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Archive for the ‘*Matt Andrews News Updates’ Category

April is going to be a busy and exciting month for me. I’ve got plenty of stuff lined up that should provide plenty of blogging material:

Tonight – I’m going to opening night of the Modesto Nuts season, which should be fun because even though it’s only minor league, it’s still baseball.

April 12 – I’m going to the Love Won Out conference, which you can read about in the post just below this.

April 17 – I’m traveling to Fresno Pacific to see author and speaker Donald Miller speak at a ministry forum. He’s one of my favorite authors, and I’m really looking forward to this.

April 19 – I’m spending half of my work day at a booth for Earth Day, letting people know about how car washes save water

April 22-29 – Sarah and I are going on vacation to the great city of Portland via the Pacific Coast, which will may or may not include a stay at a literary-themed hotel, a visit to the Tilamook Cheese Factory, a hike on Mt. St. Helens, a drink at McMenamins, and several book purchases at Powells.

Writing News – I’m continuing to edit and rewrite significant portions of my novel, and I’m anticipating having draft 2 done by this month, or at least may. I have already bugged several of you about reading through it and offering criticism/feedback, but if I haven’t and you’re willing to give honest and constructive feedback, let me know.

Also, I was contacted by the editor of Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine about submitting a “What it’s like to work at a car wash” editorial. Not only is it a unique way to incorporate two things I’m well versed in, but it will be my first national magazine, although I’ll admit you won’t see it in the magazine rack at your local grocery store.

I’m getting a lot more jobs on a regular basis with the local magazines I’ve been contributing to, so that’s been working out pretty well.

Finally, I’m going to be a participating blogger in a blog designed to be a discussion about books on theology and Christianity. The details are still in the works, but it will be kind of like an online book club. The first book we’re going to tackle is Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears’s Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions. Like I said, details are still sketchy, but you can read about the concept at AJ Vanderhorst’s blog here and here.

Oh, and I’ve been reading quite a bit, so I will be posting 25 word reviews of the books I’ve read, as well as an extended review of Shane Claiborne‘s Jesus For President.

Like I said – a lot of stiff going on in April. Should be exciting.

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After months of waiting, the results for the 3-Day Novel Contest are finally in.  611 people registered and 482 completed novels were sent in.  And the results are…

I got an honorable mention!

They had a first, second and third place with 17 on the “shortlist,” and my novel, The Golden State, got put on that short list.  For a lack of better words, I’m stoked!  I was in the top 20 out of almost 500 people!  How exciting is that?!?!

That is just the encouragement I needed right now.  I tend to be my own worst critic, and months of silence and endless re-readings of my novel have caused me to question my optimism.  The editing process really began slowing down, and the manuscript collected a lot of dust.

But now I feel like a new man.  I feel like a writer.  I feel like I really wrote something good.  I feel like throwing aside all my work and finishing it tonight, to keep pushing until I find someone willing to publish it.

So, as you can see, I’m on a bit of a high right now.

Click here to see the official contest results, and here to read my thoughts on the whole experience.

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If you browse my site right now, you’ll notice I’ve stripped most of the content out.  My site is going through a divorce – that is, I’m seperating the “professional” material (the writig samples, testimonials, and stuff that heps me land freelance gigs) from the “personal” stuff (the blog and other stuff).  I am currently working on a second site that will serve as my professional “Writing Services” site, and I will be maintaining this one as my personal site, with my blog and various other items.  That means that this site will be pretty bare for the time being, but I promise it will be rebuilt.  So stay tuned!

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The latest “Expressions” newsletter is up in the Copywriting section.

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Sarah and I spent out honeymoon in beautiful Windsor, CA, which in the northern part of Sonoma Valley, right in between Healdsburg and Santa Rosa.

We departed for the traffic-filled 3-hour drive to Windsor just after the ceremony (with a quick stop at Taco Bell), and arrived at the WorldMark resort just after sunset. The room itself was amazing, with a large living room, fireplace, full kitchen, and a balcony. The rest of the night needs no explanation… 🙂

On Sunday we relaxed and walked around downtown Windsor, which had a rustic feel to it. It had a local bookstore (that’s a plus), a map store (that’s a big plus), and a great burger place for lunch (even better). After that we went to the movies to see Fred Claus.

Monday, with the clouds dark and rain likely, drove a few miles to the Safari West, an African style safari were an eccentric tour guide takes you on a Jeep ride past exotic animals. They had cheetahs, cape buffalo, giraffes, and probably hundreds of other animals. We enjoyed a wonderful steak at Charlie’s, located next to the resort.

