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"BEYOND THE POINT" and firsts for all

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! But this spring chicken isn't quite as springy as her 23-year-old self even though I was acting like one last week running around, working multiple jobs and driving all across town for them, leaving home early, getting home late, and eating way too much pizza and candy in between it all. A decade later rebounding is a little slower physically and mentally - but still SO. MUCH. FUN.

It's funny how the saying "when it rains it pours" can also go for good things. At times I've gone months without anything fun, new, or exciting to look forward to and it can get pretty discouraging - until that one week of the year when I've got four freelance acting and photography gigs on top of my full-time job which happens to be in its busiest season of the year...

Obviously I need to be better at work-life-passion balance next time this happens, but I'm also thankful for the opportunity for so many firsts: booked my first wedding as a primary shooter, shot my first big print campaign (as talent), shot my first camp event (as a photographer), and shot my first book release which was also author (and my new dear friend) Claire Gibson's big debut as a novelist!

Claire and I met a few weeks ago at a women's event put on by Nashville Institute for Faith and Work and it's funny - I remember being in a creative rut and not wanting to go but I had already paid so I dragged myself there. When I arrived, Claire immediately approached me and we hit it off! I'm so thankful for the way God cleverly puts people into our lives when we least expect it - and most need it.

It was an honor to shoot Claire's book signing at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. As a writer myself, it was really neat to hear her honesty about the long and at times hard journey in birthing this book, her commitment to her passion, and to know that dreams do come true! I can't wait to dive into Beyond the Point, a story about friendship and fighting life's battles together - and it was especially encouraging to witness Claire's community coming together to support her during a monumental victory.

Congrats, Claire, and thanks for letting me be a part of your big day! Readers, check out Claire's site: and buy her book, Beyond the Point, here.

Here's Claire Gibson!

One thing I love about Nashville is the support other writers, creatives, musicians, etc. show one another. So important for us to cheer each other on!

I don't know about you but I'm a sucker for "based on a true story" or "inspired by a true story" books, movies, etc. It was awesome to meet some of the ladies who inspired Beyond the Point and witness their friendship bond firsthand!

What a long line of eager supporters! Lots of smiles and hugs...

...and a whole lotta love from the most important people in Claire's life.

<3 amanda mae

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