Come in and sit a spell! Your hair looks good today.

Your friendly neighborhood author, checking in

By Jennifer Wilson | Jan 13, 2024 | Comments Off on Your friendly neighborhood author, checking in


How on earth have you been? If you are well, I’m so grateful; if you are poorly, I extend my heartfelt sympathy; if you swing wildly to both extremes with no warning until you feel like you’re on one of those pirate ships in your local amusement park and you want to empty your stomach onto the nearest passenger, welcome! We’re all mad here.

It’s 2024. I almost wrote “1924” because I’m losing my mind, but that’s a bunch of baloney. Also, you’re the bee’s knees, babies.

It’s the time of resolutions and resolve, and it seems like every periodical and website is making lists of ins and outs for the new year. “In: Maximalism, Out: Minimalism” or “Out: cottage cheese, In: labneh”.

(Labneh, by the by, is a thick cheese made from goat’s milk that is tangier than cottage cheese with a thick texture like cream cheese. I had to look it up. You’re welcome.)

Since I’m obviously the authority on All Things Relevant, I have compiled my own list of some things that are “in” and some things that are “out” for 2024.

Out: perfection

In: grace

Out: fake nails that endanger small children

In: stubby fingers that make it easier to type

Out: white interiors

In: crazy wallpaper

Out: Roman Empire

In: Mesopotamian Empire

Out: toilet papers

In: bidets

Out: crying in closets

In: sitting in patches of sunlight

Out: the sacrifice of books at the altar of moviemaking

In: movies that follow their book namesakes with accuracy and respect for the original author

Out: alcohol

In: rainwater from tiny acorn cups

Out: white bread

In: Lembas

Out: being confined to a decaying mortal flesh prison

In:  transcending the gossamer veil of this mortal coil to tread the infinite wonders of the cosmos

So there you have it. Totally reasonable. Go, and sin no more.

“Isn’t she an author?” you may be thinking. “Why is she rambling on and on about idiotic stuff?”

Well, wonder no more my friends. Here’s the latest, in small, digestible words:

  1. I finished my novel The Oracle’s Choice. Now to revise and edit. Should be ready for publication sometime in 2054. Just kidding. Hopefully by the end of this year! Get your extremities tingling now, to save time.
  2. A novel I wrote two summers ago is ready for self-publication but is right now in limbo due to the interest of an agent. More on that later as I clench my jaw to keep from shrieking in hope and fear, simultaneously.
  3. 2024 will be the year I work on, and hopefully finish, my family saga, based loosely on the activities of my father’s family in the early 1900’s. Working title: Such is Life. It’s going to take a lot of research, so pray for me. Stephen King has employees who research for him, can you believe that? What a jerk.
  4. I won another poetry award from Writer’s Digest! I came in 10th out of 950 entrants. The winning entry, should you wish to read it, is posted here: Poetry – JWRose

That’s it for now, my friends. Thank you, as ever, for your support, whether signing up for my newsletter, visiting my website, buying my books, reviewing them (5 stars preferable, just sayin’), or simply cheering from the sidelines. I appreciate you more than you could know.

I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener,

J.W. Rose

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The days start coming and they don’t stop coming

By Jennifer Wilson | Oct 2, 2023 | Comments Off on The days start coming and they don’t stop coming

Hello there beautiful ones,

How are you? I hope this message does not find you well, I hope it finds you sublime, energized, hopeful, ecstatic, and transcendent.

(but I will settle for well)

Me? I’m doing all right, thanks for asking. It’s October, which means the first anniversary of my father’s death is rapidly approaching. He left this world on the 21st after a struggle the likes of which I’ve never seen. Despite his constant admonitions to his children to “be ready”, he was not.

My mother got sick over last Thanksgiving and said good-bye on December 8th, so suffice to say, there are some not-fun memories coming up. I keep having urges to get in the car and just drive away, go to the beach or the Grand Canyon and look out over something that’s more overwhelming than my emotions.

