Word Slayers

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

woman in print

Well folks I haven’t written a blog in a month. I’ve been busy teaching Creative Writing at U of P and that involves assembling lectures, developing activities, grading papers, and going mad.

Interestingly enough I think poetry was the biggest hit and that was the one unit I had to research. Although I’ve dabbled in it, to read and to write, I’ve never really studied it.

Don’t get me wrong. The short stories they wrote amazed even them and the personal essays were like free therapy and a new lease on their confused souls.

All in all I’d say none were disappointed in the elective they chose. And I say elective as an electrifying word because in a way it is. It means they had options. They didn’t have to take Creative Writing ENG340 like they have to take Basic Essay Writing ENG125 or College Math MTH120 (choke, gasp).

They chose to learn more about writing creatively and to study those masters who came before them and did exactly that – write creatively, and for all the ages no less…. Poe, Frost, Emerson, Dickenson and a slew of other noteworthy word slayers.

I relish how they reacted to learning about and hearing the work of famous poets, novelists and journalists. It was scary good fun watching them take risks with their own word choices and then share it with their classmates.

There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide in my class. You just have to spill your guts all over the page and then all over your peers as you stand before them and share your work, with nothing to hold you up but the laptop in your hands.

Every one of them is better off for it. They feel more bonded with their own skin and the skin of all their classroom colleagues. They somehow were emancipated from all those locked up secrets and scathing self doubts. Suddenly empowered to speak their peace and therefore find it in their lives.

Most importantly, they now know a little something about all those old, and newly renowned names that never meant anything before because they slept through high school English. And they are now fearless about choosing a weapon of choice whether pen, laptop, or lead to punctuate and titillate using only imagination and an army of figurative language.

Personally I haven’t worked this hard mentally, emotionally, or even physically (pacing during the entirety of each 4 hour class while I stressed over every deliverable of my well-planned and fine-tuned agenda) since the last time I, well, taught college – almost 3 years ago at International Academy.

What will I do differently next time? Almost nothing. A tweak here and there. But for the most part I just wish I could relive every single minute.

And I will.

Next term. (:

get-attachment.aspx

 

9 John Steinbeck Quotes for the Pure at Heart

Tags

, , , ,

John Steinbeck

“The Red Pony by John Steinbeck affected me as a child. It was the first book to make me cry uncontrollably, and caused me to understand the power of words.” Kathryn Mattingly

I loved John Steinbeck’s books. Grapes of Wrath affected me like no other piece of literature. East of Eden was a fascinating look into the history of this area. I am reposting this article written by Joe Muscolino for Biographile in honor of this great author’s birthday. It includes 9 quotes that I absolutely could get lost in. He is one of my heroes, and although he was an agnostic, I see his reoccurring themes of kindness and ‘love thy neighbor’ as fully inspiring. 

On February 27, 1902 — this week in history — cherished American writer John Steinbeck was born. He was raised in Salinas, California, the pastoral keystone to Monterey County and a place Steinbeck would later revisit in some of his greatest works, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Grapes of Wrath (1939), and his personal favorite East of Eden (1952). Steinbeck attended Stanford University, then tried scraping a living in New York City as a writer, only to be pulled back by the gravitational splendor of California, where he lived out his formative years during the Great Depression.

The Steinbeck family attended Episcopal Church, but John would eventually claim agnosticism. He rooted the primacy of “god” in nature itself, exploring this sentiment in one of his earliest works To a God Unknown (1933). A purer, more grounded author has never been known, for Steinbeck truly embodied the love thy neighbor ethos with which he was raised, and his notion of natural laws seeped into every aspect of his writing. Though often noted for his bleak narratives, nearly all of Steinbeck’s work shines with a hope and a will, an eternal optimism unbent by the evils of the world.

If you’ve ever felt moved by a stretch of farmland, or stirred by a southwesterly breeze, or awakened by the subtle spirits of nature, you’ve probably been inspired by John Steinbeck’s prose. That is, if you’ve read him. If you haven’t, here are nine mindful and humanizing quotes from the master of the literary grange below. They’re inspirational and heartfelt, proving that with Steinbeck in your hands, you’ll always enjoy reaping what you read.

