Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Have you ever been so excited about something that you just bought and couldn’t wait to start using it.
Well for me it’s all about shoes and pens. Yes, that’s right, PENS. As in writing utensils. It all started about a year ago at Linganore Winery in Frederick Maryland. I came across this woman named Sandra and she was selling pens. But they weren’t your run of the mill, average BIC pen. They were custom pens. Not like a feather and quill but with beads, spacers and charms. I fell in LOVE. She made me my first pen, the gold/silver number. Ever since then that pen ONLY goes with me to my book events. Well this past week, I saw her again. She was at Creatures, Crimes and Creativity and she had her pens. I was like a kid at Christmas! She saw me and remembered me since we share something in common and she said,

“How is your pen holding up”
I told her that I only use it for signing books at my events and she said
I said, “Because I don’t want anyone else to take my pen” besides, I really don’t want to leave it at work.”
She said, “well you need another pen”. 
which one would you choose?
Ahhhhhh! (cue the heavenly music)
Yes, I do! I need another pen.
So she asked me my favorite football and team and I said, Dallas and then she pointed out this blue/white/silver number and again (cue heavenly music)
I was in LOVE all over again. My hands were sweaty, my mouth went dry and my heart raced. Oh god! I must be having a heart attack. But no, I was having a ‘moment’.
For there in the small cradle, with a glowing light over top of it, was MY pen. My glorious pen! The pen I have been waiting for all of my life. The pen of my dreams….screech!
Ok, I know you must think I’m crazy or neurotic but I’m not. I’m just a sucker for a great pen!
I picked it up and fell in love all over again. Now my baby rests in the cute little pen holder on my brand new desk at work and everyone so jealous. I get to pick it up every day; hold it, feel it’s weight in my hands and watch as the ink flows perfectly from the point. When I finish with it, I wipe it down and set it down gently. (Ok, THAT could sound a little crazy)
But I’m in PEN HEAVEN!
Does this make me write better? I think so. At first I just scrawled out my name, now I take precious moments to make sure that the B and the  S and the W are perfectly created and that when I’m done, I twist the barrel and let the point slide back into its protective shell.
Yes, the right writing utensil makes for perfecting writing.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Have you ever been to a conference and felt like a fish out of water?  I have and it is a very lonely feeling. I'm happy to say that it hardly ever happens to me anymore but sometimes it does. This weekend, I attended the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity in Baltimore Maryland and I can say that friendships were formed and solidified.
Dee, B. SWANGIN, Monica and KR
You see, there I met up with dear friends, Author Dee Lawrence and new author +KR Raye and +Monica Mathis-Stowe . I have known these two beautiful women for about two years and our friendship started as authors supporting one and another and has grown to become a friendship of support, encouragement and downright fun times being had when we are in the same room. We can routinely be heard asking, "Can you take our picture? Wait, Can you take it again?"

This weekend we welcomed into our author sorority, Monica Mathias Stowe. She attended the conference based on a recommendation from Dee. She used the time to write some chapters into her new novel and then on the second night, she got involved with our playtime at the bar. Although there was more picture taking than drinking going on.

Can't you tell?

We all dressed up in our finest and turned heads of everyone in the room. We laughed, joked and gave tips on things such as writing,
conferences and how to walk in five inch heels.
I hope that she will come back and hang out with us because we like hanging out with her.
If you think that author conferences are just full of writing and learning, you are sadly mistaken. Writers conferences are the playground of authors! We have fun all while learning something important. Most importantly, it is about making new friends!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I've been conned and I can't be more happier.

This week I am getting ready for the +mdc3conference in +HuntValleyInn near Baltimore.

I will get to moderate some panels; something I haven't done before and I am as excited at the +RedskinsZap fans were to see +RGIII in the game last night. (PSA: I'm a +DallasCowboys Chic)

I got my assignment and promptly sent an email to the people that I get to 'chat' with. You see, I got 'conned' about two years ago and I refuse to go back! I attending the +BTO conference on the +EASTERNSHORELIFE in 2010 and was hooked. Meeting other authors and getting to talk 'shop' was priceless to me.

I have become a Con Junkie. (Hello: My name is B. Swangin Webster and I'm addicted to writers conferences. Don't judge me!)

Not to mention that +BrianKeene is now coming to the conference, I'm like a girl in a new store holding it's grand opening and all of the +Stilettos Heels are on sale.

So, I've been "conned" and I am not mad about it, I'm actually happy. This is the only way that I can promote myself, and my writing and have fun doing it.

Have you been 'conned' and if you haven't you need to make plans right now to attend at least one next year. You will be glad that you did.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


So, I left off at the part of getting 13 people in three cars to get to +Virginia Beach. The drive would be about an hour from +Williamsburg  and we had three willing drivers.

corralling 13 people for a picture is not easy
Now, the hard part began. The 2 month old didn't like being in his +CarSeatSite but he had no choice. So the plan was devised that he would ride with Nina (that would be me, since I am way to sexy to be a grandma) Don't laugh, there was a t-shirt that said just that!

However, the one year old, who rode down with me, didn't want to give up her +diva throne to the new little prince, was not happy. Not happy at all. Well until she figured out she could ride in the big girl car seat that would make her sit up higher and have the window to herself. Well, I think daddy being in the car also helped.

Then it was loading 11 other people in cars and heading off.

But wait...who knew the way to Virginia beach. The lead car thought they knew but after 45 minutes, we pulled over to find out what the +iPhone Apps had to say and low and behold, we were only about fifteen minutes away.

Now a break in the action for this PSA. I hate tunnels! I don't like them and as we traveled through it, I kept looking for the escape door, you know like the one in the "+Independence Day Movie" with Will Smith...where the dog Boomer ran just in the nick of time before the tunnel blew up....yes, I figure, if it can save Boomer it has to be able to save me. Well I only saw one door and it was open but it was like a little guard booth. Talk about holding my breath the entire time while we were in there. Well I was nearly ready to pass out from depriving myself of oxygen the entire 3 minutes it took for us to come out of there but just as I felt a little faint, I saw the light. No, not that light...but the light at the end of the tunnel. Now I see why that is such a great motivational sentence." (not really relevant, but I wanted to share)
we are all looking in the same direction
I think.
So we arrived at the beach and instead of driving around endlessly we found an all day parking lot, that was taken over by some college students and charging $15, which is a great money maker.

After paying for our parking, walking two blocks and finding prime real estate on the beach. We laid in the sun all day, swam in the warm waters and enjoyed being mindless and carefree for the day.

Atlas, it is labor day and the last hurrah of summer is upon us, but the memories that we made in Williamsburg

and Virginia Beach will remain with us forever.

Yes, it was the best family vacation EVER!