This last month has been a total whirlwind of crazy tornado-ness. More than anything, it’s been sucked up by driving (I’m not kidding) 4,000+ miles in the car. Yes, the thought of even driving to WalMart at this point sort of makes my knees shake. But besides the car mania, here’s what I’ve been plowing through:
*three manuscripts edited for friends
*a radio appearance
*two multi-day family reunions
*a video interview for a web magazine
*a speaking engagement in California (part of the big driving fun)
*two Hobby Lobby runs (long drives, sadly! but so fun! I love that store) with my girls
*a book release — The Lost Art (which went to the top 100 on Kindle in three categories. Thank you so much, reading friends!)
*a talk in church
*three car repairs
*a camp-out and fishing trip on the mountain while the AC was on the fritz at our house in the desert
Plus some other stuff that’s probably less interesting. (Not that any of this is interesting, likely.) The other things were all the fun mom stuff, like time at the pool and cleaning out kids’ dresser drawers and teaching the 9 year-old to make a cake. Stuff like that. Yeah, I didn’t get much personal writing done, other than preparing the presentations and the talk.
I have to say, it’s been quite the busy month!
Unfortunately, there’s only a bit of summer left to spend with my kids. I wish I could stretch it another few weeks before school starts up. Alas, school registration looms next week, and we still haven’t had our fun “Phineas and Ferb Week,” so I am pretty booked for the next few days doing stuff like “Backyard Beach Day” where we build sandcastles and go to the aquatic park, and “Agent P Day” where we do spy stuff. It’s going to take all my self-discipline to make myself go shop for notebooks and pens.
This is going to be my first year in almost 17 with no kids at home during the day. Youngest darling starts first grade. (She had half-day Kindergarten.) Life will change. I’ll probably try to do a lot of writing. And some genealogy. (That’s my other great love.) I hope I get to do more church service. And plant some flowers in my front yard. And I might finish the job of painting my house that I started two years ago. Yeah, by now it probably all needs another coat of paint. Some aspects of the alone-time I relish; others, not so much.
Meanwhile, though, I have ten days left of this tornado of craziness. I’m going to jam it full of mom fun and laundry.
Until then, beware. We might be watching you as agents of Agent P.
I’m excited! I have a book signing today! And it’s in my hometown, at the Preston Citizen from noon to two. Or three. Depending.
But to be honest, I’m also pretty nervous.
Shouldn’t this get easier by now? It’s been 10 years (well, nine years and eleven months) since I first ever did a book signing. This is my seventh book. Well, I’ll be signing my sixth book Immersed, but since it came out in May, I’ve added another (The Lost Art, which, incidentally hit THREE top 100 categories on Kindle this week. OH, my HECK. Thank you, gentle readers of Kindle books. If I could give you all a big thank you hug, I would. Seriously.) I should possibly think this is standard, right?
Maybe it’s the ongoing anxiety in me, or maybe it’s the fact that I watched Cipher in the Snow (that Church movie about the little boy who gets bullied and ignored at school, then dies at the bus stop, lying in the snow, and no one notices, YIKES!) one too many times and have a wild imagination of that being how the book signing will feel. Probably the former. Anxiety stinks.
Today has the added nervousness of a radio interview this morning on KACH at 9:00. Well, 9:04, after the news. What if I say what’s on my mind? I honestly think I have no filter. If I think it, it’s out there for all to hear, instantly. Oh, dear. I might end up mentioning … oh, geez. I’d better not even type it.
Bear with me while I psych myself up for this-thing-that-I-did-t0-myself.
One, the ladies who work at The Preston Citizen are very nice. I get to talk to them. They’re lovely. That will be great.
Two, it’s a bookstore. If worse comes to worst, there are always nice books to pick up and browse. I might find something to buy. (Okay, who am I kidding? I can’t enter a bookstore without buying something.)
Three, my friend Donna K. Weaver will be there signing with me. She wrote Second Chances 101, another book in the Ripple Effect Romance series, and we have only met once in person, so we can have a great time visiting about writing and books and our family members living in China and stuff.
