Janis is an author and teacher trying to navigate the world around her through writing. She is currently working on her latest novel while trying to figure out how to get more people to read this one than the last one.
It's been a little more than a month since we lost you. So wild to think that you were there one day, gone the next. Think of all that's happened in just a month.
A More Subdued Birthday
On August 4th, I turn 30 years old. I’ve been considering for months what this milestone birthday would mean to me - joked with my friends about my body giving out, examined and reframed my personal goals, tried to make plans even though I’m working summer school.
Back to My Roots
Do you know what I did last week? Despite nearing 30, I decided to go back to living like I was a college student on summer break.
Could this really be the place? This rubble of what once had been a set of brownstones, the stones, wiring, and pieces of old furniture was staring back at me as if daring me to move them, with walls still standing here and there but mostly open to the sky. Charlie told me that this would be where I’d find the answers I was looking for. The mystery surrounding who I was and where I had come from. The reason that people looked at me sideways or crossed to the other side of the road when they saw me coming. It was lonely enough living nowadays, but to have only a few people who will even bother to talk to me, let alone be my friend, was a lot to deal with.
The Stories That Inspired Me
If you're not writing, you should be reading. When I first started taking writing fiction really seriously, that was the message trumpeted across all of my research as I learned about editors and querying and getting an agent. You've always got to be trying to improve your craft; what better way than by reading the work of others?
What I've Learned From Teaching In a Pandemic
When I started teaching 6 years ago, I never would have believed you if you had told me that I was going to be teaching 5th graders from my house.
Others Have It Worse...
Teachers are trained to recognize the signs of mental health issues. We may not be able to formally diagnose them, but we can see the signs and refer them to the experts. Often, we're right. An overly fidgety child may have ADHD. A child who struggles with basic academic tasks might have a processing disorder. And there are many signs of the Autism spectrum that we are trained to notice as well.
Timing Is Everything
Nearly 30 years ago, I was born on an Air Force Base in Misawa, Japan. I became the first of four children; as such, I think I can safely say that there were many expectations placed on me. Some of them I placed on myself as I got older. But the one that has eluded me thus far, the one that I want the most, is becoming a published author.