Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Meeting/Potluck!

Please note that the December meeting/party will be Bring A Dish. Last year we were loaded down with desserts, so think outside the chocolate box. ;-)

Middleton Library
Dec 19th 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.(ish)
Gift exchange at approximately 1 pm
Bring A Dish

Gift Exchange - Everyone who wants to participate in the Gift
Exchange should bring an anonymously wrapped Favorite Book.

Bobbi will buy plates/cups/utensils & some drinks with the pencil box
money. If you have a specific drink you'd like, feel free to bring
it along (though be aware that alcohol is not allowed in the library.)
If you have any questions, please contact Bobbi through the loop.

Upcoming Meetings:

Jan 30 ~ Plotting Party Kick off your new year with a brief
introduction to story structure and then break-out groups for
individual story plotting (most of you have done this before, so you
know how it goes - if you have questions, let me know).

Feb 27 ~ World Building Monica Valentinelli will bring her
expertise from the fantasy/game world on how to create and strengthen
other worlds in the writing process. A panel of genre authors will
discuss how they do this in their own writing.

March 27 ~ Alex Bledsoe Topic info. & blurby-thing coming soon ; )

April (date TBA) - Revision workshop Kathy Steffen will lead a a
quick overview workshop on the editing/revision process and a panel
of authors will give commentary (more details to come)

Hope to see you all on Dec. 19th!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Madison's Got Talent...Saturday, November 21st

Don't miss Madison's Got Talent, Sat Nov 21 at the Middleton
. (7425 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 831-5564--Downstairs)

Our 'judge' panel will consist of authors, Ann
Voss Peterson, Chris Merrill, Kathryn Albright and Kathy Steffen (and
other authors who may come). : )

Entries must be ONE (full) PAGE, DOUBLE SPACED and ANONYMOUS, and may
consist of either the first page of a manuscript or a query letter
(all names/addresses fictionalized, please - e.g. Dear Agent Jane;
Sincerely, Hopeful Author).

To participate, please bring THREE COPIES (preferably paper-clipped
together) of your entry. There will be a chair set up outside the
door with a folder where you can put them on your way in. I will
leave the folder there until after introductions, etc.

I will read the entry out loud, and the four judges can look at the
copies, and offer commentary.

This will only work if we have participants, so please plan on coming
and consider bringing your work. : ) Thanks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monthly Meeting on Saturday, October 17

Saturday brought us more brainstorming and inspiration tools in the form of tarot cards. Jena Reynolds took us into the world of tarot, not as a "reading" or "fortune-telling" device, but as a visual aid to cause us to think outside our brain-boxes and jump-start ideas for plot, characters, scenes, descriptions, and just about anywhere else we get stuck in our writing. As some of us discovered, if the tarot deck is nothing like the feel of a WIP, so much the better! The cards engage that creative part of the brain, and once that happens, ideas come cascading in. 

And a few of us saw new decks we might like to procure at some point :o)

Attendance was at lucky 13. Other discussion points from the meeting:

Upcoming Meetings

November 21st Meeting

Bobbi Dumas let us know the November meeting (November 21st, 9:30, Middleton Library) will take the form of  "Madison's Got Talent" with a panel of authors to give suggestions on query letters and first pages of manuscripts. Everyone interested is encouraged to bring their one-page query letter or beginning first manuscript page (blind—with no hint as to the person submitting) and get comments.

Not to worry, Simon Cowell has not been invited. We will be sure to have a panel filled with kind, gentle, positive reinforcement with some constructive suggestions to polish those pages to perfection. This will be a great learning experience for everyone, even if you don't submit pages but just come to listen. And for those of us brave enough to submit, get a glimpse of what happens when someone reads your pages for the first time and what kind of impression is leading off your submission.

Stay tuned for more details on the MadRomance Loop!

December 19th Holiday Party

Since no one has offered up their home for our rowdy band of revelers, we will turn the library meeting room into a festive pot-luck holiday-central.  Details to come.

RWA Status

MadCityRomance has been approved for RWA status. The next steps are to find interim chapter officers, apply for a Federal Tax ID number, register our name, complete our membership roster, and write our bylaws. Kathy Steffen is beginning the steps and will keep us all updated as to where we stand in the process.

National Novel Writing Month

Is just about upon us. We have several members participating and if anyone else wants to jump in, sign up and we can all cheer each other on as we meet our astonishing writing goals with ease :o)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monthly Meeting Held, Saturday, September 19th

This past Saturday our September meeting unfolded as promised, with the focus on finding inspiration and getting over writer’s avoidance behavior. Everyone shared stories, techniques to keep reaching word goals on a consistent basis, and we all came away with new brainstorming ideas. We discussed guilt and how to get over that too, and be free to just write. Everyone left with their worries in a little bag to place aside when necessary. A nearby Target reported a rush of timer purchases.

The group energy was high and the meeting helped many to refocus and enjoy writing again and “just do it.” As was reported on several facebook pages…people are hitting their word counts in record numbers.

Attendance for the September meeting was strong, with 24 attending.

Other discussion points brought up at the meeting:

RWA Status

Kathy Steffen reported the first level inquiry package is complete and on it’s way to National Headquarters. We await approval and instructions for the next steps.

December Holiday Party

Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Bobbi Dumas asked that if anyone is willing to host a party, to let her know. We will all bring refreshments, holiday cheer, and never-ending gratitude. If no alternate location surfaces, we will rock the library.

March Write Off, Nano Style

Every year in November several MadCityRomancers engage in Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, where each writer attempts to hit a word goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month. It was suggested we do a MadCityRomanceWriMo sometime this winter, just when we are all going to be out of our minds with cabin fever and desperate for an extra boost to blast to the end of our writing projects. Or for an inspired and strong lift-off as we begin a new one. More information will come as we set this up. Everyone agreed March would be a good month to hold this event.

