Friday, August 31, 2007

Heather Graham's Writers Workshop - NOLA

This weekend is the Heather Graham's Writers Conference in New Orleans.
This is the second conference Heather has had so for. But, this out of all of the conferences I've ever attended is my favorite one.

The first year is was small and cozy. I was honored to meet Heather, Christine Feehan, and Kate Duffy, editor, along with many other great authors. "Kathleen Pickering was a sweetheart, she made me and my sister feel very welcome, thanks Kathleen." And I got to meet a great friend Veronika... She flew down last night and I picked her up from the airport, I showed them a little of the Katrina damaged area, stuff you don't truly see on TV. Then brought them to the hotel. I can't wait for it to get started today...I here they have about 50 more registered than last year, but thats fine. The city needs the tourist spending their dollars.......

I'll report at the end of the weekend how it went.
p.s. I have (3) editors appts. to pitch my voodoo story. I'll also let you know about that too.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Remembering Katrina Part III

You know people who don't live here in New Orleans, want to know what the heck is going on?

Why is there so many houses still left as it was after the flood? Why is the government still paying people to help them get on there feet? Why are they still electing idiots into office? What about the mental health of people who lived to tell the story? I'll try and answer the best to my knowledge as I see it.

1.) What's going on? A lot of rebuilding, and at the same time a lot of people still moving out other parishes near New Orleans.

2.) Houses still the same? Yes, there are many reasons for this. 1.) Corps of Engineers created crappy levees, didn't keep them up like they were supposed to. They blame higher government for not paying them to do this. ~ Also many people didn't have insurance, some are elderly and can't rebuild. ~ Then you have some who have insurance, but they won't pay up. ~ Then you have those that are afraid to come back, and afraid to sell hoping they can get the nerve to come back. ~ Then theres those that just can careless anymore.

3.) Why is government still paying some people? Well, I guess they feel responsible for the levee's that weren't built and maintained properly?? I don't know why. I do know sometimes it makes me mad seeing some people take advantage of it, those who can work, those who can take care of themselves, but won't. That pisses me off. Just like it does everyone else. But, most of these people were living off the government before Katrina, so that's that.

4.) Electing idiots? God only knows this answer. I didn't elect them. Most of my friends and family members didn't elect them either. I have no clue how it could have happened? Maybe it was because the mayor bussed in thousands from Houston and where ever, maybe he made the deal sweet for them, I have no clue... It smells is all I can say.....

5.) The mental minds of the victims? This varies greatly. One example, last week I was getting my haircut, and my hair stylist tells me his neighbor died after she dropped her kids off of school. No one knows how she died? She was 39-40? Her home flooded, her husband lost his job, but was in school learning a new trade, school just started for her two little boys, dropped them off and never picked them back up. -- Katrina Stress? Could be. I can believe it.

Then you have people living in there cars, or living in there gutted houses, or fema trailers. People so tired of working on their homes. It's hard work. If only these people can hold out for the reward, they'll be okay.

We need mental treatment clinics/hospitals..there is no help for those depressed, stressed or anything. I can't figure that one out!! Everyday someone commits suicide here along the gulf coast. (still) Though thats not reported...

But then everyday, someone moves back home. You've got the good and the bad. The hurricane didn't destroy New Orleans like it did Biloxi and other Louisiana areas, the levees broke.
No matter what, I'm still glad to call New Orleans my home... I love it!!!


Remembering Katrina Part II

This morning the news was on and the newscasters were interviewing people, and showing new businesses up and running. It was great to see this. I try really hard to not venture into the devastated areas if I can help it. But, on occasions I have no choice. My husband and I own a construction company. We've helped re-build many, many buildings so hospitals, stores, clinics, and many businesses can put their workers back to work. It's been a really hard time, but to be honest keeping busy kept me going. All contractors around were so busy we didn't have time to think other than work. There were some who just sat back and did nothing, they were too out of it to jump in quickly and get back on the horse... Some of those are going out of business.

Well this morning and all week I've been hearing the 2 yr. anniversary is coming up, and here it is today. "2 years"... for many people it seems like 20 yrs. or 10 yrs. and to some it seems like just yesterday. Everyone's stories are different, like mine, like my family and my friends.

After I dropped off my daughter at school this morning I was on my way to work. I looked in my rear view mirror and what do I see? Flashing blue and red lights. I know, I know, it was my fault I was doing 30 in a 20, and I hadn't even realized it. He pulls me over, and then he proceeds to introduce himself. (I can't remember his name, it was a stressful moment) He said "hello, I'm officer so & so." I look up at him through my sun glasses. "Good morning sir."
Then he proceeds. "Mam', do you know you were doing 10 miles over the speed limit", I glanced at my speedometer as if that would help me out. "Really? No I didn't realize, I was just trying to dodge all the pot holes." He glanced at my dash board too, and then replied. "Yes. There are a lot of them. Can I see your license, registration and insurance papers." I stare at him and it took a second to absorb his words. "Oh. Okay, sure." I get all the stuff he asked for realizing I couldn't find my current insurance papers, now I'm thinking Oh Sh**!! I hand him the expired one. He looks over it and then glances back at me. "Make sure you don't speed down these side streets anymore. Have a good day."

