Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dogwood Writer's Conference

Writers. Storytellers. Agents. Workshops. The dogwoods blooming. A scenic drive to a beautiful Kentucky state park. And an ice cream social. What more can you ask for?

The past Friday evening and all day Saturday I spent with fellow writers at the Dogwood Writers Conference at Greenbo Lake State Park in Eastern Kentucky. What a pleasure. A small and intimate crowd took part in a variety of workshop speakers, got to pitch to an agent, and just enjoyed each other's company. It was an eclectic group, to be sure. Some romance writers/authors but also non-fiction writers, sci-fi, and some working on memoir-type narratives.

This is the second year for their conference and the first year I attended. I'll be back. They have a five year plan for growth, with the caveat of not getting too big, keeping the intimate feel. I think that's both appropriate and necessary for this type of event.

The conference is sponsored by KYOWA, an RWA chapter that serves the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. As one of the founders of the conference said to me, "It will always be at Greebo and it will always be in April because of the dogwoods." So, if that sounds like something that might fit into your calendar, check it out for next year.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Choices. They are all around us. Everyday. Good and bad. Suffer the consequences. Celebrate the successes.

I'd planned to write this weekend. Had really wanted one of those weekends where I didn't get out of my jammies from Friday night until Sunday night, where I pounded the keyboard and intravenously injected caffeine to keep me going. It was cold, rainy and ucky outside. Perfect for staying in and writing.

It didn't happen.

And it is okay. On Friday evening my daughter came to pick up some belongings she had stored here to move to her new home. Well, that's okay, I need for her to get her stuff, so I can get my stuff organized. (she'd moved in with 3 kids a few months ago) Choices. Help her get her stuff. That's a good thing. I do benefit in the end, and so does she.

Saturday morning, up early, made another choice -- work on updating the websites instead of writing. So okay, they need to be done, and my webguy had the time, which meant I needed to get the stuff to him. Saturday afternoon, haul a car load of my daughter's stuff to her house. Home by 7. Pooped. No writing. No energy. Piddle some more with the websites and check email.

Sunday. Bright idea. Let's make a new book trailer for the fall release! But wait, I was going to write. But no, this takes hold. Started it at 6 a.m., finished by noon, uploaded shortly afterward. Success! And a choice. No writing on Sunday morning. What? My newsletter is two weeks overdue, have to get contest winner announcements out (were promised today), need to blog, need to check email again, oh, and need to set up that new chat loop I wanted to start using...and, well, what about that RWA chapter booksigning thing I was supposed to do?

Choices. Good and bad. Right or wrong. I needed to get things off my plate. My head was in promo and marketing mode today. Strike while that muse is hot. Give the writing muse a weekend off.

So, that's the choice I finally made. I stopped sweating the fact that I wasn't writing this weekend and started celebrating the fact that I was still working toward my writing career. And got a lot done!

We all have choices, every single day. I suppose it just depends upon the kind of spin we put on those choices. If we spin them positively, then good things happen. If we spin them negatively, then sometimes I think we assign them a death wish.

I hope all your choices are positive. But if not, then just think -- how am I going to do this different, and better, the next time?

Time for bed. Long overdue. A choice to stay up I consciously made that is now nagging at me....

Good night.

maddie

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Writing is just soooo much more fun when you are selling!

I'm thrilled to announce that I've signed a 3-book deal with Resplendence Publishing, a new publisher that I am convinced is going to move and shake their way quite nicely into the publishing field. What a fabulous group of people – editors and authors alike – and I feel fortunate to have landed in a new publishing home.

But oh, about my books! The trilogy is based on pirate folklore with the series titled as: The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice. The stories span time from 1718 to 2042. The story of The Curse takes place predominately in the 18th century, with a jaunt to present day, and then back again. Its sister books, The Cult and The Quest carry the story forward into the 21st century, present day and the near future.

I like to say these books are Romantic Suspense meets Time Travel with a Paranormal flair (and oh yeah, there is some spicy sex mixed in throughout, too). Time travel is an element of each story, as is the search to posses a powerful historical artifact – a silver-plated chalice made from the pirate Blackbeard’s skull. Besides time travel, there’s a curse to be reckoned with, a guardian angel ghost, and psychic abilities to round out the paranormal effects.

