the journey from writing a novel to ... what were we talking about again?

Month: July 2011 (page 1 of 2)

Things NOT to do when doing a tv interview…

So… the lovely Codi Jefferies of Majic100 was kind enough to invite me to do a top 20 countdown interview. I said yes. I had no idea what that meant.

It meant that I had to shower, wear a nice, simple dress, have nice hair and wear make-up (ie mascara).  I even shaved my armpits. Then I imagined us sitting in snuggly chairs, laughing flirtatiously with the camera while we sipped tea in fine china cups. She would ask me about my muse, about how wonderful my boys are, if there were any more books coming and we would nod at my awesomeness.

What it actually meant: the three of us, (her, me and camera guy) would stand inside the radio studio and in-between her hosting the 9-2 show, we would chat.  The studio was not terribly big, but big enough and there were so many things to look at. Microphones, computer screens, more computer screens, cd’s, a tv was on, pictures of people and Majic100 banners everywhere.  So she got changed into fancy clothes (ohshelookedpretty!) and then camera guy handed me a microphone.

Rules for doing tv interviews:

1) Make sure you have a pocket on your rear. Or at least a waistband. My dress was a one-piece, free-flowing Bottecelli job. I had to clip the microphone battery/charger/thingy onto my underpants. Over my dress.

2) Look in the mirror before agreeing to talk on air.  I did not notice until halfway through that my gorgeous homemade necklace (courtesy of my sister-in-law) was actually hanging fully on the left side of my body, stuck to my sweaty skin. Instead of hanging straight down like it should have. And I have no idea what my hair looked like.

3) Keep hands clasped in front of you. I began doing that, and then Codi would ask me a question and then my hands started flitting about. Then more questions came and while everything is a daze now, I’m pretty sure I fist-pumped for Katy Perry and danced for Lady Gaga. I’m pretty sure camera guy got that.

4) Keep eyes focused. Now, I’m in a room with many, many distractions and buttons. And Codi is standing to the right of me. So do I talk to her or do I talk to the camera? I’m pretty sure I did both, and I’m pretty sure I also talked to the top left corner of the room and possibly the floor. I may have looked over my shoulder once. Can’t remember.

5) Have a plan.   Codi was mean enough to ask me “so tell us about yourself”.  I blanked. Why did I not ask him to re-record? No idea. My answer? (with slightly manic eyes of desperation) “Hi, I’m Jenn Kelly. I was born and raised in Ottawa. I have been married 10 years to a firefighter and I have a six year old.”  Look back at Codi and blank out. Oof.

6) Take a picture! Why oh why didn’t I take a picture????

So…I guess we’ll see how bad it is when it comes out. It will be on the A Channel (channel 6?) on August 14th at 1pm, during the top twenty countdown. Which is probably why I fistpumped Katy Perry…not sure.


reading: I have no idea

eating: I’m never eating again. Oh, look. A white chocolate egg…

listening to: I should be listening to Enya. And then I’ll flap my arms about like a graceful chicken.     

Being Brave Part 2

I may already have a post named that, but I can’t be sure. And if I knew  how to look at all the titles of my posts, I would look at them and think up new and witty titles. Although that could be a brain strain and I can’t sell anything to save my life.  Which has nothing to do with being brave.

Ok. So.

When I was at Lakehead U, I made an amazing friend. And I say, ‘made’ because she was the ultimate friend.  She worked as a counsellor type which I can’t divulge any more info.  Needless to say, this woman was amazing.  We carefully felt each other out, realized we both had wounds and embraced each other wholeheartedly.  She was so brave. And she was so in love with who she was. She held her wounds like precious little babies and she laughed at her own awesomeness. And she laughed at her mistakes.

Because I knew her, because I was best friends with her, she taught me so much about herself.  She was brave enough to say ‘no’.  She was brave enough to say immediately, ‘you can’t talk to me like that’.  When we went dancing and the boys got too close, she would physically move them gently aside and say, ‘you dance over there’.  She would tell people when they weren’t being nice and she would be able to say to them, ‘you’ve hurt my feelings.’

I couldn’t do that. And then, I began doing it.  I began to embrace my crazy emotions and I began to tell people that they were saying mean things and I began to seek out ‘succulent’ women.

I read a book by SARK.  And she promotes Succulent Wild Women. (As I read where she is now, she is sadly, part of the corporate world, but we’re looking at 15 years ago when I was wild).  And her lovely book filled with hand drawings and colours and printing as opposed to typeset, caught my eyes. And this is some of the stuff I read:

“Buy yourself gorgeous flowers. Practice extravagant lounging. Invent your life over if it doesn’t feel juicy. Cradle your wounded places like precious babies. Be delicious. Discover your own goodness. Smile when you feel like it. Shout: I’m here! I’m succulent and I’m loud! Be rare, eccentric and original. You are enough, you have enough, you do enough. Describe yourself as marvelous. Tell the truth faster. End blaming. Dress to please yourself. Be inwardly gorgeous.”

