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Home, At Last

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. We closed on our little home, drove up from Sacramento, and just picked up most of our stuff from Vancouver. Next blog post I’ll tell you about the Budget truck rental debacle. Not good. I don’t like it when people waste my time and money; I like doing that all on my own. I’m quite good at it.
Cleaning other people’s dirt is not my favorite job, but I’m too cheap to have someone else do it for me. I do like painting, but I need to wear my respirator next time. I’ve lost a few brain cells this past week. Not in a good way.
Our new appliances arrive tomorrow and the cable guy comes out on Saturday. It’s been very quiet around here with just me and no TV. When the carpet guy came on Tuesday, I followed him around, asking about his life before he politely asked me to get off the carpet. We’ll see if the delivery guys/cable guys are friendlier.

jenn
ps. Am I the only one who loves going to Starbucks to order a tall blonde?

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Updates on Life

I started this blog as a way to keep in touch with my legions of fans.  Okay, I’m done laughing now.  I wanted people to get to know me, Jenn, as a person (just in case I do have fans at some point) and I hope I’ve done okay so far.  You know some of the things I like and don’t like; some things I struggle with and some things which amuse me.  I also wanted to give updates on the progression of my first book – I am supposed to be a “writer”, you know.

The first book is looking great, if I do say so myself; and I have.  My editor MaryEd sent me her first draft and I just sent it back to her, for further revisions, a few minutes ago.  I call her MaryEd, because my daughter’s best friend’s mother’s name is Mary and I don’t like to be confused.  You’d think I would be used to the confused state by now, but no.  I thought “Mary, the Editor” was way too formal, so MaryEd it is.

MaryEd seems to like the book too and I’m thinking good thoughts about it now.  I’m trying not to get too excited about the book; I would hate to jinx myself, but I really like how it looks. It looks nothing like the first draft, I can tell you that much.  I think Janet was, in the beginning, a little worried about her declaration of support for two years while I tried my pen at writing.  I hope she feels a little better now, after reading a bit of the revision.

Janet and I have a meeting set up with a graphic designer for the formatting and cover art work this weekend.  I believe that will be the final piece of the puzzle before we can self publish.  My goal of having the book published by the end of April looks to be very doable now.  I’m actually planning on heading down to California to spend the month of May with Janet before we move to Oregon for the summer.  That way I can knock out the first draft of the second book and have that book published by the end of the year!  Yippee!

My daughter Jessie and I plan on writing a book together this summer.  That should be a lot of fun.  We’ll just stick that in between book two’s first and second drafts.  I’ll just put book two on the back burner for a month or two.  That way the first time I pick up book two’s first draft it will be with fresh eyes.  And by fresh I mean “make the book better” eyes.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

jenn

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Say Hello To My Little First Draft

I finished my first draft yesterday. That felt so good. I’m not sure how long a ‘normal’ book should be and I have no idea how a word document translates into book form, so I guess I’ll just have to order it later on to find out.  If I buy the book, along with Janet and all 3 of my friends, I can call myself a published author, one of the few things I haven’t been called in my life.  Way to go, Jenn!
Janet and I decided to self publish our book so we won’t get any nasty rejection letters to hang on the wall. I’ll just have to forgo that character building on this project.  It seems pretty straightforward and I feel better about self publishing since ebooks now outsell paper books and a recent USA Today bestseller list had two or three $.99 self published ebooks. I think 99 cents is too cheap for a book, I will charge $2.99…really suck those readers dry. I’ll sit back and watch all the dough roll my way, dozens and dozens of dollars!  Yes, it still counts if it is mostly Janet and my Mom’s money.

It’s a good feeling finishing the first draft…I actually completed something. I’m taking a writing class on creating dynamic characters and figure I’ll wait until the class is over to work on the second draft. I’m really hoping I learn something from this class…it seems very promising, very eye opening. I have learned a lot already, just from last night’s class. Mostly that my writing sucks compared to the other students, but at least I got that realization out of the way early in my second career!
Oh, btw, anyone heard of hot yoga? Janet has taken a couple of classes (at 5:30 in the morning no less) and she says it is intense. They raise the temperature of the room to 105 and you hold 26 different positions for 60 seconds each. You wouldn’t believe the amount of sweat involved.  Isn’t that a lovely picture?  A room full of sweaty, writhing people trying desperately not to fling their used salt water on you.  Sign me up! Last I talked with Janet she was consuming copious amounts of water and drinking straight from the salt shaker.

jenn

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The Road to Happiness

It’s not often you hear about people who are in the very fortunate position to quit their job voluntarily, not pursue a ‘real’ job, and see if they can make it as a writer.
I am one of those people.  My partner, Janet, thinks I can write well enough to sell a book or two.  I honestly believe she is just incredibly biased, love tends to do that
to one, but she tells me, no, she is not that biased, and she will put her
money where her mouth is.

If I asked you to define the word ‘wealthy’, what would come to mind?  Lots of money?  Mansions? Yachts?  Want to know my favorite definition of wealthy?  It’s waking up every morning and doing exactly what you want to do that day.  If you can get to that point in your life…you are a wealthy person.  It doesn’t necessarily mean having a ton of money, I’m sure that would help immensely, it just means getting to the point
in your life where you enjoy every minute of it.  I realized this morning, when I noticed we were a third of the way through October already, that time is flying by.  Time did not fly by when I was working my last job.

I really didn’t like my old job.  My Mom taught me to never use the word hate, “it’s too strong of a word to use lightly,” she always said, so I reserve that word for the Yankees, light beer, and vegetables.  (To be honest, I don’t really hate light beer and veggies.
They’re just not my favorite things.)  I really, really didn’t like my old job, though.  Every time my alarm would go off I would think, ‘Really?’  I worked for the State
of Texas, was a microbiologist for 6 years when I decided to quit.  The work itself was very interesting, it was the people and the institution that I really didn’t like.  When the opportunity to move back to the Pacific Northwest, the place I desperately missed, presented itself…I jumped at the chance.

Yes, I realize how bad the economy is now, how bad life is for way too many people on this planet.  Please, don’t ever for a minute think I don’t know how lucky I am…I am incredibly lucky.  I have a loving partner who adores me (not sure why) and just wants me to be happy; I have a daughter who I embarrass on a daily basis (she doesn’t even live with me during the school year, my powers are so great, I embarrass long distance), who loves me even though I am a dork; and I have freedoms most only hope for.

I can never thank Janet enough because thank you is so inadequate.  I can just hear her now, “don’t worry about it, honey, my pleasure.”  No, that’s not what I meant, Thank You.  “Seriously, Jenn, it’s not that big of a deal.”  Yes it is.  Thank you for believing in me, for being there for me, for supporting me not knowing how any of this will turn
out.  For that I can only say: THANK YOU.  All I refuse and thee I chuse.

jenn

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Hello world!

Hi,

So I find myself in Portland, Oregon, a city I have always enjoyed visiting.  My partner, Janet, our daughter, Jessie, and I moved here in June of this year for family reasons.  This summer was beautiful: warm and sunny.  Not Austin warm, but a gentle warmth needing a sweater in the evenings.

I grew up in Seattle, the weather is not shocking to me, but after 20 years in the southern part of the U.S., I find myself a little chilly here.  One forgets how truly magnificent it is in the Pacific Northwest.  I decided to quit my job in Austin, spend the summer hanging out with Jessie, and give writing a try (thanks to Janet).

This is all new to me, this blogging stuff, I just hope I don’t screw up too badly.  At least I saw a delete button earlier.

Take care, jenn

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