at all bitter.

Becca said...

Things I love right now:
- grounded baby seals
- your cute fam in SD
-Mel's party, from a too-big distance
-fudge, right out of the pan
- you, teaching us all how to write

That's a lot to love.
Also, I think my Kid 1 and I need to come to your house for a little vacay.
Also, again, my word-veri is Chingra, which I'm pretty sure is some kind of paid escort in central America...

Lisa Loo said...

I love you---Amen.

(She said in her least creepy non-stalker voice)

Lisa Loo said...

Oh--and I wanted to say how proud I was of you for posting all those pics!!!!

InkMom said...

Good job, D! Exciting news, indeed.

Marissa said...

Your presentation at BBC had me mesmerized. I loved every minute of it! Like you, I started my blog so that I could write. My goal has always been to write a children's book, but I tend to procrastinate so I started a blog to get me in the habit of writing. I also love that you're a music teacher. I just recently started teaching piano to a student in my ward (I'm the Primary pianist.) Anyway, congrats on the new business! What a great resource for all of us writers :)

Rebecca said...

How cool, DeNae! I'd hire you--but I don't think I could afford you. That sounded like an amazing trip!

By the way, I read the title of your workshop as "Narrative Orc and the Writer's Voice." ;)

Ness said...

Hahaha! The baby seal slapped you! Those baby seals. Jerks, the whole lot of 'em! So excited for your new business! You can do it!!! :D

wendy said...

I am glad you got to hook up with Melanie...I bet you ROCKED the conference!!!!
cause that's how you roll

Kazzy said...

Glad you had fun at the SITS conference. I'll bet you rocked it. And the lunch thing was just a bonus for all of your attendees.

Cute seals.

And I am so excited for Melanie. :)

Melanie Jacobson said...

I will give you a baby seal if you want one. But they kinda stink.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm so glad I got to see you for the 4.3 seconds you were at Melanie's party. And your husband is seriously awesome!

idaho said...

DeNae Darling, where's your "contact me" button?

Consider this your first official serious inquiry into book editing. (Unless of course someone else has already seriously inquired.) I have a writer for a husband. I just can't see the marriage surviving my editing any of his books, but I desperately want him published. Mostly because at some point, it would be nice to have money. :D

Staci Kramer said...

I'm in. I want to be one of your blogging minions. I like my blog but I have no idea how to get anyone on planet earth to actually read it. My husband wont even keep up. Not that it's not readable, in fact, it is totally entertaining (to me) I think it is worthy of readers and comments and followers and eventually even advertisers but I have NO idea how to go about promoting it. would you take a look and tell me what it would cost me to get some basic help? my budget is low, but I swear I'm fun at a party and I have a sneaking suspicion that you may be my long lost soul sister or something. can't wait to hear from you. see I don't even have a cute title or theme (luckily I'm chock full of fabulous ideas) I'd love to collaborate.

Staci Kramer said...

also, I always enjoy your posts even though I am one of those annoying blog stalkers who never leaves comments. If you do have time to check out my blog and find it worthy of your time I would be so excited. just wanted to give you a few options to get a hold of me or 480-248-4719 or if you aren't interested in consulting me (don't worry I wouldn't be offended) you probably know people who would. Your name just keeps popping back into my head when I think about my blogging goals so I went with my gut and dropped you a line. No rush but I am VERY curious to get an honest critique from a knowledgeable third party. give it to me straight.

AS Amber said...

Sister!! I'm so excited for your new business. I just can't tell you enough how much I believe in you. You're going to be so great at this.

I love, love, love all the pictures from the weekend! Those seals? Those kids? That husband? You telling people to settle down? Adorable!!!

I have a very important letter to write. I'll be in touch with you.


seashmore said...

You did a wonderful job of making me want to go to La Jolla.

Congrats on the new business!! One more reason to make you my idyllic hero...heroic idol...not sure...

My favorite part of college was my internship, which was proofing copies of an award-winning magazine. That's my career goal, and friends look at me funny when I tell them that.

Qait said...

Awesome! That conference sounds so fun!
You appeared in my dream last night. It was only awkward once I woke up. You see, we small-talked for a tiny bit, and then you pointed out that my butt crack was showing. I thanked you for not sticking a pen in it...or calling it a credit card swipe like my sister would, and you were kind of appalled that my sister would say such things. Then you walked away busy with some blogging conference.
I wish I could remember what we talked about BEFORE the whole plumber's crack incident....

Cheeseboy said...

These blog conferences just do not appear to be my cup of tea. They look far too much like teaching conferences where I am the only dude in the audience and everyone thinks I am adorable because I am there.

Wait, maybe I should rethink this blog conference thing.

Congrats on your new business. I hope it goes well for you.

Gabriela said...

Loved your talk at BBCSD, bawling and all! Congratulations on the business. Love the baby seals, hope the one that slapped you got grounded too like the one who was blasting its iPod.

Rebecca said...

I found your blog when you reviewed "The List" and then I read this post....I was laughing out loud. I love when that happens! So, anyway - thanks for the funny:)