What I’m Thankful For

Of course I’m going to celebrate Thanksgiving with a little dance. What else would you expect?

Well, since it is Thanksgiving week here in the States, and since so many of us will be taking a few days off, I wanted to do a special post before I sail off into Crazyville.

And, trust me, things will get crazy. Mostly because of my family.

They’re total nut jobs.


I usually end up at the dinner table doing this:

…Or trying to yell over everyone else, because my story is the funniest one of all–ha!

But, you know what? As wacky as my family is, I’m so thankful to have them in my life. For better or worse, they’re always there for me, and they always understand my slightly eccentric ways and passion for writing. Well, most of them do. My grandpa would rather see me married off and giving him grandbabies than pursuing my dreams.

…Yeah, I basically handle that situation like this:

Okay, okay. I don’t spray mace in his face. I tend to take the less sinister road of grinning and bearing–and perhaps cracking a joke to distract him. But, in my head, I go all Black Widow on his grumpy butt 😉

Besides my family, there are many things I’m thankful for. Actually, there are so many, I can’t list them all here without risking putting you in a coma. So, I’ll just list the ones that come first to mind!


I don’t talk about this much here on my blog, but I am a girl of faith, and I do claim Jesus Christ as my savior. Without Him, I wouldn’t get through most days, especially on the writing front. Let’s face it, being a writer isn’t always the easiest thing. There’s constant rejection, criticism, and naysayers to deal with. If it wasn’t for my faith, I don’t think I could bear the negative burdens.

My favorite verse is from Mark 4:40: Why are you so afraid? Have you no faith? Whenever my fears, anxiety, and/or doubt becomes too much, I quietly repeat those words and immediately feel stronger, lighter, and calmer.

Nephews and Niece


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I know I’ve already mentioned family, but I’m specifically thankful for these four goobers. They claim a large chunk of my heart, and I can’t bear to think of life without them. Their smiles, laughter, imaginations, hugs, kisses, silliness, and wonderfulness light up my world. Even on the darkest days, they have the power to make everything better.

Thank you Dane, Harley, Cy, and Rees for bringing such joy to my life. I love you with all of my being.

The Internet

I know, I know. General and laughable. But think about it! What would we do without the internet? No more information at the tips of our fingers. No more easy access to friends and family. No more opportunities to meet new friends. No more blogging. The internet has opened the world in an amazing way, and I’m so grateful for the way it has opened mine.

I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, she has to say that cause she’s writing this on her blog.” Wrong! This blog and those who follow it have made a huge impact on my life. In fact, last August I wrote an entire post about it. The words I said back then remain true today. So, thank you for being you, for supporting me, and for letting me ramble on and on…and on… 😉


Need I say more?

 Writing and Passion

Besides friends and family, writing is my heart, my dream, my everything. And I’m so thankful to have that kind of passion in my life. There are many people in the world who never figure out the answer to the eternal question: “What do you want to do with your life?” Well, I know what I want, and I’m so grateful to have that type of clarity.


Again, duh!

Okay, I’ll stop there. It’s frightening how many more things I could list that I’m thankful for: Friendships, watermelon gum, the Colorado mountains, my 9-5 job, books, breakfast, music, health, lip balm, the roof over my head, The Mindy Project, clean water…Sheesh. Amazing how many things you realize you’re thankful for when you stop to think about them. I encourage you to do the same, and not just this Thanksgiving, but on a daily basis.

Anyway, have a happy, blessed, and safe Thanksgiving! Be sure to eat lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. And, my personal favorite, stuffing.

P.S. To those who must deal with pesky, nosy, obnoxious relatives this week…

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Friday Funny with Paint, Chocolate, and Wallow

There isn’t much to say except:

Well everyone, this week was a doozy on the writing front. In a nutshell, I felt like this:

So, last weekend I sent my beta reader my latest two chapters. She liked them, but she wasn’t crazy about their setting. “I wasn’t wowed,” she explained. “This is a big moment, and you nailed the emotions and the action, but the actual location wasn’t thrilling. I wanted…more.”

