We’re Getting Down the the WIRE here…

The Holy Blazing Laptops Write-A-Thon
There’s still time to sponsor me!
And make sure I get one of the cool shirts I designed!

Pictured left here is the extra-ordinarily talented Ms. Judy Reeves. She’s not only my writing coach/mentor, she is the executive director of San Diego Writers, Ink.

UPDATE: some of you have already donated… you’ll be getting a full report and an official thank you after the event.

I’m a little shy of my $500 goal, so if you have not yet donated, do feel free to click!

The best laid plans…

I’m neither mouse nor man, but I can tell you that I always have the best of intentions… Photo Phriday, Wordless Wednesday, Mailbag Monday…. yeah yeah, goin’ to hell am I.

Oh, no, I meant to say I’m goin’ to grad school! and feeling rather frenetic at the moment, sort of all over place. Checking out moving companies one moment and class offerings the next and the constructing a transition plan for work. I’m feeling very scattered.

It’s not a Wednesday, this post is not wordless and it’s not a Phriday, but here’s a pic of me and my sister anyway.

Black and White and Read All Over

Call me naive, but why does it have to be about race at all? Why is Barak Obama called a black man? Isn’t he equally a white man?

One of the things I find so motivating about Obama is the fact that he is every man. He is a smart man. He is inspiring, and what I find appealing about him has less to do with the color of his skin and more about his message of uniting us.

We hold him to a different standard in regards to tolerance of friends and family. I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of friends and relatives who I would consider either racist or clueless…. Sometimes I speak up, and sometimes I say nothing.

Hear/read what Obama has to say about race in his own words.

Holy Blazing Laptops!

Jennifer is writing a marathon!
That’s right, WRITING, not running…. To support San Diego Writers’ Ink

WHAT? How do you WRITE a marathon?
I’ll be joining fellow writers in an all-day writing marathon led by a number of workshop leaders over a 10-hour period. Yes, 10 hours. That’s non-stop write-til-you-drop fun on March 29 from 9 am to 7 pm.

WHY? Why? Why would you do such a crazy thing?
As most of you know, I am a writer. What you may not know is that I am a member of, and volunteer for San Diego Writers’ Ink (SDWINK), a non –profit organization that “nurtures writers and those wishing to explore the craft of writing, fosters a literary community, promotes literature and celebrates artistic diversity.”

Through SDWINK I have had the opportunity to study with many respected (and published) writers and workshop leaders, I’ve been able to perform my work live at open mics and I’ve developed an important support network of fellow writers– which came in handy when I got my first rejection letter, also from SDWINK. That support network also came in handy for celebrating when my first piece was accepted for inclusion in the audio anthology, Best of First Friday CD… it’s a support network I will miss greatly when I’m in grad school (in case you haven’t heard– I’ve been accepted into the Masters of Fine Arts / Creative Writing program at University of New Mexico)

WHY? Why? Why should you care?
The Write-A-Thon is a fundraiser, and I’m asking you to show your support of me and my writing. Besides, the more money I bring to the table the better I’ll look in front of my writer friends.

Seriously, San Diego Writers Ink is a terrific organization that supports emerging writers like me. It is a 501(C) 3 organization– which means you get a tax deduction!

Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated, and will help me meet my fundraising goal of $500.

You can donate ONLINE if you like via my personal Pledge Page. Payments are processed via PayPal account or credit card (using the PayPal credit card processing system). Or, you can download a printable form at the San Diego Writers Ink website.

If you are unable to give, that’s fine too. I appreciate your support, good vibes, well wishes in any way.

And if you know a writer of any level, tell them about San Diego Writers, Ink.

My How Far We’ve Come

The other morning while lounging in bed, listening to KPBS and catching up on the news and dreaming and floating between that space that is awake and asleep, I heard something about an attorney named Amy Lepine running against Mike Aguirre for San Diego city attorney….

I am not technically in the city of San Diego anymore (just a mile north of the line) and I can’t vote in the city anymore so I only half pay attention to what’s going on “down there.” When I heard this announcement, in that floating space, I thought to myself, “hmmm. I used to know an Amy Lepine…..” and my mind began to wander way back. To college, the first time around. Mira Costa College to be specific.

I thought about my friend Karin Zirk, who is still one of my dearest and bestest friends and how I tutored her in Spanish. I remembered Gloria Floren’s “world” literature class, which should have been titled women’s literature (not that there’s anything wrong with that) because every book we read was written by a woman. I think it was Ms. Floren’s way of balancing the literary scales…. Anyway, Amy Lepine was in that class with me and Karin was in the class too. It may have been where I met Amy, I don’t know. It was a long time ago. It was a required English credit and I think I skated by with a C.

Several days passed before I thought of Amy Lepine again, or read something in the paper and google girl that I am, set about to figure out if this was indeed the same Amy I knew. And it was. It is. Amy Lepine, Attorney At Law.

