The BRAVE Interview #17 December 2017: Amy B. Wells RN

This month’s interview is with Amy B. Wells, RN!

I am an author and nurse anesthetist.

I’ve had many phases in my life. I was an accountant for a long time (hated it with a passion). I stayed at home with my children for about five years, then went to nursing school when I was in my late thirties. After that, I worked in the ICU for three years before going to anesthesia school. I’ve been a nurse anesthetist for a little over six years. I am married with two teenagers and a grumpy old tom cat and currently live in the suburbs of Houston.

My latest endeavor is writing. I’ve self-published four novels and I have started blogging on my website https://amywellspublishing.com/

WHAT is your One Brave Thing?  Many people might think the bravest thing I’ve done is attending nursing school or working in the ICU and or going to anesthesia school all at an older age while raising two young children, but the bravest thing I’ve done is to publish these novels.

It took me a long time to work up the nerve to publish them. I’ve always been rather introverted. Publishing and writing a blog has meant exposing myself to others. I might as well be naked! Most things I’ve done have been planned and controlled rather than creative or artistic.

WHEN did you do it? I wrote my novels over a period of about five years, but never was brave enough to put them out there.

When my fiftieth birthday approached, I decided it was now or never.

Time is marching on, I told myself!

I self-published my first book on my fiftieth birthday (this year)! Eeek! I can’t believe I’m fifty! How is that possible?

Then I wondered why the heck I waited so long! Not long after, I published the other three. I’ve gotten nothing but support and enthusiasm from those around me.

I’ve met numerous new friends both on social media and in writer’s associations I’ve joined. A whole new world has been opened to me. I had no idea how many nurses and other great people are writing just like I am!

Now, I’m in the process of rewriting them, coming up with new covers and a relaunch next year, hopefully to sell my books to a wider audience, and I am writing a fifth novel and have plans for more. It’s so much fun!

WHERE did it occur? The great thing about self-publishing is you can do it from anywhere you have an internet connection. I wrote and published from my arm-chair.

HOW did you make it happen? Lots and lots of screen time with hands on keyboard. I was obsessed with my books and I still am. I love thinking up new books; coming up with ideas is never a problem. Execution, on the other hand, is more difficult. I credit the discipline of anesthesia school and nursing school for teaching me how to be dedicated to a goal.

For me the first stage in writing a novel is to develop my main characters, which so far have been nurses because I think nurses make perfect protagonists. They are strong-willed, funny, caring and dedicated with lots of interesting quirks thrown in. And the situations they get involved in make for great stories.

After coming up with my protagonist and an alpha hero (I’m a sucker for romance and love to include it in my books) I then think of the worst possible thing that could happen to the protagonist. This is the “dark moment.” This is when the reader thinks the protagonist can’t possibly be saved and the reader wonders how it will all end. And then, the protagonist finds a way to save herself. In my books, I want the heroine to be responsible for solving the problem and saving herself even though I have a strong hero, too.

I then think of an inciting incident, the event that starts the story and several tension-building incidents until I hit that dark moment. From there I build the rest of my tale. Sometimes I get stuck and go around in circles, but that’s part of the process.

I’m still learning about the craft of writing and marketing fiction. It’s a never-ending learning process, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

WHY did you do it? I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction and dabbled in writing over the years although I also love sciences and nursing. Giving anesthesia is a technical job, although there is an art to it, but I find writing provides a creative outlet that I don’t get in the operating room.

When you create fiction, you are responsible for the interactions of your characters and what happens to them.

I love being immersed in a book and even more so being immersed in creating one. I find I grow quite attached to my characters and miss them when I finish a novel. Sometimes I want to write a sequel just so I can see them again.

You can click on the image to find them on Amazon. You can also go to my website to click through to Nook, Apple and other distributors.

https://amywellspublishing.com/

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If YOU would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your own life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

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BOOK REVIEW: Unipreneur by Laura Stewart Shortridge

This is my friend Laura’s new book:

Unipreneur: How to Live Your Passion in a House Full of Dream-Killers

I loved reading this book!

There were so many concepts that were introduced that resonated with me that I felt like I was having coffee and discussing my own life with my BFF.

I loved also all the quotes she chose to begin the chapters.

Like Laura, I struggle with my “monkey mind”. Here’s my trick for dealing with it: I have learned to feed it a banana to get it to settle down so that I can think. You’re welcome.

I had a similar experience to the author’s with regard to biking with her husband. My husband was an athlete all his life and I was, well, I was not. Biking was something that he thought we could maybe do together and I manned up to be his partner. He got the short end of the deal though, when we were biking miles from home and I lost my balance and steered my front tire through—yes, through—his. I think we walked back to the cars with him carrying both bikes, and probably me, too, on his shoulders. Not pretty.

One of my hero is quoted in the book, Eleanor Roosevelet. “All the water in the world can’t drown you unless it gets inside of you.” BOOM.

Buy this great book!

Unipreneur: How to Live Your Passion in a House Full of Dream-Killers by Laura S. Shortridge

You’ll love it!

Want to watch and listen to me talk about Laura’s book? See below!

A wrinkle in time

I was with my little son last night, a toddler in his stroller.

I packed him up and we headed out to McDonald’s for a treat.

I went up to the register, placed and received our order, and then pushed the stroller up to a table. I left him strapped in and turned my seat to face him. I opened up the bag with our food in it and extracted a french fry.

