The Long Game

In third grade, Mrs. Cobb asked us to write a story.

When she gave mine back to me, she said, “Andra, when I’m an old, old lady, I’ll go to the Bixby library and I’ll see a book by Andra Coleman.”

I already loved reading, but this was suddenly a new love. To have the vision and encouragement of my favorite teacher? To write a book? To have it published and be in the library?

I should have swelled with joy and excitement. And I did, really. I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve returned to that memory of specific encouragement countless times when the words wouldn’t come out on my paper. I’ve considered it as a life-altering act of truth-speaking love.

But still. I was a literal ten-year-old. My main thought was this:

“No, she won’t. My book won’t say Andra Coleman. I’ll be married by then.”

(I know. Again, let me remind you, I was ten.)

So Mrs. Cobb, if you’re out there, I’m going to print one copy with my maiden name and personally deliver it to the Bixby public library. Because I want you to find me and know. Your words to a quirky, awkward third grader made a difference — they gave hope, they created a dream, and they helped make something beautiful happen.

Sometimes encouragement requires playing the long game.

Guest post by Andra (Coleman) Loy

Please click on the above words, The Long Game, to leave a comment below.


“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”

Amore touched Rose in Coahuila as deep feelings of awe and respect. A Rose in Mexico, by Jessy Alvarado

Amore touched Rosie just before dawn, when Nina saved her from drowning, right before Bobby kissed her. From My Window, by Amre Cortadino

Amore transforms Louisa Howerton’s desperate attempt to fan signal a friend across a ballroom floor into a flirtation with the mysterious Earl of Altamont. Engaged to the Enemy, by Gwen Gage

Amore first tossed Brenna’s salad into the air and showered Jesse with lettuce, tomato and bits of carrot. Then she toppled onto his lap. Countin’ On You, by Mary Pat Johns

Amore crept in despite Blair Morton’s efforts to keep things professional with Lt. Trevor Carlyle while cracking codes that lead to a cold-blooded killer. Faces, by A.D. Lawrence

Amore rang Elle’s doorbell. Ryan stood there, rumpled from travel, a hint of salt and pepper stubble, but a roguish smile and mischievous spark in his eyes. “I wasn’t done talking to you.” Word Fall, by Andra Loy

Amore pointed to a sheep with two heads. One head seemed to detach. It showed loose black curls around a face of olive skin. Milkah glanced up. “We’ve got company, Chops.” Elijah, by Dave Parks

Amore shadows Frank Pride and Anne Nelson as they travel the same path to forgiveness for the past and an uncertain future. Desperate Dreams, by Patti Shene

Amore steals Billie’s suitcase as well as her heart when she meets a handsome stranger and his nephew at the airport. Finding Wisdom in Noel, by Janie Winsell

Amore still works the way Dean Martin saw it. “When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet, that’s amore.”

Guest post by Dave Parks

Please click on the word “Amore” above to leave a comment below.  Thank you!

Amre’s Blog


On this beautiful July day, after hurdling through the joys of modern technology, welcome to my first ever From My Window blog post! Ta da! (That’s me taking a bow. HA!)

 I tend to see the humor in everyday life, and why not? After all, God must have a fantastic funny bone. I can picture Him laughing after I’ve made my twentieth trip into the kitchen and still can’t remember why I’m there. Oh, don’t worry, I make good use of each trip—time for another cup of coffee.

I have two reasons for starting this blog. To be perfectly honest, the first is because it’s a must for a new author. My second motive is that I believe there are too few people offering encouragement these days. I’ll share a little about both, and would very much appreciate your comments.

As a middle child growing up in an eight hundred square-foot home, I shared a corner bedroom with my grandmother, who I thought was Methuselah’s sister. My passion for writing began as soon as I learned cursive handwriting. The title of my book, From My Window, comes from countless hours spent creating stories in that little room.

But I still found a way to get in trouble and test the boundaries. My toe crossed the line more often than I care to remember, and the consequences were swift and memorable. I may not have thought so then, but I now appreciate the lessons I learned early on.

That said, I had an aunt who encouraged me, no matter what. Every Sunday at church, she hugged me like she’d never let go. In her eyes, I could do no wrong. Like a warm chocolate chip cookie on a wintry day, those memories fill me with joy and inspire me to encourage others.

Can you think of someone who has motivated, cheered you on, or loved you unconditionally? I’d love to hear your story. To leave a comment, please click on the words Amre’s Blog above then scroll to the bottom. Thank you, and God bless you!