writing life

The email that started it all…

Wendy Lynn Clark
Me from finaling in the PNWA Literary Award – Romance Category in 2007. All the Romance Category authors looked like Glamour Shots and all of the other categories looked like whatever-I-had-on-my-hard-drive shots

So months ago (at this point) when I had written a story and decided to take the plunge with self-publishing, I decided at the same time to update my address book and send a mass email like I used to do in 1998, when there was no Facebook or MySpace or Blogger or even LiveJournal.

I’ve had my same email address since 1996, which seems like a lifetime but is in fact barely a teenager who may secretly still be playing with Barbies.

Anyway, if you try to send a mass email now, you can’t. No, you literally can’t. I had to learn how to do a Mail Merge from Word, which was actually a heck of an experience, and my 21-year-old self is extremely jealous because “Do you know how to do a Mail Merge in Word 2003?” was always the one question I did not, in fact, know how to do and yet I always put down on resumes for office positions that I did know how to do it, when in fact, I was lying. They could also tell I was lying, and I never got a single job that tested my not knowing how to do Mail Merge. Now I really do know. It is as clunky as trying to do your dishes in a washing machine, but I know how to do it. Ha.

Sending this email to 200+ people locked up my home computer for over 2 hours and caused Hotmail to require me to reset my password because I had clearly been hacked.


This is a mass email. I have sent it to everyone in my entire address book, including my mom. (Hi, Mom!) I have been saving contacts since 1996, the year that I got email. Congratulations! At one point, you became my contact.

You know how sometimes you read about a tiny business started ten years ago by an old acquaintance and now they’re famous and spend half the year in a Florida mansion and the other half saving snow leopards out of a yurt in Mongolia? Or the person who became an Elvis impersonator, or joined a cult, or started a cult? And you think, hey, wait, I remember that person. How come I didn’t hear about it ten years ago when s/he won the Powerball/designed a quantum computer chip/began an infomercial empire?

This is that email.

I am about to start a publishing adventure.

And I would like to invite you to join me.

Here’s a brief reminder of how you may know me: My name is Wendy Clark. I’m 34 this year. We attended Enumclaw High School together, or maybe Lewis & Clark College, or maybe Clark College, or I met you in AmeriCorps, or in the JET Programme, or at the University of Brighton. Was it via the Pacific Northwest Writers Association? The King County Library System? When I used to write book reviews, or trade online critiques, or published that other story?

You are receiving this email because at one time, we knew each other in Real Life. We may still know each other in Real Life. (Hi to everyone who’s last name begins with Clark!)  For some time now, I have been writing, and starting in July you will begin to see these stories appear on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. They are romantic short stories. Later there will be anthologies and longer romantic novels as well as young adult and science fiction.

If you would like to be added to a newsletter updating you on my writing adventures, please go to my website and click the “SIGN UP” link on the top right sidebar of every page.

You can also connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. On Facebook, I have an author page as well as a personal page. The personal page is where I post updates about my fitness goals, cat population, and hot tub status. You are receiving this email because we know each other, so you’re welcome to friend both. LinkedIn is library-related at the moment because that is where I have spent my day-job hours up to now.

If you would prefer to keep our current level of contact, whatever that is, it is totally fine with me. You do not need to reply to this email. I will send one more announcement next week, and then I will never send another mass email like this, ever again. I hate spam, even if it’s breaded and fried. Also let me know if this email has expired and gone to a new person and you literally have no idea who I am. I will delete it from my contacts and you won’t even have to ignore announcement #2.

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you!

Wendy Lynn Clark

Find Yourself In A Good Story

P.S. Seriously tell me if you don’t want to receive mass announcement #2. Sending a mass email is way harder than it used to be. I actually had to look at every address individually and I’m still not sure how I know everybody!

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