1. In every bit of honest writing in the world … there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other. (Journal entry, 1938, quoted in the Introduction to a 1994 edition of Of Mice and Men by Susan Shillinglaw, p. vii)

2. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. (Interview with Robert van Gelder, April 1947, as quoted in John Steinbeck : A Biography, 1994, by Jay Parini)

3. The profession of book-writing makes horse-racing seem like a solid, stable business. (The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, 1976, but a statement he is first quoted as having made in Newsweek, 24 December 1962)

4. The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true. (New York Times, 2 June 1969)

5. Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. (Grapes of Wrath, 1939)

6. And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost. (East of Eden, 1952)

7. There are no ugly questions except those clothed in condescension. (East of Eden, 1952)

8. To be alive at all is to have scars. (The Winter of Our Discontent, 1961)

9. A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. (Travels With Charley: In Search of America, 1962)

Website where originally posted: http://www.biographile.com/

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at Barnes&Noble

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at WGP

Morney from Fractured Hearts

Tags

, , , , ,

Fractured-Hearts

From the review of Ghosts at the Coast by Jonathan Reitan in Dark Discoveries Magazine: “Kathryn Mattingly’s Morney in the anthology Ghosts at the Coast stands out as being superb and highly original. It is a spooky tale about a mysterious gypsy girl in Rome.” This story can be found in Ms. Mattingly’s newly released book, Fractured Hearts (a volume of short fiction) with Winter Goose Publishing. It is available through all major book sellers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
fantasy
 
in my head
i am holding you
in my arms
in my heart
i am aching for you
in my reality
i am living
in my recent past
 
your thoughts
your smile
your gentle touches
are more real
than anything I know
you are but a dream
a mere fantasy
 
our time spent
together
haunts me now
and always will
for I have
known your magic
and it has
transformed me
 

I’ve come to Italy to nurse my wounds, having lost another child and knowing it will be my last attempt to bear children. My doctor and friend, Grant, tells me that it takes more courage sometimes to give up and accept fate, than to try and change it. He’s lent me his late aunt’s house here in Rome near the Piazza Navonna, to help heal my frazzled nerves, which have made me painfully thin. Each morning after a sleepless night I carelessly tie my blonde hair in a ponytail, throw on my jeans and a sweater, and sit at this outdoor café in the Piazza.

I silently pray the late April sun will warm my numb heart as I sip on a cappuccino and think about the children I will never have. I cry behind my sunglasses and wipe away tears before they can escape down my cheeks. On my third day of this ritual that does not soothe my agony, a young gypsy appears out of nowhere. I think surely she is an angel, with eyes as dark and deep as God’s richest earth, and curls the color of mahogany bark. She peers up at me while holding an enormous white cat in her arms.

“Have you some change?” she asks.

Her English is decent and I find myself charmed by her confidence. The round eyes stare at me innocently. A little red tam on her head matches the plaid woolen skirt she wears. I think she looks more like a porcelain doll than a beggar, for her skin is pale and undernourished.

“I do have change,” I tell her, “but why don’t you sit with me a minute and talk?”

Her dark eyes look puzzled as she nervously pets the cat.

“I’ll buy you some milk, if you’ll just sit for a while,” I plead.

After a glance in each direction she sits down and the cat lets out a mournful meow. It jumps from her arms and crouches under the metal chair. The gypsy child doesn’t appear at all concerned that her cat will bolt. And it doesn’t. The feline begins to lick its paws contentedly.

“What’s your name?” I ask boldly.

“Morney,” the gypsy angel says.

“Is that Italian?” I inquire.

“No. My mama is American. Her mama was a Morney, until she married grandpapa. I think Mama misses them… her family in America.”

Gelato-Gelato

I ache for her soul that is wise beyond its years. “Is that why you speak English?” I ask.

“Yes, Papa does not speak it.”

A waiter appears and I order milk for my little friend. The waiter looks skeptical, with one brow arched. I look him straight in the eye, even though he can’t see my eyes behind the dark shades. He nods and leaves quietly.

“Well, it’s a beautiful name. Where did you get that big fluffy cat?” I sip the cappuccino, never taking my eyes from her thin, angelic face.

“She is fluffy, isn’t she?” Morney swells with pride for her enormous feline friend. “I find her one day, making screechy noises. Poor thing… so tiny, and starving.”

Not unlike this child before me, I think to myself, as she turns her head of tangled curls and points toward the cobbled street behind us.

“There, in the side street. That’s where she was. Papa let me keep her.” Morney looks at me, her eyes serious. “But now he says she is too big and eats too much and I must take Chintzy to the cat place.”

“The cat place?” I ask, amazed.

“Yes… in the ruins, where Caesar died. It’s not far from here.”

“Why do they call it the cat place?”

