This weekend I was at the Jubilee Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA. It is a small, but very well respected conference.

Harley Jane Kozak was the keynote speaker, if that tells you anything.

Besides the funny and inspiring keynote address by Ms. Kozak, I attended two workshops given by Cherry Adair. She is a funny and very personable lady (as were the other authors I talked to) and in the last workshop she made an amazing announcement.

She said if we, the participants in that workshop, could finish a book – that is finish, polish and have ready to submit, in a year (actually, the deadline is about 11 months away), she would put the name of all finishers in a hat (bag, box, basket, something) and pull out one. For the winner, Ms. Adair would provide an all expense (hotel, airfare and registration) trip to the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle, where she lives, for October 2011!

How’s that for motivation?

Well, of course, I signed up for the challenge, and last night, after coming home from Houma, Beloved and I sat down and figured out my career plan (something from the other workshop I attended). I figured out that I could conceivably write two 300-page books in a year.

So, I got up today (only hitting the snooze once) and sat down to work on this new book – one I kinda plotted out doing NaNoWriMo in 2005.

Then I was sidetracked. Sword & Illusion needs to be edited, as Beloved critiqued it while I was gone and apparently “fixed” some of the “plot problems” with his own ideas that I will have to re-fix or veto. Then I have to read and critique his book Cult of the Red Tears. After all, it’s only fair for all the work he’s done on my book.

So, I’m hoping to start work on Stretched to the Limit next week. I’ll keep you posted!