Just Jeri – Passion or Obsession

Image by Cynthiamcastro from Pixabay

    Tennis is my passion or obsession. I can’t decide. I always look forward to January because it starts off with the Australian Open. If you don’t know what that is it’s the first major Grand Slam for tennis. If I had to pick one of my favorite players it would be Raphael Nadal from Spain, but trust me I like more for many different reasons. I singled him out because he embodies a work ethic coupled with humility we don’t see much of in today’s sports world. This man has won The French Open 14 times! His career spans close to 2 decades and he’s been number one in the world many times. I could go on and on about his accomplishments.

    Every single time he steps off the court he is humble in his wins and losses. He gives credit to those that support him and is complimentary to his opponents. Best of all when he loses he goes back to saying, “I will have to work harder and train more.” Tennis is a sport of endurance, strategy and self-reliance. These two warriors go out on the court and give it their all for literally hours. I maybe romanticizing it, but the professionalism that is displayed by Raphael Nadal is rare.  We need more examples of sportsmanship like that in the world. What’s your favorite sport or person?  Leave me a comment.

    Just Jeri – Fun Stickers!

    Planner with pen and plant laid on desk

    Image by melinda257 from Pixabay

    It’s that time of year again when people make New Year’s Resolutions…blah blah. I Don’t. Instead, I begin planning my year with my Bloom Planner. You can find them at www.bloomplanners.com. They are a small female owned business and I love supporting their vision.  What is unique about their planners is it has pages that inspire you. The first page asks you what your Word for the Year is and I love that so much! The next few pages focus on your personal goals, habit tracking and how you did the previous year. The best pages are of Things Not to Do and your Joy list. I really love how this planner gives me Vision and hope to achieve my goals.

    The really fun part is they have a wide selection of fun stickers you can use for all kinds of activities and events. I turn into a 3rd grader putting all my stickers in place for the year. Even chore stickers are fun like cleaning and appointments.  How do you approach the New Year? Leave me a comment.

    Just Jeri – Tis the Season

    Image by Silvia from Pixabay

    You know the drill, shopping, decorating and lots of eating. All of that sounds exciting and fun, and it is, especially eating all those yummy Christmas cookies. My favorite part of the holidays.  Personally, I struggle with the holidays. I know I am not the only one and its so easy to stay in that holiday funk. Instead, I’m choosing to look at the season as an opportunity to experience joy.  I find that if I serve others in some way, it brings a unique joy. Listening to someone, being present for them in their struggles is one of the most rewarding things I can do. Giving those little gifts to people who will never know who you are is one of my greatest joys. I get to be Santa!

    If you are struggling to feel the holiday buzz. Do something for yourself and for someone else. Spend time seeing the joy in those Christmas lights, get out and be present, maybe make some cookies for a neighbor. I’m making cookies and trying my hand at fudge this year for my neighbors. I would love to hear how you’re making your season bright and merry and if want to share a cookie recipe I would love it! Leave me a comment.

    Just Jeri – Dreams

    Book open with writing and coffee cup sitting on opposite page.

    Image by Marta Kulesza from Pixabay

    I am not talking about the ones we have when we are asleep, but the ones we have in those quiet alone times. People ask me if I always wanted to be a writer. Honestly, no I never saw myself becoming a published author. Growing up I never dreamed of any kind of future for myself, sad I know. It’s a story for another time.  Dreams are not just for little kids wondering what they will be when they grow up. They are for all of us at any age and they change continually.

    I think people assume dreams are the goals we hope to achieve in our lives.  My spin doesn’t involve the mundane. Dreams are magic! It’s visualizing the potential for anything you want. Having hope and faith that you will create a new world for yourself.  Guess what? You can. I have big dreams now and I know I will have to work hard for them, but I am not giving up. Are you with me? I would love to hear about your big dreams. Leave me a comment.

    Just Jeri – Fairies

    Pink Magical Forest with a path

    I love Fairies! Yes, they are real. I had an opportunity this summer to do a Writer Retreat in Ireland. It was a dream come true.  One of our excursions was to a Fairy Forest where we walked in silence for about a mile. This gave us an opportunity to experience the forest in all its beauty. It’s called a forest bath.  Our guide told us if we look closely, we can see a fairy sometimes sitting in a tree or under a plant. It would be a brief glimpse if you can catch one. I believe I saw one or two.

    Magic is everywhere if you choose to see it. Fairies help me to believe in the magic of this world and helps to spur my imagination. I love them so much I collect them and have them all over my office. I am trying to turn my office into a magical forest.  I’ve been gifted a few that are either reading a book or sitting on some books.  Do you have magic in your world? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear about it.

