See you at the Pennwriters Conference!

May 6, 2010

***UPDATE*** 5/9:

AREA 6 PENNWRITERS: Join Lisa Kastner at Breakfast!

Lisa is our Pennwriters President and fellow Area 6 member. She coordinates the monthly Philadelphia Pennwriters critique group and supports writers throughout the region. Lisa is a great writer, a great leader, and a great person to know in Pennwriters.

Join Lisa at breakfast for a quick rally with other writers. Put faces to names, and make a new friend!

Jade Blackwater regrets to announce that after having fun day getting her hair done in Seattle to prepare for the Pennwriters Conference, she promptly came down with the flu and is unable to fly. Jade sends her deepest regrets, and encourages all writers to take full advantage of the Pennwriters Conference.

**************************************

We’re a week away from the 23rd Pennwriters Annual Writers’ Conference to be held in Lancaster, PA May 14-16 2010. This year’s conference features keynote speakers James Rollins and Elizabeth Kann, a stellar lineup of agents, editors, and authors for workshops and pitch sessions, plus designated party time at the Pennwriters ‘Heroes and Villains’ Saturday Night Masquerade Ball.

REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2010 PENNWRITERS CONFERENCE

So why should you attend? For starters, if you’re a Pennwriters member of Area 6 or another writer from the Mid-Atlantic, this is a fabulous opportunity to participate in a writers’ event right here in your region. Pennwriters offers a variety of workshops, networking, and promotional opportunities to help writers of all levels improve their work and build their business.

You don’t have to be from the East Coast to enjoy a Pennwriters event! Keynote James Rollins joins us from Northern California, and I’m flying over from Western Washington state to join the fun and support Area 6. The great thing about the Pennwriters membership is that it started with a strong community of writers from Pennsylvania, and has grown to include members from all across the US, and a few far-flung folks overseas. The annual conference is the perfect time to put a face to a name/handle/avatar/penpal/writing-buddy.

LOOK FOR LISA KASTNER JADE BLACKWATER AT BREAKFAST

AREA 6 MEMBERS (and all writers) can find me at breakfast – I’ll have something to catch the eye and make it easy to spot me – and please come introduce yourself! I want to meet members, shake hands, and introduce you to one another.

I’m on the hunt for a new volunteer for the Area 6 Representative position. All members of Pennwriters Area 6 extend a hearty thank you to Bob Michalsky for his support of Pennwriters, and wish him all the best in his endeavors! If you are ready to support writers in your area and do more with Pennwriters, then I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

GET READY TO PITCH YOUR WRITING

Over at the Pennwriters Area 6 blog, Conference Coordinator Ayleen Stellhorn stops by with tips to prepare yourself to pitch, and a detailed interview discussing more about the conference.

Pennwriters Area 6 Member Ash Krafton has also prepared a link-rich post about pitching your work, plus more about editing the muse and navigating the transition from hobby writer to career author.

Follow @Pennwriters on Twitter for even more resources including tweets about Pennwriters activities as well as news, tips, and insights from members, guests, and other writing resources. You can also Follow @JadeBlackwater on Twitter for my own #PWcon tweets plus more about writing, art, creativity, ecology, sustainability, and various miscellanea.

If you’re on Twitter, remember to use the #PWcon hashtag to tweet the conference, and use the #Pennwriters hashtag any time to chat about Pennwriters. Send @Pennwriters a @ (mention) or DM (direct message) and let them know you’re a member (tell them your name so you can be located in the roster). @Pennwriters follows Pennwriters members and guests.

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to join the Pennwriters Group and Page to keep up on news and announcements and to engage with the membership.

Contact me with any questions (or to be my last-minute volunteer angel).

See you all in Lancaster!


Monday Morning Muse: National Poetry Month Twitter Wrap-Up from @JadeBlackwater

May 3, 2010

In celebration of National Poetry Month this April I included an assortment of micropoetry @JadeBlackwater on Twitter. Throughout the month I also added the #STpoem hashtag in order to share my poetry with the Seattle Times Twitter Poetry Contest.

Below is a complete reprint of the micropoetry from @JadeBlackwater for April 2010. Line breaks have been restored where ‘ / ‘ was used in the feed.

