You Light Up My Life…And Took Out My Cornea


Happy Fourth of July week!!! I hope everyone had hot dogs, homemade ice cream, and lots of ear-drum bursting fireworks.I got together with my family for dinner and dessert (of course), but had to leave before it was dark enough to do sparklers. Because sparklers are about as pyrotechnic as I get. As I said on Facebook, when your mother has worked for an eye doctor for over 25 years, the Fourth of July is never about freedom and apple pie. It's about stories of Billy Bob getting his eyeball blown out and how bottle rockets ruin lives. We weren't ten minutes into dinner when the first story hit. But we love Mom, and she makes a mean blackberry cobbler, so we let her stay. And yes, she's reading this right now, and I probably just shot my chances for an iPad for Christmas. (But Mom, keep in mind it wasn't MY four year old daughter carrying around a small explosive device and a cigarette lighter last night. . .)

The lovely and talented (and very preggo) author Stephanie Morrill invited me over to chat on her blog. You can read that HERE. Stephanie's latest book in the Skylar Hoyt series has just the hit shelves. Be sure and check out So Over It. I love that the book takes place after Skylar's senior year. You rarely get to read YA that deals with life after high school. And that's just when things get their most crazy. Like a Black Cat Lady Finger putting you in an eye patch for  life crazy.

I got this email last night, and I wanted to share. It's pretty heavy on the guilt and urgency, and I don't take that lightly.


My name is Mandy. I'm 15 years old, and my favorite book of yours is Just Between You and Me. I read it in 3 days. (I even passed up on some chocolate  desserts and little sleep just to keep reading.)

You've become my favorite author in just a few months, and you've helped me improve my reading skills!  Thank you, Jenny!

And remember, when you stop writing, I stop reading. And enjoying life.
And I become this lifeless, boring teen who can't read.

Do y'all see the kind of pressure I'm put under? People think I just write books and consume massive amounts of peanut M&Ms, but no. I am part of a group of people who work night and day to keep teenage illiteracy at bay. We authors are not just entertainers. We're like the Supermans of the literary world, holding back the dark forces of “lifeless and boring” with our keyboards and expanding fat-chair-butts.

If you're not reading agent Chip MacGregor's blog, you're missing out on great writing and industry advice, as well as important video clips like this:

I love one of the comments on the clip that says, “Satan cannot handle the pure rock awesomeness.” Amen.

My friend Jeff occasionally sends crazy cat videos my way. I don't know why. It's not like I'm some crazy cat person. But this one is sooo my cat.

“Save You? Dude, I have a nap scheduled from ten to four, then paw cleaning from four to six, topped off with some kibble crunching and hissing, which will take me right up to bedtime. So, yeah, that's probably not going to happen.”

I hope you have a fabulous week. Join me next Monday for a cool interview with YA author Cindy Martinusen Coloma, my fellow journeyman on our fight to stop teen boredom and illiteracy, and author of Caleb+Kate.

Finally, thanks to funny girl Ashley, code name Miss Chatterbox, of for sending me this link to Catalog Living. Because Catalog Living, I want to buy what you're selling.

See you next week!

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 12 comments
Lanie (you know who i am) - July 5, 2010

Imagine Your Dad BEING the eye doctor, than its even worse. ha! =D

T.Anne - July 5, 2010

Quick for the sake of Mandy and girls like her everywhere get to the grind girl! I can’t wait to read your next book either! BYW, I hope you mom forgives you and buys you a shiny new ipad for Christmas. It’s on my list too.

Bookless+Bananaless - July 5, 2010

Omigosh!! My cow bookmark (that I spent my entire life savings on, translation 14.00) is named billy bob. I sent a pic text 2 my mom + dad the caption said “Billy Bob!!!!” My friends sorta say I’m insane. I’m like the non-vampire Alice!!! I even dream the future!! So… I wish there were bananas in my house!!

Bookless+Bananaless - July 5, 2010

Me again I am sorry 4 my randomness!!!! BYE!!!!!!!!!

Jenny B. Jones - July 5, 2010

Lanie, that would have to be EVEN worse. My mom just hears the horror stories, but your dad SEES them.

T. Anne, thanks so much. 🙂 I’ll try to crank out a book today. You do the same…

Bookless, has summer boredom set in? ha.

Tammy - July 5, 2010

Ha ha ha that cat video had me laughing out loud!
Poor chubby kid…

ashley - July 6, 2010

ummmmmm WHY are they playing the instrumental version of “What Child Is This?” in the background of Cat Lassie??!??!

I had so many things I wanted to say, but then I heard that music and realized that NOTHING else in my life matters any more.

Oh and thanks for the shout out!!! Perhaps we could go buy some shells and rotate them together soon.

Jenny B. Jones - July 6, 2010

Ashley, that was my reaction too. Um…Christmas music? Surely there’s a body royalty free song to be found? Like Onward Christian Soldiers or Happy Birthday?

Ruth - July 8, 2010

That cat video is awesome!

Christiana - July 12, 2010

Oh my gosh, that music video is completely and totally AWESOME!!! And is it just me who thinks they saw a shot of a younger version of the late, great Dom DeLuise toward the end?

Tracy - July 20, 2010

Hey Jen! I’m enjoying catching up on your summer goings-on. My family and I headed over to the US to spend our mid-year (winter!) holidays with Dh’s brother & their family and were lucky enough to ‘enjoy’ the wettest ever 4th of July in Denver. Still saw fireworks…from the car…wiping the windows down every five minutes so we could see!

Still. We were pretty excited about the idea of seeing how you guys celebrate the 4th! Rain didn’t dampen the experience for us.

ugg classicol - August 2, 2010

Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
Have a nice day


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