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When Kate Lemery became a stay-at-home mom, she missed interacting with friends. She did speak with other mothers at her children’s soccer games, but that didn’t fill the void of the deeper interactions she craved.
Following the suggestion of a friend, Lemery decided to throw a party, inviting women she barely knew but had met at soccer games, while being a room mom providing assistance at her children’s school, and at school pickup time.
The Rockville woman then went about cleaning her house and making appetizers and hoping at least a few people would show up.
The party was a success, and a blog she wrote about it ended up as one of 101 short stories in the latest “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book.
Lemery received $200 and 10 free copies of the book for her article, “Becoming the Glue,” a three-page story in “The Power of Yes!: 101 Stories about Adventure, Change and Positive Thinking.”
This is the second time Lemery has been published in a Chicken Soup book.
The mother of three, who currently is looking for a publisher for her first novel, went online and replied to the book’s request for submissions.
She believes her article was chosen from “thousands if not hundreds of thousands” of submissions.
Lemery grew up in Iowa and earned a B.A. in English Literature from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Not quite confident enough to embark on a literary career, Lemery turned to her second love instead – earning a master’s degree in art history at George Washington University.
She spent 15 years working at the Smithsonian Institute in various capacities before moving on and becoming a fundraiser at the National Gallery of Art.
“It was wonderful” to work amidst all the art work, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Ginevra de’Benci,” the only permanent Da Vinci painting in America, she said. “It was a dream for me to go downstairs from my office and look at the art.”
But the mother of three children, who range in age from five to 10 years, decided to become a stay-at-home mom.
The family moved from D.C. to Rockville in 2006, and she began using her children’s naptime to write.
“They require a lot of energy,” she said of her children, all of whom now attend elementary school. “Every day, I would wait until some were napping, and I would write everything that was churning in my mind in a two-hour window.”
She is putting the final edits to her first novel, “An Artless Girl,” and hopes to one day have it published. The book is about a young girl named Cecilia, who escapes into the pages of art history.
“The character is not me,” Lemery said. While she incorporated her art knowledge into the pages, “it’s not my story.” she said.
The 42-year-old woman always has enjoyed reading and writing. When she was young, several of the moms in her school’s PTA laminated her first books and placed them in the school library. Her classmates took them out to read and critique.
She currently is in two writing groups and has ideas for a few more novels.