What I enjoyed most about tweeting micropoetry for NaPoMo was the excuse to share a poetic response to my day. Unlike my usual tweets—which are mostly prepared and scheduled in advance—the poems I tweeted in April were sent as soon as composed. Like all journal entries, these poems each keep a story.

———-

———-7:29 AM Apr 2nd

salamander season

surprise morning snow

safe in the ash white world

———-

———-11:35 PM Apr 6th

cold wheelbarrow

rests in slivered light

beneath watchful moon

———-

———-10:14 AM Apr 8th

Ariolimax columbianus poetess

sentences congeal in sticky opalescence

while she explores the shady sweetness

———-

———-10:25 AM Apr 9th

twitter and flutter at sunrise

pluck juicy jewels from willing boughs

connect puddle to balsam breath

———-

———-10:04 AM Apr 12th

New Moon rain licks the waiting Earth

awakens old dust and fresh oil

whispers sweet darkness in waiting

———-

———-2:55 PM Apr 13th

Crack open the wriggling mass

scoop your brains with a seafood fork

then fling the meat into the fire!

———-

———-9:26 AM Apr 15th

palms open skyward

broadcast gratitude

“cheer-up, cheerily!”

———-

———-2:01 AM Apr 20th

this fine rain

my silver lining

bring me the wet word

———-

———-6:45 PM Apr 20th

visceral papillon inspiration

wing across green seas from distant gold shores

when desperation sings “Hurry, flurry!”

———-

———-1:32 PM Apr 21st

sacred grey showers

answer the hedge call

to-wheeeee! meewww?

———-

———-3:35 PM Apr 22nd

twist your wrists with the Balsam cottonwood

dance in rhythm with Douglas squirrel chatter

———-

———-11:51 AM Apr 23rd

cool garden beckons

branches all whisper

sweet huckleberry perfume

———-

———-9:05 AM Apr 24th

two-stroke engine growls

breathfuls of dust bite the air

cut grass flickers past

———-

———-7:03 AM Apr 26th

full moon approaches

earth groans and ripples

tickled and provoked

———-

———-10:50 AM Apr 27th

Thunderheads hasten

wrap rainy arms ’round the world

squeeze the sparking sky

———-

———-8:03 PM Apr 28th

reassuring shick-shick

of your rake

reminder

of presence

*     *     *


Pre-Spring Updates from the Desk of Jade Blackwater

March 10, 2010

Contrary to what logic might suggest, my low-attendance at the Brainripples blog is in fact a sign of how busy I’ve been.

Here’s a little update from my desk:

Copywriting and Poetry

Concise language is important for both copywriting and poetry.  Since December I’ve enjoyed the dual tasks of copywriting for Kathi “george” Wheeler of Noise w/o Sound Graphic Design, and revising poetry from my 2009 journals to prepare for a round of submissions this spring.  Of all the writing I do, poetry revision is probably the most difficult.  It’s delicate work to revise small handfuls of words without losing the voice.

Festival of the Trees

Last November Dave Bonta and Pablo invited me to join their team in support of the Festival of the Trees blog carnival.  You all know how much I love this project, so you can imagine how stoked I am to lend a hand.  We’re looking for volunteers to host! Read an interview by The Nature Blog Network with the Festival of the Trees crew.  The Festival of the Trees is @treebloggers on Twitter and Identica.

Pennwriters 2010

All lovers of literature can find me this spring May 14-16, 2010 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Pennwriters Annual Conference: The Writer’s Craft.  To learn more, read this Feature Artist Interview with Conference Coordinator Ayleen Stellhorn.  You can count on seeing me in PA next year too – I’m running for VP this term to support Carol Silvis; she and I are working hard in preparation for 2010-2012.

@JadeBlackwater on Twitter

You can now follow me @JadeBlackwater on Twitter where I tweet about writing and art, ecology and conservation, sustainability and gardening, and everything else that makes me think.  I never thought I’d be a tweep, but I’m already a nerd, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.  To help preserve my time, I typically schedule tweets in advance via HootSuite, and to help preserve my readership I shorten links via bit.ly.  (I also like to poke around #poettues hosted by @robertleebrewer.)

