Here, pass me a bit o' that grog, me Hoodlum hearties!
When I came back from the RWA National Convention in San Francisco at the beginning of August, my mind was filled to capacity will all the new things I had learned from the three days packed with workshops. I also brought back a summer cold -- that's what happens when you're milling around with thousands of people. It took me about a week to decompress from all that energy and excitement.
(I must be an introvert/extrovert hybrid. I like interacting with people, but I do get a little nervous and do need to re-charge my batteries afterwards.)
Anyway, one of the lessons learned from the hours of flattening my spreading buttocks, either sweltering or freezing in the various workshops, was the importance of networking. There were several classes on promoting yourself as a writer. I attended a couple and my roommate went to a few different ones. I did craft workshops, too, but I wanted to conquer my fear of, get this, what if I actually get published! Yes, crazy as it seems since I'm not even done with my manuscript (but I do have a first draft done that needs lots of TLC), I'm fearing the future of me alone in the bookstore doing a booksigning and no one wanting to buy my book. Wahhhhh! So, I wanted to get a handle on what to do later so I can get back to focusing on writing now. Did that make sense?
It turns out that blogging is a powerful maketing/promotional tool, but when done alone may be too much for a person to maintain, especially when she's supposed to be writing her novel. The group blog, hence grog, emerged and can now be found all over that newfangled thing called the internet. For those who remember (I'm dating myself), it's like that old shampoo commercial, if you tell two friends and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on.
Kathi accused me of tippling too much grog and thought I had misspelled the word when we were discussing this. In this instance, I was stone-cold sober (which is not always the case, but I digress). I do love me ration o' rum!
Marilyn, diva of technology, jumped on creating our Romancing the Hood Grog and here we are!
I'm thrilled and delighted to be a part of this. My history with the Hoods is similar to all the other stories already posted. I lurked for the longest time on eHarlequin's Writing Round Robin and entered my very first contest for Rocki's hurricane story. I was POSITIVE I'd win. *sniff* Much to my chagrin, I didn't...and didn't...and didn't...dang! Where they not getting my entries? Where the editors blind to my stunning writing abilities? I went to the community bulletin board and lurked around reading everyone's posts and began to feel a really special bond with several of the members: Linda, Marilyn, Blueberri, Darc, Kathi, Dreamy, and more. I slowly braved posting comments. At this point, I felt sort of secure in realizing that these people weren't mass murders, sociopaths, or otherwise psychos ready to track me down to my home through the internet. Hey, I've been drilling the dangers of the internet to the kids so give me a break!
New Writing Round Robins came and went but the steady group of core contributors stayed with it and kept the dialog going on the bullient board. Kathi finally had enough and moved us off to a private group, where we've been happily babbling amoungst ourselves. Over the years, we've had a couple of people drop out, but really we've become a second family for each other. We tell our fears, failure, and obstacles and get encouragemets and advice. We share our triumphs and pop cyber-champagne for each other. In many instances, our little writing family know more about each other than our real families and long time friends. Everyone of the Hood probably know more about me than my brothers and dad. Sure, I talk with my family, but it's different.
The Hood's common bond is writing. But as we grumble and moan about all the internal and external conflicts that we have as a writer, we also talk about other aspects of our lives. We did this email after email throughout the day, day after day, for years. How can't we know each other better than family members whom we see once a week (if you're lucky or not depending of how you feel about them) or once a month or even once a year.
I'm so happy I found my Hood family! I hope that everyone can find or create a support group as wonderful as this one.
Your Mischievous Anne