There’s a few things about Amy I remember, most revolve around having fun as college students are apt to do. I am not sure why we lost touch. Maybe we were just friends of convenience, of a time and a place. We both went to San Diego State University, but took different paths from there.

Gloria Floren is still at Mira Costa College… and while she may be suprised at where we are now, me going off to get an MFA in creative writing, Karin a talented writer and an environmental activist and Amy preparing to go up against Aguirre, I think she might be proud of all of us.

Alls Quiet on the Western Front

Big sigh. I have been holding this one in for a long time, though those of you in my inner circle (Hi Uncle Bill! Hi Debby!) have known about this for a long time…

I have been accepted into the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of New Mexico.

So, I’m going to Albuquerque.

It all began in July 2005 at the Taos Summer Writers Conference….

I signed up for Gregory Martin’s memoir class with the intent of vacationing in Taos and learning a little more about writing. Instead, I saw little of Taos and indulged in the literary landscape of the conference. Rather than enjoying the wonderful restaurants of Taos, I gorged on the readings, the panel discussions and of course the extra stack of essays from Greg—this was in addition to the three books he assigned ahead of time. His class changed the way I looked at my writing, forcing me to see beyond the basics to craft features such as character, persona, dialog, conflict, point of view and time of writing voice.

That first conference also saw the birth of what is now my book-length project, “Reconstructing My Mother.”

For the last two and a half years I have been working on this project with my local Read and Critique group facilitated by Judy Reeves. Working with other writers has helped me stay on track producing prose.

In 2007 I was accepted into Greg Martin’s Taos Master Class so I gathered up all my writing, stuffed it into a three ring binder and called it a first draft. I knew at the time it was premature but I was eager to work with Greg again and the class was an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on my work and address it as a whole. My classmates were all talented writers, with full length manuscripts covering everything from adopting a special needs child to researching a famous naval architect father. All these other writers had master’s degrees, or law degrees. It was a little intimidating.

During my one-on-one evaluation with Greg, he said to me, “You make all these self-depracating remarks about how you’re not as smart as all these people with master’s degrees…. why don’t you just go get a master’s degree?”

In other words, he challenged me, and I took him up on it. I applied this winter, and was accepted into University of New Mexico last Wednesday. Greg called me himself.

So now I find myself excited, intimidated, scared (terrified really) and overwhelmed, but I’m going.

I’ll need to be in ABQ in August. Classes start August 20.

Wish me luck!

Captain Simpson’s DVDs

When my Dad died, in addition to inheriting a condo that needed a lot of work, and a lot of personal business that had been unattended for many years, my Dad left what I consider a huge collection of DVDs. Although my Dad had an ecclectic collection, and his taste ranged from classic dramas to action movies, most of the DVDs were not what one would call “chick flicks.”

My sister and I had no idea what to do with them, and for some reason rather than just dump them at the Goodwill, we boxed them up and shipped them to us with the other things we wanted to save.

I had this great idea to donate these movies to “the troops,” but I had no idea how to go about doing this.

Until my co-worker turned me onto Operation Interdependence.

So instead of just donating the DVDs, I had to make a big project out of it and create a whole website about it. Check it out here, CaptainSimpsonsDVDs.com. I guess I really am a geek!

Monday E-Mailbag

I have a friend who forwards a lot of emails. You know the kind, cute pictures, funny little videos, jokes, the occasional don’t-microwave-tupperware warning…. Sometimes I look at them, but mostly I just leave them in my Inbox, then delete them a few days later when I’m doing a cleanup. She’s an old family friend.

Last Friday I received an email from her with the subject line “Help secure the boarders!” The body of the email said, “Get Ready— They are faaaast.”

This piqued my interest because of the word “boarders.” I thought maybe this was a joke. A liberal play on words, perhaps.


It was nothing more than a misspelling of a racist online “game.”

Somehow this is supposed to be fun, to shoot border (note the correct spelling) crossers. Blood splatters every time you hit one, and I believe you get extra points for “breeders” but I could be wrong. This “game” is on a website run by proud-to-be-racist, Tom Metzger (founder of the White Aryan Resistance). I am purposefully not linking directly to his website. Look it up yourself if you’re interested.

Now the funny thing is, my friend lives in Hawaii and from the preponderance of pro-Obama email she sends, is an avid Obama supporter.

Isn’t that ironic.

I struggled with this for a while this weekend, I kept thinking about the quote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

And yet I hesitated, because she is an old family friend, and someone I care about. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or offend her or embarrass her.

Then, because she is someone I care about, I decided to send her this reply:

I have to say I found this one very offensive… and if you look, the website is run by….. leader of the Ku Klux Klan.


No malice. And today, I got an email to this video:

I’m glad I said something. I’ve spent too much of my life not saying something.

What would you have done?