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!



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


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

Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro douze (12)

Last week, for our October lunch, Wendy and I broke with tradition.

Instead of going to a French restaurant (of which, we’ve just about run out – that is, of any close enough to where we live), we went to a Mexican one. And instead of Wednesday, we went on Thursday, because it worked better for both of us, and gave us a bit more time.


Which was nice, because we were celebrating our birthdays: mine was the week before, and hers is coming up this weekend.

We caught up with each other’s lives – work and family – and then talked about her art, my writing, and books we’ve read. I loved hearing about her current project, and I described my work-in-progress and asked for her thoughts. Sometimes, when I talk to others about the books I’ve written or about what I’m writing, they can lose interest, and their eyes start to glaze.

Not Wendy, though. She listened intently and offered great ideas for characters and missing plot elements –so many, in fact, that I later wished I’d taken notes.

When we parted, I felt re-energized about this new novel (whose working title I ran by her and explained what it meant). I’m writing the next scene today, and I hope to finish it before trick-or-treaters show up at the door.

And then, I’ll have (another) glass of wine!




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.


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? 😉

Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro neuf (9)

Despite the busy-ness of summer, Wendy and I were able to meet for lunch this month, and this time, a mutual, good friend joined us!

We went to a spot that was casual, not too much $, but good…and of course, we each had a glass of wine. Our friend had white, but Wendy and I chose a rosé. The three of us caught up, told stories, and shared our news with each other.

Three is a useful number in storytelling (of course, I thought of that): 3 details (and no more) to describe something; 3 sequences in an act; and 3 acts in a story. Three is also a good number of beats in a character’s arc, of images to choose from when deciding on a new book cover (or for choices for anything, for that matter), and the number of paragraphs in a blog post. No wonder they say, “Three’s a charm.”


Not the wine we had, but a bottle mon mari and I purchased at a Wine Tasting we went to with some very fun members of the Atlanta Toulouse Sister Cities Committee (a French cultural group). We bought more than three bottles, though.



Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro huit (8)

For our May lunch together, Wendy and I chose a French Bistro/restaurant called Atmosphère.


I won’t be able to attend the Wine Tasting on June 1st, but we enjoyed a glass of rosé with our lunch. We had a leisurely, French déjeuner and chatted about a variety of sujets. She’s younger than me, has one more child than I do (and they’re all younger than my youngest), but we connect on so many things. I always learn things from her, too, and I love to find out what she’s doing.

She has a busy summer planned (and I have a fairly busy one ahead, too), so we may take a hiatus from our lunches until August. But we did pencil in late June as a possibility. I hope that works out, and if it does, of course I will write a post about it then 😉

By the way, atmosphère is a vrai-ami (literally, “true friend’): it means the same thing in French as ‘atmosphere’ does in English. How nice it was to go to Atmosphère with a vrai-ami !


Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro cinq

This month, Wendy and I met for lunch at another Atlanta French restaurant.


We ordered our wine immediately, but we took a few minutes to order our food. The restaurant is a favorite – I’ve been to parties there – and the salmon salad I had was delicious.

We talked about travels (past and upcoming), schedules (she has a busy one!), movies we’ve seen, and books we’ve read. And, movies we’ve seen based on books – some that we’ve read – and whether we felt they were well adapted to the big screen. I described what’s going on with my books, and revealed the (new) title for my next novel, which is coming out soon.

It’s NOT A Zero-Sum Game, after all. I’ve chosen a shorter, catchier title that fits the story much better. Wendy said she thought it was awesome!

Which made me feel even more convinced that I’ve made the right decision.

Here’s a hint: It’s two words, and describes the main character. I can’t wait to see how it looks on the cover. Who knows, I may have the book in my hands the next time Wendy and I meet (in March) for déjeuner!


Wine with Wendy on Wednesday: numéro deux

My friend Wendy and I met yesterday at another French bistro, F & B Atlanta, and had a glass of wine with our lunch.

We talked about art and writing, and about our past and upcoming trips. I had some news to share about my next book, the one she just read, pre-publication, as my beta-reader. She’s working on a new painting, and next month, to celebrate her birthday, she’s going on a week-long vacation on a Caribbean island.


It was so much fun to catch up, and I love hearing about Wendy’s (sometimes crazy) adventures. We both raised a houseful of kids (well, she’s still raising hers), and although I’ve known her for several years, yesterday was the first time I realized that the age span of her five children is the same as that of my four: 9 years (technically, for my group, it’s 8 years and 9 months).

My children are older than hers,  and none of our kids know each other. They mostly went to different schools, and Wendy and I met not through them but via mutual friends. We connected over our own endeavors, not through our kids’ lives and activities. We talked about that fact yesterday, and about how nice and even refreshing it is to share stories about what we’re doing in our own lives right now.

Wendy had found some problems in my (title still to be revealed) next book, and gave me her take on the book and her opinion about that title–I had changed it from the working title I used most of last year, while I was writing it. I’ve settled on the new title, and I was so grateful to my friend for giving me her valuable feedback, so that I could give the story a final polish.

When we meet again, she’ll be back from her trip, rested and relaxed, and I’ll be looking forward to going on mine. Meantime, I’m going to Nashville, where I’ll be a panelist at the 2015 Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. *

Which is going to be a fun adventure!

* This week and next, there won’t be a “Pizza and a Movie” post 😦 because this Friday, my husband is taking me out to dinner for my birthday, and the next Friday, I’ll be in Nashville. 

Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays

My friend Wendy is a talented artist, an avid reader, and the mother of 5. How does she do it all? Je n’ai aucune idée! (I have no idea!)

The last two times we had a rendez-vous, we met for déjeuner – lunch – on a Wednesday, and we had a glass of white wine. As we caught up on each other’s lives, the subject of our creative endeavors came up.

Art, and writing.

Wendy is full of energy, smart, clever, and fun. She’s been encouraging me and my writing for years. Her objets d’art are lovely and cool. Last Wednesday, as we dined at La Petite Maison, I told her about my latest book – the one I’ve just finished writing, for which I finally decided on a title.


I told her a little about the story, and although the book has already been edited, revised, edited again, and proofed, she asked if she could read it, pre-publication.

She wanted to be my beta-reader.

Of course, I said yes, and I sent her the PDF later that day. That night, she sent me her initial (very positive) reaction (phew!). She also helped me fine tune the “elevator pitch” or “log line,” and the “blurb” (description).

It was so refreshing to talk to someone who reads constantly (and reads a variety of work) about my next book. Inspired by the fact that our birthdays fall during the next two months, Wendy and I also decided on a new plan: we’ll have lunch at a French restaurant once a month, on a Wednesday, and have a glass of wine with our meal.

Une très bonne idée! et merci, Madame!

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