In the incomparable novel All the Light We Cannot See, Warner Pfennig, the young German man whose story makes up half the book, sees the ocean for the first time and writes to his sister, saying “It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”

I wish I could take the sorrow that sits like a stone in the pit of my stomach and hurl it into the waves, but I know in my heart that sorrow is just the B-side to the album of love, and so I will try to cherish it instead.

In other news, I don’t have a lot of other news other than I am still working on my fantasy romance The Oracle’s Choice. Here’s an excerpt:


By the time Vincent took his seat beside Blythe at the table in the middle of the open field to partake in the evening feast, he found himself weary of the continual cries of huzzah that surrounded him wherever he turned. He longed for his quiet room in the castle, and a chance to reflect on the day’s events and his own mind, which was a confusion of conflicting thoughts.

Hold it together he told himself. Just keep smiling.

He focused on the practical and pleasurable aspects of being engaged. As Baldwyn had said, a wife would be undeniably welcome as company throughout the trials and joys of life. Someone to care for, and be cared by, was not in any way distasteful to his mind. And children, of course, had always been something he had looked forward to having. No, being married was certain to be a joy, even if it complicated things.

As for Blythe, she was every bit as gracious as her reputation had assured him. She smiled at him kindly, and when she spoke, her lilting voice was full of good humor and sense. They had canvassed many subjects throughout the day, and she had shown herself to be well-educated in politics and philosophy and art. They shared many of the same opinions and had a similar outlook on life in general.

Why, then, was there an uncomfortable twisting in his gut when he thought of taking her as his bride?

“It must be an awful trial to be celebrated so,” a voice said beside him. He turned to see Ginny settling into the chair next to him, now dressed in a pale purple gown.

“Eh?” he asked, distracted. Her freckled cheeks were rosy in the late afternoon sunshine, and his pulse quickened unexpectedly.

“You were frowning very hard just now,” she said with a wry smile. “And I’m sure I would too, under such tedious circumstances.”

“I beg your pardon,” he said, clearing his throat and forcing his face to be composed. Was he forever to be apologizing to her? “My expression was not meant to imply displeasure.”

“I’m relieved to hear that,” Ginny said. “I would hate to think marrying my sister was causing you pain.”

“We have not formally met,” Vincent said, anxious to change the subject. “The day has been a busy one, and I’ve been much preoccupied. It’s Ginny, I believe?”

“Guilty,” the princess said, bowing her head slightly. “I’m happy to make your acquaintance at last, Sir Vincent of Windsmere.”

“Well met, indeed,” he replied, nodding as well. “And please, do me the favor of calling me Vincent. I watched your archery display with great interest. You’re very good.”

“Very good! High praise, from the champion of the battle of Darksmill. Thank you.”

Vincent detected the faintest tinge of disappointment in her expression and sought to erase it.

“You’re excellent, rather,” he said. “I did not mean to understate your skill. You made your fellows look like quite the amateurs.”

That was better. Ginny beamed at him.

“I hope our earlier encounter did not incline you to think harshly of me,” he continued.

“Not at all,” Ginny said, tilting her head. “Although I have to admit your lack of enthusiasm for your betrothal is concerning to me.”

“Ah. Forgive me,” Vincent said, chafing at the realization that he was apologizing again. “I’m simply preoccupied; I don’t wish to seem…ungrateful.”

“Ungrateful! No. You seem like a man more doomed to the gallows than headed for the altar.”

Vincent stared at the girl, whose brown eyes seemed to see straight into his soul.

Lord, she strikes right to the heart he thought.

“The Oracle’s wisdom is known throughout the land,” he said carefully. “I am not one to doubt her decision. But I admit I had not given thought to marriage yet.”

“And thus lies your hesitation? Not in my sister herself?”

“Certainly not. Your sister is everything a man could wish for in a partner, that much is plain. I am honored to be chosen.”

“Honored is not the same as pleased, nor thrilled. I would wish you to be both.”

