Monday, May 23, 2016

Why I Write?

Why I write? Growing up in rural Northern California I made up stories as a kid and asked my friends and twin brother to act out the characters. This was in the 1950’s before there was much television and I lived in my imagination. In Junior High School my friends passed around notes to each other during school. This was akin to the Face book and Twitter posts of the today. In High School I enjoyed writing poetry. I studied poetry in College and have continued to write poetry. I am a late bloomer coming to prose in my forties. Writing was what I did between balancing a family, making art, and working outside the home twenty hours a week, care giving for a mother with dementia, and earning an MA in Studio Art. Honestly I was lucky to scribble a few words in a journal!  

About fifteen years ago I began a historical novel set in the 9th century with a working title of The French Princess. I wrote the novel in twenty minute spurts every morning. From that novel I expanded one of the chapters into a novella. I have one other novel that is set in the 1980’s, a romance and a coming of age after a divorce and caring for a grandmother with dementia. I have spent the last year getting Blooming In Winter, my third poetry book, an indie, published first, by IStreet Press which is now available on Amazon. Many of the poems have been previously published and the book has two write-ups on the back cover by Poet Laureates Bob Stanley and Julia Connor. My writing focus, as of this moment, is finishing up a related short story collection, “River Bottom Dragon” formerly (“Farmland Stories”). The collection was a semi-finalist in a contest sponsored by Five Quarterly. I am also promoting Blooming in Winter. Recent book launches and readings include: Olivo Nello Wine Cellar, Cosumnes River College, The Brickhouse Gallery and Arts Complex, and The Sacramento Poetry Center.

I am in three writers’ groups, in which we critique and edit each other’s work (prose or poems) and support each other in other ways. I recommend joining or starting a writer’s group. Writing is a solitary activity and it is good to know there are others just like you out there. How do I feel about writing? I love to write. I love being in the middle of a story. I even like the editing part. Of course sometimes I feel I’m just spinning my wheels. It still hurts to get rejection letters, but they make interesting
wall paper. When I really need a break from writing I create visual art, garden, walk in nature, ride my bike, hang out with a writing friend at a coffee shop or favorite pub or read a book by someone I aspire to emulate. I don’t think writer block exists for me. I may not be writing what I want but I usually can journal, or edit. It isn’t green writing, but these are important parts of the process.

A water color I painted awhile back. 
I try to maintain my writing practice which means to sit down every morning and write or do some form of writing activity. As I mentioned I am also a visual artist so, I often perform a balancing act between the two mediums. I try to give any creative endeavor first priority in the day that usually gets crowded. I feel very fortunate to have the time to write and it is freeing to honor this side of myself. I am on a journey, like many of you, and I can hardly wait to see what is just behind the bend in the road and what new fork in the road I will follow. Please share your writing story here!
A photo I took in the Tahoe Park Community Garden that I am a member of.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


MAY 14

MAY 15 I hope you will join Wendy Williams and I at the Nello Olivo Wine Cellar Sunday May 15 at 2pm. We are launching our hot off the press poetry books in the Sierras! Blooming In Winter, first published by I Street Press, includes over 60 poems and ten color plates of my visual art and is available from Amazon (click on this link to take a peek). I will also, have books on hand for purchase. Wendy’s new book, In Chaparral: Life on the Georgetown Divide, California, published by Cold River Press. She will have her book available for purchase. The reading,  hosted by Lara Gularte includes an open reading. So, bring a poem to share and raise your glass in praise of fine wine and fine poetry! Jennifer

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Blooming In Winter Women Herstory at the Brickhouse Gallery

Thank you everyone for attending my book event and reading on a blustery and thankfully rainy day during Women's Herstory at the Brickhouse Gallery. I'm seated signing my new collection of poetry, Blooming In Winter with friend, Sharon Garcia. The book is published by I Street Press and will soon be available on Amazon and Kindle. I am sold out on my first run of books from the I Street Press.What a journey it has been!

Other readers that day honoring women were: Suzanne Caruthers, Jeremy Green, Sue Owens Wright, and Jerry Fishman.