All good things! Anxiety not necessary. At all. Seriously. Right?
It’s going to be fine. Deep breaths.
Shouldn’t this get easier by now?
PS – If you’re in the area and stop by to say hi, that’d be great. No pressure to buy a book! Just visit with me?
Hi. My name is Jennifer and I’m a lazy personal groomer.
Sometimes I think I need a support group because I absolutely hate doing my hair and makeup. Yeah, I make the effort every day–sometimes not until 3 in the afternoon–but it’s not something I look forward to or enjoy.
I find myself feeling a little like Mr. Incredible after he saves the world, “How come the world can just stay saved?” Because how come my hair and makeup can’t just stay done?
This is probably why I write about makeovers. My last two books, oddly, have that theme. Granted, Immersed was about a girl who had to do a make-under so she could keep lecherous clients away. But that’s a change of appearance. And then there’s The Lost Art, where Ava is prompted by super duper meanness of her coworkers to change not only her looks but her demeanor. But there’s a bottle of peroxide involved.
Grudgingly I admit to having bought a bottle of Sun-In to spritz on my hair while writing this book this spring. Yeah, it was probably a rookie error because there’s more orange than gold highlights involved. Sigh.
But I think this all may stem back to my dislike of hairstyling and makeup application. Maybe if I write about my characters doing it in positive ways and with good effect, I can see their good example and say, “If my fake people from my head can do it, so can I.”
Broken logic. Just like the broken ends of my hair from too much time under the blowdryer and the super hot curling iron required to put even the slightest wave in my impossibly straight hair and the shellac-like hairspray I have to invest in to keep that minimal curl in it.
Sigh. I can’t wait until I’m an old lady and can go in once a week and have them comb my blue hair and have it stay that way for a week. That’ll probably be the one physical perk to old age.
It’s finally up! The Lost Art: A Romantic Comedy is available!
If you have a Kindle reader and are planning a trip to the beach or just need a little reading escape, here’s a summer “gift for you.” It’s quick, lighthearted fun. There’s romance, mystery, a billionaire, a handsome FBI agent… Summer love!
I’m offering this for an introductory price at $2.99 for the next few days.
Dowdy art exhibit coordinator Ava Young is happy with her man-suits and sensible clogs. She likes the way they clip-clop on the museum’s tile floor. But they don’t win her any lovelorn looks from her office crush. In fact, the handsome new guy calls her “sir” when they first meet. Oh, well. She’s always known the only way a guy would take a second look at her was if she was the only person in the room. And on fire.
But after her workplace crush devastates her by, frankly, calling her something super-duper mean, Ava is ready to make some drastic changes inside and out, even if it means giving up chocolate, or taking hilariously out-of-date but strangely wise-sounding advice on femininity from a 1959 book on “How to Snare a Modern Man.”
Either way, she’d better hurry because when a priceless art exhibit gets a theft threat on Ava’s watch, a billionaire bachelor and a handsome FBI agent will be taking a good, long look at the art.
And at Ava.
The Lost Art is another fluffy romantic comedy from award-winning author Jennifer Griffith.
Can I ask a favor, gentle readers?
Would you please share the news with your friends? Thanks!
I’m really excited about this book! And at long last, I’ve got a blurb. Well, it might be a work in progress.
All her life, Ava Young assumed the only way a guy would take a second look at her was if she was the only person in the room. And on fire. So she’s been distant, and possibly a little cold. At least on the outside.
But after her workplace crush says some crushing things, she’s ready to do something big about it–inside and out. And she’d better hurry because when a priceless art exhibit hits the Phoenix Metropolitan Art Museum and Ava’s in charge, a billionaire bachelor and a handsome FBI agent will be taking a second glance at the art.
And at Ava.
But tell me what you think. Does it sound like a beach read? Is it fluffy enough of escapist fiction for ya?
Coming soon! Really soon, I hope! I’ll let you know!
Exciting day! I’m finally ready to reveal the cover and title of my next novel.
