My Month of Leisure


December Save the DAte

Just wait til you see my Valentine's Day version of the Save the Date cover. I'm still working on getting it back to its PG rating…

I'm very grateful to Deena of A Peek at My Bookshelf for providing the first review of Save the Date. Deena does an awesome job of promoting Christian fiction and is such a sweet, encouraging lady.

Oh, weekend, thank goodness you are here. We are winding down our semester at school, and things always, always get crazy. I'm so ready to be done with finals. Today was one of those days where I was questioning teaching, life, existence, the chemical composition of Silly Putty, and then one of my students brought me this:


Isn't that the coolest? It's even got my initial on it. She's so getting an A. (Actually she had one already. And I've already checked into cloning her.)

I'm hosting Christmas Eve for the Jones side of the family for the first time ever, and my family knows I never decorate, but now I kinda have to. And now I can say. . .I have decorated. I even put the ornament in my special display place along with my Tybee Island mementos.


If you get real close to the bell jar you can hear the ornament saying, “Please. Let me out. Can't breathe.”

So during my blog fast, I was finishing up a book. Except the Curse of National Write a Novel Month struck YET AGAIN, and I had to toss it all away. And I mean all of it. I was two weeks away from finishing, and I just got this sneaking suspicion that something might be wrong. Clues that the book wasn't going well:

I started avoiding my office and looking for different places to write. Like my favorite lawn chair. In the house. In front of a window.


I'm closing my eyes and pretending to be at the beach. I'm closing my eyes and pretending to be at the beach…

Or the car.


Ignore that dirt in the floor. It's always never usually there. And I wrote a heck of a chapter in that seat.

I sat on the bathroom floor, my bedroom floor, my office floor, the library.

I even started avoided writing and doing other things instead. Valuable, valuable things. Like …


Buying a coffee table to refinish and hauling it out in the front yard with my power sander and setting off every neighborhood dog.

I observed nature.


That was an enjoyable five minutes.

I ordered parts and tried to fix my ice maker myself. This will be easy!


Ice maker is now in pieces. In my garage.

I made lists.






I played the staring game with a friend.


I knew things were getting bad when I started cleaning. And I knew they were catastrophic when I started ORGANIZING.


I rearranged my closet and sorted clothes by color. (And apparently half my closet is black and gray.) (To the  far left is the Polar Fleece Section. The most important.)

I rearranged some cabinets and sorted my light bulb collection.

I then came to terms with the fact that I even have a light bulb collection.


I organized my laundry cabinet, something I've barely looked at in the last decade. (Found wood glue, plug-ins, random nails, vacuum cleaner bags to vacs I don't even own, and enough chemicals to start my own Chernobyl.)

Until, finally, I heard the voice of God. And He said, “Jennifer, drop the flippin' Clorox bottle, turn off the Weird Al Yankovic Pandora, and hear me when I say you've got to trash that story.” And I was like, “Nooooooo. I love ‘Amish Paradise'!”  And I was totally bummed because I was almost done. And for the first time in EVER I was going to get all of December off to, I dunno, participate in holiday junk, and I was DYING for a break. But in the end, I hit the delete button and started over. So now I'm writing There You'll Find Me (the story you guys named!), and though it's still about Finley, a sister to my Hero Stud Alex from Save the Date, it's not the story I intended to write. Not the story I originally wanted to write. But it's the story I'm supposed to write, and I'm excited about it. And since I began it just a few weeks ago, I haven't cleaned a single closet. So I must be on the right track.

Happy Weekend!
P.S. Did you see that Taylor Swift picked NeedtoBreathe as her opening act for her next tour? Class. Act. I think one day that girl is going to be the next Clive Davis. Say what you want about her vocal ability, but that girl's got an eye and ear for music and talent.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 13 comments
Julie Garmon - December 3, 2010

Loved this blog! actually, it’s “love this blog!”

Jennifer - December 3, 2010

I love your detailed analysis of writing-avoidance. So funny. And so true! Glad you’ve found the right story. Maybe when you’re done with this book, you can come over to Prague and paint one of my rooms that really cool striping of pink and brown. Awesome! (and much better than our white walls)Godspeed on this book.
Happy writing,

Kim - December 3, 2010

You can pull out the Buckingham Palace ornament I bought you too to help in your decorating. I’m proud of you listening to that small voice and taking a leap of faith and starting over. I have the upmost faith in you! You can do it!!!

Allie - December 3, 2010

Meep. My closet is brown and gray, too. I procrastinated writing a paper by getting my nose pierced. Women of remarkable talent, we are.

Heather Sunseri - December 3, 2010

Don’t you hate it, I mean love it, when you’re throwing yourself an I hate this job pity party and someone goes and gives you positive encouragement and pats on the back. I mean, how dare she give you such an adorable ornament when you were enjoying feeling down, I’m sure. Very cute ornament!!

I’m pretty good at procastinating, myself. Glad to see I’m in good company.

Happy Friday!

Liz Johnson - December 3, 2010

You make me smile. I don’t know if I’d have the courage to throw away nearly a month’s worth of work. I had a meltdown when my editor told me to drop the first 9 pages of my last book. (I’m fully recovered now.)

Way to go, listening to God. 🙂 Seriously can’t wait to read Save the Date! 🙂 Happy December! Here’s to never organizing another closet as long as we live.

Chip - December 3, 2010

Your cat knows how to use the toilet?

Danica - December 3, 2010

Wow… I’m impressed, oh twin. If I had the gumption to organize my closet, it would look similar. Only I’d rather scrub grout than clean my closet. Next time you’re having writing issues, come over and do my closets. Next time I have writing issues, I’ll do your grout.

Jenny B Jones - December 3, 2010

Danica, you do grout? Oh my, I totally need your procrastination gift in my kitchen.

Chip, as Sue Sylvester would say, Miller is not handicapped. He’s handicapable.

Liz, girl, no, I lost more than a month’s work. I started the book way before November. (I wasn’t very clear.) This would be the second year I’ve been mid-book and NaNo hits, and I participate, and then…it all gets scrapped. Dos books in a row. NaNo and I aren’t speaking.

Heather, it’s true–I was doing a great job at having a crappy day. And then niceness invaded.

Allie, diamond?

Kim, I keep that ornament out all year round!

Jennifer, I love to paint! I’ll be right over! Shovel a path in the driveway for me.

Julie, thanks, girl. Good to “see” you again.

Kristin - December 3, 2010

I have been using some of those exact same procrastination techniques to avoid writing the two research papers and doing the project that I have to finish this weekend. =)


Abby Minard - December 3, 2010

Can I just say that pink striped room is fabulous?? Um, your clothes look totally cute too (okay, totally not stalking you, I swear). Good luck with your book- it seems like you are very confident about the rewrite which is good to hear!

Erin McFarland - December 4, 2010

ah, yes, procrastination… my middle name. i just spent at least a good 5 minutes figuring out how many of the same house hold cleaners we have in our cupboards. so glad you are lighting up on my google reader again 🙂

Allie Smith - December 5, 2010

we procrastinaters have a motto…”if you wait till the last minute,it only takes a minute.” now those are words to live by.
i waited till 2 days before it was due to work on a history paper along with an oral report and a backboard.
on the paper,i walked away with a 97%.and oddly enough,my history teacher wants me to give my oral report to the 7th grade (im in 10th) in order to “show them what they need to aspire to do”…case in point:


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