N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

CVS 2.0 (Blog Bite)

I’m tired of being a fan.
I’m tired of being a wannabe writer.
And I’m ready to do something about it.

This year, attending Balticon was not as fun as it had been in the past. Why? Because I wanted to be a guest not an attendee…ok, not even a guest, but I wanted to be there as something more than a fan!
Coming back from Balticon, I shared this with the other members of CVS (my writing group). Now, with their help we are pushing CVS 2.0!

What IS CVS 2.0 you ask?
Well, it’s hard to explain, but we had gotten caught in a rut (like all writing groups do). Our submissions were down, our goals were not being reached, we were devolving into a social group.

Well, we’ve decided that is not what we want out of CVS! As a group we’ve committed to renewing our dedication to writing…and to one another! It’s time for us to push one another to write…to ask one another what we are doing to get published…to go en masse to cons and start developing the sort of web of support and acknowledgement that gets new authors the buzz they need to succeed.

Ok, so look out world…we’ve decided to leave the cats alone and come after you. And boy do we have a story to tell!!!

Peacin’ it,

P.S. Thanks to DL Thurston and Day for being so 2.0 about this new direction!!!

Balticon and a roar of a start…

Balticon is always a wake-up call for me. It is a weekend spent with people that are succeeding at something I aspire to. Be it podcasting or writing these people are DOING what I feel like I only give lip service to. Now I know that is not true, I know what I am doing behind this screen and I know it to be valuable and worthwhile. STILL, it does not stop those feeling of inferiority from creeping up on me like the murderer in a mystery story during the rest of the year.

Yet when I come to Balticon, instead of feeling bad I’m broken out of my funk and into the bright light of, “I CAN DO THIS!” Every year Day and I drive back on Monday (Memorial Day), talking about the plans for Unleaded and our various stories…from here came the idea for Unleaded in the first place and the first novel I wrote, from just those 2 hours-ish driving back after a weekend of being submerged in writer/podcaster nirvana.

This year though…this year was different.

Honestly, I was disappointed…not only in myself but in Balticon. I felt like a fan. A fan is not what I EVER wanted to be. It’s not that fans are bad…I just don’t want to be one. I want to be a writer. I want to be a podcaster. I want to be ON the panels not IN them. I want Balticon to allow me to rub elbows with my peers…and I want those peers not to be clambering for autographs and dressed up in hall costumes, but instead talking about the process of writing and their love of it (or hell, even just bitching about it over a beer).

Being a fan at Balticon is not nearly as fun as being an aspiring something…

And yet, I was still aspiring enough to become hideously disappointed when the panelists (SPECIFICALLY MODERATORS) had A) no clue what the panel was about, B) made it clear they had no clue what it was about, C) made no attempt to prepare for the panel, and D) plainly didn’t care. This happened more than once and it was such a terrible blow that I found myself attending things I would never have sat in on just because the person moderating it had an interest in the topic.

Argh, sorry…but that really burned my butt this weekend.

Anyway, to get back to the point…I found myself at a loss this year.  I had no novel to show off, I had little interest in the people that had little interest in the panels, and I was stuck being the timid fan girl.  I hated Balticon right then, for showing me what I was failing…namely myself.  I never wanted to feel this way, but there it was and I had to do something about it.

What did I do?  I made a plan.  “In Harm’s Way” will be edited and submitted to my group this year…AND I’m going to work on the joint project with Day all summer and make it my NANO novel.  I’m also starting Unleaded again, it is about 10 minutes of my time once a day…there is no reason I can’t give it that attention.

So…the corner had been turned, the terrible bleakness that descended upon me during Balticon has given way to a new obsession, and let us hope next year I will be pandering my novel to anyone who shows the least bit of interest.

Do you hear me? Because I’m talking about YOU…I see you hiding back there, the Balticon attendee who doesn’t really know who I am, but you see I KNOW who you are and you cannot escape my new determination to become a published novelist!


Find your leaf and turn it,


Welcome to another year…

I went back to take a look at last year’s resolutions today to see how I did…

Well, I can honestly say I spent more time writing and less time doing other things (since I gave up WOW and we got rid of cable this was an easy one).

And I think I spent more time living life and less time being afraid of it…case in point the 2 trips to Hawaii and driving cross country with a U-Haul. Seriously, a few years ago I don’t know if I would have been able to handle the emotional stress it took to do these things.

As for organization and procrastination…no amount of wishing is going to help with that and no amount of resolutions is going to change it. These resolutions shouldn’t be resolutions but should be something I spend time and energy trying to correct. Life goals rather than reorganization of energy.

I’d say my resolutions ended up being half and half. The ones I was really hoping to hold onto I did…the ones that were necessary but not as important got shoved to the side. Not a bad year, not a great one but hey every little bit helps.

So, now what?

Well, this year I’d like to really up my stamina. I want to keep up with my New York friends when they take off down Broadway like a speeding bullet.

I want to have a very special conversation with my parents.

I want to give more and keep less.

I want to find that place, that tribe, that community I can finally call my own, and I want to be there for them like they are for me.

Just little things that will restore my faith in myself and the world around me, that will encourage me to grow and spread my wings into who I am and who I can be.

Wish me luck.

Find you peace and live it, even if your resolutions make things complicated.


P.S. One of the hard line resolutions I gave Day this year was to keep up with my blog, aka post once a week…so here I am posting. Look at me go.