Monday, September 6, 2021

Broadway is Back!

Broadway is Back! 

We had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Invited Dress Rehearsal for the musical Hadestown on Wednesday. 

Being in a Broadway theatre again after a year and a half was magical. Bursting with energy, the crowd gave an extended standing ovation as soon as the cast walked on stage. It was incredible to be there.


Walter Kerr Theatre: Hadestown before the show



Today, I'm over at C. Lee McKenzie's blog, talking about One Year on Broadway, so stop over and say "Hi"


Have a wonderful Labor Day!


Kathy :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Success...How do you know if you have it? #IWSG


 

It's September 1st and it's time for another IWSG post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh (who is giving my book a shout out today! Thanks Alex!) as a way for all of us writers to share our fears, anxieties, and successes in a safe and non-judgmental space. Over the years, I have found this group to be one of the most supportive and welcoming places, boosting my confidence when needed and teaching me several great tips of the trade.
  


And don't forget, today is the deadline to submit your Sweet Romance for the IWSG Anthology contest!


September Question: 

How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

There are certain accomplishments that pretty much everyone would agree are signs of being successful. Having a book on the "Best Sellers" list, winning an Olympic gold medal, or making lots of money. Most people never accomplish any of those things. If those top accolades were the only way to be successful, almost no one would be.

To be successful as an author, do you need to sell a million or more copies? Maybe some authors measure their success by books sold, but that seems too high a bar for most of us.

According to Google, Amazon alone offers over 48 million books! Unless you're already a best selling author it's hard to stand out in a crowd that enormous, even if your work is as good as Stephen King's or Maya Angelou's. Hundreds of thousands of people might love your work, if only they knew it existed.

I would LOVE for my book to become a best-seller. But I'm also realistic. Just like my figure skating students who dream of the Olympics, I know that there is only a minuscule chance that I make it to the top. And that's okay.

Maybe my own definition of success as a writer will evolve over time. At this moment however, in the middle of releasing my debut book, One Year on Broadway, I feel like a success.

I made it through the entire multi-year process of writing, re-writing, editing, arranging an outside editor, and finding a cover artist. Then I faced a roadblock, the kind that closes all six lanes of traffic, which threatened the entire project. I wondered if I should give up but I chose to forge ahead. Finally, I made it to release day. To me, that is success. Whether or not I sell fifty copies or a million, I'm happy with the fact that I told the story I wanted to tell and now it is out in the world. I have a feeling, though that if Stephen King only sold fifty copies of his next book, he might consider that one a failure. 

I would love to hear how you define success as a writer, have you made it yet?
Did you send in an entry to the Anthology contest?


And lastly, in honor of the release of One Year on Broadway last week, I wanted to share with you a short clip of Once on This Island from Broadway so you can see for yourself just how special this musical was.

Enjoy!


Have a wonderful rest of your week!

Kathy :)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

One Year on Broadway #NewReleaseDay!


Today we're celebrating the release of One Year on Broadway!


Release Day!


One Year on Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea is releasing TODAY!!!


One Year on Broadway is the unlikely true story of how two musical theater fans whose lives were forever changed by seeing a touring production of Once on This Island in 1992. What they saw that night was a version of their own story played out on the stage and it gave them the courage to fight for their own forbidden love.

Twenty-five years later, by some strange twist of fate, they were led back to the Island where they ignored conventional wisdom, took a leap of faith, and became co-producers of the Tony Award winning Broadway Revival of Once on This Island.

This is their love letter to the musical that gave them more than they ever could have imagined.

Publisher: One Small Girl Publishing

Amazon paperback ISBN 9781735610016

Amazon Kindle ISBN 9781735610009


Thanks in advance to the wonderful people who are helping me spread the word!
Tomorrow, August 27, I'll be over at Nick Wilford's blog talking a little bit more about the book and how we got involved in Once on This Island.
September 1 the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh will be giving the book a shout out.
September 8 C. Lee McKenzie is hosting me.

Please hop on over and give them some love.

 I'd love to hear the stories that have changed your life.


Kathy :)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Looking For a Virtual Workout? #Virtualfitness

Core Rhythm Fitness: CRF Live! Best Virtual Group Workout!

It's ten a.m. I rush to my living room and lay out my yoga mat. The weights are where they are easy to grab, my big water bottle is filled and ready. I open my computer and click on the Zoom link.

The connection goes through and I hear that delightfully familiar scream, "Kathyyyy!" Rodrick stretches out my name like he's vocally hugging me. Then his smile brings a ray of light into my heart even in these anxiety-ridden times. Rodrick Covington, founder of Core Rhythm Fitness, (CRF) checks in with everyone as their faces pop up on screen. 

