I Got A Facelift!

Well, not me personally (not yet). I’m referring to my website.

I know I’ve been MIA for the past month or so, but it’s because I’ve been working diligently with my amazing graphic designer/publisher, Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott, on changing my website to make it more user-friendly.  I am so pleased to show you my new “face.” It’s so pretty and shiny.

The minor downfall to this change is you have to re-sign up to follow my blog. The “follow-me” element on my original blog doesn’t cross over.

I know. What a P-in-the-A. I get it. But I would love to continue to send you blog posts by email, so it would make me so happy if you would please take a moment if you could cozy on over to the new KimberlyWenzler.com and sign up for my “Email to Blog” List – they’re opt-in via MailChimp – that means you’ll get and email to confirm it was really you who signed up — no spam here.

And if you like my books, feel free to sign up for my “Early Notice” list — You’ll get pre-release notices about upcoming books and events. How cool is that?

Thank you for your patience and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Hope to see you there!

Love,

Kim

Labor of Love

Seventeen years ago, my husband and I walked into a stranger’s home. Upon entering, we were escorted to the basement and into a room where several other couples sat, in the same predicament as us. I was eight months pregnant with our first child.

Welcome to Lamaze class.

The instructor and homeowner was Celeste, a labor and delivery nurse at our local hospital who, in the evenings, kindly and calmly explained to pregnant couples what awaited us. Over the course of three weeks, we learned to breathe through pain, learned the procedures of the hospital, saw some disturbing films and when our classes were over, bid goodbye to lovely Celeste.

Labor is hard. It hurts like hell. I felt my first pangs of discomfort at one o’clock in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. I was in the hospital begging for an epidural by three. To our surprise and pleasure, Celeste was on her shift when Steve and I were admitted. It was Celeste who held my hands, stared into my eyes and guided me through the painful epidural, Celeste who stopped into my room intermittently while we waited, with her calm demeanor, her supportive words and encouraging smiles.

Our baby arrived at eight o’clock in the morning. As all nine pounds- thirteen ounces of him were cleaned and weighed, Celeste came into the delivery room to see us and to meet our son before she went home.

Every mother has a labor story. The testimony of giving birth is proof of our initiation into motherhood, the hazing that we survived in order to be part of life’s most coveted sorority. My labor story always includes Celeste: how she was there for me when I needed her, how she stayed at work well after her shift was over to meet our son. She played an important role in the most significant event of our lives. I hardly remember another single soul from that night. I have been talking about her since November, 1998. I hadn’t seen her since then.

Last night I was invited to be a guest at a book club that was discussing Both Sides of Love. At Celeste’s house. To say I was looking forward to this night is an understatement. True to form, she greeted me with a wide smile and encompassing embrace. Seventeen years melted away in that moment and she held me like an old friend.

Celeste belongs to a book club that is comprised of labor and delivery nurses from her hospital: a loud, entertaining group of woman who made careers of bringing lives into the world. Stories? They had plenty. They didn’t talk about their work, mind you – they had enough to share on their own. I blushed and laughed all night as I sat among them, feeling welcome.

As they discussed Beth and Daniel’s story, and shared stories of their own that moved me, I took in every friendly, open face around the room and thought of all of the lucky pregnant women who would soon meet them. When I said goodbye to each one at the end of the night, I accepted their well-wishes with gratitude.

Celeste and I had a few minutes alone. A lot of years have passed since we’ve met. A lot has happened. Speaking with her felt like something I’d been doing for a long time.

Seventeen years ago I walked into a stranger’s home. Last night I drove away from a friend and someone who will always hold a place in my heart.

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On The Radio

I did a radio interview a few weeks ago in NYC. What?

I was offered to do the show, a book-talk segment on an internet radio station called BreakThru Radio, and before I could get inside my own head and tell myself I shouldn’t, I agreed to do it.

Once committed, I then decided to find out a bit about the station, the show and the DJ, Kory French. I listened to a few interviews and read Kory’s bio. He’s young (well, younger than me), he’s hip, he’s into vinyl albums and not into the mundane. There is nothing commercial about this guy. He loves new artists, stuff I’ve never heard of, interviewed soldiers who’ve been to Afghanistan and an author who was a former heroin addict.

I listen to 70’s satellite radio and buy “Best of” CD’s. My worst addiction is chocolate.

This wasn’t going to work. I sent a (long-winded) panicked email to the coordinator, telling her we should cancel. Two days later, I received this response: “It’s all good.”

Oh-kay.

I went over talking points in my head. I listened to more of Kory’s interviews. Every week, he introduces a new author along with a new artist/band. Each interview is different. Each one tailored to the author and their work. Even the music he chooses compliments the subject. The more I heard him, the more I liked him. I was in good hands. I hoped.

That morning, I waited in the lobby, trying to hold myself together. Sipped my water bottle, while my flask sat in my pocketbook. The flask (a last-minute grab) was a metaphor for how nervous I was. I was hoping Kory would think it was funny, ease the tension. He didn’t have to know I bought it for my husband 2 years ago and it’s never been used.

He walked out to meet me with a friendly smile and guided me to his small studio where we’d talk, facing each other. The walls were covered with CD’s. I recognized nothing. I showed him the flask. He laughed. Later, my husband expressed concern that I brought one. You’ll look like an alcoholic, he said. I’m thinking I’d probably be more interesting if I was. Instead, I’m a tightly wound hockey mom who loves to write love stories. Sober.

Anyway.

Kory explained how the interview would go. He’d introduce an album and play some songs. Then we’d talk for ten minutes. He’d play some more music from the album. We’d talk ten more minutes and we were done. Cake. I was ready. I took a swig of water. That’s right. The flask was a metaphor.

