Never True Tales, the blog, is “really all about one thing: the writing. The bare bones. The proverbial black on white”, and I, for one can’t read enough. Not only is Amy SO. VERY. NICE in real life, her prose is exceptionally entertaining, intriguing and just plain delightful.
Tell us about your blog title. What does “Never-True Tales” mean?
The Never-True Tales was actually coined by my then-three-year-old, who always—and I mean always—spun fantastical tales (still does, come to think of it). In each of his stories, he was super-something: super speedy, super smart, or super strong. He cast himself in the role of the hero he needed to be as the smallest and youngest in our family, and I found myself rooting for him, because at the end of the day, we all need to be heroes of our own making. We all need stories to tell (and to star in), and we all want a happy ending. Sometimes it just takes a while to get there.
On any given day, what can readers expect at The Never-True Tales?
I consider The Never-True Tales to be one part memoir, one part essays and adventures in parenting, and one part community. Despite the fact that I had absolutely no foresight when I began blogging and invited all my relatives and real life friends and neighbors to read, I am steadfastly transparent in my posts. It’s not all heavy however: I’m known for my self-deprecating humor, I correct poor grammar in very obnoxious ways, and every Friday (ok, almost every Friday), I post what I call Retro Family Movie Night, where my family and I review a different movie we watch as a family. (The catch: the movies have to be at least a decade old.) I’m a big believer in community, and quarterly, I host a round-up called Won’t You Be My Neighbor, during which I host other bloggers on my site and encourage them to do the same in a pay-it-forward manner.
Have you always been a writer? What is your muse these days?
I have always been a writer, in a literal sense, anyway. I published a children’s book when I was nine through a national contest then-called Written and Illustrated By…, which led to firsthand experience with the hard work of publishing and public speaking at an early age. It was a defining event in my life, one that would shape my self-identity for years to come, both in good ways and bad. I went on to earn a B.A. in Creative Writing and spent the next few years in journalism within the travel writing sector. When my children were younger (my husband and I had three kids in five years), I lost my sense of self in many ways; one casualty was my desire to write. I’ve since regained that love—along with a feeling of success at it—one baby step at a time. My first year or so of blogging, I’m quite sure no one was reading, but I now have a freelance travel writing career in conjunction with my family travel website, Pit Stops for Kids (blogging really can launch a revenue-earning job…as long as you’re not picky about how much revenue!) and was just last week selected as a BlogHer Voice of the Year for a post I wrote for The Never-True Tales (trust me, my jaw hit the floor).
I’m not sure about muses…they tend to be flighty creatures prone to disappearing when the Cheerios hit the fan (that doesn’t happen in your house?), but most of my writing ideas come to me when running. I hit the pavement every morning at 5 am (yes, I’m one of those people), and often, it’s the only time of day I’m able to think untethered. I’m a very linear person, and once I’m sitting in front of a keyboard, I rarely give my mind permission to wander. My best ideas come while Lady Gaga’s pounding in my ears, and my biggest challenge is getting home fast enough to write them down.
Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
Much more so than my travel writing sites, The Never-True Tales is representative of myself: who I am and what I believe at the core. It’s very much an extension of my fingers to my keyboard, to, well, you all, and as such, I’m interested far more in community and connection than in monetization. In five years, I hope The Never-True Tales continues to be a place where I can meet and collaborate with other writers, where I can hone my craft, and where I can represent myself as a writer who is also a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an athlete, a professional…you get my drift.
If you had one day all to yourself, what would you do?
I’m one of those people with awesome parents who live nearby and devote their time to their grandchildren (yeah, go ahead and hate me), so despite two jobs, three kids in competitive sports, and two blogs (one of which involves extensive travel), I actually get time to myself fairly regularly. The key (aside from the super supportive extended family) is selfishness. Down with this mothering martyrdom business! Start taking your ‘me’ time! When I do have time to myself, I usually spend it at home, in a quiet house, with my laptop. (How sad is that?)
Laundry Day: Don’t let the title deceive you. This isn’t just about laundry.
Best Left to the Imagination: You are going to love the imagery in this introspective post!
Open Letter of Apology to the Subway Sandwich Guy: Sometimes an apology is necessary.