“Because there are many many cats. Maybe a hundred.” Morney reaches under her seat and pets Chintzy while the waiter places a glass of milk in front of the child and disappears, not a smile or a word crossing his lips. After one gulp, she stares at the saucer beneath my cup. I offer it to her and she pours the milk into it carefully, placing it in front of the beloved pet. Morney is kneeling beside the chair and I smile at her red knee socks and little loafers. Someone has mindfully kept this enticing lure for pity from becoming too shabby.

Every day she comes, holding her large white cat, all the while stretching her hands out from beneath the feline to receive coins. The rich tourists at the cafés along the Piazza ignore her and I marvel at how they can be so complacent. Who could resist giving change to this brave little struggling spirit, a mere ghost of a child, with dark shimmering eyes and messy curls beneath a red tam?

I find her scrappy courage contagious, and somehow the pain of my loss is less suffocating. After nearly two weeks of this daily ritual with the child and the cat and the milk, the gypsy angel comes on a warm sultry morning without Chintzy.

“Papa took her to the cat place,” she moans sadly. “He says she drank the little bit of milk we had for my sister Lydia.” The stoic child hardens her eyes rather than cry. “I will visit Chintzy, every day maybe.”

“I’m so sorry Morney,” I mutter, thinking how often have I heard these words myself, and not found them helpful.

“I hate begging!” Morney announces. “But if I do not beg… then Lydia will have no milk, even though the milk is made bad with the drugs.” Her tone is sharp with anger.

“Lydia has drugs in her milk?” I ask, bewildered.

“Yes, it is to make her sleep, so Mama and Papa can beg and she will not cry. I wish…” she confides in me, “…one day to have many coins, so many, I never will beg again. Then Lydia can have milk that is not drugged, and she can be like other babies, shopping with their mama’s.”

I nod, unsure of how to respond. “Perhaps one day, Morney, you will grow up and earn money in one of the shops where you see the mothers with their babies.”

“Perhaps,” she replies, and leaves hurriedly without touching her milk.

One day Morney brings her baby sister in a carriage that is tattered and worn, and asks me to care for her because her mother is too ill to beg and her father has not returned from the bars. Nervously I look about, and see not a soul taking any notice of this battered pram housing a dark-haired darling like her sister. Hesitantly and with many misgivings I concede and tell Morney I will watch Lydia while sipping my cappuccino. But she must return for her by midmorning. As my little gypsy friend runs off into the cobbled side street of the Piazza, I see a woman looking sickly and frail well beyond her years looming in the distance. I wonder if she is Morney and Lydia’s mother.

1330545702zVQLc9

Amidst odd and perplexed looks of pedestrians strolling by and café waiters gawking at my table, I study the little one placed in my care. She never opens her eyes fringed with curled lashes. Lydia’s face is round and smooth like Morney’s, another cherub with mahogany hair, and I wonder if her eyes are as dark as her sister’s. When no one comes for her I reluctantly stroll the sleeping Lydia across the Piazza and ask about her family in the shops. In one store on the corner of the narrow cobbled street someone knows her parents. The shopkeeper tells me the father and mother have probably run off, because the father is wanted for killing a man in a bar brawl.

“Rapheal is a violent one, when he has been drinking.” The little man uses heavily accented English. “He and that woman Isabella are like shadows of the night, always working the back streets.”

The shopkeeper tells me he hopes they will pay for the crime, having shamelessly overdosed their young daughter, addicted to the drugs almost since birth. I anxiously peer down at Lydia, but she is waking up from her drug-induced sleep. I can’t help myself as I reach for her, to cradle the toddler in my arms. She is so light I wonder what there is of her beneath the shabby blanket.

The storekeeper stares painfully at the baby and tells me it will also die from the drugs in the milk, which are too strong. “Rapheal and his woman have less sense than most.” He shakes his head sadly. “They are so young, and the mother… she takes the drugs. But Rapheal… he is just a thief and a drunk.”

“What do you mean I ask?” looking at him puzzled and confused. “Is this not the child you feared was overdosed? See… she’s fine!”

“No. Not that one, not yet anyway. The other one, with the cat.”

Morney?” I whisper, staring helplessly into his bushy-browed eyes.

“Yes… that’s her name… Morney. She is dead a year this… this month I think.”

“But how can that be?” My mind races backward. I remember the pale woman in the shadows, the blank stares of the waiters and their non-recognition of my little gypsy friend, who has visited me every day for two weeks, begging coins while stealing my heart. I remember Grant telling me I have hallucinations because I am not well… the drugs, the tests, the pregnancies, the lost babies, the strain of it all. I must take a long vacation. And now this, discovering Morney has died well before she could have brought me her sister Lydia this morning.