In today's class, there are fifteen of us. I'm glad to see so many familiar faces. I've never met any of these people in person, they live around the country and even in Mexico, but seeing them day-to-day struggling through the workout with me brings us together. We're a community, all here to sweat our stress away. 
But it's not just the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT class) that we're here for. We log in every morning because at least for this one hour of the day, we feel lifted, like we've just been to church. Rodrick's words ground us and bind us together as a family even while we're in our own spaces jumping off our mats.

This is not just a workout, this is about mind, body, soul, and our collective human spirit.

"Mary," Rodrick says and pins her screen so we can all see her, "what is this month's mantra?"

"Surrender," she says, taking herself off mute. 

"Yesss! And what does surrender mean to you, Mary?"

She thinks for a moment. "It means to let go of things I cannot control."

"Yes! Letting go of those other things allows you to make room for the new!" 

We all take a moment to ponder what this means to us.

"Okay, let's get started. First are there any injuries or issues I should know about?" He always gives modifications to every exercise so that anyone can do them. If your back or knees bother you, he will adjust the exercises. A couple of weeks ago, my seventy-nine year old mom joined in on the classes while I was visiting her and she did the whole workout with modifications.
 
"Lie down on your mat, legs straight at a forty-five degree angle, heels together, toes apart, arms six inches off the mat and pulse." Rodrick leads us through the pilates warm-up.

By the time we're done with the first five minutes, my abs are in a knot and on fire. I hope that means I'm pushing myself harder because even though I've been doing this six times a week for over a year, it never seems to get easier!

Only forty-five minutes left to go.

The next exercise is side lunges into a squat, thankfully no weights today. Only sixty seconds of each exercise, but thirty seconds in and my legs already feel heavy. I feel like I might not make it today. I suck in a deep breath. Twenty-five seconds left.

Rodrick senses my waining stamina through the screen and calls out, "C'mon Kathy, just a few more!"

I dig deeper. I breathe and keep pushing.

Somehow I make it through to the end of class. And then Rodrick says the word I've been waiting for. "Rest."

I lay on my mat in a pool of sweat, my muscles still vibrating from the exertion. I listen as he guides us through the stretching cool down.  

To end the class he says, "Share in the chat what surrender means to you."

Today, I'm not sure what to type, so I read everyone else's responses. Jesse types, "To live in the moment and let go of everything else." Living in the moment is exactly what the CRF classes force me to do. We all say goodbye and I lay back down on my mat. 

My body is tired, but I feel strong and spiritually uplifted, though I know I will be sore as hell tomorrow. 

For more information or to join in on the CRF Live fun, click the link. Core Rhythm Fitness is located in New York City and is rated #1 on ClassPass! In addition to their virtual group classes, they also offer virtual personal training as well as a virtual nutrition program.


 
Other News:
TEN days until August 26th, the official launch of One Year On Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea! It is the unlikely story of how my husband and I took a leap and became co-producers of our favorite Broadway musical. Click the link to pre-order the Kindle version


Also, Natalie Aguirre over at Literary Rambles is highlighting One Year On Broadway in her Follower News, so head on over there and give her some love! Thanks Natalie for mentioning my new book! 

I also want to give a big shout out to J.L Woodson over at Woodson Creative Studios for designing a cover that I love!

Hope to see you soon at the virtual CRF gym! 

Kathy :)

Friday, August 6, 2021

One Year On Broadway #Pre-Order!

 

I'm thrilled to announce that my debut non-fiction book, One Year On Broadway, is available for pre-order in the e-book format TODAY!!!

The official release date is August 26 for both the paperback and e-book formats.


One Year On Broadway:
Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea
By Kathryn McKendry

How do you know when it’s time to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one? To let go of the past, open your heart, and trust in a new beginning?

At first we said, “no.” We knew it was ridiculous. And yet something in our hearts led us back to the Island.

Having no idea where it would lead us, my husband and I took a leap of faith and became co-producers of the Broadway Revival of Once On This Island, the musical that had given us so much. 

Even if it failed, we would have a great story to tell. 

We ended up with so much more.

****

One Year On Broadway, is a true story of forbidden love, adventure, and letting go. 

Weaving together a fan girl's tribute to her all-time favorite musical and a memoir, One Year on Broadway is a closeup view into the production of a Broadway musical and a testament to the power of the stories that become a part of us forever.



Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Writing From the Heart #IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) Day! The IWSG is an amazing community of writers brought together by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It is a place where we can share our fears, successes, thoughts, and expert tips about writing in a safe space without the fear of feeling foolish. Sign up here to join!

Today our fabulous hosts are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lejevardi, and Sandra Cox. Please stop by to tell them thanks for hosting!

This month's optional question is:

What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

I started writing my first stories in elementary school. Our teacher assigned us a story a week using as many spelling words as possible. Even though it was assignment, I wrote for me, crafting the silliest, craziest stories that made me laugh. I had no idea about any of the actual techniques of writing other than basic English grammar that we had learned up to that point. 