“I cannot be more than I am at the moment. But surely such feelings will grow over the weeks to come.”

“One would hope,” Ginny said, still fixing him with her direct stare. Vincent felt a prickle of irritation, and a desire to end the interrogation.

“You seem determined to think harshly of me,” he said. “Again, I say I am honored to be chosen, and will do my best to be worthy of your sister. Though whether that is possible, in your estimation, remains to be seen.”

“Oh, certainly it’s not possible,” Ginny said, laughing brightly, her face transforming with merriment. “But don’t despair; no one could truly be worthy of Blythe. Come, shake my hand and be my friend. I’ll not question you further. With enough wine, I might even forgive you.”

Vincent took her outstretched hand and shook it, surprised by the firmness of her grasp.

“You give me hope,” he said. “In time, perhaps you might even come to like me.”

“If my sister likes you, it will be enough,” she said. “Make that your goal.”

With that, she turned to speak to the guest seated to her left, and Vincent could only shake his head, unnerved by the entire conversation and feeling distinctly unbalanced. Surely the girl didn’t expect him to be in love with Blythe in a day’s time; it was ridiculous! The impulse to tap her on the shoulder and defend himself was strong, but before he could, Clement’s voice rang out.

“A toast to the happy couple,” the king exclaimed, lifting his glass of wine. “May they live in harmony and joy all the days of their lives.”

“Hear, hear,” the guests cried.

Vincent clinked his glass against Blythe’s. Her blue eyes met his and she smiled. She was stunning, and smart, he told himself, and he willed the anxiety in his chest to be still as he drank. All he needed was a little time, he told himself, and the feelings would come. He just needed a little time.

He’d show Ginny just how in love a man could be.


Haha! What on earth will happen next?? Not somebody falling in love with somebody they’re not supposed to, surely. That would be ridiculous.

And so I must take my leave. I hope the coming weeks bring you crisp, cool weather, trees that burst with color, spooky stories to keep you shivering, and pumpkin spice latte galore (bleh!). Take care of yourselves and hug your loved ones tight, remembering that life is grueling and wonderful and difficult and, above all else, worthy of our full attention.

Nothing runs like a Deere,

J.W. Rose

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It’s Just a Flesh Wound

By Jennifer Wilson | Aug 21, 2023 | Comments Off on It’s Just a Flesh Wound

When I was eight, I wanted to be a nun.

I went to parochial school throughout my elementary years (somewhere between bell-bottom pants and feathered bangs), and many of my teachers were nuns, gliding about in their ominous black habits and wearing stern and unyielding expressions (and wielding rulers…which were more often used for knuckles than measurements). If it sounds like a stereotype, it most certainly is. Nevertheless, if you kept your head down and did your best work, you mostly escaped their wrath, which was my only goal (come to think of it, escaping wrath has been my primary goal throughout my life). Being a girl helped too; the sisters held a particular animosity towards the male gender that went beyond the usual irritation at how obnoxious they might be.

Our tiny school was situated upon the grounds of the Ponca City Church of St. Mary’s, and it included a convent which lay just beyond our playground. The playground was a desolate stretch of sand with a set of monkey bars and an enormous, bark-less log that was bleached white by the sun, upon which we most often reenacted Pete’s Dragon during recess. There were rumors from the older kids (sixth graders!) that within the convent there was an ancient woman, a nun, who was sweet and kind and would give you candy if you only knocked on her door. Such a mythical being was surely a ruse to get us into trouble! A nun who was sweet and kind? We shrugged and went back to pretending the giant log was Elliot the Dragon and we were beleaguered orphans escaping the grip of backwoods hillbillies.

One day, however, our curiosity got the better of us.

We crept across the schoolyard, hoping to escape the gaze of the playground attendant, who was usually chatting it up with the custodian, and knocked breathlessly on the convent door. Shuffling was heard, and a creaky voice calling. The door opened and standing before us was an ancient woman, dressed not in black but in an infinitely gentler gray habit. She smiled, her face wrinkling like a dried apple doll.