I decide to leave Rome. I will reside in Milan. There is nothing to return to the States for. Unsuccessful pregnancies have taken their toll on my marriage. Before I go, I visit the cat place Morney spoke of. It is indeed a refuge of partially-restored ancient ruins, right in the middle of the city; one story beneath ground level. The whole area is overrun with cats of every size and shape. The felines vary widely from fat and sassy to haggard and frail. A big white cat sits like a queen among them and it is Chintzy. I am sure of it. Dusk is settling in and the lights play tricks, but I swear that in the shadows I see Morney, in her red tam and plaid skirt, waving at me. She is kneeling by the huge white cat, stroking its soft arched back with her free hand.

Racing down the cement steps with her sister still in my arms, I shout out… Morney …but only the cats respond, with wild guttural meows. Sitting down on a large stone in the ruins, there among the whining, growling cats, I cry into Lydia’s mahogany curls. We sit for hours in the darkness, huddled together for warmth, but Morney never reappears.

At home now in Milan not a day goes by I don’t think of the little ghost-child and her huge white feline. But thankfully, the voices and illusions within me have not come again. And I have a daughter who needs me, since her father was imprisoned for life, and her mother is dead of malnutrition… or perhaps a drug overdose. No one could be sure. But I am sure of one thing. It was Morney who brought me Lydia, an orphaned gypsy no more, but a child of my own at last.

images

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at Barnes&Noble

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at WGP

Rocky Mountain Plot Twist

Tags

, , , , ,

1368941

The plot twist in this particular blog post is about not moving to Colorado – yet.

Why not you ask? I am not the author so I can’t say for sure, but I will say this- the book isn’t finished yet. (;

I will also say that the occasional and unpredictable plot twist is what makes a book a pager turner. That’s exactly how I feel right now- like my life is so suspenseful I can barely eat or sleep. Is that a bad thing?

Not necessarily.

Building strong characters, afterall, is done through presenting challenges that those characters, quite frankly, would prefer not to face. But those challenges are what turn our main characters into heroes and heroines, once they become sufficiently motivated to persevere and overcome all the stuff in their path.

Then we are hooked on the book.

We are rooting for our characters to figure it out and do the right thing. Slay the dragon. Save the girl. Pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they fail at their first attempts to overcome those challenges or move those piles of stuff.

Perhaps this new plot twist in our personal life is just a slight bend in the road to the same end. That’s what we are hoping, at least, depending on whether the foreshadowing in this story is correct. If so then Trans Aero, who presented my husband with an offer letter that he accepted, will follow through in a few months rather than the few weeks originally planned on.

It is a precarious economy that company owners in our current society must maneuver. It’s understandable and even admirable that they proceed with great caution. And although it is probably not a good idea to rescind an offer letter you have sent, it is a good idea to keep the door open and honestly explain that cold feet suddenly happened over available funding for such a bold new addition in the way of a marketing director.

My husband and I fully believe this will all come together in the coming months. Meanwhile he is staying in communication with the president and sending whatever marketing leads he continues to hear about through his many reliable sources in the industry.

And, I get to finally teach that first creative writing course at the University of Phoenix! I have to admit, I am excited about that. March 13th will be here before I know it.

Those ten students registered for my class have no idea how much I plan to teach them about, well, plot twists!

Mattingly-4-Edit-Edit

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

Press Release for Fractured Hearts

Tags

, , , , , , ,

FH top 2

Give Someone You Want to Impress a Lasting Gift for Valentine’s Day

(El Dorado Hills, Calif.) – Valentine’s Day will be upon us before you know it. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend or loved one who likes to read, how about a gift that will pierce the heart and move the soul: a copy of Winter Goose Publishing’s latest title, Fractured Hearts, by award-winning California author Kathryn Mattingly.

Not for the faint of heart, this collection of short stories deals with every type of love that drives us to do what we do—for better or for worse. Whether whimsical ghosts in love with art or cats transformed by the full moon, you’ll wonder if even the most unbelievable is somehow true. From a gypsy child in Rome to a widow in Aruba, the stories transport you to faraway places.

Kathryn Mattingly will sign copies of her latest book at Face In A Book, located at 4359 Town Center Blvd in El Dorado Hills, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 8th from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Fractured Hearts includes five pieces recognized nationally for excellence as outstanding literature. In honor of the holiday, decadent chocolates will be served throughout the afternoon.

More information, including reviews of stories featured in the book, can be found on the author’s website, http://www.penpublishpromote.com. To arrange an interview with Kathryn Mattingly, or request a review copy of Fractured Hearts, contact Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist, at 952-240-2513 or rachel@rmapublicity.com.