When we finished, we talked a bit more off air. He’s personable, warm and friendly. Far from the intimidating voice I listened to earlier. I was happy to meet him.

At home, I admitted to my family that I was nervous and I wasn’t sure how it went. My 16- year-old said this:

You just did a radio interview in NYC, with a cool DJ, about a book you published yourself. How bad could you have been?

I know, right?

This is DJ Kory:

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Yesterday Kory sent me the interview. Weeks of worrying and it was here. I just listened to it today. It’s not that bad. It was hard to listen to my own voice, but once I got past it, it was okay. In fact, it’s pretty good. Kory managed to tie in the theme of Both Sides of Love with the changes that are demanded, of women especially, as we grow, become parents, put others before ourselves and lose the identity of who we once were. Genius.

And he paired me up with a really good band called Sonny Knight and the Lakers.

Whew.

To listen to DJ Kory French’s Book Talk, go to http://www.breakthruradio.com I promise you’ll like it. You’ll hear some new, groovy music too.

To hear my interview, click here:

Book Talk Interview

One Smart Cookie

Hello Friends,

I have a small fortune-cookie note taped to my desk (no joke – it’s been there awhile). It says:

Do what you love and the necessary resources will follow.

Here’s a (slightly fuzzy) picture of it:

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Pretty good, right?

It’s not easy. And I must be a tad kookie to hold onto a mass-produced fortune note that I found inside a crisp cookie served along with my sesame chicken and egg roll. (Did you know that they don’t serve fortune cookies in China and although popularized in America by the Chinese, they were actually introduced by the Japanese?). My twelve-year-old could have opened this cookie and I could have gotten the one that said: You love Chinese Food.

But I didn’t. I was the receiver of the prolific statement. And I took it to heart.

So, as I embark on another year, I continue to push forward with my writing.  My second book, tentatively titled Letting Go, is finished and with my editor. I plan to have it out before summer this year.

Both Sides of Love will soon be available in your local library! I’m in the process of obtaining a Library of Congress number which will allow libraries across the country to carry it. In the meantime, I was pleased to find out that readers on Long Island have already borrowed copies from their libraries.

I had another amazing visit with a local book club the first week in January- a new group who has only been together for four months. Can’t think of a better way to start 2015. I never tire of these visits and I’m so happy to have made many new friends this past year. Here is a picture of us:

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I’m not saying the fortune cookie was responsible for setting me on my path. That’s just silly. But when I have doubts, setbacks or simply find myself asking Why?,  I look over, see that tiny scroll of paper and think, Yes, Kim, keep doing it. You’re almost there.

 

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Crumb Cake Anyone?

Hello Friends,

I wanted to share some photos of my latest visits with three wonderful book clubs –  friendly, funny women who have welcomed my into their homes, into their tightly-knit groups and spent hours making me feel like one of their own.

In September, I enjoyed a luncheon at this meeting. The average age here is 75+. But don’t let the number fool you. After an enjoyable discussion about Both Sides of Love, I listened – rapt – as all of the women took out their calendars and planned their next outings – rattling off various dates and plans until my head spun. There was a Broadway show the following week, Italian-American night dinner, Canasta, party at Eileen’s, dancing, movies, lunches, and on and on.

I left feeling very optimistic about my Golden years.

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Here are six women who manage to discuss various topics amid laughter. They’re a small group, but they’re loud and they know how to have a good time. What separates this group from the rest? They incorporate the food mentioned in every book into their meetings. When trying to remember past books, they’ll ask Was that the one with the cream puffs or the apple pie? 

For Both Sides of Love, they brought out everything Beth and Noreen ate, including crumb cake, chips, Mallomars and – wait for it- Dutch Chocolate ice cream! Blew my mind.

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This was my most recent gathering below and my last one scheduled. These women have been together for twelve years and it showed.

I have been invited to six book club meetings since I published in May. Six. This one here, like the others, made me feel welcome immediately. They are open, intelligent and friendly and – as with the rest – I loved my time with them. I appreciated their questions, all so similar, which shows me that women love love. We love to talk to each other. We love to learn and discuss and connect.

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Though each group brought a unique personality to their meetings – the common thread weaving through every one was easy conversation, quick, unadulterated laughter and a bond that was evident from the moment the night began to the last hug goodbye.

Thank you all. Thank you.

Goodreads Giveaway

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to say hello and mention that I am giving away 4 signed copies of Both Sides of Love through Goodreads’ Giveaway program. (Note the sidebar with the weblink.)

Did you know that Goodreads has constant, awesome giveaways? Why not check it out and enter to win some free books. You have nothing to lose!

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They’re ready and waiting. The contest ends in 9 days (August 31st). Hope you join – good luck!

~Kim

More Book Club Love

Hello Friends,

I am so happy to report that my book club visits continue.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining a warm, colorful group, called Reading Between The Wines for a discussion of Both Sides of Love. As with my previous book club visits, I had been looking forward to this meeting.

I LOVE meeting readers.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when this greeted me near the front door:

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Followed immediately by our lovely host, Susan:

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In my experience, when getting together with a group of women to discuss books, I leave with a feeling of camaraderie and warm fuzzies. This evening was no different. Amid delicious snacks (crumb cake included) and wine, I enjoyed a lively discussion with this kind and welcoming club. I loved their questions, their opinions and reveled  in the discussion of who should play Daniel, if this story were made into a movie. (Can you imagine?!)

Someone asked me to describe the best part about writing a book. Well, as much as I love the writing process, I’d be lying if I didn’t say, it’s this.

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So, thank you Reading Between The Wines, for a wonderful evening.

I look forward to visiting another group in September, a luncheon in a retirement community. And I can’t wait!

Have crumb cake, will travel.

Happy reading!

xo