Now, of course when I started reading her, I was skeptical. She sounded like some crazy psycho-therapist. And then as I kept reading, she didn’t tell you how to be. She would admit her huge mistakes, her vulnerability, her own pain and how she got through it. 

And I became succulent. I became the woman I always wanted to be. Brave enough to be myself and to love myself. All of me.

Of course over time, I had to leave Thunder Bay (I chose hubby over her) and we weren’t close anymore. And yes, that was heartbreaking.  She was my first honest to goodness real friend. The type of friend where you can truly be yourself and not worry what they might think. The kind that forgives you immediately and encourages you to say what you are feeling.  Thankfully, and ever-gratefully, hubby became that friend.

And over more time, I found my freedom in God and I became who I wanted to be again. And over time, i forget how to be.

Am I the only one who notices that people are immediately judging? Am I the only one who is told to “not be so loud, not be so crazy, too much information” and given dirty looks, been ignored, been pushed aside, been stomped on?

Am I the only one who felt she had to be more careful in the way she behaved, in the way she dressed, in the subjects she talked about?

Am I the only one who lost any bravery in herself to turn to a girlfriend and say, ‘wow, what you just said was really hurtful’, and ‘you can’t talk to me that way’ and ‘how dare you try to squelch my spirit’?

I forgot. I forgot I was supposed to be brave and succulent. I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to conform to what ‘they’ wanted, to act like ‘they’ wanted, to be part of their little group, to be under the queen bee.

Last night I found a book I had purchased at a garage sale awhile ago and promptly forgot. It was SARK’s ‘Wild Succulent Woman’. I climbed into the cloud (aka best bed ever!) and began to read.

And I remembered.

I read things like, “If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you. I came to live out loud.” (Emile Zola) and things like, “We have a right to live wild, succulent lives.” and things like, “I’m here! I’m wild! I will live a daring and remarkable life!”

Now, if you are reading this you will be of two minds. One – you think I’m nuts and should stop talking. Just so you know? I’m fine with that. Or Two – you are fully agreeing with me. Way down deep in your soul, your little spirit is peeking out from under the covers wondering if it’s safe to come out.

It’s safe to come out.

So how do you combine this with your faith in God? Well, SARK is not a believer. But she knows (she used to know?) how important it is to like you. To love you. To realize your wounded places and let yourself feel through them and let them go. To look at your ickyness (is that a word? who cares!) and your meaness and to stop that.  

Have you ever noticed that we are meanest to other women? What is up with that??? This is what SARK wrote: “Live fully, richly, rarely and reveling in ordinary and extraordinary moments. It gives you permission, and calls you out to play”.  I wish I had a nickel for everytime a woman tried to stamp on my essence.

Back to God. Golly I love that guy.  I honestly believe God calls us to live fully. He does, look it up.  He wants us all to embrace things with all our power. He wants us to love with abandon and be excited for others. (Am I the only one who has noticed that no one gets excited anymore? You tell them news and they’re like, ‘oh, good for you’ instead of ‘that’s AMAZING!’ and then hug you with love? Or you tell them about some pain in your heart and instead of listening they try to tell you how to fix it or they have to one-up you? You know what I’m talking about. They have to show you that they relate, that  theirs is worse or better and they’ve stopped listening?)  God calls for us to be compassionate. To adore others. To treat each other like we want to be treated. Guess what? I’m not going to be treated badly anymore. (am tempted to be quote Gloria Steinham now… although I think she overdoes it. Let’s be succulent wild women, not arrogant, buttheads)


Here it is.

Ladies? Be wild and be succulent. Do not let people step on you. Do not allow mean people in your life. You are not obligated to mean people. They are exhausting and not worth your efforts. Use your wildness and your loveliness to embrace people who are lovely and wild.  Stop telling people how to be and stop telling them that you are better/worse than they are. Stop comparing. Stop trying to fix people and just listen to them. No one listens enough.  Stop telling them to ‘talk to the hand’, ‘too much  information’ and ‘you’re gross’. NO name calling!

I choose to live abundantly. Which also means with succulence. With wild abandon. And with gregariousness.

So there.

Reading: SARK

drinking: market spice tea from Teaopia

Watching: dunno

So what does all this hoopla mean?


Jackson Jones on Kindle special!

only $1.16!!! get yours today!!!


reading: the Maze Runner (not bad!)

drinking: Saigon chai tea

eating: nothing yet, too early

watching: SYTYCD!

Book Launch Party!

You know what’s frustrating about hot days? You get stinky armpits. Man that makes me crazy.


