Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, Feb 2017

Happy Mardi Gras!

Earlier this month, Wendy and I met for lunch, and I’m just now getting around to writing about it. I’ve lost count of the number of posts I’ve done about our déjeuners, so I’m going to start identifying them by date.

This time, we didn’t go to a French restaurant. Instead, we chose Seasons 52 for the lighter fare. We passed on dessert, but we had a glass of wine.

And this time, we didn’t discuss our artistic endeavors (much). Instead, we talked about practical things like our households (not our kids, though) and health (basically, exercise and dieting).

Kind of appropriate, when you’re at Seasons 52.

I hope we can fit in a lunch this month. Spring break is coming, and Wendy’s 5 children have different spring breaks. I have a lot on my calendar in March, too: book signings, book club appearances, travels, and a literary festival. My next appearance is this Saturday afternoon* at a French café called Café Vendôme. They have wonderful bread, patisseries and a great lunch menu. Hope to see you there!

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Above: Seasons 52 flatbread and dessert choices. Below: Café Vendôme macarons, etc.

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* Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:30

List Post, novembre 2016

It’s almost time for turkey Thanksgiving! (What?)

It’s the middle of November, and I’m just now getting around to posting this month’s List! (I’ve been busy.)

Just before the U.S. presidential election, my monsieur and I headed to the Caribbean for a long-awaited vacation on a beautiful island paradise. It was gorgeous, fun, and relaxing!

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On a “sunset cruise” together

The next weekend, I was off to moderate the nonfiction panel at the 2nd Annual Milton Literary Festival in Alpharetta, GA, where I also discussed my book ALL THE ABOVE.

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Me, talking books

So…what do I have coming up?

See my Events tab for details, but in a nutshell:

  • Book Signing, Crema Espresso Gourmet, Dunwoody, GA, Wed, Dec 7, 12:30-3:30
  • Interview, America’s Web Radio Show, “The Prologue,” Fri, Feb 3, 11:00 a.m.
  • Book Signing & Sunday Tea, Bookmiser Book Store, Roswell, GA, Sun, Feb 19, 2:00-3:30
  • And in March I’ll appear at the Dahlonega Literary Festival, followed by a panel discussion appearance at the April meeting of the Atlanta Writers Club in Dunwoody, GA.

In between, I’ll be writing my next novel, and celebrating the holidays with my family and friends.

Joyeuses fêtes de Thanksgiving, et bon apétit!

Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro onze (11)

Before September comes to a close (is it fall, already?)…

Wendy and I had lunch together at an Atlanta French restaurant recently and had a glass of wine. 😎 🍷 🇫🇷

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She told me all about her trip to Ireland, where she played golf and watched two (American) football games. In both, her team won, and in one of them (a high school game), her son played! She also visited San Francisco this month to visit one of her three daughters. I told her about my trip earlier this month to New Orleans, where I attended the mystery writers conference, Bouchercon.

Bistro Niko is one of our favorite lunch spots, with a great menu, and it’s conveniently located. Next month, who knows where we’ll meet? But since our birthdays fall within 2 1/2 weeks of each other (mine in late October, hers in early November) I think it will be fun to celebrate them together! 🍰

Bon weekend! 

 

 

List Post, septembre 2016

Better late than never!

  • Activities this month (so far):
    • AJC Decatur Book Festival:
      • Atlanta Writers Club Thriller Panel
      • Signed books at Eagle Eye Book Shop tent, the Atlanta Writers Club booth and Sisters in Crime booth

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  • Sisters in Crime, Atlanta Chapter meeting:
    • “Marketing and Publicity Secrets and Tips” Panel with 4 other Sisters

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  • Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in NOLA (New Orleans):
    • “Watch that Man – Thriller” Panel, signed books afterward
    • Happy Hour at the House of Blues Voodoo Garden, hosted by my publisher Thomas & Mercer
    • Drinking, dining and fun connecting with other authors and wandering around the French Quarter

With my pal author Emily Drake Carpenter at the Happy Hour party

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  • CURE Childhood Cancer’s Quiet Heroes Luncheon:
    • Wonderful silent auction and program given by CURE for moms and dads of cancer patients, survivors, and children who lost their battle with cancer
    • Met some incredible women who help raise money for cancer research and find a cure (two of whom I am with, below)

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  • Activities coming up: 
    • 2016 Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament, Dinner and Silent Auction: I was invited and will attend this event on Sept. 27
    • Preview for October: Author Appreciation Reception hosted by the Georgia Libraries Association in Athens, Ga; Book signing at Eagle Eye Book Shop; and LOOK FOR AN INTERVIEW ARTICLE on me by Kathy Cioffi in the GOOD BOOKS section of the OCTOBER issue of NORTHSIDE WOMAN MAGAZINE!