Tuesday went to Napa for the Napa Valley Wine Train, a calm train ride through the valley that featured excellent food, some wine tasting, and fantastic scenery. The chef even came out at one point in order to point out Robin Williams house on a mountain. On our way back, we stopped by Sonoma to browse, and we found another great bookstore, and we got to visit Baksheesh again. Baksheesh is a “fair trade” retailer, which means they sell goods made by people from all around the world, and they actively promote smart consumerism, which means buying things that benefit the global community. They also have a huge selection of nativities from countries around the globe. We bought one from Israel, and vowed to buy one every year. That night we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Langley’s-on-the-Green.

On Wednesday we did some wine tasting. We had a driver pick us up in a luxurious Lincoln, and, with his expert knowledge of the region, he guided us to the best wineries around. Here are some of the places we went:

  • Twomey – This place has a modern art feel, with glass walls that overlooked to Russian River Valley.
  • Armida – A pretty winery located on a hill that specializes in making PoiZin (“Zin” as in “Zinfadel”…get it?).
  • Rosso & Bianco – This winery was basically a shrine to Francis Ford Coppola, which made more sense once we found out he owned the place. It also had a delicious Italian food restaurant where we ate lunch.
  • Ferrari-Carano – This place was amazing. It had a beautiful garden all around the property, and a building that looked like a mansion.
  • Bella – The tasting room for this winery is a cave built into the side of a hill! How awesome is that!?
  • Christopher Creek – This was a small winery with a very knowledgeable guy working the tasting room.
  • Rodney Strong – A very large winery with a walk-thru tour of the whole wine making process.

We ended up taking a nap afterwards and then went to see Enchanted, which was hilarious.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and we opted to spend it on the beach. So, we drove along the Russian River, passed through Guerneville, and settled in Bodega Bay, where we enjoyed a picnic of the beach. When we got back, we went to dinner at the only place open – the Irish pun, which displayed a sign reading “Tired on the in-laws? We’re open!”

On Friday we went on a nice drive through Calistoga, Geyserville and Healdsburg, stopping on the way at the Petrified Forest, and the Old Faithful Geyser, both of which were much more exciting on paper.  That night we went out to eat at the best )and the most expensive restaurant I have ever been too – The Farmhouse Inn.  We had duck, rabbit, and several things we couldn’t pronounce, but it was absolutely delicious.

And that was it.  Saturday morning we took off and went back to our real lives.

Here is a slideshow of pictures throughout our honeymoon.  

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I have been meaning to write a few wedding-related blogs since I got back from our honeymoon, but I ended up using most of my writing time on this, and on an article I had due today.  But that is over and done with.

So, the wedding was AMAZING!  I don’t know any other way to say it.  We had a bout 300 of our friends and family in attendance, and I managed to avoid getting nervous until i got a glimpse of exactly what 300 people looks like.  But God soothed by nerves and I forgot that anyone else was even in the room when Sarah started walking down the aisle.  And wow – she was absolutely stunning!  The ceremony was awesome.  We did communion and had our fathers pray over us.  It was a very spiritual moment.

Altogether, the wedding was over pretty quickly.  The reception was a blur.  We tried our best to thank as many people as we could, but since we were up against the clock so the Church could set up for Saturday night service, things moved pretty quickly.   We played a fun game involving shoes, had a dance, shoved cake in each other’s faces, and before we knew it, we were gone.

A lot of people have told us that our wedding was beautiful, that we both looked good, and that the shoe game was the funnest thing they’d ever seen at a reception.  But perhaps the best compliment that we’ve received from several people is that they could feel God’s presence in the room.  That to me is awesome.  The idea of a marriage is to be a little microcosm of God’s love for his church, and we tried the best we could to make sure God was honored during the ceremony, and to know that we succeeded, and that people could feel God in the audience smiling is the best compliment we could receive.

As for the web cast, we had  22 people watching it during the ceremony!  How awesome is that!  I took off the feed from the website because it’s our photographer’s feed he uses for all of his broadcast, but as soon as I can I will post the archived video for anyone who wants to relive the magic.

Thank you to all of our friends and family that have loved and supported us during our relationship, helped us spiritually, fiscally, and emotionally during the wedding planning, and all of our friends and family that came to support our union.

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The Copywriting section now has the Collectables and Clothing catalog I did for Prime Shine.  Go check it out.  I will also be putting up a newsletter I did for them very soon, as well as adding more articles to the Articles section.

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