I've been wendified!

Well, not me. My website. (To see it, click HERE.)

It turns out that the very talented Wendy Russ, in addition to being a gifted writer, is a fantastic graphics designer. And I don't just mean her visionary design skills.

When we started talking about her doing this project, I teased Wendy that she was more of a psychotherapist than a web designer. But honestly? There is some truth in that. Wendy asked questions. She listened. She asked more questions. Questions about platform and writing and intention and what it means to be a woman living very much in two cultures -- the one in which I was raised and the one into which I married.

Once we knew what kind of site I wanted, we set off to find the perfect image to build around. Wendy sent me pictures. I sent her pictures. We both said, "meh." She sent me more pictures. She liked a picture with a great deal of blue in it. I said, "No blue. And no red. Neutral colors. If you have to use a color, use hot pink. But that's it."

Wendy found The Image first. But in that Jedi mind trick way of hers, she let me think I found it. And when I did, I sent her about five hundred emails saying that's it, that's it, THAT IS IT.

She responded from the road, saying, "You know it has red in it?"

I pretended that email landed in my spam folder.

Wendy got to work on the site. I had pictured an eggshell background color on the right side. I was sure that was how it was supposed to look. When Wendy sent me the image above, I was stunned at how beautiful it was. But I thought I'd wanted something different.

"It's gorgeous," I said, "but it's too brown."

She patiently said she'd send the image with other background shades. She did so in less than an hour. She sent a ton. She suggested I live with them for a couple of days and ask my friends and family what they thought.

I wrote back in about five minutes: "The first one you sent. The brown one. That's the one I want. It is just so perfect."

She might have made a joke about trusting your web designer.

Wendy worked faster than I could have imagined. She made herself available by phone and email. It's possible she lived on cheese puffs. The site was done in a couple of days. She then helped me integrate the blog, which took slightly longer (okay, I was a complete pain about it), until it was exactly how I wanted it to look.

It's Wendy, so of course there was much laughter and folly along the way. But there was also hard work and diligence and perfectionism and a sense that she would not rest until I didn't just like the new site, but loved it.

And so I do. And I hope you do, too. And should you need a website or a book cover or some other graphics project, I hope you'll consider getting it wendified, too.

My only advice: Trust your web designer. She knows what she's doing.

You can find out how to get wendified at wendify.me or contact Wendy at wendy@wendy.com.


  1. My cover and our journal site were both wendified, and I can confirm that she's infinitely patient, even with nickpicky assholes. I intend to order wendification for my personal site next.

  2. Well, I wasn't that difficult.

    (I think.)

    Wendy does beautiful work. It should be noted that she also did the cover for the Writers for Richard anthology.

    Actually, Steve, with your interview also here, and therefore your book cover, quite a bit of wendified work appears on this site, which is an honor, truly.

    1. I'm sure he wasn't talking about you. Pretty sure.

  3. Who knew, I had friends in my domain curled up and hiding in the corners?

    At least for Richard, I knew that he was a designer. Wendy never said anything about Web Designing! And I'm begging every person I know to design bits and pieces for my site and it's taking forever to get anywhere.

    Wendy. I need you to Wendy Me and my site. Okay, first lets see how the site works out. I don't want to end up being covered in glitter and roses in my hair. I'm serious. I need some help. Even some advice would do. My brother is a big-shot designer too. But never likes anything, and never makes anything for me. So that's a big help! Shall shoot you a mail and we can see from there. :)

    Great job on the site. Clean and Elegant. Just the way it's supposed to be.

    1. Is this the site you talked about last year, Aniket? If so, get thee to wendify.me! She will help. She will solve. She will perfect.

      I love that you said clean and elegant. That is exactly what we wanted.

      Thanks, Aniket!

    2. Aniket, I think you'd look pretty adorable covered in glitter and roses. We'll talk about that in more detail when we talk. Possibly with sample pictures and illustrations.

    3. Also, Jaz, I think I just did that thing I said I was going to try not to do. Sorry. :o

    4. Aniket... I've designed a fair number of web sites, but I don't think of myself as a designer. More like someone with a few technical skills who helps family members and friends out of jams.

      I could never wendify anyone. But I'm all for adding the term to the OED. :-)

    5. It's not in the OED?

      We must endeavor to change this.

      And Aniket, don't let him fool you. Richard could probably even get Word Press to make sense to me.

  4. Oh yeah, way to go both of you, the site looks TOTALLY AWESOME! I love the cleanliness and open feel of it. Perfect!

    1. Thanks, Cat! That means a lot coming from you, with your creativity and talent!

    2. I'm happily not alone in the likes of this creative and talented circle including both yourself and the loverly Wendy Russ.

  5. Jaz, thanks for your kind words about the site. It was a joy to work with you no matter what you think. You were way too hard on yourself. I found you delightful. Except that one time. But other than that... (joking!)

    And also, thanks everyone else too, for the nice things and for your enthusiasm. I appreciate it a lot!

  6. Thanks, Wendy!

    I'm pretty sure there was more than "one time." But think of it this way: You've made a lot of good friends at the web hosting service.

  7. Every great web designer listens, and then saves you from yourself. :-)

    The new site looks terrific, but I would expect no less from two talented women working together. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you, Richard!

      And I think you may have found the tagline for wendify.me: "Saving you from yourself."

      I will write the first testimonial.

  8. This really is gorgeous.

    I was slack-jawed and smiling at the same time, first time I saw it.

    I still am.

    Fantastic job, Wendy. You have multiple gifts and talents, which doesn't really seem fair but it's good of you to be so generous in sharing them.

    And Jaz, the site is reflective of your style, your elegance, your spirit. It is YOU.

    And it is wow.

  9. Sarah, thank you! It doesn't seem fair how talented Wendy is, does it? We have to fight the urge to keep her to ourselves!

  10. Beautiful site! I was surprised and impressed to see it, and then there was this nice post describing the process too! I've been looking for a designer.

    1. Thank you, Davin!

      If you need someone, especially if you are not sure exactly what you want or want someone to take vague ideas you have and work magic, Wendy is your person.

      Hope you are well!

    2. Vague ideas? Not sure exactly what I want? I'll have you know my mind is a perfect diamond full of sharp and luminous ideas at all times! (Yes, I think Wendy is my person.)