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P.S. Latest “Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays” Post coming up soon, too!

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Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro dix (10)

Last Wednesday,Wendy and I met at a Buckhead restaurant for our first déjeuner of the school year. We went to St. Cecelia, located across the street from Phipps Plaza and in the same place another restaurant used to be. It’s been redone, of course, and seems much lighter and brighter now.

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I had a glass of rosé and she had pino grigio, and we ordered tasty, light dishes. She has a couple of big trips coming up – she’s probably on the first one now – but I don’t have one until mid-September. I love hearing about what she has planned, and chatting about things we do or don’t have in common. Turns out, over the last few months, both of us have committed to a healthier lifestyle, and we are both seeing some good results.

Wine notwithstanding.

As a writer, I sometimes feel isolated – even lonely – especially when the words aren’t flowing, and I’m not in the “zone.” Even when I don’t feel that way, it’s good to get together with great friends like Wendy. After a nice lunch with her (and a glass of wine), everything seems much lighter and brighter.

P.S. No “Pizza, Salad and a Movie” last night – we met a couple we hadn’t seen in awhile for dinner instead. Guess what kind of wine I ordered? 😉

List Post, août 2016 (August)

It’s the Dog Days of Summer, and I’ve got a new list!

  • The Georgia Writers Association has just released the judges’ notes for Finalists and Winners of the 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Awards. Here’s what judge Iraj Omidvar said about my book: 
    • “Julia McDermott’s All the Above, My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer is replete with powerful dialogues and descriptions that bring to life the circumstances leading to — as well as the significance of — each of the often life-and-death decisions involved in fighting brain cancer. At the center of this drama is Jack, the courageous and much-loved young man whose struggle reminds us of the often invisible social ties that underpin our lives. In recounting the events, McDermott exposes the powerful relationships among parents and children, siblings, and relatives and friends that sustain life and work, here in face of tremendous stressors. The memoir is also a poignantly appreciative look at the dedicated physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals the family relied on for Jack’s surgeries and recovery.”
  • After my “Personal Journey” was published on July 10, 2016 by the AJC – Atlanta Journal Constitution – titled Fear and Gratitude, (click here to read), I connected with the Georgia Chapter of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Association (headquartered in Asheville, NC). They help families with children who have been diagnosed with brain tumors, and they do great work.
  • I’ll appear on the Atlanta Writers Club Thriller panel at this year’s AJC Decatur Book Festival on Sat., Sept. 3 at 11:15 am at the Decatur City Hall. Afterward, I’ll sign copies of my novels DADDY’S GIRL and UNDERWATER, and my memoir ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER
  • That same day, from 2:00 to 3:00, I’ll be at the Atlanta Writers Club booth, to chat and sign copies of my books. I’ll also appear at the Sisters in Crime booth, time and date TBA.
  • Later in September: I’m traveling to New Orleans to attend Mystery Writers Conference, Bouchercon, and will appear on a panel titled Watch That Man – Thriller on Sunday Sept. 18 at 9:00 am. 
  • In November, I’ll be a participating moderator/panelist on a nonfiction panel at the Milton Literary Festival, and next March, I’ll be a “Regional Writer” at the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

 

List Post, juin 2016 (June)

Even though fall is my favorite season, I love May and June. It’s warm, but not too hot, and flowers are blooming…And this year, my wedding anniversary falls on Father’s Day, and last month, my son Jack’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day! 