What fun, huh?

The Curse is due out in November, 2007, and we’ll keep you posted about the release dates on the other two.

Until then, check out Resplendence Publishing and see what else they have in store for readers in the next few months. Watch for their launch in October!

Have a great weekend.

Maddie

Monday, April 09, 2007

I am so jazzed!

It is such a high when you finish a project and I'm still flying from typing "the end" yesterday afternoon finishing my novella. Of course, first draft, all the way through. There is still some polishing to be done. I don't think I ever really stop editing and polishing anything. I mean, I can read my book again after it has gone to print and I'll read a sentence and think...oh, that should read this way...

But it's finished, and yes, I'm excited. Maybe that is the beauty of writing a novella. It's shorter, doesn't take as long to complete, of course, and you get the satisfation of having finished something so much sooner. I should do more of those.

In fact, I am. Along with 3 other authors, we're working through an anthology. Four storytellers, four stories, four women ready to start again. That's the premise of the book. And that is my next project. As jazzed as I am from finishing the last one, I'm hoping to move through this one with high energy, too.

But of course, sometimes it doesnt' work like that. We'll see.

Now on to the next steps. Polish, edit, and get the thing off to my editor. I'll be even more jazzed if she likes it. :)

maddie

Friday, April 06, 2007


Shshshsh...dont' tell anyone, okay? Because, you see, there is this contest going on right now and I've got people trying to find out stuff, like, the name of my new publisher.

That's right! I am now working with a fabulous new publisher with fabulous people and fabulous authors -- I am so fabulously impressed!

You see, here is the deal. If you figure out who my publisher is, the genre of my book coming out in November, 2007, and the title -- and if you email all of that to me at maddie.james@insightbb.com by April 15, you are eligible for some prizes. What prizes? Well, for sure I know a $20 Borders Gift card and some free books. Could be more, you never know! So stay tuned.

Think you know who it is? Well, just send me an email because I'll be making my BIG ANNOUNCMENT and drawing for prizes on April 15. So hurry!

Oh, here is another clue. Check out my MySpace site (the link is provided here in my links section) and look in my friends for my possible new publisher. That might help, too!

And remember, my publisher is SUCH a gem. (oh, did I mention the link to my publisher is in my links section here?) I just love them. Good luck!

See ya,

Madz

p.s. While you are at my MySpace site, why don't you sign up for my Maddie James Newsletter, too on yahoogroups. I do contests at least quarterly and sometimes more!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Neither Man nor Beast

Today, I am not fit for man nor beast.

That phrase has been rolling around in my head all day. I'm not sure when it started, sometime early this morning, but I do know why. I'm a cranky, whiny, tired, bitchy woman today. There. You have it. Me. Bitchy. You had no clue, right?

Well, I am.

And I'm convinced, that the person who coined that phrase above, was a menopausal women.

Yes. There. I said it.

I'm menopausal.

Not fit for man. Not fit for beast. Darned good thing I have neither in my life, because I imagine both man and beast would be turning tail and running about now.

I've thought about it -- the man in my life thing. Dabbled in it for a couple of months here recently. Strangest thing, but he just got on my nerves soooo bad-ly.

Here, let me do this for you, sweetie. No! I'll do it myself. Get away!

Sent me sweet little damned e-cards all the time, thoughtful little rhymes and poems. Drove me freakin' nuts! Quit being so damned NICE.

And then it dawned on me. It wasn't him. It was me. ME!

I'm menopausal, you know.

Menopausal women should not even think about relationships. Never, ever, ever think about relationships. And especially if menopausal women are assertive-control-freaks-who-
have-learned-to-do-everything-themselves-in-life-because-no-man-would-ever-do-
things-for-them! Oh, so sad is my life.

Not!

I'm perfectly happy with my life. I am just not fit for man nor beast.

That leaves only one thing to do. Write. And there is a wonderful little story brewing in this assertive-control-freak brain of mine about a menopausal woman who thinks she wants a relationship only to learn that she is indeed NOT fit for man -- but the beast intrigues her.

Hmmmmm.... Time to write.

Maddie

p.s. Don't steal my idea. :) 'Cause, well, I'm an assertive-control-freak Mama who is not fit... Grrrrr.... Got it??