My life has been crazy busy! Between work and being a baseball mom, there hasn’t been time for much else. My poor little blog has been sorely neglected, which will change after June.
But I’ve also been preparing for the release of my third book, I Run to You. I’m both excited and terrified, just like I was with the first two. It’s the same roller coaster of emotions I go through any time I do anything new with my writing. My palms are sweating just thinking about it!
But I wanted to invite you to join me for the Cover Reveal and Release Day. If you’re a blogger, I would love for you to sign up for the Release Day Blitz! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1A-FGIBTMNGzxu1G9MSjK3dCzKt7wBO3kUKtjP35_FFI/viewform
Or join me on my Facebook page for release day on July 2nd https://m.facebook.com/events/1499212766964532?view=permalink&id=1499212770297865 and the Cover Reveal on May 31st https://m.facebook.com/events/236001313275158
For as nervous as I am, I’m also beyond ecstatic to share this book with you!
I hope you’ll join me!!!
I never pictured myself being a mom, when I was a young girl. I didn’t think about being one when I was a teenager or even as a young adult in my twenties. I didn’t even know if I wanted to be one when I got married. Being a mom just wasn’t anything I considered, although I knew at some point I would have to figure it out.
The first time I held a baby, the poor thing cried because I was so nervous. It’s not that I didn’t like kids, in fact I loved them. I babysat, was a camp counselor, and spent a lot of time with my niece who was my favorite kid.
But fortunately being a mom got to be a conscious decision, for me. I knew it meant giving up a lot of who I was and the life I was accustomed to. I knew being a mom meant sleepless nights and lifelong commitment to people I didn’t yet know. Then one day, having children became something I wanted more than anything and I’ve never looked back. I LOVE being a mom. It’s fun, exciting, fulfilling, demanding and rewarding. In addition to loving and absolutely adoring them, I really LIKE my kids and I think they LIKE me, as well.
But when I was a younger mom, I forgot one major thing. Me. I was so caught up in the diapers, sleepless nights, and juggling new motherhood, family, and career, I completely and totally lost sight of myself. It’s a common phenomenon and every mom I’ve ever talked to experiences the same thing. After nearly a decade, I’m learning that being Mom doesn’t mean I have to cease being ‘Jen.’ Finally discovering that, makes me unbelievably happy. It’s not that I am not completely in love with my two crazy, beautiful children. But I also want to love and be proud of myself, too.
I’ve been able to find a way to do that through a love and passion, temporarily forgotten. Writing.
Writing has helped me in every aspect of my life, as I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that I’ve been missing. It’s not that career, family, and motherhood haven’t been enough for me. They’ve been more than enough and to have all of those things in my life make me feel incredibly fortunate and blessed. But from a young age, I was always a writer. And getting to write again, has made having a career, family, and being a mother tremendously sweeter. It has opened my eyes to just how beautiful and fulfilling my life is, and it has made everything better.
While being Mom is without question, the most important role I have ever lived, getting to be ‘Jen the writer’ is a wonderful role as well. As a parent, we put themselves on the back burner, often forgetting ourselves completely. Whether it’s writing, crafting, an hour at the salon, a visit to a coffee shop, or a night out with girlfriends, it’s important we remember who we are and what makes us happy. It means we get to be more content for our children and ultimately, makes us better parents.
I’ve come to the realization that one of the greatest gifts I can give my children, is Me. I’m their protector, encourager, motivator, and teacher. But I’m also the person to teach them that following your path in life means being true to yourself. And even though I have boys, I’m hoping this lesson will sink in when they are fathers or they need to support and encourage their overwhelmed wives.
My life has nearly come full circle from a place I wasn’t happy to be in-a few years ago, to a place I am ecstatic to be in-now. I have everything I love; job, family, life, and my writing. I give myself permission to write and shut out the world, when I want to or even sometimes need to. Not because it’s something I’m able to ‘do’, but because it’s who I am; a dreamer and a story teller. Writing takes me back to my childhood where I was enthralled with myths and fairy tales. It thrills my imagination, excites my soul, and awakens my spirit. It’s the miracle of creating something from nothing, and blending creativity with tenacity, which is ironically how I’ve always regarded motherhood. And through it all, I realize the two go hand in hand.
Now I know now how amazing my life is, being Mom.
I participated in my first big Author event over the weekend, which was fantastic!
I was so excited and did as much as I could to prepare, including signage, swag, hair, nails, and wardrobe. It almost felt like a trip to the Oscars!
First, let’s start with the wardrobe. I purchased five dresses for this event. FIVE! That is more than I have bought in two years and two of the dresses were the same, just in different sizes. I’m a short woman with a long torso and stubby legs, so finding dressed that fits me proportionately is quite a feat. Then when I finally picked “the perfect dress” of the five, it was too big, which I didn’t realize until after I was already at the event. All day, I was tugging and pulling, and at risk of having a serious wardrobe malfunction, which was frustrating! UGH! If I had done my usual black skirt and whatever shirt, I think I would’ve shown off less and been far more comfortable. 😦 Lesson learned!
But I was happy with my hair, nails, set up and swag. So that made me feel a tiny bit better about the dress issue!
As for the event itself, it was incredible meeting so many authors, bloggers, and readers who are passionate about books like I am. I was overwhelmed with how nice everyone was, and how genuinely supportive everyone was. One wonderful blogger even offered to buy me a shot to calm my nerves (Thanks Mayas!). I was so nervous in the beginning, I thought I was going to freak out, but my husband kept me grounded! Even though he was sick as a dog, he still made me laugh and helped me gain perspective on the day.