“Come in, come in, children,” she said, and we did. Standing in the kitchen of the convent, I marveled that nuns must actually eat in order to require such a room. Did they have bathrooms, too? I squashed the thought as impossibly irreverent. The old woman introduced herself as Sister Mary Helen, and her entire demeanor was one of tranquility. The convent was quiet, quieter than any place I had ever been. It seemed isolated from the outer world, protected by a divine hand, and it soothed my turbulent soul, fraught with cares brought on by a home life that was often less than placid.

Sure enough, she had a bowl of hard candy to offer.

“Or would you rather have a prayer card?” she creaked, holding them out. Prayer cards were the same size as baseball cards, only instead of pictures and stats of famous players, they were bedecked with images of saints, with a prayer printed on the back. My compatriots shook their heads and chose the candy. I, feeling awestruck at my surroundings and desperately desiring to be pious, took a prayer card.

The clang of the recess bell broke the reverie, and we said hasty good-bye’s as we left the convent and tore across the playground to line up at the school doors. No one seemed to have noticed our absence, which is why our visits to Sister Mary Helen became an almost daily occurrence, her pleasure at seeing us never flagging. There was the greeting, the invitation, the bowl of candy, and the prayer cards. Sometimes I dared to take the candy.

One day, the principal, a shockingly modern nun who wore regular skirts and blouses rather than a habit, visited my classroom.

“It has come to my attention that some of you are visiting Sister Mary Helen during recess,” she intoned. “I must tell you to stop immediately. She says it is wearing her out.”

We knew it was a lie. Never once had Sister Mary Helen looked worn out. On the contrary, her face lit up when she saw us, and she laughed and patted our heads like we were the best part of our day. Still, the boom had been lowered. Petrified of being caught, we never visited again.

When I look back, I see myself, a child in desperate need of comfort and a refuge from the world that was hard and sometimes terrifying. It’s no wonder I longed for the solitude and silence that a convent offered. I longed for peace. 

I decided at ten that I didn’t really want to be a nun. There were boys, for one, and I wasn’t so sure about the whole vow of chastity thing, though I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. I decided instead to become a writer. The two callings might seem different at first blush but becoming a nun and becoming a writer both offered similar things to me: an escape.

To write fiction is to create people and characters beyond what exist in the ordinary world. To write is to find other lands and other times, and lives that transcend the challenges that you might be facing. To write is to disappear into the landscape of imagination, a place where anything can happen and often does. To write is to find your better self, to be the hero you always wanted to be.

I knew I wanted to be a writer. I had to be a writer. I needed to be a writer.

I penned my first poem at eleven, a hopelessly prophetic verse about my tangled thoughts. From there my work grew and matured, fed by English teachers and Creative Writing professors, until I was sure my dream could be a reality. But the urgency, the never-ending immediacy of life, took precedence.

For years, the dream sat on a back burner while I raised children and learned, stumbling over and over again, how to be a mother. How to be a wife. Dear god, mistakes were made. But that’s a story for another time.

And then, I had a mental breakdown. Sorry! I mean, I had a break. I got a tiny writing house, built by someone who loved me more than I knew (another story), and a wee bit of freedom. An eye in the middle of the maelstrom. I began to write.

The words poured out of me like a shaken soda bottle. I wrote three novels in a year. Poetry—some awful, some not so bad—flowed. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere. For the next decade, I wrote. I had some modest success; I won some awards, I was published in literary journals, and I learned how to self-publish. The novels that sat in the darkness saw the light of day. I joined writing groups, and I took classes and went to conventions. I thought I might actually be getting somewhere.

