Saturday, November 14, 2020

A little Grit, some Grace, and a whole lot of Gratitude - @MaddieJames

In 2018-19, I wrote a book called, Grit, Grace, & Gratitude. It’s not a romance novel. In my other writing life, I write non-fiction. The goal of this book was to capture the thirty-year story of a non-profit organization and how it created a national movement to support families—I managed to do it in 175 pages.

Most of 2018 was spent in research—interviews, watching old videos, reading articles on-line, gathering and selecting images, combing through drawers of file cabinets containing thirty years of archived documents and memorabilia. In 2019 my time was spent determining what not to include, and of course, writing.

It’s what we do, you know, we writers. We sift through stuff—whether physically or mentally—and determine what to write, what not to write, what to include, and how to do it. It’s a process we repeat with each book we write, whether it is a romance novel or non-fiction book.

Let me share the first sentence of the book’s description:
Grit, Grace, and Gratitude tells the powerful stories of families who gained knowledge, courage, and the confidence to pursue educational and career goals—often against the odds of any success—and through their own grit, grace, and gratitude not only survived but thrived.

Grit: bravery | Grace: thoughtful | Gratitude: thankfulness 

I think we all are showing a bit of grit, grace, and gratitude these days. Living within a pandemic is not easy. We’ve demonstrated grit. We’ve tried to be graceful about it all—we’re being thoughtful each time we put on a mask to go in the grocery store. I’m truly thankful that so far, my family has avoided the virus and that we are all okay.

But it’s getting harder. Covid finally hit my small, one-stoplight, town of 700ish people last week. My hyper-vigilance about the virus that was getting a little fatigued, was suddenly jerked into high alert mode once again.

Still, I’m grateful. I’m writing every day. I’m publishing books. Like that sentence above, I’m thankful for the grit I’ve maintained over 30+ years to keep at this writing gig—often against the odds of any success—and through my own grit, grace, and gratitude, survived and thrived.

Yes, even in this current climate—Covid, politics, dwindling book sales, and whatever else 2020 throws at us—I am thriving.
  • I’ve written new stories this past year that I love.
  • I have great writer friends and I’m fortunate to be part of some fabulous writing partnerships and communities (Gems included). 
  • Due to my retirement, I’ve spent more time on my romance writing projects the past year than in many years. 
  • I have a supportive family, and a significant other who is not only proud of my writing, but puts the romance in my life every, single day. 
  • I also have a clear vision for where I want to take my writing in the future. 
I’m thankful every day for all these things.

While it would be easy right now to sit back and throw up our hands in despair—sifting through all the rhetoric, the fake news, the what-ifs, the propaganda, and the tired narratives; much like I combed through the thirty years of messy matter researching the book—and quit writing (, loving, crafting, cooking, being...), I choose not to.

I choose to keep writing. Keep going. Wear the mask. Capture the words. Smile. Be thankful.

It’s not easy, of course. And I’m far from perfect. But it beats giving up. That, I refuse to do.

On the writing front, I've just sent off my latest book to my editor! Ethan: Black Sheep Cowboy will release in late January. He is book 7 in my Parker Ranches, Inc. western romance series.

I'm also part of a Christmas box set that is sure to satisfy your Hallmark movie cravings! My story, Miracle at Holly Hill Inn is included, and I can't express how excited I am for this entire set to be shared with the world. Get yours here!

And last, are you in the mood for time travel? You can grab my book, His Forever Kiss, Book 1 in the Soul Mates Series, for free this month. Click to get these promotion details! 

Take care,


  1. This is lovely post and spot on. I'm going to try to remember these words as I go forward.

  2. Thanks, Kara! I have to constantly remind myself.

  3. Another lovely post! And I'm always ready to time travel...or skipping time. (wouldn't it be nice to skip to the end of this pandemic?)

    1. Yes! I'm ready to move things thing forward in time!!! Thanks, Bonnie. :)

  4. We all need to push a little harder now with patience, persistence, and pleasantness.

  5. A wonderful post. I am in largely the same place (although less ambitious!) and am grateful to be there. Your non-fiction book sounds fascinating!

  6. You have a ton of patience and motivation. Do you write motivational pieces too because you'd be great at those also. Looks like you have much to celebrate this 2020. Wishing you the same in 2021.

    1. Nora, what a nice thing to say! Wishing you a great 2021 as well. :)

  7. Such a hopeful, positive post. Rushing into Christmas. Now there is a title for a holiday book next year. Keep the faith!

  8. Maddie, what a fabulous post. Thank you for writing this.


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