I’ve been networking and connecting with people for the past year via social media and email. When you make so many connections and share so much on line, and then actually get to meet face to face, it’s transforming! It makes all of the hard work and long hours of writing, editing, marketing, and networking seem completely worthwhile. It was wonderful to put names with faces and to be inspired by so many talented people who are living their dream of writing and promoting books! I felt very fortunate to get to spend the afternoon with such talented and successful people!
Overall, the event was a success for me. To even have the opportunity to be included, felt truly amazing! The House of Blues was a beautiful venue, the fans were fun, raucous, and amazing, and the event was incredibly well organized by Books, Coffee, and Wine and Mary Tatar! It was a smashing success, all around!
It was such an inspiring event, I went home and finished my third book, which is currently off to the beta readers, and then off the my amazing editor, Rogena Mitchell-Jones.
It has been quite a year! A big Author event, my blog turns one year old in May, and with my third book on the verge of release I realize that I am enjoying this journey so much. It has enhanced my life in such unexpected ways and I am so thankful to have been reminded of how much I love to write and the fulfillment it gives me to be able to do it.
I wish I would have taken more pictures at the event, but time was limited. I’m pasting the link below to the photo gallery on my website if you’d like to check it out.
I don’t know what is in store for me moving forward. I have an event in May, but after that I’m open. I’m open to whatever new experiences this journey takes me on, and I look forward to continuing to share them. 🙂
I said I would blog every day before the Cleveland Author Event, which was clearly a big fat lie.
I have probably blogged LESS than usual for the same reason I haven’t been able to write “the end” to my current work in progress, I Run to You. It’s just a little thing called LIFE.
Writing soothes and strengthens me, but it’s not all of me. It doesn’t completely define me, though it’s always been a driving force in my life even when I didn’t know it. Anytime someone is passionate about something in life, I believe it unknowingly propels them forward in life. And while I desire to write daily, it just gets too crazy to write the way I wish I could.
And I’m okay with that.
The Cleveland Author Event is in one week and one day, and I am a lot less freaked out about it than I was a month ago. I have a dress, shoes, books, swag, a banner, pretty pens, and chocolate (a must). As I begin this blog entry I am sitting under a hair dryer getting my hair done, then nails after. I’ll be all beautified by two of my favorite women, Drema and Brenda.
So I believe I’m ready.
And I’m so excited! I’ll get to meet people I’ve only ever talked to or communicated with in emails or via social media. To be able to put names with personalities and faces, will be an extreme pleasure. I can’t wait to spend quality time with such talented and successful authors, many of whom have answered questions and been so supportive, even though they probably thought I was some mad stalker in the beginning.
This past year had been such a wonderfully amazing year, full of so many new experiences. Between writing, releasing two books, blogging, interacting with so many incredible new people, and becoming more open to the world, it has truly been a whirlwind. But I’ll take it! I’m much happier than I’ve been with myself in a long time as I’ve struggled to reach my potential. While life is this constant journey, it often feels as though we’ll never get to where we are going. We are always searching for the destination instead of just enjoying the road.
I’ve blogged before about how writing a book was on my bucket list. And now that I’ve almost completed my third, I realize I’m definitely enjoying the road, for the first time. When I finished writing my first two books, I had this incessant urge to start the third, as well as a fourth. I see now that as long as I continue to have a passion for writing then I will write, the way I’ve been doing it. Around my marriage, my children, my career, and around life. I’ll write because I get to and because I understand how lucky I am to do so many things I love.
I just had a lovely lady on my Facebook page tell me I am “on her list” of authors to visit! I don’t think I’ve ever been on anyone’s list before, so I am super excited to meet her. It’s my first big signing and I am beyond ecstatic to get to be a part of it!
I’m sorry I lied and didn’t blog every day. I think I must have been crazy or drunk when I said I would because there is no way it was ever going to happen. But I’m happy I get to do it now. And if you’re at the Cleveland Author Event, please stop and say Hi :). Even if I’m not on your list, or you’ve never read any of my work, if you’re reading this post then I would love to meet you!
So… I’m ready.
But first, to finish planning a seven year olds birthday party that is in two days…
I was perusing Amazon, as I occasionally will do to check my rankings. I realized that my first novel, Leaving Eva, had a number 65 next to it for some strange reason.
As I looked further, I realized that it’s ranked as a Best Seller>#65 in the Top 100 Kindle Books>Adoption! I’m excited and stunned. While the adoption category in Kindle Books isn’t huge, to be in the top 100 of anything on Amazon is pretty cool.
While Leaving Eva has a strong adoption theme, it’s also about drug abuse, abandonment, separation, abuse, kidnapping, love, and so much more. But I’ll take the words “Best Selling” next to my name, any day of the week!!
There are only 20 more days until the Cleveland Author Event and I’m so excited about it! I can’t wait to meet awesome authors and readers, and put some beautiful faces with names.
And now I can do it even if it’s only for a day, as a Best Selling Author, according to Amazon. 😊😊😊
I LOVE LOVE LOVE learning new things!
I’ve learned so many new things in my lifetime that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten half of it. Learning is exciting, exhilarating, and FUN! I didn’t always feel this way but as I get older I see it as a way of reinventing myself.
Whether it’s learning a new way to parent, put on eyeliner, cook, clean, or write, I love learning just about anything. I don’t want to be the same person in ten years from now and I’m certainly not the same as I was ten years ago. I’ve evolved and grown and I hope that I’m better, smarter, and so much more than I was. Some of my learning has been honed through deep pain, the kind you think will destroy you. The kind of pain that seems endless at the time and changes you infinitely. But most of my learning has been been simply from having an open heart and mind.
I revel in any amount of learning big or small. Even today I got to learn something new in the past couple of days… Spotify. I even made playlists and everything. It was definitely fun! The link for my current work in progress, I Run to You, is below.
I’m not an old dog yet, but I hope that if I ever get to be 80, I’ll still love to learn new things!