He reached for it and started munching.  I only gave him one at a time, because mothers of toddlers know this truth:

A typical toddler will take fistfuls of whatever food he loves and shove it into his mouth over and over without bothering pausing for breath.

Now, this was just a little treat for us in a typical day when I was a young mother, taking my little one out for lunch between errands. The only thing is that I am no longer a young mother. I am a midlife mother.

And my son is no longer a toddler. He is a twenty-six year old man.

The thing is, in the dream last night, I was that young mother again, and he was that toddler.

It felt every bit as real to me as if it did just happen yesterday, and not twenty-three years ago.

I believe that we are all every age we have ever been at any given time.

The experience of this dream is one of the reasons that I believe it.

What a wonderful gift this was to me, this dream.

 

My One Word 2018 Preview

It’s that time yet again. An exciting and sometimes confusing time.

Time to choose my one word for the coming year.

According to MyOneWord.org, this is a “simple process”. I beg to differ! After many years of engaging in the practice, i can say with authority that–for me, at least– this is rarely an easy or simple process. If I think too hard about it, I have quite a bit of not-simpleness.

This year, my word for the upcoming year came to me very early on.

I would say that I’ve known for weeks and weeks already what my word is to be. “Clarity”. Done deal. Ready to go. Got my engraved rock already and everything!

However, in the back of my mind, I’ve had a little niggling of something else, that maybe not all was said and done on this matter yet.

And then I had a dream.

I only remembered it because my daughter woke me up in the middle of it.  I decided to thank her instead of yell at her (as is sometimes my way when I am awakened before I am ready).

In the dream, someone was saying this to me: “It’s okay to choose career as your one word.” At the time I was awakened, I was at a point in the dream where I was looking for the page in my notebook (the very notebook I carry around with me every day!) where I had started the list of candidates for the 2017 word so that I could add “career” to the list.

SERIOUSLY!

So since I am always alert and watchful for signs, I have a feeling that I need to take this under advisement.

What would YOU do?

Working the Thanksgiving Holiday

Every so often, I work on Thanksgiving. This is one of those years.

I am a nurse. It happens.

This year, I had plans to get my go-to working-on-Thanksgiving-quick-and-easy-dinner menu items, but then I got sick with the worst head cold of my life. I didn’t feel like going anywhere to buy anything for any reason. Even food. (I know! I was really sick!)

I had a Plan B: Make turkey soup in the crock pot.

I had some of what I needed, by my delivery of the rest of the ingredients I expected last night fell through.

Like any good nurse–and like any good Italian!–I made the most of what I found in the refrigerator.

Ladies and gentlemen! May I present, Italiano Thanksgiving Dinner for One:

Chicken Parm Sub

Buon appetito!!

The Black and White FB Challenge

Recently, I’ve been watching people put up posts on Facebook with the title:

Seven days. B&W picture challenge. No People. No explanation. Day # (whatever)

As part of the challenge, the person would tag another person who would then have to participate and do it as well.

I held my breath each time I saw this, hoping no one would tag me.

I mean, OMG, I had enough to do! I sure didn’t need one more thing to think about, worry about, have to do every day! I liked looking at the photos people were posting, though, and many of them were very interesting. Anyway, as the days went by and I remained untagged, I started to let out my breath a little.

And then it happened.

Someone tagged me! I thought, of course, it’s not mandatory! I don’t HAVE to do it! But somehow I didn’t decline. I decided to just start and see what happened.

What happened was this: I discovered that I was enjoying it. I was looking forward to it. Even though my dance card was so full it felt like a straight-jacket some days, this did not.
So, thank you to the brave person who tagged me to do this challenge!

It turned out to be a gift.

Because “When you change the things you look at, the things you look at change.”–Wayne Dyer

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My novel is the pick for this month’s GET ARTSY BOOK CLUB!

I am excited to announce that my novel One Brave Thing has been chosen as the next book for the ‘Get Artsy Book Club’

I have been a member of this book club as a reader for a few months now. I was drawn to the ‘Get Artsy Book Club’ because, well, I love books! More than that, the name of Allyson’s business, Determined to Shine, also resonated with me. I have been telling myself to ‘shine’ a lot recently, so the word caught my eye right away. I took it as a sign that this was something that would benefit me, and I am so glad that I did! I love the books we have read so far.

Reading the books and doing the projects as part of the ‘Get Artsy Book Club‘ have helped me gain new insight and inspiration in my own life.

I also have discovered a new art form – artist trading cards – and they are so much fun to make! Allyson gives clear, step by step video directions that make it easy to create these unique and fun art forms.

So again, I am very excited that my book, One Brave Thing, was chosen as the next book for the ‘Get Artsy Book Club‘ to read! If you have already read (or want to read!) my novel and would like to participate in this unique book club this month, click here to sign up. You can sign up for one month for $15, or multiple months for a discounted price. NOTE: This is Allyson’s book club and all the information about the club and pricing is on her website.

Included in the book club are questions for reflection based on the book, art projects (easy! you can do them!), and a live book chat together online.

So I hope you’ll sign up for the club this month and join me in reading the book, making some art and some new friends, and discussing the themes of One Brave Thing together!

Need to get the book? Click on the title to order your copy of One Brave Thing!

Thank you! Please share this post with anyone you think would be interested! I look forward to discussing the book and creating with you!