Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Shattered Launch! And A Sprinkle of Magic--#IWSG Post

Happy November!! 

Today I'm handing over the blog to fellow blogger and friend, C. Lee McKenzie, who is talking about her amazing new release Shattered.  I can't wait to read it!



This story surprised me. That is, I didn't have any idea that I would write a book about paraplegia--something I knew very little about--until Libby's story began unfolding in my head. I'd started jotting down ideas when our library announced they were featuring a local author as their next speaker, and this speaker was also a businesswoman, a sportswoman, and... a paraplegic.


I'm not one to get goosebumps when it seems fate has come into play, but I never ignore events that conspire to nudge me into a direction. I attended the event. I read the book this author had written, and I started more serious research into paraplegia. I knew I wanted to write the story that had been hovering at the edges of my mind for a while.


Stars aligned when I found out one of my yoga instructors worked at a clinic for spinal cord injuries. She introduced me to a doctor on staff there and the doctor gave me an hour of her time. I came away with pages of notes, details I could use while trying to write a realistic account of my protagonist's experience.


That next month stars aligned even more. Someone I only knew as a fellow yogi, turned out to be a clinical specialist in spinal cord injuries. She was more than generous with her time and information. She even read an early draft and gave me feedback on the medical details as well as personal experiences from her patients. If I wasn't meant to write this book, nobody was.


Writing this story has taught me so much and I'm grateful for the new awareness I have about people who experience devastating life changes, adapt, and thrive.


So now Shattered's written. It's out to the world. I'll soon learn if these two years from idea to manuscript have been well spent and if I've managed to create a story that is accurate in its details and realistic in its delivery while enjoyable to read.


Available at Amazon . B&N . Kobo . Smashwords






I'm a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I write most of the time, hike and practice yoga a lot, and then travel whenever I can. 
In my young adult books, I take on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. My Evernight Teen Publication, Double Negative was voted as one of the best top ten Young Adult books, 2019. My other books, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Sliding on the Edge, Sudden Secrets and Not Guilty are out to four and five-star reviews.


Thanks so much C. Lee for telling us more about Shattered. It's incredible where the universe leads us sometimes, sounds like you were definitely meant to write this story!



Now for this month's IWSG post!


"Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! "--from the IWSG website.



This month's optional question: What's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

For me, these were equally difficult!
I had such a hard time coming up with both my book title and writing the blurb!
When I first started writing the book, I had about ten different titles that I sort of liked. I picked my favorite and thought that was that. Then one morning my husband and I were talking about it over breakfast and one thing led to another and he said, "What about, One Year on Broadway? It's short and simple and gets people's attention."
My mouth hung wide open for a second, both thrilled that it finally had the right title and a tiny bit disappointed that I hadn't come up with it. "That's perfect!" I said.



Similarly, I wrote the blurb but I wasn't completely happy with it. It wasn't quite right. But I didn't know how to make it better. So I let it simmer in my brain while I worked on other parts of the book. Every now and then I would look at it but nothing came to me. I changed a couple words here and there. It still wasn't perfect. Finally, the right combination of words popped into my head and it was done.

The whole process of writing a book, creating a title, and a writing a blurb all required time and a little sprinkle of magic when fate or something otherworldly took over my brain and fingers and words just poured out onto the computer screen. I don't know where some of the ideas came from they just appeared in my head seemingly from nowhere.


Hope you all have a wonderful week filled with a little sprinkle of magic!
And good luck if you're doing NaNo this year!!


Love Always,

Kathy McKendry



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Steamy Scenes and Expletives...Do You Use Them? IWSG DAY!

                                             


It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group Post! The IWSG was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh as a way:  "To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"--from the IWSG website.

And congratulations to IWSG for again being named by Writer's Digest as one of the top sites for writers!! Way to go!!

This month's wonderful co-hosts are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard


The optional question for October is: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?


I'm not necessarily against using a well placed four letter word in my writing every now and then. I just don't often use them. Even in my own speech, I don't often utter them. 

In fact when I have used them occasionally, my kids, who are now mostly grown adults, actually laugh and tell me, "Mom, you don't sound convincing."

So I guess I'm not good at using swear words even in my own life, not sure I could write them convincingly. Though, I think whatever character I am writing actually determines the language they use. I just haven't written many characters like Roy Kent from Ted Lasso that use expletives with every breath. Nothing against Roy Kent, I love him!

As far as sex scenes go, I guess I lean more toward the Disney "G" rated author. I'm very much a hopeless romantic and at least so far most of my fictional characters are too. There are plenty of books that I have read and enjoyed that are in the rated "R" spectrum but, again, I'm not sure I could write scenes in the steamier realm that flow convincingly. I haven't really tried though so maybe I'll delve into writing some hotter characters and see how it goes.


I just want to thank again all the wonderful people that helped with my book launch last month! This is such an awesome group of supporters!

Alex J. Cavanaugh

Nick Wilford

C. Lee McKenzie

Natalie Aguirre


Hope everyone has a wonderful week and a beautiful October filled with fall colors and yummy apple desserts! I can't wait to make an apple pie!


Kathy :)




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 :)