Wednesday, February 26, 2014

See Dog Read

Remember this post? The one where I opened up about the dog we lost in September. Well, I have some exciting news. We were able to get another Samoyed sooner than we thought. And if you can’t tell, we’re just crazy about this breed.

Today you’ll see why!

Did you know Samoyeds can . . .

Play the trumpet

Help with the dishes

Make friends with elephants

Play lacrosse

Even read!

Just for fun I've decided our pup’s Native American name is Catching Leaf. Tell me, what’s your pet’s Native American Name? Lately mine is Gets No Sleep or Lives to Edit. ;-)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Want You to Meet Amy Matayo

Know what I enjoy? Connecting with other authors online & finding ways to promote them. Today I’m
introducing someone I want you to know more about.

Amy Matayo

Doesn’t she have an infectious smile? Her book, TheWedding Game released recently, so check it out. (Excellent reviews!)

Asking Amy a few questions:

Wendy:  What has surprised you most since you’ve released your book?
Amy:  The support and encouragement I've received from so many people. I don't know why--I guess I just thought I would release a book into the world and then just kinda sit here and hope someone would notice it. But so many people have gone above and beyond to make the book visible--readers, bloggers, reviewers. It's been humbling and fun.

Wendy:   What is your all-time favorite book & why?
Amy:  Two books, actually, and they're extremely different. First, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. The story is beautiful--a vivid description of what it really means to selflessly love another person. Second, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. The story is sweet and true to life, but the writing is phenomenal. The strong writing gets me every time I read it. 

Wendy:   If you could have lived during any other time period then now, what era would you choose? Why?
Amy:  The twenties. I think I would have enjoyed being a flapper. Any earlier and I would've been forced to ride on a horse/buggy. I would NOT have enjoyed that. 

Wendy:   Give us a house tour. What are your decorating tastes? What do your kitchen counters look like? Coffee table or no coffee table?
Amy:  Decorating tastes are random--a little bit of everything. I do seem to like the colors brown, red, and green. Those colors are everywhere, and entirely mostly on accident. Kitchen counters--almost always clean. I can't function with a dirty kitchen. I can, however, seem to function when every other room is dirty. For some reason that doesn't bother me. Yes, a coffee table. Without one, I would know where to put my feet.

Wendy:   What is one of the most encouraging things you could hear right now?
Amy:  Above all, for someone to say I made a difference in their lives. A distant second, that someone liked my book.

Thanks Amy! I wish you great success with your writing career & I love that we’ve connected online! To read Amy’s interview with me click here.

More about Amy
Amy Matayo has a degree in Journalism from John Brown University. She worked for seven years as Senior Writer and Editor at DaySpring Cards until the birth of her first child. Amy was a freelance writer for David C. Cook before pursuing novel writing full-time—focusing on edgy, humorous books for women of all ages. She lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. Please visit her online at

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Key Highlights

Here’s something valuable to remember. No matter what all appears to be shaking down on the outside, the show or the finished product, keep in mind there’s always a spin cycle taking place behind the scenes. Oh, how much fun it would be to share all the behind the scenes tidbits of my career or even of what was going on as I prepared to launch my debut novella, The Disappearing Key. Oh what fun.

Instead, I thought I’d  throw out a Letterman top ten.

Here are my favorite Top Ten Behind the Scenes Moments related to The Disappearing Key

10. While chatting with another mom at my daughter’s basketball game we kept trying to figure out if we’d met before. She told me more than once I looked familiar. I asked her if she was in a book club, which triggered it for her. She smiled and said my book was on her bedside table. 

9. I’ve delighted in how the book clubs I’ve been visiting exude creativity. Members show up wearing “key” bracelets, they bring key lime pie, they offer a “Lock & Key” wine, etc.

8. A woman who is a prenatal genetic counselor at one of the book clubs I attended was curious who I interviewed to get a grasp for Gabrielle’s vocation. She expressed how accurately I captured things that she deals with in her role.

7. An author whose work I’ve admired for years sent repeated notes of encouragement, indicating how much she enjoyed my novella. She let me know she even read it twice.

6. I beamed the day I looked on Goodreads to find another author I respect (Carla Stewart) had given my novella a five ***** star review. Grateful for everyone who has taken the time to review this work!

5. Getting texts, emails, and phone calls from my mom whenever one of her friends or acquaintances calls her raving about The Disappearing Key. One of her best friends, whom she was unsure had even read my book yet, surprised my mom by telling an entire room of women they had to read it. She received word from a family we used to know when we lived in England that they read and really enjoyed my book. So much fun.

4. Feedback from family members, including distant cousins, friends, and other authors (thanks again to the endorsers). Support like this is invaluable. I’ll always be grateful for the Facebook posts, the tweets (Sue Harrison and Heather Gilbert, etc.) and the shout outs (special thanks to the elementary school staff). I’ve also found it really cool to read reviews from strangers.

3. My launch party where nearly forty people showed up to support me.

2. My husband’s response after he read it. Still savoring his words.

1. Have to say the most meaningful experience in the aftermath of releasing my novella involved the woman I dedicated the book to (read her story here). Erin’s reaction blew me away. She offered further affirmation that I’m thankful I went with my gut and took a risk with this book.

What’s been going on behind the scenes with you? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Closed Doors Days

Ever notice how neighborhoods switch into hibernation mode during the winter? Doors remain shut. Trips to take out the garbage are done in a hustle. Even shoveling is accomplished with low mumbled grunts and hurried waves. We crave the nests of our homes. Our caves. However, right about now I begin to desperately miss open windows. Open doors.

In the summer I drive with the my car windows down. At any given time you might look over into my soccer mom van and see me jammin’ to whatever music happens to be on. I’m not afraid to sing to you either. A little “I want to see you be brave” or “let’s get together and feel alright.” These days I’m using my window scraper and bouncing in my seat until my hands become warm enough I can trust them to steer.

So how do we step out of these encasements? How do we dare ourselves to walk outside in the cold to be pinpricked by the stars, to fall into our own snow angel, to converse with a lonely neighbor, to listen for birds (yes, there are still birds out there in winter)?

I think Nike was on to something with the whole “Just do it” slogan.

Open the doors. There’s a whole world out there! It’s been missing you.

Do you wanna build a snowman? ;-)

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...