Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | April 14, 2014

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Remember when you were a child and were asked on the first day of school every year what you wanted to be when you grow up?

What was your answer?

Did you follow through with that dream?

I didn’t.

I let my own fear and insecurity get in the way and decided to do something more sensible. My dream went on the back burner. That’s the funny thing about dreams… you aren’t supposed to let them come true because then they wouldn’t be a dream any longer, right?

Well, that’s what I used to think.

Life is short and tomorrow we may not be here. Living a life with unfulfilled dreams is no way to live. I don’t want to be filled with regrets.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up and what are you going to do to make that happen?

If you’re still not sure what you should be when you grow up, try this fun test. What did you get? Does it fit you?

What Career Should You Have?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | April 14, 2014

Mormon Diaries

I came across this gem of a book recently and just had to share!

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Raised in a religion that requires total commitment from its members, Sophia Stone shares with us the power of her faith journey from within the birth of her Mormon upbringing. She shares painful and moving experiences from her life as a stalwart and faithful child to the questioning and blossoming transformation of her womanhood. Her memoirs and essays offer a glimpse into a religion that requires total and absolute devotion, with its members making sacrifices to remain obedient to the precepts that are taught. Sophia takes us along her journey of self discovery. She allows us into her heart and home as she shares the moments of her life with us, from mending fences to discovering the meaning of true happiness.

Like me, you will read this in one sitting, anxious to discover the meaning of life right along with her.

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | June 2, 2013

Author With Rare Genetic Disorder Tells All

Carrie Hall, mother and author with PKU, shares her life story about living with a rare genetic disorder in her book “My PKU Life”.

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In a pleasant, conversational style, Carrie shares what it was like to grow up with the genetic disorder called PKU {Phenylketonuria}. She chronicles her life and what has worked for her in managing her diet. She includes input and advice from other adults with PKU and parents of children with PKU and they answer questions that are commonly asked about managing the daily life with a genetic disorder. This book is chalk full of stories, advice, information, and great tips and advice for anyone with PKU or any loved one wanting to understand PKU better. Definitely worth a read and easily downloadable now on Kindle!

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In Carrie’s second book, My Journey to Motherhood, we follow along a PKU pregnancy from pre-conception to the labor and birth of Carrie’s baby. A PKU pregnancy is unique… managing phenylalanine levels, calories, drinking formula, and following a strict low protein diet. Carrie is an inspiration to other women with PKU and their partners and she is a wealth of information and knowledge. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you enter her intimate life and share in her twist and turns of her PKU pregnancy journey!

*Coming soon… an exclusive interview of the author and contest to win a free autographed copy of Carrie’s book!

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | January 12, 2013

The Winning Book Title!

And the winning book title for the upcoming PKU book is…

waiting

 

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | January 4, 2013

Please Vote! Thank you!

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | December 31, 2012

Becoming a Writer

Maybe it was the first time I scribbled something on a piece of notebook paper when I was eight years old and showed it to my mother.

Maybe it was the time my fifth grade teacher read to us about Harriet the Spy and I had a sneaky suspicion she was reading about  me.

harrietthespy

Maybe it was the time that I read historical fiction novels in class while pretending to read my science book. Getting detention for that was well worth it.

Maybe it was the time I put a 3-ring binder together and began writing “a novel” of my own.

Maybe it was the time that 3-ring binder was carried around with me in Jr. High School.

Maybe it was the time that 3-ring binder was stolen, all of its pages were ripped out, and the binder was found empty in the trash. I still haven’t recovered from losing those 500 pages.

Maybe it was the time that I had received feedback from my 10th grade Honors English teacher that I had a gift.

Maybe it was the time I read all about Charlotte Bronte and wrote a poem about her life in 12th grade that made my teacher cry.

Maybe it was when my best friend and I copied every awesome quote from the Anne of Green Gables series into our notebooks and pretended we were going to marry someone like Gilbert Blythe.

Anne and Gilbert

“I don’t want diamond sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you.”

Maybe it was the mystery series I “played at” as a kid, writing down murder scenarios and scenes and pretending to be a detective like Nancy Drew.