FH bottom

Once Upon a Time

Tags

, , , , , ,

1533870_10153748307830523_1763392295_n

Once upon a time I moved to California for a new job, and truthfully, a new life.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like Portland, Oregon. It’s actually a gorgeous city full of great restaurants and bars with the most ambiance I have ever known restaurants and bars to have. And then there’s the waterfront setting – as beautiful as it gets.

But I needed a change.

Although Dennis is the love of my life and the narcissist in me believes God created him solely to be my soul mate, we were experiencing rough waters like all marriages will at one time or another. Of course, soul mates are destined to reunite, and so we ended up once again blissfully cohabiting.

I must admit the short separation brought some much needed appreciation for one another back to the marriage. Ever since then it has been a decade filled with new places and faces, opportunities and challenges. All in all I’d say it’s been anything but boring.

I have made some lifetime friends here and reached some personal achievement milestones, with finding a publishing home and becoming a novelist. Reflection about California Dreamin’ is bittersweet to say the least, but it has certainly been worth the ride. Whether smooth sailing or rough waters, we have weathered it all.

And now our ship is setting sail for new seas.

We are Colorado bound in just a few short weeks, and couldn’t be happier about the news which has been incessantly prayed about, discussed, wished, and wanted. Dennis has accepted a Director of Marketing position with Trans Aero Ltd. in the Fort Collins/Loveland area.

We plan to live in Fort Collins where I will teach at the University of Phoenix. I am thrilled beyond words (odd for a writer, I know). Ironically, when first married we planned to live in this exact location, but of course, fate has a way of playing its own hand and for us that was a side trip to Eugene, Oregon where Dennis got a job after graduating college. I transferred to the University of Oregon and we stayed to raise our family there, moving to Portland after they left home.

So, here we are full circle, poised to begin the adventure we had originally planned for ourselves. Writers dream of new plot twists. Nothing sparks creativity like discovering all there is to know about a new city, making memories in a new home, developing new friendships, getting involved with a new community and communing with new wonders of nature.

Ever since the New Year everything seems to have magically changed, not unlike a Disney film. Our careers of passion and preference are looking up for both of us.  My publicist is off and running with a marketing plan for my books, while my husband is once again in his happy zone of marketing helicopter service to federal, state and private companies. I can only hope that every month of this New Year will be as significant in a good way.

Well played, January 2014, well played!

Thank you to those friends out there who have stuck with us through thick and thin, and have been rooting for us to dig our way out of the sunken economy we fell into. Of course I plan to visit this area a couple times a year to meet with my publisher, and to hold book signings in this community where I have built a presence, albeit a small and humble one.

Email and FB will keep us connected with those we care about between visits, and I truly hope everyone who has said they will come see us – will. The Rocky Mountains, afterall, will be in our backyard. That should thrill you with new terrain to hike and ways to be inspired while we catch up on our lives and reminisce about old times.

It is going to be a whirlwind next few months to be sure, what with moving, Dennis beginning a new job, me teaching that first creative writing course at the University of Phoenix in Fort Collins, and my short story collection Fractured Hearts being launched. How exciting is all of that?

I am grateful beyond words for the opportunities now forming for our future. God is indeed good, and although we have been greatly blessed even prior to these new developments, knowing our persistence and faith in God has gotten us through some difficult times of late makes us confident that we can meet any new challenges looming before us in Colorado.

Among our first challenges, without a doubt, will be experiencing less than 70 degree weather on a near daily basis in the dead of winter (something we have begun to take for granted and that will now end abruptly), trying to find a church that will energize and inspire us as much as Bayside in Granite Bay has done, and missing every one of you that we count among our dearest friends.

Mainly, this writer is hoping they have some inviting coffee houses in Fort Collins. Everything else can be worked out, with latte in hand.

Priceless Goals

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1078

Here it is – January. Change and enthusiasm describe it well. New beginnings. New challenges. New opportunities. Coming on the heels of a time for reflection (December) I am certain all of us, whether we consciously make resolutions or not, want to assess our goals.

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity of running a book club where we relished discussing our selections and did so in a way that enriched us all. Some of those books have become my all time favorites, and some have caused me to examine why I cannot connect with certain authors.

This year I plan to continue reading books that jump out at me as most appealing for my preferred genre. But I have also decided to read my fellow Winter Goose authors. Perhaps my local independent publisher does not have any New York or LA Times best sellers, but they do boast a lot of writers who have won awards.

