Writers “Go There”—Entering the Vulnerable

 Happy Friday ya’ll. Remember, in our imaginations we’re on a plane headed to Ireland! Check out yesterday’s post if you’re confused. Yeah, I blogged on Thursday.  I’d Rather Be… 

Because today, my friend, Wendy Paine Miller is in the house and she’s talking about writing, birthing babies (I said that in the tone of Prissy from Gone with the Wind!) and her debut novella, The Disappearing Key. Wendy, take it away!

I can’t say when it was that I realized several of my novels
depict scenes that revolve around labor. I know women care about such events
and I write women’s fiction, but the process of including births in my work
wasn’t intentional. It doesn’t work like that. At least not for me anyway.
I think these scenes kept showing up in my work because I
was writing into the pain. As a writer, I was “going there.”
I have three daughters.
And I lost two babies in between my second and third.
What’s weird is I rarely ever bring this up. It’s still
hard. Seven years later, speaking the word miscarriage still swells a sizeable
knot in my throat and the backs of my eyes sting with tears.
So why, you might be thinking, why go there?
I don’t really have a clear cut answer except to say it’s
what writers do. Whether it’s a part of the catharsis or a subconscious gut instinct
that women could sit around a table all night sharing labor stories, these scenes
keep finding a way into my work.
I also think it’s because we’re bonded by birth stories. They
are our badges of courage, our completed marathons, our tour de force, our
personal Mount Everest, our interlaced threads of womanhood stringing us all
together through vulnerability—by honest life-surging events as heartbreaking
or funny or remarkable as they come.
So I write about births, as I did in the first scene of my
debut novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY.
I feel what my character’s feel, their loss becoming my loss, their joy—my joy.
I may not always agree with their choices or understand their reasoning, but
more than anything else as I writer I aim to experience with them vicariously,
without judgment, unencumbered and fully engaged with them moment by moment.
I step away after writing these scenes with a heightened
sense of empathy, a fueled curiosity, and a deepened sense of gratitude for the
ways women bolster and enliven one another in conversations that involve

Why do
you think women are so bonded by stories of birth? Have you experienced this is
the case in your experiences with women?

lives with her husband, their three girls, and a skunk-dodging Samoyed. She

most alive when she’s laughing, speeding on a boat, reading, writing,
refurbishing furniture or taking risks. She’s authored ten novels and is
currently writing what she hopes will be your future book club pick.

Her work has been published in
numerous anthologies and online sites. Wendy graduated with a BA in English
from Wittenberg University, where she earned an Honor of Distinction for her
accrued knowledge of literature.
She’s represented by Rachelle
Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency.

Visit http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/  or connect with Wendy on Facebook or Twitter

Faith Readers Review: Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

The excitement was over-the-top! Not only was our rockstar, Jan Kerley, bringing Surprise Strawberry cupcakes (the surprise was a cream cheese and chocolate chip center…uh yeah, awesome) but we had the amazing opportunity to skype with author, Katie Ganshert–her first book club group to chat live with! Yay! You can see our picture on her book club page HERE! She has the cake from the story (which had I been on my A game, I’d have baked) as well as discussion questions and a youtube video for bookclubbers! So cool!  

We spent the first 30 minutes of our time discussing the book–yah know before Katie’s turn! 🙂  
Our rating 1-5 stars: 4 stars!

I think for the first time ever, everyone liked this book! Here’s some of the things we said pre-Katie:
“I connected with Bethany from the very get-go.”

“I didn’t connect with her at first but then I realized how insecure she was, and by the end I forgot she was a fictional character.”

“I loved the romance! It wasn’t too much but just enough that it didn’t overpower the real story.”

“I want to meet Evan! Whoo–that kiss!”

“Whoo–that dance!!”

“I thought Robin’s grief was real, too real. It hit home and that’s all I could focus on.” 

“I think the author wrote beautifully but not over my head.”

“I want that cake recipe!”

“I’d like Evan!”

And then we had the chance to skype with the beautiful, smart, and funny Katie Ganshert! She was very personable and interactive with us which is fabulous!  She even asked us questions! I loved that and so did our Faith Readers. It made us all feel valuable. I can’t quote everything said because I don’t want to give anything away! But here’s a few things I can share!
Katie sent us a picture of who she thought Evan looked like! 

She explained some of the changes her editor asked for, which was amazing how she pulled off those feats! 

She talked about some of her inspiration, people she talked to about grief and a book she read.

Everyone took turns on the camera asking questions and laughing. It was a great night! 

Katie’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter is an amazing book and I encourage anyone to read it! In honor of her release, I’ve invited Katie to spend the rest of the week on the blog!
Wednesday, she’ll be sharing a powerful devotion with you and on Friday we’ll play Would You Rather with Bethany and Evan, her main characters and Katie herself! It’s going to be lots of fun so make sure you come back and visit! 
Here’s a sneak peek at Wildflowers from Winter! 
A young architect at
a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her
trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother
reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is
called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any
emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected
inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces
Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand
Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left
the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he
disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps
so carefully locked away. 
For Bethany, making
peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to
freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not
even sure exists? 
What’s your favorite cupcake? Have you ever made a recipe an author included in the novel?