Maybe it was when I spent all weekend in the library reading every autobiography I could get my hands on.

Maybe it was the time I wrote my baby’s first birth story and shared it with the online world.

Maybe it was when I first submitted an edited, polished short-story to my writing professor.

Maybe it was when I submitted three manuscripts to a writing contest hosted by my college.

Whatever it was, at some point, I started to become a writer.

writer

I can not pinpoint an actual time or event when I actually became a writer.

Perhaps it has been a process.

Or maybe it just occurred to me that I am a writer as I help my twelve  year-old daughter dream up ideas for her stories. She spends enormous amounts of time and energy on her writing that I never did at her age. I am learning so much from her.

Whatever it was, I AM a writer.

I will soon be able to say that I am a published author.

There is a great freedom in not only saying that, but believing it.

When did YOU become a writer?

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | December 5, 2012

Why I Hate Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer

I know that hate is a strong word, but let me explain why I hate Stephenie Meyer… {Even though in a previous post I thanked her for inspiring me to write again…}

 

Stephenie Meyer {notice how she spells her name incorrectly} has managed to define a new genre of writing for authors with the introduction of her vampire books. The Twilight Saga idea just came to her in a dream one night and she sat down and wrote it.

Twilight was her first attempt at creative writing. Up until that point in time, she had not written anything at all. Or so she says.

For a wanna-be published author like me, that causes some serious jealousy issues. I mean, I get up at 5 am every morning and pound on my keyboard for hours before my kids wake up, trying to make sense of the ideas in my head and put them into a coherent form on a keyboard [or paper]. Sometimes I create something amazing and many times I fail.

I often revamp entire stories into something completely different from what I started from. I have had a few ideas come to me in a dream, but I certainly didn’t start my writing with just one story idea. I have written short stories, novels, and poetry since I first learned how to read. It was a necessary part of life for me,  like breathing. I kept a daily journal and now I have boxes of them in my closet, with my first journal starting at around age 8. I have had a lot of time to practice and hone my writing skills. Stephenie Meyer has not.

So why is she a famous author and I’m not?

She can tell a good story.

Readers don’t care how long someone has been writing. If you can tell a story that hooks them and keeps their attention for four books in a row, they will forgive run-on sentences or sentences that masquerade as sentences but, aren’t really sentences at all. That happened to me when I read Twilight because once I had invested some time getting to know the characters, I had to find out what was going to happen next. It was pure torture to keep reading however, as I discovered that her writing style was like feeling nails on a chalkboard.

Was I ultra impressed with her writing and style? Actually, I wasn’t. I found myself correcting errors as I read {which is an annoying perfectionist habit I have when it comes to grammar and punctuation and sentence structure} but, apparently if you are creative publishers will over look that. If you are lucky enough, readers will too. {If you are an excellent writer, those errors won’t make it to publication.}

So, does that mean that I have to re-think how I write?

Well, my goal isn’t to be the most famous vampire author and have blockbuster movies made out of my books. {Although what author wouldn’t love to have their story on the big movie screen for all to see? I certainly wondered what that would be like as I took my 12 year-old daughter to watch the second part of Breaking Dawn last night.}

However, I do pay close attention to how I tell my stories. Are they enough? Do they keep a reader’s interest? Does it make them want more?

Does the story make me want more as I am writing it?  Stephenie says that she wrote for herself first. She had to know how the story was going to end up and she couldn’t wait to find out!

If I don’t care about my own story as much as I would if I were the reader, then something is not right.

That was the wake up call that Stephenie’s story provided for me.

So, I guess the truth is that I am jealous that story telling seems to come so naturally to her. She learned through osmosis the most important writing lessons in only a few months’ time. Those lessons have taken years for writers like me to grasp.

Yet, I wonder…if she might be making up stories about her storytelling?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | December 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update

So my first year of doing NaNoWriMo ended in a beginning manuscript of over 30,000 words.

Did I win? Nope.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not a winner. {Those that won however were successful in writing 50,000 words or more}

I certainly did not quit and I kept plugging along, even with life getting in the way. {That’s the point, though, right?}

Benefits of participating in NaNoWriMo 2012:

*Creating a daily habit of writing every morning!