JLB Blogs on the Move

I’ve been tweeting away since January while my blogs Brainripples, AppleJade, and Arboreality appear to languish in neglect.  In fact, I’m preparing to relocate my blogging adventures under one roof at Brainripples.com (including a much-needed new web design).  Since I’ve been blogging for five years, it seems like the right time to try on the big girl pants.  Prepare yourself for the next incarnation of my blogs as I shake off the old and don the new.  (Sheesh, how many more metaphors do you think I could have packed into this paragraph?)

Coming Up Next

Show and Tell Friday is beyond over due, and I’ve found so much cool stuff on my Twitter adventures.  I’ll put one together for you soon!  I was also invited for a fun phone interview with Perry Norton of PanRight Productions.  I’d like to share that with you all soon.  Finally, I’ll be selecting at least one poem from my drafts to share here, probably something I love but know I won’t submit.


Feature Artist Interview: Ayleen Stellhorn

February 1, 2010

This interview also appears at the Pennwriters Area 6 HQ blog.

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Ayleen Stellhorn, freelance writer and editor, Pennwriters Member, and 2010 Pennwriters Conference Coordinator.  Ayleen works hard, balances multiple projects, and still greets everyone with a smile (you can even “see” her smile in her friendly emails).

You can contact Ayleen via email with questions about this year’s Pennwriters Conference at this address: conference2010[at]pennwriters[dot]com.

[Additional details are available at the end of this interview.]

————————————————————-

JB: Greetings Ayleen!  Thanks for joining us for an interview at the Pennwriters Area 6 HQ blog.

AS: Nice to be invited, Jade. Thank you.

JB: First, tell us a little about yourself.  What do you write?  When did you first join Pennwriters?

AS: I write newspaper and magazine articles mostly. My articles have appeared in the Hanover Evening Sun, the Chambersburg Public Opinion, and the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. Right now I’m writing regularly for Lancaster Farming Journal and Adams Electric’s corporate magazine PennLines, and I just signed a contract to author a book featuring contemporary hooked rugs. I also do a lot of freelance editing for publishers of craft and hobby books. I’ve been a member of Pennwriters for about 10 years.

JB: I understand that this isn’t your first time volunteering as the Pennwriters Conference Coordinator.  Could you tell us a little about your experiences, and what brings you back to organize the 2010 Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

AS: I coordinated the 2008 conference in Lancaster. We had an amazing turnout, and overall, everything went really well. Award-winning literary writer and Princeton University professor Joyce Carol Oates was our keynote speaker; Susan Meier, Mary Jo Rulnick, Brian Butko, and Valerie Malmont were a few of our workshop presenters; and a record 236 people attended. We had a lot of firsts that year, including the preconference intensive classes, an author as a Friday keynote, and the networking lunch. I decided to volunteer one more year because I wanted to do a couple things differently: the first was a new hotel and the second was a commercial fiction writer as a keynote. So in 2010, we’re at the Eden Resort in Lancaster and we have adventure-thriller writer James Rollins as our Friday night keynote.

JB: This year I’ll be joining everyone in Lancaster for my first writers’ conference ever.  Can you tell a newbie like me what to expect?  What would be the *top three* things a writer could do to make the most of the Pennwriters Conference experience?

AS: Top three things for a newbie… Let’s see…

Be prepared to be overwhelmed is one. A lot goes on in a very short time, and your brain will reach overload quickly. I’ve been to five conferences, and I always walk out of each workshop with my head spinning with ideas. Even if you think you’ll remember something, write it down anyways. Odds are you’ll get another great idea — or piece of advice or link to follow — at the next workshop, and that first idea will be long gone.

Be ready to talk is two. If you’re generally the person who sits back and listens to conversations flowing around you, make a conscious decision to not be that type of person at the conference. Introduce yourself to the folks sitting at your breakfast table; find out what the person sitting next to you in a workshop likes to write; join a group of people hanging out in the hospitality room or at the bar; volunteer for one of the little jobs like moderator or Penn Pal. And along those same lines, be prepared to answer the question, “What do you write?/What are you writing?” in one or two sentences. You’ll get asked that more times than you can count.

Latch on to the positive is three. Getting published in any form takes a lot of skill, but it also takes a lot of persistence: you need to be in the right place at the right time with the right manuscript. You’ll hear lots of gloom-and-doom statistics at a writers conference dealing with how many queries an agent receives and how few they accept, or how many rejection letters an author received before he or she got published, or how many writers write but quit before their manuscript is even completed. Don’t get discouraged. Focus on the encouraging personal stories and listen to the advice of the agents and editors we’ve invited.