This one has been in the works for a lot of years, with the concept gelling in my head about six years ago. But I got frustrated with it after about 85 pages and set it on the shelf. Then, a bit ago, I picked it back up and decided the time was finally right to finish the story.
Next week I’ll post a blurb about what it’s about. Then the week after that, I’m hoping it will be available for all to read! Assuming I don’t get sidetracked by summer and kids and the responsibilities of motherhood. Those always have to take precedence over the good ol’ writing hobby, of course. (Note: swimming and piano lessons and chore lists are all going pretty well this summer, thank you for asking. And my 16 year old did get 100% on his first College Algebra test he’s taking at the college. His Trig is going well too. Life is all right.)
And now… I present for your consideration, the cover of The Lost Art: A Romantic Comedy.
What do you think? I think kudos to Laura Tolman for her mad skills in designing it. Thanks, Laura!
And yeah, soon I’ll be getting on the ball and writing up a blurb so you’ll know what it’s about. But I can leak at this time that there’s a makeover (another makeover novel, what?), a stolen painting, a billionaire and an FBI agent. So, maybe that’s fun, right?
Happy summer to you all!
So, it’s summer vacation. And I guess at the Griffith household that means it’s time for a vocab review.
Heh heh heh.
Our oldest is going into his junior year this fall, and he’s taking the PSAT-NMSQT, the worst acronymed pre-college test ever. Besides a precursor to the SAT, it’s a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholar thingy. There’s a math section and a verbal section, as you might guess. He’s a reader, but not a reeeeeeeeeader (like our 11 year old, who reads late into the night hiding under the blankets when she thinks we think her light is out.) So he might need a little vocabulary review.
Enter the “Quack” DVD. We ordered this online. It came this afternoon, and we popped it in the player.
“Hey! Kids! It’s time to watch TV!” (Not that they hadn’t already watched a few episodes of Mythbusters already this weekend. Like eight.) They all gathered in the living room and watched this thing packed with movie clips describing some of the likely vocabulary words that will appear on the SAT (and hence the PSAT.) At the end of the first 20-word review, there was a quiz.
All five of them took the test. Three got 100%. The six year-old dropped out. The nine year-old filled in the answers as my husband read them.
Now, that’s summer vacation, kids-of-the-English-major style.
We should probably chase this activity with Otter Pops.
Feel free to threaten your own kids that if they don’t behave, you’ll send them to the Griffiths’ for summer break.
My book is officially launching today! Yay!
I know, I know, it’s been available for a couple of weeks so this is a tad bit anticlimactic. But I CELEBRATE NONETHELESS. Humor me.
And in case you’ve forgotten, despite my frequent reminders, here’s the rub about the whole series. Book One (Home Matters by Julie Ford) introduces a character from Book Two (Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin), which introduces a character who appears in Book Three (Righting a Wrong by Rachael Renee Anderson), and so on through Karey White’s Lost and Found, and Donna Weaver’s Second Chances 101. Decisions made by the characters in the previous book influence what happens in the next book–not so much that you couldn’t understand the plot if you didn’t read the one before it. They’re all stand-alone novels. But enough to make it FUN.
Hence, the “Ripple Effect” title.
Here’s the cute little blurb describing the whole concept.
IMMERSED by Jennifer Griffith
Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever. But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just to have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.
The bad wig, icky makeup and puffy sweaters work like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest. Lisette’s totally relieved.
Erik Gunnarson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Every day as his tutor is making her fall for him more. Even though he seems to have a secret, and she’s sworn she’d never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—although it could mean jeopardizing her career.
So, a little about this book. When the ladies asked me to get on board for the collaboration, I was immersed in another project. It was really hard for me to change gears and even think of a plot for a different book. My husband and I went to a conference for his work for a couple of days, while my sweet mother-in-law watched our kids. I was writing day and night like a typing bandit, working on that other book (which wasn’t that good, now that I look back on it.) But in the evenings after his workshops, I got him to help me brainstorm for the Ripple Effect. It was stressing me out!