Since my passions of writing and educating have coincided my whole life, I fully respect peers who have had literary works of any kind from poetry to fiction, nonfiction, short stories, essays or articles rise to the top like cream. I will boldly admit I admire them a lot more so than those who have managed to find fame and fortune with the craft.

This is not surprising when you consider how monetarily poor those of us in academia are in comparison to other careers that require graduate degrees. You might surmise that what motivates us is excellence alone.

My personal journey in education began with running my own school for the creative expression of young children on the Oregon Coast. (Learning through hands-on art and acting out plays.) Not coincidentally, I did this while my own children were young.

I continued from there with a few non-conventional jobs at private institutions such as Oak Hill in Eugene, OR, where outdoor learning was the norm. The school was located on a 70 acre estate that had once kept horses and was overrun with foxes. It wasn’t a typical morning if I didn’t see one eye to eye out my classroom window early in the morning before students arrived.

After that I taught at another kinesthetic-forward school based on Gardner’s Theory of Eight Intelligences in Vancouver, WA. Here in California I spent a few years running my own after school program for the arts while freelance writing. I finally settled into the private art college that was my last (and longest) job until a bad economy caused the design school to irreversibly suffer. 

Currently I am poised to teach creative writing, literature, and visual arts at University of Phoenix and I am thrilled to be part of their Humanities Department, eagerly awaiting my first class, which would have started today but has been cancelled due to low enrollment. My guess is that the university scheduling it for a Friday night did not fair well for enthusiasm.

Those fortunate enough to be hired by U of P, which I have heard only employs half of those adequately credentialed and carefully selected for the 5 week training course, could wait up to 6 months for their first class. This is because you need a mentor for it, and mentors apparently are hard to come by.

The good news is that once past that first course, if you have received high marks from both the students and your mentor, you are then able to teach as much or as little as you want and can transfer to any campus in the country.

I don’t plan to get rich teaching college so waiting for that first paycheck is not what motivates me to do this. Interacting with and instructing young adults on subjects that matter most to me in life – writing, literature, and art – is priceless.

Although disappointed I have to wait a couple months to teach the class I have excessively prepared for, it does give me more time to finish editing my next novel, edit manuscripts for my clients, and read more books by Winter Goose authors – one of which (Theory of Remainders) recently was awarded Best Independent Book of the Year (among others) by Kirkus Reviews.

I am reading Scott Carpenter’s Theory of Remainders as I write this, and I couldn’t be more pleased to belong to the same flock as he. I am sorry I did not have Benjamin reviewed by Kirkus. I might not have won. Maybe they wouldn’t even have liked Benjamin, but now I will never know and that’s regrettable.

I hope that Scott, myself, and all the other authors in this Winter Goose flock are able to soar above our wildest imaginings this year in terms of literary success. May the New Year allow each of you to also soar high and accomplish an important goal. One that is priceless, regardless of monetary gain.

Bejamin_FlatforeBooks

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

Visit Benjamin at Barnes&Noble

Fractured Hearts is coming soon…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fractured-Hearts

Winter Goose Publishing would like to announce the upcoming release of Fractured Hearts, a collection of short fiction by Award Winning Author Kathryn Mattingly.

“Not for the faint of heart, these timeless tales deal with every type of love that drive us to do what we do—for better or for worse. Whether whimsical ghosts in love with art or cats transformed by the full moon, you’ll wonder if even the most unbelievable is somehow true. From a gypsy child in Rome to a widow in Aruba, the stories transport you to faraway places.” ~Winter Goose Publishing

Kathryn will be at Face In A Book in EDH Town Center Saturday February 8th from 4-6pm signing copies of Fractured Hearts, which includes 5 pieces recognized for excellence as outstanding literature.

Her love stories are guaranteed to pierce the heart and move the soul, and would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the avid reader in your life or a unique offering for someone you’d like to impress romantically.

Stop by to browse the exceptional bookstore Tina Ferguson manages through her love and passion for reading, whilst nibbling chocolate, regardless of whether you indulge in purchasing Kathryn’s witty, whimsical, and wisdom-ridden words as told in the tales of this original volume.

Kathryn would like to give a special thanks and recognition to her good friend Dr. Virginia Simpson and daughter Sasha Mattingly for helping edit this collection to shine in its Sunday best, and to her long time friend Ladd Woodland, who created the cover art for Fractured Hearts.

Here is what other authors, publishers, editors, and professional reviewers are saying about the pieces in this collection:

From the Editor of Writer’s Digest in reference to award winning short story Cheating Paradise: “This year’s contest attracted close to 18,000 entries. Kathryn Mattingly’s success in the face of such formidable competition speaks highly of her writing talent and should be a source of great pride.”

