Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Puppy Love

This is Lily.
We're fostering a little puppy again and I'm completely in love with her. Whenever one of these tiny creatures comes into my home, I understand the term "puppy love" in a whole new way. What I really love about Lily is that she's very bright, she loves to nestle in your arms, and she seems to be thriving in our family. Watson, our "real" dog, is patiently tolerating her existence although no one would think that he was a huge fan.
I'm trying to be a grown up with my "this-is-such-a-sweet-puppy-we-must-keep-her" emotions. I do need to see it from my husband's point of view (who is the obvious grown up in our house) and remember that taking another dog into our home would truly add complications. Of course, we're not sure how Watson would take to her if she were allowed free rein and she might end up getting pretty big. wouldn't really be a logical choice to adopt this little girl.
I am, unfortunately, a puppy love poster child. I get exceedingly excited about new ideas and new projects. Hand me a new relationship and I'm over the moon.
Yeah. It's sort of an issue for the mature people who have to live with me. One never knows what the next Jenn-obsession will entail. Honestly, though...look at that sweet face. Wouldn't you be obsessed also?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Here's my second attempt at Friday Fictioneering...thanks once again to Madison Woods for this brilliant exercise! (I forgot to mention this last time, but comments and criticism are welcome.)

Emilie settled herself on the hill, pulled out a notebook, and peered through the foliage.

There was nothing to see, but Emilie didn’t doubt the report. This spy was never wrong. As she sharpened her pencil, she could almost hear André's criticism. "You are putting all of us at risk by using pen and paper!" Emilie shrugged defiantly. Before la résistance, she was a bookkeeper. Recording details on paper was as natural to her as breathing. What was the harm? She planned to burn her notes in André's kitchen later that evening.

The soldiers entered the valley at precisely three o'clock. Emilie began to count grey uniforms.

The ninth soldier in line jerked an old man forward, forcing him to kneel. As the other soldiers raised their rifles, Emilie forgot la résistance and even forgot André. Her scream reverberated across the valley. "Grand-père!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My life is just a bit hectic. It's not nearly as bad as some other lives out there (thank goodness I'm not ambitious or it would be horrendous)...but I still have quite a few balls in the air most days. And I remember little things I need to do at the oddest hours. Typically it's when I'm at home and I really don't want to go out again - possibly (okay...probably) because I've already had one glass of wine. Which is too much for me to safely drive. just is. But I digress.

I try to survive life by making lists. Tons of them. I've attempted mental lists but I barely remember my co-workers' names so it's laughable to think that I'd remember the fact that I need to pick up dog food unless I write it down. I've attempted to keep my list on a website like Dropbox but then I forget to go to the website to check my list. As a result, I always end up resorting to messy lists on scraps of paper. Here's today's list:

When I say "today's list," what I really mean is that it's the list I've carried around with me for almost three days. First it was stuck to my cell phone, then it fell off into my purse (which is a nightmare and probably a breeding ground for Ebola). Sometimes I end up taping a 3-day old list to my cell phone because the magic sticky note stickiness no longer works. This time I decided to stick it onto my work desk, which is beyond ridiculous, considering the mess covering it. On Monday I scratched "shoe holder" off the list. Yesterday I scratched off "allergy meds." Today I really need to scratch off "call Humane Society" and "article" - but I have my doubts.

Here's the truth about my lists. As a general rule, something needs to be on my list about three times before I'll finally do it. The uncrossed items on this list are first-iteration items. They've only existed on ONE sticky note. They haven't really paid their dues. The next step is for them to be transferred onto a much bigger piece of notebook paper (where they will be joined by a much longer list of things I must do) and then transferred back onto another sticky note (possibly a pink one) before I cross them off. By that time, they will be mixed in with other (as yet unknown) chores I'm ignoring.

Here's the other thing about my lists. I don't list the things that ACTUALLY MATTER to me. I don't, for example, write: "Spend 15 minutes working on novel." Or...."audition for a play." Both of those are huge priorities for me. I know that if I do those things, I'll be much happier than if I call a jeweler to find out how much it will cost me to fix the gold necklace I broke when I was brushing my hair last week. (Said necklace is traveling around in a ziplock bag in my purse, and most likely will stay there until we get our first Blue Norther in November.)

In short, lists are the only way I can make sure I accomplish anything during my waking hours. However, I still fight them tooth and nail and I don't even put my priorities on them. If any of you have a better idea, I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Other Writers

I've recently finished reading two great books. One of them, Perfect Madness, is a non-fiction book with the subtitle "Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety." The subtitle sums it up pretty well. If you are a mom, or even if you're not a mom but you're trying to make your way in our way-too-competitive and un-supportive world, I highly recommend the read. I finished the book somewhat discouraged about our society but recommitted that what I want for my family (in case you're curious what I want, it's essentially to love and be loved; to support and be supported; and to instill a sense of respect for all other humans).

The next book is a new fiction book which is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. Wool, by Hugh Howey, is stunning. Mr. Howey is an Indie author whose self-published book is now (quite deservedly) a sensation. One of the first things that stood out to me is how very, very well it's written. Let me just say that I notice every little grammatical or typographical mistake when I read books - I find them distracting and they are everywhere (even my own writing, I'm sure). The mistakes jump out at me in traditionally published books (some are actually pretty bad, I'm not sure where some of these publishing houses get their proofreaders) and I certainly notice mistakes in self-published works. But I didn't notice ANY mistakes in Wool. Wow.

Now, before you begin to think that I'm picky on purpose or that I have fun picking apart other people's work - you should know that I'd prefer not to notice those details. I can't seem to help it. And I'm under no delusion that my self-published book would be much better than anyone else's book. I'm just saying that's the way it is.

Of course, no story is worth reading ONLY because of flawless grammar and structure. Wool is golden because the story is incredible. Within a few pages, you are completely attached to the characters and the story comes alive. For me, it's just plain inspiring to see someone who worked hard, created an incredible story, and is now successful enough to support himself as a writer. Wow!

I used to read good books and get jealous, or think about what those people have that I don't have. Maybe I'm finally more mature, but for the first time I'm really celebrating the fact that there are other writers who live the dream. Someday that will be me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Friday Fictioneer - Pecos

This is my first attempt to be a Friday Fictioneer (writing 100 words inspired by a new photograph each week), as promulgated by Madison Woods. (My fellow blogging friend told me about this awesome be sure to read hers also since she has the system down already.) Without further ado...

The mouse entered the abandoned casita with trepidation befitting her short and rather pitiful existence. She used her single ear to listen for the slightest movement. After two full minutes, she skirted the edge of the wall as fast as her pregnant body could move and darted into the one room that still had part of a ceiling.
Countless desert animals found their way to the casita to give birth each year. But no humans came this way anymore. In the bedroom, not far from where the one-eared mouse settled in to give birth, a silver teething ring on a lilac ribbon lay crumpled in a dusty corner.

There you go! That was surprisingly satisfying. Thank you, Madison Woods!

To see the submissions from other writers around the world go to this site.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Travelin' Blog

Today's post can be found on another blog because a new soul-sister invited me to prepare a guest post. How cool is that, people? It almost sounds like something a real writer might do. Nothing says friendship like sharing your blog-space with a fellow writer and I am very grateful! Click on over to her blog, Not For All Markets to see my post. I recommend that you read some of her Friday Fiction while you're visiting because this lady knows how to tell a story!