And then, my dream took a serious hit. A year of heart-shattering blows knocked it on its face, followed by months of crippling distractions and crises. Like the infamous Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, its arms were cut off first, and then its legs, one after the other. It sat on the ground, incapacitated, ignored, and dismissed. I left it behind, certain I could find some other quest that would satisfy my deepest longings. I toyed with getting a job at Wal Mart, or the local brewery. I thought about going back to school (I still do). Ultimately, however, my dream continued to howl at me from its place in the dirt.

“Come back here, I’ll bite your legs off!”

Unlike King Arthur, I came back.

And I’m going to keep coming back. This thing is impossible to leave behind, this urge to write, these tales that whisper in my mind as I lie in bed, wishing for sleep. This is my last best hope for courage, and for the strength to go on. The dream is still alive, though wounded and limping. It’s ferocious. It doesn’t even know when the battle is hopeless.

Vincent and Ginny continue their quest in my most recent fantasy romance, The Oracle’s Choice. Another novel lies in the hands of an agent. My other books, Borrowing Trouble, Where to Go from Here, and Rise and Other Tales continue to sell, although I’m not getting my beach house anytime soon at this rate. But I’m going to keep on believing. What else is there to do?

In the words of Franz Kafka, A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.

Tis but a scratch,

J.W. Rose

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It’s a Great Day to be Alive

By Jennifer Wilson | Mar 8, 2023 | Comments Off on It’s a Great Day to be Alive

Or, a great day to be LIVE. As in, Borrowing Trouble is live! BORROWING TROUBLE IS LIVE!!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the goblins are grumbling…and YOU, my friend, get the chance to find out why. Is it, perhaps, that two geriatric newlyweds are bent on foiling their plans for world domination?

I’ll never tell, but I will say that the forecast calls for a 99% chance of goblin ass-kicking.

If you like adventure, action, road trips, Arthurian lore, cryptozoology, fairies, Winnebagos, epic battles, true love, miraculous cures, baking, mermaids, bizarre colloquialisms, unlikely heroes, heaping helpings of humor, and the triumph of good over evil, then by all means, use this link to purchase!

If you don’t like that stuff, maybe get busy straightening your paper clip collection, or whatever.

At any rate, I hope you will give this beautiful tale a tumble and discover your new favorite story.

With anxious anticipation,

J.W. Rose

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Ho, Ho, Ho…Hope?

By Jennifer Wilson | Dec 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Ho, Ho, Ho…Hope?

To say the last few months have been challenging would be an understatement. This whole year, in fact, has been a pile of pain, covered in sadness sauce.

If you’re feeling banged up by circumstances, know that you’re not alone. If you’re lying on the mat in the boxing ring, covered in blood, listening to the referee count to ten, I’m there with you. Getting up again feels impossible.

At times like these, I like to remember that a thousand miles away, the ocean ebbs and flows. It comes in, bringing treasures to the shell-seekers, and it goes out, taking unattended sunglasses and ball caps and errant beach toys with it. Like the tide, so will my circumstances turn. Surely things will not always be so hard. Surely the spring will come, the flowers will bloom, and the path will even out.

Surely, along the way, there will be peace again.

I guess that’s what hope is: the thing that enables us to rise, and rise, and rise again, believing that the next moment, or the next day, or the next year, might bring joy back. We wipe our eyes and look to the horizon, squinting into the haze, certain that it is on its way.

Some pain will never leave us. The ache of loss lives within our souls, throbbing throughout our lives as we move through moments that remind us of who, and what, we are missing. Sometimes it takes our breath away.

I lost both my parents this year, as well as my beloved mother-in-law, and brother-in-law. It feels like too much, and yet I’m still standing, to my astonishment. I find myself grateful for the sorrow I feel because it keeps these precious ones present with me. It reminds me of how very real they were, and are. Mourning is proof of just how much love they propagated; the degree of agony is directly proportional to how much adoration they fostered.

Christmas is here, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s all about hope. Hope for humanity. Hope for the future. Hope for the brokenhearted. So let’s lean into that. Let’s sink deep into the truth that we’re not alone, and let’s link arms in solidarity against the dark night that whispers there’s no sense in moving forward.