From Best Selling Author Elizabeth Engstrom in reference to Kathryn’s body of work: “Kathryn Mattingly’s fiction has always shown great depth of character and emotion, with simple, yet clever plots. Her characters live and breathe in my mind for a long time after reading about them. I hope she keeps writing short stories and novels forever.”

From James A. Beach, Editor in Chief of Dark Discoveries Magazine in reference to several stories from the collection: “Kathryn Mattingly’s story Half Moon Cay is wonderful, and very moving. Her stories make me feel as if I am there. Skyward from the reading at Powell’s bookstore and Light of the Moon from Ghost Writers weekend are two such stories.  Kathryn’s writing is very powerful.”

From Eldon Thompson, Author of the Fantasy Trilogy Series Legend of Asahiel in reference to Kathryn’s body of work: “Kathryn Mattingly weaves sensory magic with her words. Whether writing about vengeful ghosts, forbidden love, or motherly sacrifice, her elegant prose offers seamless transport into the lives and hearts of her characters. Once swept away, you may not want to come back.”

From Jonathan Reitan’s book review in Dark Discoveries Magazine regarding the story Morney, which has been reprinted in Fractured Hearts: “Kathryn Mattingly’s Morney in the anthology Ghosts at the Coast stands out as being superb and highly original. It is a spooky tale about a mysterious gypsy girl in Rome.”

From Tracy Saville, CEO of Possibility Publishing and Editor in Chief of The Possibility Place in reference to Kathryn’s body of work: “Kathryn Mattingly’s writing has an elevated literary aesthetic ‐ a kind of obvious writerly quality that critics point to as gold standard.”

For a sneak preview of the stories within this collection, visit the Edgy Fiction page http://penpublishpromote.com/short-fiction/ of Kathryn’s website penpublishpromote where a few pieces from Fractured Hearts have been displayed, or peruse her WGP author page at: http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/kathryn-mattingly/

Face In A Book is located at: 4359 Town Center Blvd, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

Tasting The Vision

Tags

, , , , , ,

redvelvet15Recently I attended a party and fell in love. It might have been the warmth exuding from a holiday decorated home. Or maybe it was everyone dressed in their finest and looking more dashing than moon glow on new fallen snow. Perhaps it was the Marilyn Monroe era party theme.

Regardless of what caused my heightened romantic mood, I was smitten at first sight. Not with the elegant cheesecake oozing berries drizzled all over it, or with the rich gooey chocolate brownies sitting beside a glorious white cake. All were fitting for sweet tooth delight, but I didn’t indulge myself with any of the above. Why not you ask? Well, it’s a simple answer.

I had already fallen hopelessly in love with the red velvet cupcakes. That might sound like this was my first experience with red velvet, but no, I have quite a history with it. I’ve been hooked ever since I attended a potluck where an innocent looking neighbor introduced me to the hot red treat.

It’s been a love affair ever since.

I have to admit that despite years of secretly ravishing red velvet whenever the urge hits me, these particular cupcakes were the best I’ve ever had. They were so good in fact, I needed to know the source of those amazing little pretties that derailed my no-carbs policy.

Fortunately, I noticed a card was sitting beside the cupcakes when returning for a second. Shamelessly, I must confess they were not small cupcakes that would justify a second serving. Not at all. They were quite jolly and plump, as I would be had the rest fit in my purse. But alas, my pointless little jeweled bag couldn’t have held even one without brutally smashing it.

I, of course, contacted the person on the card hoping he lived in my neighborhood. He doesn’t. It was an encouraging interaction nonetheless, because I discovered Tony Rivers has a secret desire to be a fulltime baker, and toward that effort, bakes and sells his wares when not at his day job.

I asked Tony some questions about this dream, having tasted his vision and knowing firsthand it is just a matter of time until the world discovers his gift.

Have you always loved to bake?
 I always had an interest in baking. Over the past 11 years it’s developed into my passion. My mom told me stories about my grandmother who was a scratch baker. You know – a pinch of this, a dollop of that. To be able to do that and replicate something she had tasted, or that somebody had described to her amazed me. As I grew up, I dabbled here and there with pizzas, cakes and pies. On some level, I was trying to figure out if I could do what my grandmother did. Have I gotten there yet? Well, I’m working on it!

What made you decide to open a bakery?
 My wife, Amy, told me to get all my sweet and savory goodies away from her or else she’d get as big as a house. So, I decide to sell them. I don’t have a brick-and-mortar bakery, per se, but I do have a home-based baking business. Ideally, I’d like to get to the point where I can focus on baking and quit my other job.