JB: Event planning is a huge undertaking – especially for something like this.  Can you tell us about some of the joys and trials of volunteering as the Conference Coordinator?  What advice would you give to other volunteers who organize events for nonprofits?

AS: The joys far outweigh the trials. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be back for my second shot at this! I love seeing a writer make a connection with an editor or agent. I love to sit at dinner and hear people talk about how their characters are running their lives. I love providing an opportunity for writers to learn and grow and just be writers in whatever genre, whether that’s nonfiction, thrillers, comics, magazines, poetry, corporate communications…. The trials (and they are sometimes devils) are in the details. Putting together a quality three-day program that will appeal to a broad range of writers is a real challenge. Lining up everything the editors, agents, and presenters need — from travel arrangements to special room set-ups — can fall through the cracks with one missed e-mail. And making sure all the little things are covered, like codes to book rooms online and full coffee pots 24/7, is sometimes overwhelming. My advice to other volunteers who organize events like ours would be to believe in what you’re doing, and be a list-maker!

JB: I know that readers can get the scoop if they follow Pennwriters on Twitter, join the Pennwriters Group on Facebook, or visit the Official Pennwriters website, but please tell us again: What are the highlights for the 2010 Pennwriters Conference?

AS: Highlights:

Keynote James Rollins, author of adventure thrillers, the movie novelization for the most recent Indiana Jones movie, and a new series of young adult thrillers. Watch his videos at www.jamesrollins.com to see why we think he’s going to be an excellent keynote.

Eight agents and editors: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Agency; Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency; Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Agency; Alex Glass, Trident Media; Janet Reid, Fine Print Literary; Barbara Lalicki, senior vice president and editorial director at HarperCollins Children; David Pomerico, assistant editor at Del Rey Spectra; and Leis Pederson, associate editor at Berkley. They’ll be hearing pitches, teaching classes, and critiquing first pages.

Preconference classes. Attend in-depth and interactive full-day and half-day seminars with Tim Esaias (fiction), Jonathan Maberry (nonfiction), Loree Lough (plotting), and CJ Lyons (fiction queries).

Three days of workshops. The conference fee includes more than 40 to choose from, and all the instructors are published authors or industry professionals.

JB: We’ve held the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster before.  For visitors who’ve never been to Lancaster (or perhaps even Pennsylvania), what are some of the other local perks you might suggest they check out?

AS: Take an extra day to wander through Amish country. (The city is filled with tourist attractions, which give you a good overview of the culture, but there’s nothing like checking out the roadside stands and sharing the byways with buggies.) Go shopping at the outlets. Play golf at the Host. Eat at a smorgasbord. See a play at the Dutch apple. Check out Central Market. Visit Landis Valley Farm Museum.

JB: How can writers, editors, agents, publishers, book sellers, readers, etc. help to get the word out about the Pennwriters conference?

AS: I’d like to ask folks to simply drop our name and website into whatever social media they’re using. Mention us in your Facebook status, twitter about a favorite author who will be teaching, write about us in your blog, list the event info on your own website. I’ve also got fliers that you can hang up at local coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, etc. Every little bit will help. We’ve got an amazing program, and I want to share that with as many writers as possible.

JB: Where and how can writers register for the 2010 Pennwriters Conference?

AS: Online, go to www.pennwriters.com, click on Conference and then Register. If you prefer to send a check by mail, download and print a registration form at the Pennwriters website, or call or email me so I can send you one. Registration forms will also be printed in January-February 2010 issue of The Penn Writer newsletter. (Remember to book your room early. The Eden [1-866-801-6430] is a gorgeous facility but much smaller than the Host.)

JB: Finally, as a writer and journalist (and all-around awesome person), what words of wisdom or inspiration would like to share for writers and artists?

AS: Always end an interview with a question that strokes your source’s ego and makes her feel appreciated. :) Nicely done, Jade.

Ayleen, we thank you again for joining us and sharing some behind-the-scenes insight.  See you at the Pennwriters Conference in May 2010!