Screw you, darkness. Screw you, wretchedness, and dejection, and gloom. It’s Christmas, Goddammit, and you can take a hike. We’re going to embrace light, and laughter, and yes, love.

We’re going to remember love, and all that it has poured into our hearts over the years. We’re going to hold it close, and nurture it, and watch it grow. We’re going to pass it on.

And in doing so, we’re going to live. Better, stronger, happier, wiser. We’re not going to wait for hope.

We’re going to be the hope.

Merry Christmas, my friends. I love you all.

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Onward and Upward

By Jennifer Wilson | Nov 22, 2022 | Comments Off on Onward and Upward

My fellow flesh tubes,

Just a quick post to let you know that I am, in fact, still alive and kicking. The past two months conspired to kick my ass, but they’re no match for my steely grit and dedicated endurance.

*cue hysterical laughter*

I am currently sitting on my couch, recovering from what would appear to be the flu, whilst contemplating the futility of life and the folly of man’s continuation upon this mortal coil, and grappling with one of humanity’s greatest questions:

Cranberry sauce: jellied, or whole?

It’s deeply political, of course, so I shall refrain from giving my own opinion lest I lose followers, but here’s something we can all agree on: it’s fun to win awards.

That’s my not-so-subtle segue into drawing your attention to my shiny new Writer’s Digest Award Winner button up there on the top right of this page. Oh, that? It’s nothing, shoot. How kind of you to notice!

I promised to have another novel published by this time, but alas, I was waylaid, and the date has once more been pushed back, now into the beginning of the new year. Hang in there! It’s going to be worth the wait.

Meanwhile, enjoy every bit of the holidays, and may they be merry.


J.W. Rose

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August Who?

By Jennifer Wilson | Aug 5, 2022 | Comments Off on August Who?

What happened? Where am I? What month is it? Where are my glasses?

Most importantly, where did spring and summer go?

As I sit here, the sun is rising (a burning orb of destruction intent upon
frying every blade of grass in my lawn), it’s August fifth, and the kids go
back to school in six days.

I’ve never been the type of mom that looks forward to school starting. I hate the chaos of mornings, the implacable schedule, and the odious amount of homework to slog through. I like sleeping in, going swimming, vacationing, making s’mores in the backyard, and the luxurious length of the bright and seemingly endless days. I like having my kids home, to both bicker and play in equal measure.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and as the summer fades away like a stretched-out shadow, I go through the five stages of grief: denial (the calendar is surely wrong), anger (why are the school supplies ALREADY in the store?), bargaining (if we cram more fun into each day, maybe things will slow down), depression (well, shit), and acceptance (printing out supply lists and shopping for number 2 pencils).  

All is not lost, however; there are things to look forward to, and plenty to be thankful for. I wrote a new short story, which can be read here. My short story compilation Rise and Other Tales and my novel Where to Go from Here have received some excellent reviews and continue to sell at a steady pace. If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, the titles above are links to their Amazon pages. Here’s the latest review for Where to Go from Here:

“Going on this unlikely journey with a most unlikely heroine as she crosses the U.S. from California to Georgia—on foot—makes for a great read. I did not much like Brooke at first. What was to like about this orphaned, inexperienced, narrow-minded, cranky, and oddly arrogant young woman who displayed all the social charm and empathy of a wilted radish? I still have no desire to buy camping gear so I can go and do likewise. A woman alone? As if! But just as Brooke summons the perseverance to trudge ever forward and the courage to open her mind and her heart to the reality of others, the reader begins to truly care what will become of this unusual woman and curious as to where and how her heart-sore, foot-sore road trip will end. I especially liked encountering philosophical asides, theological questions, literary bon mots, and a profound sense of the wit, compassion, and intelligence of the author as I read this truly engaging work. I really look forward to reading her other books.”

I mean, wow! I may have shed a tear.