Until… My husband said, “What if…” and handed me the whole plot. Bless his romantic-comedy-devising heart!
It’s so nice to be married to someone who not only supports my little hobby, but also helps foster it so well. Originally I titled the book “Immersed in Love,” until I realized it was just a step too cheesy, even for me, since I couldn’t say the title without rolling my eyes. But I have to say that it’s a total blessing to be totally immersed in love with a great man like my husband is. Love stories in books are wonderful. But reality, even with all its ups and downs, can be even better. I wish all of you a happy love story today!
Oh, wait. Do you want to buy Immersed? You can! Thank you! Here. It’s available all over the place.
Oh, my heck. I just was linking from Barnes and Noble. I never read reviews. Too scary. But I did glance at one, just for all of you. (You’re welcome. Even though it feels like entering the lions’ den!) But it was so nice! Here are some of the sweet lines:
“You couldn’t have ended the Ripple Effect series than with this remarkable story. … It’s such a sigh-worthy story line. What woman doesn’t want to be seen for who she really is and not just her appearance?”
And I loved her last paragraph, with the words of wisdom. (And she’s so kind to praise my writing of this fluffy little piece of candy for our souls.)
“Jennifer Griffith is such a gifted and outstanding author to create an exquisite romance that doesn’t even start out as a love story in any sense of the word. This emotional ride was a tear jerker in some places while in others I found myself walking on cloud nine. I was so sad to see it end, but I was so ready for what might come next. We all dream of a happy ending, but no matter how our story ends, we all have to make choices along the way. I hope that you make good ones that will bring you a life filled with love, hope, and never-ending joy.”
Bless you, whoever you are, Shadowplay4U. I wish YOU a life with love and hope too! You made my day! Mmmwah!
The title means, “It’s the end!” in Japanese. Sometimes I still find myself thinking in Japanese and have to translate in my head, even though it’s been a month shy of two decades since I’ve seen the Land of the Rising Sun. Weird. I wonder if that will happen for the rest of my life????
So, I finished it. My WIP. Er, my new WIP, that is. Which is why I’ve been AWOL from this blog for most of the month.
For the past 2 1/2 years I had been mainly working on one novel (with a few other projects interspersed.) It is the coolest concept. And I love the characters. And the plot is killer. And the scenes are great. But the theme is bankrupt. It just simply won’t resonate with humankind. It won’t work for any reader, and it barely works for me.
So I put it on the shelf.
And at the end of April I dug around on the shelf (okay, in the old computer files from back when I had the glitchy laptop of my nightmares). Voila! I came across an old novel I’d done 84 pages on, and then stopped right when the plot got good. To my utter surprise (because all I remembered from it was the theme and the concept, not the characters or the plot), the thing was pretty funny. It was a kind of a mystery novel, mixed in with a romantic comedy.
And I had NO IDEA how it was supposed to end. Not who stole the art, not who the girl was supposed to end up with, not how the crime was going to be solved.
But I got a seed of an idea, started typing, and found out how it ended as I went along. Well, I did a rudimentary outline, which I systematically scrapped as I went.
And by last Wednesday I was done. Owari da. My husband read the draft, pronounced it “on the right track,” gave me some really good editing suggestions, and I think I know how to put them into the text. It’s incredible how fast it all came together.
Mainly, the thing I learned from this is a change was as good as a rest. My other WIP needed a rest. And maybe I can go back to it with fresh vision and A NEW THEME THAT WORKS–later, after I finish whipping this one into publication shape.
As it is, I’m working up cover art, mulling over the title, thinking about how to rework the end so it’s less…corny. And I might have a lot of these done before my kids get done with school on Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, I have a different announcement on Monday. IMMERSED officially launches. Even though it leaked out early. But this is the “real” launch date. I’ll be tweeting and Facebooking the blog posts. If you’re on my Twitter feed or my Facebook feed, I beg your patience and generosity.
Happy reading. And if you don’t hear from me much, it’s because I’m immersed in this next WIP. A good place to be as a writer.