About JEN

All About Me (and other Stories)

Why don't I know you?

    Someone asked me that the other day. I have to say, I was flattered at the implication that she would want to know me. And she didn't. Yet.
    Well, let me fix that right now. My name is Jennifer Garrett, JEN online. You'll know you've found me when you see the butterfly on the stick. (It spells JEN, but I'm sure you already saw that).
    I've written award-winning scripts, articles, and poetry. My writing is in the classroom, on display at the library, and on stages in California and Indiana. And now, I'm looking forward to seeing my work on the pages of traditionally published children's books.
    Ok, so I told you a little bit about me, but what I really want to know is about you. What brought you to my blog and more importantly "How many somethings have you learned today?"

Know Me Like the Back of My Hand

    I sport a heavy writer’s callus on my right hand, from putting pencil to paper before submitting manuscripts for publication. Although I have yet to put pen to a contract.
My wedding ring alternates hands every time my eczema kicks up. I have another callus from pushing my Cadillac stroller three miles a day while taking two of my five children to and from school. My hand is covered in hairline scars from the neglected paper cuts that invariably happen simultaneously with a more urgent event.
The fingernails come in a variety of lengths, because nail files bother my ears. I don’t bite my nails, but have the equally annoying habit of picking at them.
    My skin is fair enough to burn easily, but I don’t use lotion because the palms tend to sweat, even in winter, for no apparent reason.
     And that's the back of my hand. Oh, you wanted to know about me?


The Super Scientific JEN

     I'm all about learning. One of the most awesome realms of learning is SCIENCE! I love science. I love how it keeps stretching and changing as people study new somethings and put forth new ideas. How cool is that!
     When I was 12, I held weekly science workshops as a teacher's aide for a 1st grade class. Before that, I was teaching my siblings about gravity and laws of motion as we rolled objects down wooden ramps. In high school I learned about forestry and chemistry. In college, I took Biology, Physics, Astronomy, Physical Science, and Economics. Later I learned about anthropology and geology. I still can't decide which science is the coolest.
     Now, with five budding scientist of my own, I am still conducting experiments, making observations, and asking questions. One of my middle grade books is based on my theories of time travel, and some of my picture books manuscripts contain instructions for experiments that young readers can do themselves.   

How I got Started 

    I honestly don't remember what got me first interested in writing. I wrote my first picture book when I was in 1st grade. It was called Bobby's Sister about how my teacher went on maternity leave. I stapled a construction paper cover on it. My second picture book, Space, was a nonfiction picture book with a "hard cover" made from a cereal box. I've written more picture books than I can count since.
    Cereal box covers don't sell very well, so a few years ago I started submitting my work to other publishers. Now, I have articles published in two nationwide Christian magazines, a community play that was performed in Indiana, and a blog that is still getting its feet wet. Meanwhile, I am actively looking for a literary agent in the Kid Lit Realm so I can buy that cheaper bagged cereal. (Just Kidding, I already buy that kind.)
    I thrive on giving feedback as much as I thrive on getting it. That's why I'm a member of SCBWI, and a couple online critique groups. Plus, I lead a drop-in critique group called The Writer's Bloc at my local library. My dream job would be an acquisition editor because a publisher's slush pile sounds so much more fun than laundry.
    Some say no one is truly a born writer, but I think I'm as close as they come. Not because what I write is particularly good or interesting, but because if I was given the choice between breathing and writing... well, let's hope I never have to make that choice.

My Description Story

    Once upon a time I had to write the description of my blog and everything I wrote was boring. So I wrote a story instead:
     "It wasn't William's fault that the fairy sneezed. He couldn't know that Jizelda was looking over his shoulder. He couldn't know that the fairy was allergic to the lemon oil William had just spritzed. In fact, he didn't even know Jizelda had sneezed - right on the first page of William's book."

Did You Say You Were an Editor?

    Well, yes, I like to edit. Ok, Ok, I love to edit. But I don't have an editing business. All of the projects I've done have been word of mouth referrals, so I guess you could say I'm running an editing boutique. I'm going to be honest though: I primarily write children's books, and that experiences shines through in my editing. That said, I have edited more than one project for adults, and I'd be happy to consider editing yours. Contact me at the address below and tell me a little about your project. I will let you know whether I think I'm right editor for the project, and what you can expect should you decide to hire me. 

Contact me at lexicalcreations (at) gmail (dot) com. Or follow me on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or just leave a comment. Anywhere you go online, you'll know you've me when you see the butterfly on the stick. (The one that spells JEN.)