My third novel, Borrowing Trouble, has not been published yet, as I had hoped, but the cover is done and is delightful (watch for the reveal in the next newsletter!), and I am looking to publish by the end of September. Here in Bartlesville my writing group is planning a book fair at a local brewery (books and brews, what could be better?) in October, and I continue to push forward with various writing projects.

Although 2022 is flying by at a wicked pace, I hope you have enjoyed your own share of successes and accomplishments, and that the second half of the year brings plentiful delights and few disappointments.

Also, I found my glasses. They were on my head.

Fare thee well,

J.W. Rose

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Welcome to 2022

By Jennifer Wilson | Jan 26, 2022 | Comments Off on Welcome to 2022

Hello, friends!

I hope your holidays were jolly and the new year has thus far been kind. For my family, January roared down upon us like a grizzly bear awoken too early from hibernation. We’ve had Covid, violent food poisoning, off-and-on public schooling, and in the midst of all of it, my mother decided to hurl herself violently to the ground and break her hip. This is the second hip she’s broken, actually. She’s out of hips at this point.

Up to this point I have been forging ahead, eyes forward, shoulders squared, jaw set, as I have dealt with each crisis, but this morning I woke up and wanted very badly to hide beneath the covers and disappear. Evaporate. Dissolve. Is it wrong to want to slip into a coma, just for a month or two? Just to sleep the sleep of the unburdened?

That’s where I’m at, folks.

Yet duty calls, and damn if it isn’t a persistent sonofabitch. I utilized a metaphorical crowbar and pried myself out from bed and here I am, ready (HAHAHAHAHAHA) for another day.

Ready or not, I’m here. And sometimes that’s the best we can do, and that’s okay. Just keep showing up and hoping for the best. One foot in front of the other, one breath at a time. Whatever you’re facing, be not afraid. Every tide turns, and this too shall pass. Take time to pray, if you are wont to do so, and don’t be ashamed when the tears fall and the emotions overwhelm. When the gales shriek around your windows, be a safe space for yourself.

That said, I wanted to offer up this bit of sentiment about new years and new days and new challenges and opportunities. I wrote this last year, and I still feel it with all my heart. I hope you enjoy it as well, even if you’re reading it whilst buried beneath several comforters.

**passes you the crowbar**

J.W. Rose

January second is a curious day
as the new year awakens and rubs its bright eyes
and the old year,
shedding tinsel and confetti
with its shirt on backwards, shoes in hand
makes the walk of shame
into oblivion
as we sneer
and throw stones

There are no bad years;
they cannot help what happens, after all
They begin, as we all do,
with innocence and curiosity
ready to do their best
and hoping for second chances

So let us bid adieu to 2020
without malice
without bitterness
without the malignancy that will eat us away
but with mercy, and a tender forgiveness
as we would have
for the penitent man being led away
to the guillotine And let us take the hand of this new year
let us refrain from seeking to force it
into our idea of “prosperous” and “happy”
but watch it grow
watch it wander and lead
listen to it speak, however haltingly
without our correction
let it lead us through every dark and light place
until we open our hearts
and discover peace.

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Welcome, Autumn

By Jennifer Wilson | Oct 10, 2021 | Comments Off on Welcome, Autumn

True confessions: I have always been a summer-lover, especially as a child. Summer: that glorious season in which time slows, dilates, and extends. The days are longer, filled with opportunities for all sorts of indolence and mild malfeasance (let’s face it, you can get away with a lot more when your parents are drained and limp with humidity).

Summer was jumping off the high dive at the local pool with my heart in my throat, it was exploring the woodsy hill behind my house (certain that Bigfoot lived there), it was riding bikes, it was sleeping over with friends who had HBO (gasp!), it was parties at the lake, it was “dragging Grand”. It was the music of cicadas, and it was vacations with my mother’s family in Texarkana, my favorite place in the whole world as a kid (it has dropped to second place, after the beach, just about any beach).