Always more, Mrs. Beta Reader. That’s all you ever want. More, more, more

Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re all thinking: “It’s good your beta reader pushes you to do better–to give a reader more. That’s their job.” I know, I know. But, still. Grrrrr.

The problem is–and I know you’ll find this bizarre considering I’m passionate about novel writing–I’m not a fan of painting a setting. The sky, the clouds, the house, the trees…blah, blah, blah. If I could, I’d literally say, “There’s an old house that’s creepy and scary. Get it? Got it? Good. Let’s move on.”

Horrible, I know. But, unfortunately, true.

And these chapters my beta reader wanted “more” from are all about painting a setting. So, rewriting them this week has. Been. Pure. Torture! Compared to writing dialogue and action sequences, describing a location is hell for me. Going from blank page to vivid scene is a rough and frustrating process. There’s lots of writing, deleting, crying, screaming, writing, deleting, groaning, kicking, writing, deleting…

…punching my computer in the face. Apologizing to my computer for punching it in the face. Punching it again. Apologizing again…

Seriously, by the time I finished revising these chapters last night, I felt like this:

Okay, Okay, I wasn’t that bad. But I really wanted to curl up with a big bag of peanut M&M’s and wallow. Maybe chow down on some cookie dough ice cream, a slab of fudge, and an entire chocolate cake.

What? Every writer is allowed to gorge on chocolate once in awhile, right?


Fingers crossed my beta reader gives me the thumbs up on the new location I painted for her. If she doesn’t, then I will be buying a GIANT bag of peanut M&M’s and I will be wallowing….And then, after my pity-poor-me party, I will roll up my sleeves, gnash my teeth, and try again. Because, as the saying goes, “You fail only if you stop writing”.


Anyway, in honor of my rough writing week, here is today’s Friday Funny. Enjoy!


How was your week? Wallow worthy? Or full of rainbows and glitter and blah blah blah? 😉

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Love The Way You Lie – Eminem and Rihanna

You Know You’re a Writer When…Alter Ego

8 Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing

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Friday Funny and a Happy Valentine’s Day

b44afc0616ed51d2b1880c9d5d8328fbHappy Valentine’s Day! I know a lot of people don’t like this holiday, but I LOVE it. I’m probably one of the few single girls who does, but whatever. Valentine’s Day makes me nostalgic for candy-covered mailboxes filled with cartoon “Be My Valentine” cards. Plus, it’s a terrific excuse to eat all the chocolate I want without feeling too guilty 😉 Plus, plus, I’ll be hanging out tonight with my two nephews who I love with all my heart, so I’m happy 🙂 1013927_10101042599060113_844511921_nAs for the rest of this week, it’s been pretty brutal. Last weekend, I received my assignment for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. I was given one week to write a 2,500 word story that was a suspense and revolved around a wedding with a chef as a main character. Easy right? I mean, I wasn’t assigned romantic comedy like I’d feared…Yeah, not so much. I sat down to work on Saturday and made it a goal to knock out a solid draft by Sunday afternoon (that way I could let the story sit a few days before revising and submitting)…But, that just didn’t happen. I’ve been working on it all week and I’m still not done (and it’s due tomorrow). Ugh. I’ll be doing a longer post about my entire experience next week. Suffice it to say, I’m exhausted, frustrated and just over the whole thing, haha…

Anyways, in honor of Valentine’s Day, here are today’s funnies. Yes, plural. I couldn’t pick just one. There were too many that made me laugh out loud. Hopefully they’ll make you chuckle too.

d7159455ce7b4e1cf3667a91f04c7575a6e745ba5ce83317fc084722b0aef1a8cfa251bbe0fae3ec692dad46508d0ab8f83218a859daaf8d419dd3eae51bc05936cbd3edfd01ed95e214a0b3406a0104503505614296dc1212db958c41091bceJen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my other posts this week, here they are!

If it wasn’t for you: A thank you to the women authors who’ve inspired my writing

Jen’s Rating System Explained

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Days When You Don’t Feel Like Writing