They probably weren't good stories, but every week I got my paper back with a big red "A" on it and that made me want to write as much as I had time for. 

As soon as I could I signed up for creative writing courses in high school. I was lucky enough to have a mother who was also interested in writing stories so we both attended several writing conferences together to learn all we could.

Most of the books I read about writing were during that time, pre-Goodreads. Either they weren't very good books or I have a terrible memory because I can't think of a single title.

I'm not sure why I didn't take creative writing in college. Probably because my parents kept encouraging me to major in something I would make money in and for some reason, though I was a passionate writer, I didn't think of it as a profession. I changed majors five times trying to find what I wanted to study that could be a career. I started with engineering but there's so much math!

As a professional figure skating coach, I haven't used my degree in linguistics once. Oh well.

Finally, I came back to writing and started reading about the techniques of writing and that's when I found,

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

It has everything. He gives us an up close and personal master class filled with tips on writing a better story and things to watch out for as well as when to not worry about all the rules, and advice to trust yourself. Every time I read it, I want to grab my notebook or computer and write for hours. My biggest take away from it brings me back to my elementary classroom--write what you want to write and write it from the heart.

It also made me start reading his other books, which, because I'm not really a fan of scary things, I had never read. I'm still not a fan of scary things but I do love his writing. 

What is your favorite book on writing?

*****

In other news, I will have a release date for my debut non-fiction book, One Year On Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea, very soon! Stay tuned! 


A true story of forbidden love, adventure, and letting go


How do you know when it’s time to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one? To let go of the past, open your heart, and trust in a new beginning?


At first we said, “no.” We knew it was ridiculous.


And yet something in our hearts led us back to the Island.


Having no idea where it would lead, my husband and I took a leap of faith and became co-producers of the Broadway Revival of Once On This Island, the musical that had given us so much. 


Even if it failed, we would have a great story to tell.


We ended up with so much more.


I'm still looking for a few more people who would be willing to help with the launch! Anything you can do helps: a blog post, a review, a social media shout-out, anything that fits your schedule!

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have already contacted me about helping!

Hope you all have a wonderful August! 

Kathy :)


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Writing Is My Sanctuary--#IWSG post


 

We have made it through half of 2021 already which seems impossible, but here we are and now it is the first Wednesday in July!

The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) Day! The IWSG is an amazing community of writers brought together by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It is a place where we can share our fears, successes, thoughts, and expert tips about writing in a safe space without the fear of feeling foolish. Sign up here to join!

Our awesome co-hosts for this month are:  Pat Garcia, Victoria Mare Lees, Chemist Ken, and Louise–Fundy Blue

Every month an optional question is asked. July's question is: 

What would make you quit writing?

Writing is my sanctuary, my release, my meditation. Every since my hand could physically hold a pencil I wrote. There was magic in putting a mark on a blank paper that other people could understand. Before I understood how to form my own sentences on paper, I would copy down every word of my favorite books. 

In fifth grade, I couldn't wait until Thursday--the day our teacher instructed us to use our spelling words to create a story.

I have never stopped writing. It's not always stories, sometimes it's poems, sometimes it's detailed journaling to remember trips, special occasions, or the daily simple details of life. Sometimes it's just putting thoughts down as a way to figure out this crazy journey of life.

Writing is always there for me.

There are only two things that could make me stop writing: 

1. Advanced dementia to the point that I can't form sentences--which is an actual possibility for me since my dad recently passed from Parkinson's with severe dementia

2. Death

Until either of those occur, I will always turn to writing in some form. I still believe their is magic in words. After all, where else can we travel through time and experience the past except in reading the words of Shakespeare, Cervantes, or Alexander Dumas; or begin to understand what others around us in our own times have experienced without reading Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry or countless others.

Whether or not anyone else reads my words, for me, writing is as integral to my being as breath.

Is there anything that would make you stop writing? Has it been a part of you for a long time or did you recently discover the magic of writing? 


*On a side note, I'm still looking for anyone who would like to help out with my upcoming book launch. If you're interested in giving it a review or being a part of my blog hop team email me at kjmckendry@yahoo.com 


One Year On Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea by Kathryn McKendry

A true story of forbidden love, adventure, and letting go


How do you know when it’s time to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one? To let go of the past, open your heart, and trust in a new beginning?


At first we said, “no.” We knew it was ridiculous.


And yet something in our hearts led us back to the Island.


Having no idea where it would lead, my husband and I took a leap of faith and became co-producers of the Broadway Revival of Once On This Island, the musical that had given us so much. 


Even if it failed, we would have a great story to tell.


We ended up with so much more.





Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Kathy