I'm staring at him dumb founded. Duh. What just happened? The toughest city to get a ticket in, the meanest cops on the westbank, and this guy was a sweetheart. "Thank you," I said and then watched him drive away..... Now it hits me.... My heart thumps hard... If I would have gotten this ticket, it would have been my undoing. I felt my eyes swell with tears, my throat burned, I felt my pulse in my temples. I almost let myself crumble a little today, 2 years after Katrina... The cop saved me by doing a nice gesture and letting me off with a warning. "Thank you!" I feel blessed again, something so simple... This is life after Katrina... Still a little stressful, (or a lot depending on who you are) yet you keep telling yourself "I'm blessed." And I am....

And to be truthful, this is why I love to write and read, why I think millions of people write and read, we all want a fantasy world to escape to. Something to make us feel better when your having a bad day. "To be entertained"...I'm glad I found writing after Katrina, truly. I may not be great at it, but the journey it's taking me along the way is amazing. Oh, and the amazing people I've met in the short two years of writing, wow you'd not believe what great people!!!

p.s. RE: Voodoo Style~ I'm on Chapter 15, didn't finish as I hoped, but I'm still going to push myself. Hopefully before next week, the hubby & I are going to the coast to relax and take a break. --- I'm going to do a little blog at Myspace at well, but a different one. If you want to check it out go to http://www.myspace.dawntheauthor


Remembering Katrina

I will do a couple post today regarding Katrina because New Orleans is my home. Always will be.

Here is a link of some really poetic pictures for the aftermath. Check them out. This news station will have coverage I believe all day and tonight are several special gatherings. The city is coming back, a little slow, but it's still alive.

Hope this works.

Dawn Chartier

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finished 13!!!!

I finished writing Chapter 13, and the story is becoming spookier, and more romantic at the same time... Nothing like a good spook for the heroine to get closer to the hero, right?

Kelly is determined to stay in the haunted house, if she leaves, she's afraid Trey will board it up and lock her out, and she has no where else to go. Other than to his place and get her heart broke once again...No thank you, she'd rather deal with a ghost.

Trey is afraid for Kelly staying there alone, the ghost has already hurt her friend, him and he's sure she'll be next. He wants her to go to his place, but she's too hard headed to leave...Women!

On to Chapter 14...........

Friday, August 24, 2007

No writing but watch the Saints kick butt!

Last night I was bad, I didn't write. But, it was worth it. I watched the awesome Saints kick some Chiefs butt.... (I have to make a correction on my last post, I thought they were playing against the Colts, but my hubby tells me NOT!! that will be on a Monday night, but not this monday) Well, what do I know... I have to say all the Saints Players looked great. I have to put a shout out to my favorite Saint "Scott Fujita" #55, Emmm... I love him!!! I'm mean look at that picture, he hit the guy so hard his helmet flew off...Emmm...Yeah, my husband knows, everytime I see him on the screen I sigh, and get that funny look from the man sitting next to me..., I can't help it.... I hadn't seen him play all pre-season because he hurt his foot on a water poor baby....I'd kiss it for him.......haha... Anyhow, I attached a few pics...and I will get plenty writing done tonight, maybe finish a entire chapter...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I feel good, da na na na..I knew that I would..da na na na....(james brown)....yep thats the song in my head...

cause its true I do feel good. I finished chapter 12. I'll start 13 tomorrow...

I need to figure out how many pages I've written total, that will be next.

Tomorrow night is the Saints game (GEAUX SAINTS), I think we are playing the Superbowl Champs "Colts" those Colts too, but not this year Colts, it's our turn to be champs for once...

Anywho, just wanted to share my happiness...


Started Chapter 12

Started 12 last night, didn't get too far with a hubby wanting to spend time with me. (3 pages)
I'll write for lunch today and write tonight too. Seems like I'm always trying to catch up....Hey no one said writing a book in a couple of weeks would be easy. Right?

If I haven't mentioned this before, I'm a co-owner of a forum with two other great wonderful writers "Dawn McClure and Nikki Duncan" check it out at Romantic Realm of Shadows... (if this link does not work, I have the link listed on the side bar, along with our myspace page too-- we are everywhere..)
We interview authors of all kinds...we give free books away...we chat...we network....we help each other....hope to see you there....