*Seeking out other writing friends on Facebook and Twitter {building relationships with others online is a great way to get your name out in the writing market} I had fun participating in an interview with the lovely, author Donna B. McNicol as she interviewed different NaNoWriMo writers throughout the month.

*Discovering the way that I write best

My November Routine:

Every morning at 5 am, I wake to my alarm, turn it off, jump out of bed, throw on a pair of comfy clothes and head to the living room for a half hour of yoga or Pilates. {I usually trade off because I get bored easily}. I brew some coffee {Folgers usually, the darker the better} while I jump in the shower for a quick five minutes. When I’m out and dressed, I grab my cuppa {which I mix with about 1/4 cup of Chocolate Almond Milk and a drop or two of Cinnamon or Wild Orange essential oil},  head to the kitchen table with my writer’s notebook, laptop, headphones for listening to my music and writing utensils.

I alternate between editing my manuscript I began last year: The Surrogate Baby {a story about two women who both want the same baby and love the same man}, and adding new words to my current manuscript: Leilah’s Song{a story about a teenage girl with Aspergers whose savant musical skills are put on YouTube by bullies at school which leads to her being stalked by a killer}.

Sometime around 8 am or so when my kids begin to roll out of bed, I shut off my laptop, get breakfast ready, and begin our day. I don’t usually write anymore until the next morning as we fill our day with school, errands, and work, but I do brainstorm and think about my manuscripts off and on all day long. {I envy those who can write all day long but I love my time with my kids and writing in the morning helps me to be more “present” with them during the day}.

I used to believe that I produced better writing at night but, NaNoWriMo taught me that I perform better in the morning hours. I learned that I need a steady, consistent routine for my writing, instead of sporadic bursts of creativity. I find that if I get to bed by 10:30 at night I can get up fairly early to start my writing day. I have a lot more fresh creativity in the early morning before I am bombarded with other noises, demands, and daily responsibilities.

I also discovered that listening to Piano Guys or Classical Music helps me to think more clearly, along with my cup of coffee that helps calm my brain {apparently a sure-tell sign of ADD} and studies show will help me live longer .

But most importantly, I learned that if I want others to take my writing seriously, then I need to do the same.

To all NaNoWriMo winners, congrats!!

For all of those who tried and didn’t get 50,000 words, remember that you’re a winner just for trying!

 

 

 

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | November 15, 2012

HOME: A Short Story

“HOME”