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This month’s list:

  • I’ll soon be on the way to a very fun city out west to help celebrate my sis-in-law’s milestone birthday with a bunch of other members of the family. I’m told there will be T-shirts!
  • I’m appearing from 7pm to 9pm on June 15th at The Snug Gastro Pub in Canton, GA with 4 other local authors to do a book reading and sign books.
  • Publicity update: If you missed the Neighbor Newspapers/Marietta Daily Journal article about me and the Georgia Author of the Year Award nomination of ALL THE ABOVE, click here to read. Winners (and finalists) will be announced this Saturday night by the Georgia Writers Association.
  • There may be another article about it in a different Journal soon, so stay tuned…

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Where I’ve worked on my books, and when…

Where I was (and what the season was), when I began writing each of my books:

  • Book 4 (title to be revealed soon): My home office, in the winter ❄️
  • Book 3 (ALL THE ABOVE): My room at the One Ocean Resort & Spa in Atlantic Beach, Florida during spring break👙
  • Book 2 (UNDERWATER): The Library Coffee Company in Atlanta (now closed), in the summer ☕️
  • Book 1 (MAKE THAT DEUX): My kitchen, in the fall 🍁

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Where I was, when I found my editor: My writers group meeting in Atlanta, in the spring 🌷

Where I was, when I found my cover artist: The Resort at Longboat Key Club near Sarasota, Florida, in the spring 🌴

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Where I went to do research:

  • Book 4: McKinney, Texas 🌵
  • Book 3: Winston-Salem, North Carolina 🌳
  • Book 2: New York City, and Nice, France 🚖
  • Book 1: Montpellier, France 🇫🇷

Where I was (and the season), when I finished the edits for each:

  • Book 4: My home office, in the summer 🍉
  • Book 3: My home office, in the winter ⛄️
  • Book 2: Winter Park, Colorado, during a big family reunion vacation week and golf tournament, in the summer ⛳️
  • Book 1: My kitchen, in the fall 🏈

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Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro six

For our March rendez vous, Wendy and I met at a French bistro in Buckhead (in Atlanta).

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Some Atlantans may guess which one from the mural above (inside the restaurant). We had a lovely table near the front, lunch was very tasty, and it was wonderful catching up.

Here are a few things that I either learned, or that we talked about:

  • Wendy has never been to Paris (!) But she’s been to Europe many times – much more than I have.
  • We’d like to go to France together someday – at least, I’d love to go with her.
  • Current events (how could we not); football and other sports; travel destinations, domestic and international; our kids’ college news; and what our kids (of any age) choose (and choose not) to tell us
  • Wendy’s art projects, her approach to them, and her course(s)
  • The fact that she can create a painting (she calls it a “before” – it’s the model, sort of) in an hour! (Seen on her facebook page)
  • My inability to multitask on book projects right now, as I wait to view images to consider for my next novel (soon to be published), and try to craft the storyline and characters for my next one, which I’ve begun writing (I’m on Chapter 3)

It’s so much fun to talk about our creative endeavors, and Wendy continues to amaze me with hers. We agreed that it takes discipline for each of us to do what we do: If we don’t sit (or stand) in front of the canvas (or other surface, I’m guessing) or in my case, the computer, and work at it, it simply won’t get done.

No matter what else is going on!

 

List Post, mars 2016 (March)

  • If you haven’t already, please SIGN UP for my bimonthly Newsletter! (See “Newsletter” under “For Readers”). This month’s edition out very soon!
  • Announcing a TITLE CHANGE for Book 4, a women’s fiction/psychological suspense novel! It’s no longer called A ZERO-SUM GAME. New title is better and shorter. As you might guess from the below, two characters’ names are Valerie and June. I don’t know how I came up with those names – but they worked.
  • No travels this month – so I hope to get lots of writing done. Then, I’ve got long weekends away in April, May, and June. Destinations: Texas – bro-in-law’s wedding; North Carolina – a “Sisters in Crime” (writers organization) presentation I’m doing with another Georgia author; Las Vegas – a sis-in-law’s (big) birthday celebration!
  • Book 5 (work in progress) update: I’m not even ten thousand words in (yet), but it’s taking shape…
  • Glad to serve as Publicity Chair for the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. If you live in the area and receive a “Neighbor Newspaper,” check it for details on our monthly meetings!
  • Looking forward to connecting with a local reporter about a piece on my book ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER and its nomination for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Memoir/Autobiography category!

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Page and Word count (and other things) about my next novel, out soon. It’s finished!