————————————————————-

2010 Pennwriters Conference – The Writer’s Craft

When: May 14 – 16, 2010

(May 13, Preconference Seminars)

Where: Eden Resort, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

POC: Ayleen Stellhorn, Pennwriters 2010 Conference Coordinator

Web: www.pennwriters.com

Email: conference2010[at]pennwriters[dot]com

Facebook: Be a Fan of the Pennwriters Annual Writers Conference

Twitter: Follow Pennwriters on Twitter

LinkedIn: Join Pennwriters on LinkedIn

Listserve: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PennwritersConference/


New Year, New Short Fiction Writing Contest at The Clarity of Night

January 5, 2010

Happy 2010!  I’m pleased to announce that poet, photographer, and friend-of-writers-everywhere Jason Evans is launching us all into the 2010 with the “Silhouette” Short Fiction Contest, his 12th short fiction contest hosted at The Clarity of Night blog.

Why should you participate?  Today is the fifth day of 2010, so I’ll give you…

Five Great Reasons to Participate in the “Silhouette” Short Fiction Contest:

1) Fun – Writers are supposed to have fun with their writing, and for those of us still in holiday mode, here’s a great excuse to play!  What’s more fun than a creative prompt and a time limit?

2) Community – Writers from all across the blogosphere are drawn to Evans’ contests.  This is a great opportunity to add a new writer to your professional network.

3) Challenge – Writers can’t improve unless they challenge themselves!  It’s much harder than you might think to create something amazing in under 250 words.

4) Prizes – Writers aren’t the wealthiest bunch, and there are plenty of places trying to get something for nothing from writers.  Jason Evans honors us all by rewarding the winners with cash prizes.

5) Audience – Writers might often work independently, but their work can only do so much from the file cabinet.  Here is a chance to share your work and receive realtime feedback from hundreds of writers.

The “Silhouette” Short Fiction Contest is open to everyone.  The contest opens tomorrow, Wednesday, January 6, 2010.  The deadline for submissions is 11:00 PM EST on Wednesday, January 13th.  Any genre or form is welcome provided it is inspired by the “Silhouette” photo and demonstrates a narrative movement.  Complete rules are available at The Clarity of Night blog.

Read you there!


Morrison’s Pillow – A Short Story – Part 3 of 3

October 21, 2009

And now for Part 3, the third and final audio recording of Morrison’s Pillow.

Part 3 of Morrison’s Pillow lasts about 40 minutes, and the (.mp3) recording is about 38 MB in size.

Remember that this is a Halloween story, and as such there is an appropriate allowance of gruesome and disturbing imagery.  If you (or your kids) scare easily, please use your discretion before listening to this story.

If you haven’t already, be sure to download and listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of Morrison’s Pillow.

(Notes: This story is cross-posted at the Soul Food Café “Once Upon A Midnight” Halloween blog.  If you are among the deaf readers in the audience and would like to read the story, please email Jade Leone Blackwater to request a (.pdf) copy of the text of Morrison’s Pillow.)

Thanks for listening, enjoy, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

*     *     *

sassafras

Morrison’s Pillow

~  Part 3  ~

CLICK HERE to Download an Audio Recording (.mp3) of PART 3 of MORRISONS PILLOW by Jade Leone Blackwater

“Morrison’s Pillow” Copyright © 2009 J. L. Blackwater


Morrison’s Pillow – A Short Story – Part 2 of 3

October 20, 2009

Here is the audio recording of Part 2 of Morrison’s Pillow.

Part 2 of Morrison’s Pillow lasts about 40 minutes, and the (.mp3) recording is about 37 MB in size.

Remember that this is a Halloween story, and as such there is an appropriate allowance of gruesome and disturbing imagery.  If you (or your kids) scare easily, please use your discretion before listening to this story.

If you haven’t already, be sure to download and listen to Part 1 of Morrison’s Pillow.

(Notes: This story is cross-posted at the Soul Food Café “Once Upon A Midnight” Halloween blog.  If you are among the deaf readers in the audience and would like to read the story, please email Jade Leone Blackwater to request a (.pdf) copy of the text of Morrison’s Pillow.)

Thanks for listening, and enjoy!

*     *     *

stairs

Morrison’s Pillow

~  Part 2  ~

CLICK HERE to Download an Audio Recording (.mp3) of PART 2 of MORRISONS PILLOW by Jade Leone Blackwater

“Morrison’s Pillow” Copyright © 2009 J. L. Blackwater


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