Anyhoo, time to make plans for book launch party #2! Book launch party for book 1 was absolutely lovely with some fantastic people coming all the way from the East Coast and from Alabama and they said such lovely things to me that I’m super grateful it was videotaped because otherwise I wouldn’t believe them. It was a magical night and it was all about me, and I’m determined to make sure that happens again.

So…new plan! have decided to definitely book funky New York style loft for book launch party, with twinkly lights and disco balls and acid jazz whatnots for a cocktail party.  With books. But I’m opening it to the public.  Which means, I will not be revealing where it is and at what time, until you rsvp. Because it is a community hall and I just can’t have any person walk in and demand free food and drinks.  Not only is it terribly unsafe but also terribly tacky.  So, here’s the deal. If you want to come, you must email me that you want to come, and your name will go on the list. And when we get closer to the date, I will reveal to those who rsvp’d where it is.   See? Sneaky and fun!  So, you can reach me at and I will answer you.  And if you do not rsvp and you show up and your name is not on the list, you may not come in.  No matter what you pay the bouncer. And yes, there will be a bouncer.


Party date: September 24th.  I am cutting off rsvp date to September 17th so that I can figure out how much of everything I need. Obviously if you want to bring food I’ll be eternally grateful.


who’s coming?


Reading: The Pretties

Watching: Masterchef

Eating: something from Starbucks that comes in a container

Drinking: venti, soy, decaf, caramel frapp

A Day of Treasures

Two days ago was date day. I love date day. It’s always lovely. But for some reason, I always get sick. Always stomach aches. Date day ran two days and thankfully I was only ill yesterday. And today, but hubby is at work so it doesn’t count. And yes I was super careful with what I ate. I had a salad for goodness sakes at Cracker Barrel but that didn’t stop me from being sick.

Date day consisted of dropping the gaffer off and heading downtown.  The first place we went to, on behalf of hubby, was a secret.  We walked down the street and we ducked into a building. I felt very uncomfortable going upstairs, there were many office doors about. Hubby had found this while doing building inspection through the fire department. And then we walked into a room. The coolest room ever!

It was a three story, brick-walled, balconied awesomeness. A few people sat about in chairs, working on their very expensive laptops. Apparently it’s a Networking area, where people can just show up and do some work. In a very beautiful place.  It had New York written all over it. So then I said to the guy who greeted us, “How much to rent it out?” Absolutely nothing. It’s supposed to be a Community thing so anyone can use it. Ding! Ding! Book launch party!!! So we have the contact info and I shall have my ridiculously cool book launch party with twinkly lights and funky music. My own little piece of awesomeness for just one night. How many times have I said awesomeness? Where’s my Thesauraus? No really, I can’t find it…

Next we headed to a kitchen shop and purchased some funky cosmo glasses, which will be my wine glasses. The bottoms are so heavy that they don’t easily tip over. Yay!

Then we found an estate sale in an old gorgeous house. So we snuck in. And I purchased a few things…



Retro handbag – orangeA plethera of scarves…

 And then at a garage sale:


Then, romantic man of mine, took me to a gorgeous apartment building we’ve been eyeballing for about ten years. It’s in the Glebe and it runs down a dog park.  Dan got to know the superintendent rather well through inspection and structure examination, and he gave us the key to a vacant apartment which is for sale.



 I’m having picture issues. Ok, so the top picture is the view from the hallway into the living room. The fireplace does not work, but who cares? The picture on top of that is standing in the living room looking into the dining room, or another sitting room. To the right is the kitchen, and to the left would be the library. I wish my camera took better pictures. The apartment is painted white with dark wood outlining everything. And yes, radiator heating.  Only two bedrooms and one of the bedrooms was slightly creepy with its window going out onto the fire escape. But we’ve always wanted to live there. While it is at a good price of about $399, that isn’t something we can afford right now. But for the twenty minutes that we stood there, we imagined our ‘Glebe’ life of one car, taking our bikes everywhere, plants on all the windowsills (did I mention it faces south and is on the third floor?) with underground parking, the canal right there, a door exiting right into the doggie park… and we’d wear our Birkenstock’s with socks and drink Bridgehead coffee and argue about NDP leadership.  There is something so … alluring to us about the Glebe. It’s like the artsy part of Ottawa. To us. And you can walk everywhere. Groceries, video, laundry has to be done at Hillary’s while you watch Ellen…

It was a nice thought. We wouldn’t move anyway, simply because the gaffer is in the best school he can be in, right now.

And then yesterday after we ate at Cracker Barrel (and I drank half a bottle of Pepto) we inherited a kayak…

Reading: the Maze Runner and Entertainment Weekly (what? It’s 28$ for 51 magazines!!! How could I not?)

Watching: about to watch the Pink Panther with gaffer on the couch

Eating: oof. Nothing at all.

Drinking: electrolytes

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