Day 8: Sibling Music Ed

This entry is part of a post-a-day-month-long-blogging-blood-pact (I keep saying that. I mean, challenge.) with my pals Amanda Hollinger, Monica Wyche, and Ami Worthen.

My older brother and sister are as integral to my musical education and memory as my parents. In fact, it’s not a leap to suggest that much of my personality was formed by my early musical influences courtesy of my siblings. Which might explain a lot.

My brother, 12 years older than I, bought me my first three albums: The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, The Dobbie Brothers The Captain and Me, and The Doors album. These are the songs that remain strongest in my memory:

Did I mention my brother also bought me my first 45? And it was this. I’m serious. As the youngest child, my parents were perhaps a little more “hands off” with me.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hallway, my sister, 5 years older than I, gave me a slightly different musical education. Also, she liked to feather my hair. What?

Seriously, can you even stand Dennis DeYoung’s moustache here? Is he some kind of bartender?

I loved Barry Gibb. My childhood was filled with crushes on moustached men. It’s inexplicable.

Author’s note: my sister made me sing this song in front of my parents, aunt and uncle when I was 6. Have I mentioned how shy I was as a child? But really. Debby Boone?

Stay tuned. The musical melee has only just begun. Oh wait, that’s The Carpenters.


Day 5: The Writing Life

First of all, applause for my fellow blog goddesses, writers, and friends Amanda, Ami, and Monica who aren’t just staying true to this post-a-day challenge, but who are also cranking out some beautiful, poignant, and hilarious tales.

Special thanks to Monica for her amazing post on overcommitment.

And for calling us all bitches in the sweetest way possible.

There is almost always something else you can do rather than write.

Let me get specific as I am one who makes her living from writing for others.

There is almost always something else you can do rather than write for yourself. Laundry. Masonry. Animal husbandry. The list goes on.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (author of Life’s Little Instruction Book, remember that?) wrote,

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

Ouch, H. Jackson. Take it easy. It’s Monday.

But I ask you.

Did Michaelangelo have to sift through 50+ emails about timeshare opportunities, male enhancement, and casual sex in my area inquiries each morning? (Oh really, it’s just me?)

Did Mother Teresa worry about being mowed down on the streets of Charleston by a college coed in an SUV who’s applying mascara while texting her BFF about some OMG LOL moment while drinking a Red Bull? Nay, I say.

Did Leonardo da Vinci ever even hear of a Kardashian? Methinks not.

This modern age is hard on the gentle soul of a writer. But the glimmer of hope is this: the angsty, I-have-no-fargin’-time-for-this slowly melts away as you write. The beginning is still uncomfortable, in a middle school first dance kind of way. But it’s well worth pushing through, because on the other side of the angst are the words, arranged by you and you alone. And as you read it, you discover that you’ve shared something, and it’s often not the thing you expected to share at all.

That’s the gift. That’s why we write. For that. And for our bitches.

An agency story

Keepin’ on the blog-post-a-day for the month of February trail with my pals Amanda, Ami, and Monica!


See this woman? Do not be fooled by her seemingly cool, calm exterior.

Do not be mislead by her petite stature.

Do not be mislead by her friendly Midwestern demeanor.

They call her Bruner.

Because she will cut you.

I mean that more in the figurative sense than the literal sense, but I’d suggest you not push your luck to be on the safe side.

In point of fact, this woman is one of the sharpest, most creative and strategic minds I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. In point of fact, when this woman interviewed me for a writer position for an incredible little Charleston-based agency back in 2004, she dropped the F-bomb during our conversation and quickly apologized. Little did she know, I was forever bound to her in that moment. (Do not underestimate my love and admiration for a perfectly-placed and timed cuss.)

Please note: this woman, who is not ever to be trifled with, is among my favorite people for more reasons than I can name, not the least of which is that she hired an amazing assortment of creative minds. Under her direction and through her love of the craft, we had the opportunity to create some truly amazing, award-winning, money-making work.

It also bears mentioning that she throws incredible parties, is indispensable in times of crisis, is gracious, graceful, whip smart, and carries a sense of beauty and humor in everything she does.

She is responsible for bringing together this beautifully, insanely creative cast of characters.

It was Halloween. We didn't regularly dress like this.

Years later, we have all moved on to different experiences, jobs, cities, coworkers, Halloween outfits. But the truth is, gather any of us back together and we will say that we’ve never since worked in an environment quite like the one that sassy lady above built.

So, thank you, Bruner. It was a gift, a blast, a learning experience, and a novel still to be written.

Credit: Jennifer G. Hitchcock

Relatively certain

For those of you following along, I’m doing a post a day all month long as part of a blogging blood pact (I mean, challenge) with my pals Amanda Hollinger, Monica Wyche, and Ami Worthen. The theme is relative.

As in, I’m relatively certain that I have the finest assortment of friends around, as evidenced by the fact that they will bring a flat version of me (see Flat Jenny below) to exciting events that I cannot attend. In fact, it seems that the flat version of me gets to places the real me can only dream about. Those are the breaks, kids.

Flat Jenny loves her friends and a night out on the town


February blog challenge

My dear friend Amanda laid down the blog-shaped gauntlet to Ami, Monica, and me on Twitter: a post a day for the month of February.

Spoiler alert, I’ve already blown it.

I fell asleep last night after a long day and a delicious taco with side of laughter at Taco Spot with my pal Becca before I had the chance to post. However, I believe in quick, decisive redemption and will slip in an extra post on March 1. Problem solved.

This blog post challenge, inspired by NaBloPoMo, even has a theme: relative. Ahem, commence post now.

Although I don’t think they ever voiced it aloud, my parents taught me by example to treat my friends like family. Maybe my parents developed such strong friendships because they were so far from each of their extended families. Maybe they were simply fortunate to find such wonderful characters and souls with which to surround us and themselves. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful, and as such, have lived my life in much the same way, with an indispensable group of friends who entertain, challenge, accept, love, and (nearly) keep me sane.

Today, I introduce you to Becca: she of the brilliantly penned line, the raised eyebrow, always quick to laugh. I love your face! (and you know, everything else) I give you several scenes from our friendly escapades.

Gin grins.


Slightly prom-y. Slightly scandalous.


Black tie, with moustaches.


Let's get physical, physical.