Love for my mentor…Lynne Silver #Beshert

Tell a person they’ve done a good job and often they will tell you the name of someone they couldn’t have done it without. For me, that person is Lynne Silver. This past weekend, Lynne was presented the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring award at the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat in Westminster, MD. I cannot tell you how honored I am to have had the nomination letter I wrote be a small part of that. If I’m a good writer, it’s because Lynne is an outstanding mentor to me…

Dear WRW (Washington Romance Writers) President,

I am nominating Lynne Silver for the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring Award.

I’m not sure when I realized that the lady I’d seen at monthly chapter meetings and Lynne Silver were one in the same. What I do know is that on November 16, 2011, my birthday of all days, I left a light-hearted, somewhat joking response to Pintip’s Waterworld Mermaids post about Accountability Partners. Lynne left a thought-provoking comment that had me staring at my laptop, hand over mouth, gawking. See below:

Carlene: I think I need an AP for shaving my legs! And writing of course but darn, with the cooler weather lately and the long pants, I’m just saying!!! Love your post P.H.!

Lynne: I’d love an accountability partner. I’ve been eyeing large wall calendars at Staples to start planning manuscripts and due dates. Hey- we all want to have multiple deadlines at multiple publishing houses someday, we might as well pretend we’re there now and get some practice in. Carlene, if you’re really looking, I’d love to be APs with you. Email me cause I also have something else to ask you about. Lynne

Lynne Silver wanted to work with me? You’d think I’d just been asked out on a date by Casey James! (This is major, friends. It would be the equivalent of most people in the room being asked to take a trip to the moon with Jamie Fraser.) I had a small freaking out moment as I read her words. And then I went and Googled Lynne and saw that she had published like, a load of books! They looked so good too. There were dukes and mistresses and debutantes, all super sexy looking to little ole me who had written a couple gigantic stories that needed serious work. She wanted to work with me? Maybe this Lynne Silver person was crazy.

In complete fan-girl mode, I wrote back to her. Don’t have a clue as to what I said but whatever it was, it must have been good because we became not just accountability partners, but critique partners. I actually do remember that she wanted me to read her work because of my infatuation with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Note to writers, let your freak flags fly and obsessions be known, they could snag you an amazing partner too. The first thing I read for Lynne was amazing, the first of her Coded for Love books. I loved it. It was pretty much flawless but I did get to have one moment where I felt worthy of being this woman’s partner. She’d misspelled her heroine’s name and also left a butt plug (can we say that in an award nomination letter?) (Sorry Ms. WRW President, wink) in place and forgot to remove it. Score one for little ole me ‘cuz I caught the mistakes! Now, I wasn’t just blushing and walking around the house grinning from reading Lynne’s super-hot writing (I’d never read anything like it before), I felt like I might be “writerly” enough to hang with her. Lynne was super appreciative of my comments, excited even, which made me feel overjoyed.


The book where those wee little mistakes were caught. 😉

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The Lucky Girl Has Got You Covered

I’m a lucky girl.

In many many ways but today I want to talk about the physical luck I have been blessed with and the whys and hows of it so that you too can be lucky.

So I tend to do really well at raffles.  I’d gone into this past spring’s Washington Romance Writers Retreat already having a reputation for being this lucky girl who wins.  So, yes I had people rubbing my arm, shaking my hand, basically touching me anywhere that seemed appropriate to get some of this luck.

Do you know that nearly everyone who touched me won something that day?

It was pretty amazing!

It felt good to share in the luck.  Did the thought cross my mind that my name hadn’t been called yet as I sat there watching everyone who had touched me go up to claim their prize?  No.  Not until someone made a funny joke about it.  And it was funny!  But worrying I hadn’t won anything was nowhere in my heart.  Guess what?  The very last prize was a paid entrance to next year’s retreat.  Valued at somewhere near $500.  Yep, I won it.

Now would you like to know my secret?  My recipe for this lucky success?

The more you give, the more you get.  But you can’t let that second part be anywhere in your heart when you’re acting on the first.

It’s hard to do that at first, especially since you are reading this and it’s in your thoughts because I just stated it so bluntly.  Trust me; that will go away.  And it took me a while before I learned how to do this too.  I’ve always tried to help others out.  But when I was younger and figuring life out and who I was and wanted to be, I did used to think about these things.  I would talk myself through it.  “Okay, so I’ve done something good and because I’m a human being with faults, I know I shouldn’t be wondering if I’m going to have good karma this week, but I am.”  That’s completely natural and it fades away after a while.

Would you like to know the simplest thing I do every night and in my opinion something that would make this a much better world if you did it too?  I pray for every living being God has put on this planet.  And then I pray for the planet because the trees, oceans and the critters count too.  And it there’s life on Mars?  Well, yes, they count too.

Do you remember within the last decade or so, there was a Russian submarine full of sailors stuck at the bottom of the ocean?  I had watched them on the news that day and it was going to take a miracle to save them.  Aside from my 10th grade pen pal, Vadim Tokarev of Vladivostok (total cutie), I had no reason to worry about some unknown Russian sailors.  Except for that they were human beings trapped!  So I prayed God would save them somehow.  Do you remember that the entire crew was saved?  That day I realized I didn’t need to just pray for my family members and friends.  That it was just as easy for me to say, “God please bless every living being you have created on this planet.”

That pretty much takes care of things if you ask me.  That means I’ve prayed for you today, even if I don’t know you.  Even if your problems seem insurmountable.  Even if you’re having the best day ever and don’t necessarily need me in your corner.  I’m there.

And one last thing, I know sometimes talk of prayer might make some people uncomfortable.  I’m not entirely sure why.  For the only purpose of showing you that prayer and goodness come from all walks of life, I’d like to share that I belong to no religion or church.  I simply lay down every night and ask God to take care of people.  Usually while I’m lying beside my son in his old green and lumpy, (and a little musty) futon mattress.  Surrounded by his football hero posters and one of Rihanna wearing a leotard that I think is a little risqué but he thinks is just right.  We read, we pray and then we sing.  And at the end of the day, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Always love,

Carlene Love