The New and Improved Reade and Write!

I’ve spent some time in the past week working on the blog to make it easier to read and easier for readers to find my books. I’ve updated the “About Me” page and I’ve added a page listing my books with links to my website and/or Amazon. I’ve also changed the font and, more importantly, the font size, to make the title of the blog and the different pages more user-friendly.

One of my goals is to use the blog more effectively to invite people to sign up for my newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up, click the tab that says “Website and Newsletter” at the top of the blog’s home page and you’ll be redirected to my sign-up form. I’m always trying to grow the newsletter, so I invite you to join us!

One of these days I intend to include some short stories on the blog (and duplicated on the website) that readers can peruse, too.

I hope you like the new look! Let me know what you think and if there’s anything else I could do to make visiting Reade and Write a pleasant experience!

Until  next time,

Amy

 

Farewell to 2014

I have mixed feelings about leaving 2014 behind. There were times when it was great and times when it really wasn’t. I guess every year is like that.

So what were the highlights?

1. My first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, was published in July. Woo hoo!

2. I finished my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and started a third.

3. Our family went to Europe over the summer. All things considered, it was an amazing experience and I want to go again!

4. Two of my kids started new schools and love them.

5. My third child got a great score on her first attempt at the SAT.

6. Kayaking!

7. I got a little more involved with Facebook and Twitter.

8. I completed a few of my New Year’s resolutions (more about that next week).

9. I had my first book signing! Thank you again, Corbin’s River Heritage!

10. I ran my first 5K and got to watch my husband finish the Maui Warrior Challenge in September.

And what were the not-so-highlights?

1. I have learned that having a book published isn’t all fun. It’s hard work, very time consuming, and each book, even after it’s published, is a long-term commitment.

2. Our family went to Europe over the summer. Someday, when the memories aren’t so raw and I can laugh at them, I’ll tell you some of my stories.

3. One of our children was hit by a car in August and is still recovering.

I would like to thank all of you for your support over the past year. I have enjoyed blogging and love reading your comments and hearing your thoughts. Let’s grow it in 2015!

New Year’s Resolutions: Breaking News

I am happy to announce that I have completed one of my New Year’s resolutions: this past weekend I ran my first 5K! I was on Maui to watch my husband compete in the ‘Ulalena Warrior Challenge (10K, followed by a mile race, then a full marathon the next morning) and he convinced me to give the 5K a try. I was passed by everyone from a 5-year-old to an octogenarian, but I managed to finish the race and I am very happy with my results. I even plan to do another one someday! My training for this race consisted of walking a 5K on the treadmill exactly three times before the race, so I figure that I can do even better in the next race if I actually do a bit of training! At some point I will post pictures of the 5K, but I haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet.

If you remember my list of resolutions for 2014 (not that I expect you to), I also wanted to improve my writing. I don’t think that kind of resolution can be quantified, but I do know that I’ve done a lot more writing this year than last year, and that’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’ve also spent more time this year reading what other authors have to say about writing and hopefully learning from them.

I’ve also increased the number of Twitter and Facebook posts that I put up, so those resolutions are being fulfilled, too. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, I invite (is “beg” too strong a word?) you to follow me and “like” my posts!

I am not as happy to announce that some of my other New Year’s resolutions have gone largely ignored for the first two-thirds of the year. My kids do not yet have new closet doors and my garage and attic are still nothing short of dangerous. But it’s only September, so I’m optimistic!

I know I’ve been remiss the past couple of weeks getting blog posts up on time, but I intend to be back on track next Tuesday.

In the meantime, I’d love it if you would share with me the status of your 2014 resolutions!

Until next week,

Amy

What’s Today?

When this post goes live, it will be Tuesday, September 9th. For those of you who aren’t aware, September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. It is also the second Tuesday of the month, making it National Ants on a Log Day. It is also the anniversary of my husband and me, and of my mom and stepdad (but those are, alas, not national holidays).

In honor of National Teddy Bear Day, I am posting a picture of a bear who lives on my bed. I would tell you his name, but some things just have to remain private. He has been a fixture in my room since I got him (when I was about twelve years old). He went to college with me, then law school. He’s been on vacation to lots of places that most teddy bears don’t get to go.

National Teddy Bear Day

And before you say it, I already know he isn’t a “real” teddy bear. He’s a koala bear, but I’m celebrating his existence on Tuesday anyways.

And that, finally, brings me to my point.

Especially in these last few weeks, I have been reminded how important it is to celebrate and be thankful for the little things in life. And the big things. Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day busyness on my family’s schedules that I forget how lucky we really are to be so busy and to have such full lives. It took something drastic to remind me that it’s easy to take small things for granted and that I need to spend more time celebrating the so-called “mundane.”

So here is a short list of some of the things I celebrated this past week:

kayaking for the first time with some wonderful friends in a beautiful place; phone calls with my grandfather; being able to write every day; having three kids who love (well, two kids love–one kid likes) to go to school each day; Facebook and the ability it gives me to connect with distant members of my family and lots of friends; dentists (I know–not something I usually celebrate); my husband’s jokes; and seafood risotto. There are so many other things I’m thankful for, but I gave myself just a few seconds to brainstorm and those are the ones I came up with first.

In the limited research I did for today’s post, I also found that September 9th is also National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day, Wonderful Weirdos Day, and Wienerschnitzel Day. Here’s a list of the online sites I visted:

http://nationaldaycalendar.com/
http://www.checkiday.com/
http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/holidays-september.asp
http://all-funny.info/real-list-of-national-days
http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/
http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html

So on September 9th I’m going to have myself a plate of ants-on-logs and celebrate the little things in life. There are so many! Happy Anniversary to my husband and to my mom and stepdad!

Until next week,

Amy