Do you have any professional training for baking or running a business?
I’m learning as I go. I do have the benefit of observing Amy as she runs her real estate business. She’s tenacious and determined. She’s willing and eager to learn. She keeps her word and she gives excellent customer service. If I emulate her characteristics, I’ll do well.

What has been your biggest challenge toward realizing this dream? My greatest challenge had been finding a place to bake. Once California passed the Cottage Food Bill, that obstacle was removed. I’ve got my permit and I’m ready to bake!

What have some of your most rewarding experiences been with baking? One of my most rewarding experiences happens every Saturday. That’s when I make pancakes for my family. It’s our Rivers Family tradition. We call it Pancake Saturday. With Four Rivers Baking Company, the most rewarding experience happens every time my baked goods bring enjoyment to my customers. In fact, a customer contacted me this Sunday past to ask if I was still making cinnamon rolls and delivering them on Christmas Eve. It’s become a tradition with her kids

What are your specialties and what next? I’m known for my cinnamon rolls. They are pretty darn good. My red velvet cakes/cupcakes and snicker doodles aren’t too shabby either. I’m not known for it yet, but I have created what I’m calling Thanksgiving Bread. It has the savory aromas and flavors of Thanksgiving.

You can visit Tony’s website at: www.fourriversbakingco.com and contact him via email at: fourriversbc@gmail.com or call: 916.390.0267.

Bejamin_FlatforeBooks

Visit Amazon’s Kathryn Mattingly Page

Visit Kathryn Mattingly at goodreads

In the Light of Madness

Tags

, , ,

ITLOM_FlatforeBooks-400x600

A fellow member of my Winter Goose Publishing flock, Hemmie Martin, has a new crime novel out called, In the Light of Madness. Just the title alone makes me want to read it!

Recently I asked Hemmie some questions beginning with – have you always been a writer or is this a new passion? I began writing in earnest in 2007 after a personal issue unbalanced my life. I was an ardent writer of a diary in my youth, but my adult life had become too busy to nurture my passion for writing.

What inspired you to write a novel? I began writing for therapeutic reasons, but once I’d finished the novel, I decided to approach literary agents. Of course, looking back the novel was in no way ready to be read by someone else. I was so naive. However, I received several positive comments from agents, who then also gave me some useful advice such as join a writer’s group and re-write until your eyes bleed – or words to that effect!

How did you then go about perfecting the craft of writing? Preparation to be the best writer I can be has taken the form of reading a variety of authors and genres, focusing extensively on the crime genre. I read a lot of publications regarding the art of writing and chat with other authors on social networking sites. I liaise with a Detective Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police Force, with regards to the police procedures in my novels. He has been a very patient man!

What compelled you to write about crime? I used to be a Forensic Nurse dealing with young offenders. I worked alongside the police and would frequently visit prisons. I have always been fascinated by this world, so writing a crime novel made sense.

What next? I am actually writing a series, following Detective Inspector Eva Wednesday and Detective Sergeant Jacob Lennox. I signed a two book contract with Winter Goose Publishers, and the second in the series is coming out in 2014. I am currently writing the third one. I decided to write a series as I came to enjoy being in the company of Wednesday and Lennox, and I wanted to know how they would develop as time went on.

Do you have a day job? Currently I work part-time in a primary school helping a five-year-old boy who has Autism. The rest of my time is dedicated to writing and running a family home.

Who and what has inspired you along the way? I grew up in Marlow Bottom, Buckinghamshire for the first 9 years of my life, then Chesterfield in Derbyshire. As I previously mentioned, I wrote a daily diary for years and thoroughly enjoyed studying English language and literature. I was intrigued by true war stories, and read many books about strong female characters, such Vera Brittain who lived from 1893 to 1970. Her memoir, Testament of Youth, still lives in my heart today, and on my bookshelf. Testament of Friendship and Testament of Experience were equally devoured by me.

Another author whom I read voraciously was Anita Brookner. Her moody writing and intricate character details left me hungry each time for her next book. She brought out one a year. Louise Doughty and Mark Haddon appease my thirst for quirky and sometimes dark characters and plots. I thoroughly love and admire Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and P.D. James, who write in the crime genre.

You can read more about Hemmie and her novel on her author page: http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/hemmie-martin/

In the Light of Madness is only £1.88 and $2.99 on Kindle and Ebook for the month of December. It’s also available in paperback. Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Light-Madness-Hemmie-Martin-ebook/dp/B00H6QKONE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Madness-Hemmie-Martin-ebook/dp/B00H6QKONE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1386878933

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,423 other followers