October 17 Meeting

Don’t miss it! Jena Reynolds is going to “show you how to use tarot to brainstorm ideas for stories, come up with characters, plot your stories, write scenes and description, work through blocks and snags in your writing and be more creative.” See “Upcoming Meetings” for more details.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Upcoming Meetings

SEPT 19 & OCT 17 Meeting details
Middleton Library 9:30 a.m.

September ~ Kathy Steffen
Brainstorm Through Writer’s Block (or…Grab Your Muse, Pin Her to the Wall, and Make her Sing!)

Do you find yourself doing laundry or cleaning instead of writing? Do you have trouble finding time to write? When you sit down, do you stare at a blank computer (or screen) as panic builds and your mind feels like a vast wasteland? Or do you flail around, not sure when or where to start or which way to go with your story? Where do you get ideas, how can you brainstorm to find lots of inspiration? And how do you stay on track and keep writing?

Be prepared to engage both sides of the brain as we talk about what writer’s block (or avoidance behavior) really is, and how to pinpoint its reasons and get over them quickly. Then, get inspired with lots of exercises and brainstorming lists to help you boost creativity. Take home worksheets to help you conceptualize elements of your next book. Free yourself to enjoy writing instead of worrying about where (and when) the next idea will come.

Come, share your own experiences and learn new ways to jump-start creativity and find ideas.

October ~ Jenna Reynolds
Tarot for Fiction Writers

This workshop will show you how to use tarot to brainstorm ideas for stories, come up with characters, plot your stories, write scenes and description, work through blocks and snags in your writing and be more creative.

Since I won't be spending that much time going over the basics, (I did that at the workshop for the 2008 retreat), I would suggest checking out the following websites if you're not familiar with the tarot.

You don't have to memorize the meanings or anything like that. But it will help if you could have an overall sense of the structure of the tarot. I will also be providing handouts about the tarot.

Aeclectic Tarot - Here you will find tons of information about tarot. Decks, books, articles, etc.. It's a cornucopia of info about tarot.

Here you can learn the basics of reading tarot:

If you're looking for a Tarot book check out this list, especially if you're a beginner

Many of these books can be found at the local library, so if you don't want to buy one you can check them out there.

We're going to be using tarot in the workshop so if you don't have a deck and don't want to buy one, don't worry. I'll bring along decks for you to work with.

If you're looking to purchase a deck, however, you can find decks listed by themes here:


Monday, August 31, 2009

First Meeting, what happened...

The meeting was held as scheduled and it was well attended. I, your loyal recorder of happenings for the time being am just slow in reporting. Please read below for the details...
August 22nd MadRomance Meeting

  1. Statement of Purpose

  2. To form a group supportive of each other and our writing. We are not planning on this being a promotional group. The organization's goal will be to serve and keep the focus on the people in it and their writing, keeping the organization itself in the background.
  3. The reason for starting this group
    There are enough RWA members in Madison who are enthusiastic enough to support our own RWA chapter.

  4. RWA affiliation

    • Pros and Cons
      There were a number on both sides, but consensus seemed to be that the pros outweighed the cons. So, we are proceeding with the RWA chapter affiliation process.

    • Dues requirements

    We hope to keep it to $15 annually.
  5. Name
    Mad City Romance Writers

  6. Meetings
    Middleton Library, Saturday mornings (probably 3rd Saturday) at 9:30 a.m.

  7. Website/Newsletter
    Low maintenance was the key here. Will have a blog that serves as both. Will not break out members as published or unpublished on the site. Will not promote individual authors or their books, contest wins, etc. on the site.

  8. General Group Vision

    • Loop, membership forms, etc.
      We will continue to use the Yahoo group loop already in use. We will try to be as "green" as possible and do as much as possible online (lower paperwork).

    • Funds, needed and plans
      One of our goals is to actually stay small financially. No contests or conferences. There are already a number of conferences within an easy drive of Madison. And numerous contests our members can enter with other chapters.

  9. What we need right now for RWA affiliation process to begin

  10. 15 members are required by RWA. We had that many sign up as interested in joining at the meeting. We are moving on to the next step.
  11. Future goals
    Writers' Retreat paid for by those who attend was mentioned as an option.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Meeting!

Agenda for August 22nd MadRomance Meeting

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2009
Time: 9:30 to 12 (at latest), lunch after at individual expense if interested
Place: Middleton Library, Marion Fuller Archer room (downstairs)... Directions

  1. Statement of Purpose

  2. The reason for starting this group

  3. RWA affiliation

    • Pros and Cons

    • Dues requirements

  4. Name

  5. Meetings

    • Monthly, face-to-face meetings

    • Location (Sequoia Brance, Midvale, other ideas?)

    • Day and Time (Saturday mornings good? Other ideas?)

  6. Website/Newsletter

  7. General Group Vision

    • Loop, membership forms, etc.

    • Funds, needed and plans

    • Conference, retreats, workshops, contests

  8. What we need right now for RWA affiliation process to begin

  9. Long Term Needs

  10. Future goals

  11. Questions

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mad City Romance First Meeting!

Mad City Romance is a new group forming in the Madison, Wisconsin area to support writers of romantic fiction. At this time the group is not affiliated with any national group. However, our goal is to be affiliated with the Romance Writers of America.

Our first meeting to discuss our structure, goals and mission will be held at the Middleton WI library in the Marion Fuller Archer room (downstairs) on Saturday, August 22nd, at 9:30 a.m.. The meeting should go until about noon. Click here for directions.

Agenda to come.