Monday, August 20, 2007

3rd Attempt to blog

I'm not sure what happened yesterday but I tried to post twice, but it didn't work.
Now, I'm trying to remember what I blogged about...hmmm....

Okay, here's what I think I said.
1.) I'm almost done with writing Chapter 11 - Voodoo Style
2.) I published my first article in my local writers RWA chapter called The Last Word - SOLA. (that was fun)
3.) Saturday was SOLA's monthly meeting and we had a wonderful speaker. This lady could give you tons to help you add depth to your characters. She's a psychologist. "Margaret Nichols", and living in New Orleans post do the math....I could have listened to her for 2 more hours at least...too bad it was only 1 hr. Really, she had a very interesting speech and I'd love to hear her again.
4.) Heather Graham's New Orleans writers conference is coming up quickly...(and I'm still not complete with Voodoo Style (my book), it's coming, just not fast enough...yikes!

Ok, that's about it for now. Back to writing....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Update of events

I'm not so happy right now. I thought I posted a new blog, and then went to view the 4 paragraphs I wrote, and they were not there.... That wasn't nice blogger!!!

Now I'll do a summary of everything cause I'm tired and ready for bed.
1.) Finishing up Chapter 11 of Voodoo Style.
2.) I wrote my first article in "The Last Word" Newletter for SOLA (Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, Inc. Chapter 42) The article is "My first RWA National conference".....I thought that was cool....
3.) I wanted to mention our guest speaker and a member of SOLA Margaret Nichols did a wonderful job on her speech. "Crazy for you: Adding a psychiatric dimension to your character", I could have listened to her for hours...
4.) Still listening to "Devil May Cry" by Sherrilyn Kenyon : Loving it!!! I saw it made #8 on Best Selling books!! You go girl!!!

That's about it for now...
Take care,

Weather looking good / Writing okay too

So far the weather is looking pretty good for NOLA, seems Dean wants to visit Mexico, and maybe Texas. I pray for both of them. I know Texas doesn't need anymore rain at this point, and then nothing like Dean. Keeping everyone in my thoughts.

I wrote 10 new pages today. I'm about to complete Chapter 11. I'm liking where the story is taking me. A little romance, a little mystery, a little spooky, and little action. Nope can't write just about romance and paranormal, have to have it all....

Oh, just wanted to mention. I went to my local RWA meeting this Saturday and our great speaker was Margaret Nichols, she was great. Margaret is a Psychologist. I'd love to pick her brain, and I tried to, but so many people crowded her after the meeting it was impossible. Her speech was on "Crazy for you: Adding a psychiatric dimension to your characters." She talked about some serious psycho people. Great job Margaret! I hope you get to speak again one day.

What I'm reading right now? Well I'm listening to "Devil may cry" by my favorite author Sherrilyn Kenyon. I"m loving all the new things I'm learning from this book, so many answers to questions I've had.." Great job SK....

Bye for now.

Friday, August 17, 2007

No Hurricane's for NOLA please

Ok, so Dean is now a hurricane, and I have to say he needs to stay his butt away from the gulf coast. Especially New Orleans / Mississippi area for sure. --- Dean you've been warned.

Now, I have to share a little fun news. My local RWA chapter is publishing a little article I wrote. I'm like oh wow. I'm being pubbed for the first time.. I've been joking with the friends sending them my article and saying I've made it... haha...only us writers truly get it...

I'm just about finished chapter 10, although I'm having a little sticky moment right now on what my character wants to do next...they are not giving too many hints, maybe they want me to be surprised too...ha.. oh well....after my RWA meeting tomorrow we shall see where they take me..

Night yall....Keep your eyes opened on mean Dean...

Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Catch up --- Not as much...

Didn't catch up as I planned, but I'm not giving up.
Yesterday I fiddled with a query letter for a contest for Heather Graham's writers workshop.
Kate Duffy is the judge, and as everyone knows she's my idol. I respect her so much, she's been around long enough to know the business inside and out, and I totally admire that about her. So, anyway I worked on my query, I think it's directly to the point straight into the action like she likes it. Anyway wish me luck on the contest, would be great if she loved the story even if it doesn't win. I'm still on Chapter 9, but I'm going to bust my booty to get it completed by the time this conference comes. (First Draft, not polished). I can do it -- I can do it --- I can do it.....

Good luck to those in Fast Draft this week and next, may the writing gods be with you.(haha) Thanks again Candace Havens & Nikki Duncan for the free book, and for the valuable info on your website with the Fast Draft class....Awesome!!!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Been out

Sorry I haven't updated my blog lately, I was sick with a magraine on Thursday, I rarely get those but when I do they kick my butt. Friday was at the Saints first pre-season home game. They played well, but lost by 3. Saturday went to the French Qtr. with the hubby to meet artist Juan Mendina. Wonderful artist, very talented... Today, I'll get back to the laptop and try to play catch up. Have the house to myself, should do well....