But that was then, and this is now. Now, I have become one of those adults drained by humidity and longing for the crisp snap of an Autumn morning. And then it comes, overnight, stealing over the trees and settling down. I awaken to the sound of a marching band and am filled with melancholy.

Why does fall make us melancholy?

I think it is the suddenness of it. The other three seasons emerge slowly, stretching and yawning and rubbing their eyes. They take a while to get going. Their conversations might go like:

Spring: “Oh, hey Winter. Mind if I sit for a while. No, no, you continue with your business. Maybe I can just…butt in every once in a while. Is that cool? Sweet.”

But fall just bursts upon summer, chasing it away like a flea-bitten cat on his doorstep. I drink my coffee and stare out the screen door as the rain falls, the cool, moist air like a welcome friend who tells you he’ll take the kids for a while, you just relax.

Fall is a reminder that time passes, that nothing is forever, and that we shouldn’t get too comfortable with the way things are. It urges us to cuddle with those we love and tell them how we feel before it’s too late. It makes us look around and think “where the heck did this year go?” and we resign ourselves to the fact that we are, indeed, growing older.

But it also says “It’s okay, don’t panic. I brought pumpkins and firelight and crickets and corn mazes and Halloween and Thanksgiving with me. Let’s have some fun.”

I wrote a poem in honor of fall last year, when I first realized my opinion of it had changed. I hope you enjoy it.


I swing the back door wide
pull the screen closed
turn back to coffee
and quiet reflection

Fall tiptoes in
damp earth clinging to his galoshes
he creeps behind me
and puts his hands, cool and smooth,
over my eyes

Guess who? he says
and I hear the scurry of squirrels robbing my feeder
filling up for winter’s long night

While the geese wing their way overhead
as the smell of woodsmoke drifts from a neighbor’s house

I say
you scoundrel
here you are again
bringing sweaters out of closets
and woolen socks from drawers

come sit a spell

He winks and bows in his red and orange coat
ruddy cheeks round and smiling as he takes a chair beside me

I ask him about the laden apple orchard
the glowing pumpkin patches
and how the harvest is coming along Outside
the blushing trees silently disrobe
the rabbit’s coat grows thick
wild larders fill with acorns and I
link arms with autumn
as we skip down the leaf-littered lane.

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Newsy News

By Jennifer Wilson | Aug 12, 2021 | Comments Off on Newsy News

Have you ever had a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?


Me neither, but it’s one of my favorite quotes from the riotously funny 1985 movie “Real Genius”. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching it, I highly recommend that you do. You’re welcome.

Speaking of dreams, I have one. Maybe two. Okay, three. But that’s it. The point is, one of them involves a little person called you, and another little person called me.

A writer’s life can be a lonely one. We live a lot in our own heads, where plots and settings and, most of all, characters, swirl and dance and beckon. Characters, especially, are meddlesome things, as they rarely do as they are told and have a tendency to talk back. They can change the entire narrative of our stories willy-nilly, with no regard for the hard work we have already done. Sure, we can keep company with them, but they are willful and temperamental. Sometimes we don’t even like them, and we gave them life!

In an effort to counteract the loneliness, most writers join writing groups and create blogs and websites, hoping for feedback and encouragement and, even, constructive criticism (emphasis on constructive). Anything to stay engaged with the wider world beyond the one inside our fevered brains.

My dream is simple: to create a website that people like to visit; a place that promotes contemplation and engagement and, hopefully, giggling. A place where my ideas and poetry and short stories can get out of my basement and take on a life of their own. They don’t even pay rent, for heck’s sake!

That’s where you come in. If you are a reader, then please peruse my poignant poetry, shuffle through my shipshape short stories, and maybe even buy my beguiling books. And (this is part two of my dream) let me know what you think! If you like it, tell your friends and family and acquaintances and strangers on the street and dogs and cats and goldfish (they won’t care but it will give you practice). Point them to this website. Tell them to subscribe. And thus my dream may flourish and grow into a fully functional and productive reality.

And maybe it will even pay the rent.

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