    Just Jeri – Spooky Story Time

    Large spooky hotel with dark rain clouds
    Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay

    Have you ever heard of The Stanley Hotel? It’s located in Colorado in the mountain town of Estes Park. It’s also the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. My daughter went to Colorado State University and on one of my visits to see her we decided to drive up to see the famous hotel. I am a huge Stephen King fan, so I was not going to miss this opportunity.

    The hotel is over 100 years old and the rumors of it being are haunted are legendary. We took the day tour of the hotel and its grounds. It’s beautiful to say the least and a must see if you are a King fan. We made our way to the 4th floor stopping next to Room 401. We were waiting for the rest of the group to assemble before the tour guide could continue the tour.  My daughter was standing right next to the door and no one was next to her. I was standing a little across from her so we were facing each other.  She darted her eyes to her left a few times then leans over and proceeds to tell me that she felt someone touching her arm. She said it was like they were running a hand up and down her arm. The tour guide told us that Room 401 has a very lecherous ghost who likes to touch young ladies. Apparently, that room was used as a break room of sorts for the nannies that came with families in the early 1900’s. They had complained of being touched inappropriately.  My daughter didn’t know any of the history of the hotel, so for her to experience something gave me goosebumps. Have you ever had a spooky experience. I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!

    Happy Halloween!

    Just Jeri – Music

    Music plays a huge role in my writing process. I always have a station playing when I write and it’s filled with a very eclectic taste in music. If I am working on a particular hard scene or I don’t know where my story is going, I go old school and pop in a CD. Enrique Iglesias is the singer that seems to kick my brain in gear, but only if he is singing in Spanish. I know its strange and I can’t explain why, but it works. Now that’s the basic part of my writing process.

    I have a playlist for each book I write. Seeking Perfect’s playlist was concocted with a variety of artists that you couldn’t imagine together. Every song meant something to the characters, Derek and Jesse. It could’ve been a song Jesse sang to Derek and vice versa. I picked some songs because they spoke to the overall theme of the book and its characters as well. I think music speaks those words from our hearts that we can’t seem to say out loud.  I’m putting up my Spotify playlist for Seeking Perfect. Let me know what you think and if you can figure out which songs are Jesse’s and which ones are Derek’s. 

    Drop me a comment on your favorite music too.

    Seeking Perfect

    Jesse learned early not to trust a soul, but what if he was her soulmate?

    Senior year of high school should be about friendship, boyfriends, and graduation, but for seventeen-year-old Jesse Barnes it’s about escaping the shame of life with an alcoholic mother. 

    Jesse’s goals are clear: keep a roof over her head, avoid the revolving door of leering men her mother brings home, graduate from high school, and do everything possible to keep her home life secret. Friends, boyfriends: not an option. Who would understand?

    Then perfect, popular Derek Aames sits with Jesse at lunch. How can she discourage him? How can she keep him from intruding on her life and discovering her secret? And most of all, how can she keep him out of her heart?

    Will his persistence finally break down her walls, or just break her?

    Now Available on:

    Just Jeri – Fear

    Spooky path into a forest
    Image by Joe from Pixabay

    Welcome to my First Blog Post! I promise I won’t be doing these often. I wanted to try out the feature on my website and talk about that four letter word, FEAR!

    Having my book published has been a dream come true! How could it not be right? Well, let me tell you it has scared the beejeezus out of me.  When I started writing I had no intention of publishing because I had no faith in myself. You know that guy in the Da Vinci Code? The one with the whip? Yeah that’s me. Let’s just say I can leave some brutal marks on myself.

    I wrote in ignorant bliss because I had no idea what I was doing. Jump forward to the actual release of my book. I will skip all the other drama that’s for another post. I learned so much about writing and everything I did wrong. It was ok, I like to learn and I was excited, but then something happened, fear walked in the door.

    This year has seen me not write hardly anything because now I know things and I fear I am not good enough to write anymore.  I actually have finished 2 other suspense books, but I can’t seem to suck it up to edit them because of Fear.  I love writing! There are so many stories I want to tell, so I had to make a decision. I decided that I am happier writing then not and I refuse to let fear stop me any longer. I know I am not the only writer that struggles with this jerk, but I’m the only one who can do anything about it.

    A friend once told me to change my F words from Fear to Faith. I need to have Faith that I am good enough. I need to have Faith that my stories serve a purpose. I hope all of you have Faith in yourself and don’t let Fear stop you.