Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Outer Banks, Day Three

Today, we have sun! Brief, albeit, but the sun did shine.

Highlights of my day include a walk down the beach to snap some pictures and a lovely lunch at The Dunes Restaurant. It had been years since I'd eaten at the Dunes. When my children were little, it was a great family place to eat. Even  though it's undergone some renovations since I've been there, it's still very family-oriented, nicely priced, and very, very good. The fried oysters I had today were excellent. Served hot, tender and lightly breaded, and fresh. The coleslaw  served with the fries and hush puppies had a little bit of sweet pickle relish in it--I think that was a first for me--and it was very good. A nice lunch!

Here are a few more pictures I'd like to share.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dogs on the beach

Although I had a great trip north to Duck and Corolla today, visiting bookstores, it was not a very good day for pictures. Fog and gloom set in during the mid-afternoon and thunderstorms are coming for the evening and night, I believe, and also tomorrow. This may be the perfect excuse for me to stay tucked into my hotel room for the next 24 hours, sit near the sliding glass door where I can see and hear the waves, and get a little writing in.

Yesterday, while waiting for the wedding to take place, I took the following pictures of a couple of dogs frolicking in the waves. Their owners were there but I decided they were not as interesting as the dogs, so I cropped them out!

So here you go, dogs on the beach!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Outer Banks - Day 1

Yesterday morning I set out on a little road trip. I drove east for 8 hours, slept, they drove 5 more today. Of course, those times include all pit stops along the way. My destination? The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

In the 90s, we (my family and I) vacationed there every year for about 10 years. The family configurations were always different but it didn't matter, we always had a wonderful time together, whoever showed up.

This time, it's just me, eight years after the last time I was here. I miss the kids, and my sister and her family, and my parents--I see them in every landmark I pass--but this week or so is for me. And next year? We're already planning that June family gettogether. I know just the house.

I thought I'd share a few pictures from today. I'll share more thoughout the week.
A wedding on the beach!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How does one romance a scone...?

New covers are always exciting to get. Last night, I checked my inbox right before heading off to bed. Lo and behold, the purtiest book cover I ever saw was waiting for me there.

So, I have to ask you, isn't this just the darned purtiest bookcover your ever met?

The title, well, that goes without saying. I thought that was pretty clever. What say you?

So here's a little blurb about this upcoming story. Release date is in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Romancing the Scone by Maddie James

High tea or sweet tea? As long as there are scones, it doesn’t matter. In fact, Sydney Schul, owner of Sydney’s Sugar High Coffee Stop and Bakery in Legend, Tennessee, makes the best damn scones east of the Mississippi and south of the Mason Dixon, and there was an article written about her in Southern’s Best magazine to prove it.

And all is well and life in Legend is good, until a mysterious stranger comes to town, stalking her scones.

Stone Kellerman, owner of Stone's Scones in Atlanta, has held the title of Best Scones of the South for five years now—that is, until little Sydney Schul comes into the picture, and Southern's Best Magazine awards her the coveted title. So, he can't help himself when he travels north to Tennessee to check out her scones. Thing is, he never intended to be a stalker of scones, or her scone recipe, until he got one bite of the heavenly confection...

And one look at Sydney.

Have you visited the Matchmaking Chef web site lately? If not, take a peek here at Suzie Cooks!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Without boundaries

I'm a writer. There is no doubt in that fact. Not a day that goes by that I do not lay a few words down on a page of some sort, whether it's a blog post, an article, a tweet or a status update. Whether it be a paragraph, thought, a desire, a's prose.

I'm a writer.

I'm also a huge American Idol fan. Music was my second creative love. Art was my first. Surprisingly, writing was my third. Go figure it's the one that might possibly bring the most success. Possibly.

As the guest artist on American Idol this week, Jamie Foxx was billed as having a career without boundaries. Now, in order to put this in perspective, picture me just waking from a nap on the couch, feeling pretty darned groggy, my eyelids sticky and trying to open, my brain attempting some sort of coherence. The show's theme song rips across the living room and then I hear some stuff (must have drifted back to sleep a sec) and somewhere in there I hear the words "career without boundaries."

I wake straight up.

Without boundaries. And I think, huh, that's a little like my writing career lately.

Make no bones, I am not the Jamie Foxx of the writing world. Never will be. Not even resembling one little chicken bone of a career that could mirror his. But the phrase grabbed me and yes, that IS what I've been doing of late--thinking beyond the boundaries.

Here's the reason why (at least in my feeble mind, remember, I could still be sleeping):
  • I quit my day job five months ago.
  • I'm a fiction author with two pen names.
  • I'm a nonfiction author writing under my "real" name.
  • I manage no less that a dozen web sites to promote my work. I designed all of them but one.
  • I blog (okay, that one has been a bit lame lately).
  • I play the social media game.
  • I do writing workshops and manage a budding online writer community and network.
  • I just opened a small publishing house, and am currently acting as web designer, cover artist, editor and publisher (that all will change in time) and yes, author.
Without boundaries. Many irons in the fire. As one of my writer friends says (and I love this phrase coming from her, cute little perky thing that she is) "balls to the wall." And I love each and every one of my roles in the writing world. I am, to quote a song from one of my fave movies, "having the time of my life."

But there is part two in this American Idol theme for tonight. Jamie Foxx also made a clear distinction with the four remaining contestants on the show. He told them, it's time to decide. Are you a contestant? Or are you an artist? You decide.

Again, I took that back to my own work. Which one am I?

At what point in our creative lives do we make the jump from contestant to artist? At what point do we truly know? And is there a time where it is okay to be the contestant rather than the artist? Or that it is appropriate to revert from artist to contestant?

Without boundaries.

I do not have the answers. Not for you anyway. I have them only for me. You? You have to answer those questions for yourself, and I truly believe, the answers will differ at varying times in our careers.

So I ask you, right now, which are you? In regard to your writing, are you a contestant or an artist? And...can you take your career to the point where you are without boundaries? Where all things are game? If you can, you might find that you, too, are having the time of your life.

You decide.