I'm starting Chapter 9.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Page Count about 10

I actually forgot to count today, and I'm not sure what page I started on, I think I did about 10 pages today.

Long day at work so a little too tired to push myself harder. I had to stand outside in the 110 (felt like) temperature at a jobsite in Houma. Seriously, actual temperature was around 95. Can you say "HOT!!!"

I'm about done on Chapter 8, have about 12 chapters to go. Yikes! haha... Not bad, I should be complete the first draft in a few weeks....

Can't wait till HEATHER GRAHAM'S New Orleans Writers Conference, it's going to be a blast!! Last years was, this year will be even better.... Aug 30-Sept 1 (sign up if you haven't yet!) Come on down to New Orleans! (I promise to keep the voodoo away from you.-haha)


Monday, August 6, 2007

11 pages today

Seems like I'm not doing as well as I hoped on fast draft, but the good thing is I'm writing everyday. I've not given up. I think 6 pages was my min. and today I wrote 11 pages. Not bad in one hour. (I did that on my lunch break at work). I planed to do more tonight, but the office had an outting and we all had a couple drinks, now I've got a bad headache. Not from drinking, but from laughing so hard. And my boss has a huge laugh, and he laughed right in my ear most of the time. Ouch... I tried covering my ear so he' d get the hint. It didn't work.

Okay, if anyone is in Harahan, LA try the new Copelands, it re-opened and the food is great. Not so much on the Westbank, but Harahan's is much better.

Goin' to bed.
Tomorrow will push more.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Fast Draft Update -- Voodoo Style

Today I'm up to Chapter 7. I wrote 6 pages this morning. Took a break. My daughter called and said she had a wreck. My heart never pumped so hard in all my life. I get to the scene, and she's crying the airbags are out, the front of her car bashed in, the windshield broken, but most important she is okay. A hurt arm, and sore body, but over all, she's okay. (sending a thank you prayer upstairs). My nerves are a little shot so I don't think I'll write anymore till tomorrow.

I think I'm doing pretty good so far. Seven Chapters not bad.

Take care, I'll be writing tomorrow early.
Dawn Chartier
Fantasy on the Rocks!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tired Tonight

Tonight the brain doesn't want to be creative for some reason.
I could just type a bunch of crap which would be better than a blank page,
but I'm just beat. Tomorrow I work 1/2 day, I'll try and catch up.
I wrote 6 full pages today, my goal was to at least write a chapter a day.
I'm about 8 or 9 pages short.

Yikes, a spider was just crawling on my leg. Gesh, it was testing my heart out I guess.
Living in the woods is great sometimes, other times I wonder how they grow those bugs so big out here?? Amazing.

Till tomorrow, It will be a more productive day, I promise myself.
Dawn Chartier
Fantasy on the Rocks!

Websites before you are published??

If you are playing around with the idea of creating a professional website before you are published, let me recommend you go for it. Reason number one is to show how serious you are about writing to the publishing industry. They get to see a little about you on the website. I think it's important that editors and agents know a little about you as you do about them. It's a relationship, no more like a partnership. Both wanting the same results. To sell lots of books.
They should like you and mesh well with your personality (at least most of it), and you with them. That is very important. Gotta be happy first, then rich second.

Second reason to have a website is because you get e-mails from readers that ask "when is your book coming out?" I love it when people email me and say I love your excerpt, when and where can I find your book? It's a thrill to see they are actually interested in something you are writing. That can do wonders when your in the midst of writing your next manuscript. I huge boost... I always tell them, I'm going to add your e-mail to my list and you'll be one of the first to know when it hits the shelves. And believe me, they will be one of the first along with my entire family, friends, neighbors, postman, grocery store clerk, children's teachers, my hair stylist, pretty much anyone I know and meet. ... I "so" can't wait for the day... You'll hear me scream all the way from New Orleans. So yes, get a website. If you can't afford a professional one, then just do a temporary one. Yahoo provides a template where you can type up to I think 200 words, it's really cheap. Do it if you are serious about writing. Oh, and keep it updated, very important.

FAST DRAFT UPDATE: Okay, tonight I have 18.5 pages to write. I wrote 1.5 this morning before work. Not bad in twenty minutes time.

Have a great Thursday,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

15 pages Fast Draft

Well tonight I finished an entire chapter. Not too bad, huh.
I would have liked to at least write 20 pages, but the chapter ended at 15 pages long.
I'm too tired to start on chapter 6, so I figured I'd rest up and start again tomorrow.
Can I write the entire chapter 6 tomorrow? I think I can. I'll let you know.

Listening to: The news in the back ground from the t.v.

Night ya'll.
Dawn Chartier