By: Stephanie Parry  Coleman
“Hi there, boys of the USA,“ a female voice crooned over the radio from the other room. “We’re ready with the stuff that makes you swing and sway.“ I had listened to the Reveille with Beverly radio station every morning during the war and today was no exception. A few moments later, Artie Shaw’s “Deep in a Dream” was the only sound in the house while Charlie and I were seated formally at the kitchen table. The smell of hot, fresh bread baking in the oven permeated the air of the plain, farm house kitchen.
“This is good,“ Charlie said. It was his first breakfast since he had arrived that morning. He hardly glanced up while he chewed noisily. His brown shirt was torn and in need of repair. His green helmet rested on the table beside him.
“Thank you. I’m sorry we only have powdered eggs.” It was strange to speak to my husband so politely, as if he was a stranger in his own house.
“It’s fine,” he said. I noticed scars on his weathered hands as he continued to shove large mouthfuls of bacon and eggs in his face.
“There’s milk in the icebox. Would you like some?” I asked.
“No, thanks. Water’s great.” He didn’t look up while he continued to eat.
Rising from the chair with the wobbly leg, I grabbed the bucket and retreated outside. Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm the thumping in my chest. I knelt down at the pump and slowly filled the bucket with water. I had only slept a few hours the night before, anticipating his return and dreading it at the same time. I was grateful for the chance to escape.
When I arrived back inside, Charlie was already finished eating. With shaking hands, I poured the water meticulously into a glass. Setting the glass on the table in front of him, I was startled at the racket it produced in the stifling quiet. I choked back a sob as I sat down. Who was this man? The house had been lonely without him, but I had grown accustomed to being alone.
“You took good care of the place,” he said.
I took a sip of my coffee. “The Wilson boys helped out with the chores. They joined up awhile back.”
“Yeah, you said that in your letters.” He looked in my direction as if seeing me for the first time. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here to help.”
“Well, we all have to do our part,” I replied.  I ached to reach out and brush back the blond hair that hung down the front of his forehead. I stood up and cleared Charlie‘s dishes, trying to make as much noise as possible to drown out the thundering heart beat in my ears.
As I sat back down, my hand self consciously felt for the brown ringlet curls that I had carefully styled a few hours earlier.
I felt his eyes on me. “You took good care of yourself, Amy. You look swell.”
I felt a hot flush creep up my neck at the sound of my name on his lips. I was not hungry but I ate my breakfast in earnest, trying to avoid his piercing stare. The eggs were as tough as plastic in my dry mouth and I tried to chew without grimacing. I looked toward the kitchen window, pretending to be engrossed in something outside. Regretfully, I noticed the empty chicken coop. My eyes began to water and I felt myself gag. Unable to hold them in my mouth any longer, I coughed and sputtered until I had spit every bite of the eggs into the embroidered linen napkin. With my face red and feeling flustered, I looked up and noticed Charlie was smiling. “How did you eat this?” I asked.
He hesitated and then replied, “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
We both laughed at that, some of the tension dissolving into the air. I carefully studied Charlie’s face then and was not surprised when my laughter morphed into tears. Alarmed, Charlie reached across the table and grabbed my small shaking hands into his large ones. I knew those hands. The rough scars were different and new. Ever so slowly, I rubbed each mark with my thumbs, wondering at the story behind each one. Soon his hands were bathed in my tears and the words I wanted to speak were caught in my throat.
As we both stood in unison, the wooden leg beneath me immediately gave way. The chair crashed to the floor with a thud.
Charlie‘s eyes widened in shock. “Gosh, that was a death trap!“
The close call startled us both and we laughed again. How I had missed that musical sound of his deep voice. It unleashed a longing in me that I had denied myself in order to survive the unknown.
“I’ll fix that damn chair, Amy.” He reached for me and pulled me close to him.
“I know,” I said.
Charlie kissed me then for the first time in three years. Our lips were searching and tentative at first. Gradually my body awoke to his touch as the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light” reverberated through the floor and into my bones. His lips found their way to my hair and throat, and his hands reached for the curves in my hips. Relief flooded through every inch of me like wildfire as our kiss deepened. My fear quickly vanished as we hungrily sought one another, desperate and afraid to let go.
I pushed thoughts of loved ones lost from my mind. I ignored images in my head of friends and family still wondering about their soldier. I knew I would think about them later. In the days to come, I would attend memorial services and funerals for so many soldiers that my own joy would bring enormous guilt.  But, in that moment, standing in our tiny kitchen in the middle of Kansas, all I cared about was that my husband was holding me.
He was finally home.

Posted by: Jet Set Ginger | November 8, 2012

One Year Adventure Novel

My middle school age daughter is participating in the National Novel Writing Month for the first time this year! She is so excited and already producing more words for her novel than I have at this point!

She found a great tool to help her with her writing…

Aside from the Young Writers workbook that she’s using,

Middle School Workbook

An exciting writing curriculum has been helping her along the way…

The One Year Adventure Novel is a writing curriculum that helps a middle or high schooler write their very own fiction adventure novel.

homeschool writing curriculum header

 

 

It has a textbook, map, teacher’s guide AND Instructional DVDs for her to watch to walk her through writing her first novel.

This is so helpful for those younger kids who are itching to write something but aren’t sure how to go about doing it!

They also have a Science Fiction/Fantasy writing curriculum as well!

homeschool writing curriculum header

 

 

 

The company even hosts a writing contest for kids ages 19 and younger every year!
First place wins an ipod touch!  They also win a Crystal award, custom pen, and detailed comments from the judges.

What kid wouldn’t want to win that? The contest takes place each year but the curriculum is available to purchase at any time! They even have a free Demo DVD you can request from their webpage to try it out for your young novelist!

Enjoy!

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