Author Archives: Janna

Que Sera Sera

There is so much to consider when composing a last post. Should one go out with a bang (and what, exactly, qualifies as a bang?), or is it better to more quietly recede? Is there anything left to say, something you mustn’t forget, or has it all been shared before?

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bemorewithless.com

I’m not part of the original WU crew, but was so happy to have been invited by charter member and stellar, going-somewhere author Sharla Lovelace a few years back. (Visit her HERE or HERE, or Google her, she’s everywhere.) This was during a time when my personal life was in upheaval, and so the inclusion was just the creative lift I needed, an outlet fueled by more than only me, and since then the ladies have become forever “writer buddies” I’m proud to associate with.

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We’ve all been through a lot, in life and career, positive and not, it’s clear when looking over our archives. I myself have transformed during the scope of my Unpluggedness. I came on newly divorced and have, in the years spanning my contribution, locked in what it means to be a single mom, healed and established myself in both my heart and my mind after a long-term and abusive marriage, surprised myself, pursued a new career and made it through the transition, dated, cried buckets of tears, learned what it means to be an independent adult, moved twice, rejoiced, stood my ground, messed up, shared and written and felt all of the feelings, and so much more. I appreciate any and all who were along for the ride. It’s been quite a journey—one that’s not done yet, I am happy to know—and I’m grateful the Women Unplugged blog was part of it.

From here forward, you can find me through my personal blog Woman, Determined, at Twitter, and on Facebook. I spend the most time at Facebook, where my goal is to share content as both a writer and a student of life.

These days I am making headway on my novel-in-progress, the one I worked for NANO 2014 and laid aside last spring for that career (day job) change I mentioned above. I recently picked it up again, and I’m working on it daily. I’ve also carved a niche for myself creating custom resumes for folks, from new graduates and baby boomers to blue collar workers and corporate title holders. If you’d like more information about that, shoot me a message through any of the media I’ve listed. I’d love to help you out.

Whether or not we should cross paths again, thanks for being part of Women Unplugged, and part of my life. I wish you all the best in everything.

farewell

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Feelings and Important Things

A friend shared this video short on Facebook a couple days ago, and though its story isn’t specific to a holiday, the full-of-feeling message is perfect and poignant this time of year.

If you’re a softie, grab a tissue.

Whatever and however you celebrate, may your days be merry and your nights filled with peace.

May you never forget the important things.

Smile How You Want, When You Want

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Axel Muench/imdb

This lovely girl at left is Rowan Blanchard, a fourteen-year-old actress from a current Disney Channel show.

I saw last night that, according to an article on HuffPost Women, she gets a lot of flack from media and fans for not smiling more often. She has in response made a statement, simply saying, she’ll smile when she wants to!

I get it. Because why is a smile the obligation? Who is that important to, and for what reason?

My two daughters — just a bit younger than Miss Blanchard — have close-lipped, sweet smiles. And every fall, every year, the school picture photographers require that they bear their teeth for the camera, which is not natural for either of them on command. They end up feeling self-conscious, then unhappy with their pictures, and every year I resent those photographers for accepting nothing short of a huge, unrealistic expression based on what I can only assume are rote and rigid ideals, which don’t at all capture my girls in the way they want remembered. Again, for what reason?

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See? My girls are smiling. And beautifully, I might add.

Why can’t children — those in the public eye — everyone — choose for themselves when to smile and how?

Shock the Clock: Wisdom About Time Management by Writer Jeanette Levellie

Jeanette Levellie Shock the Clock cover

Are you a procrastinating procrastinator? Or just a busy bee?

You are not alone.

Well-loved writer and prolific speaker, Jeanette Levellie, is a recovering perfectionist and accomplished multi-tasker. This is why, in her third book, Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives, Jeanette presents a unique approach to time management based on personality types.

If you have kids, friends, and/or pets, work a day job, or got an A+ in Procrastination 101, you will benefit from the tools Jeanette has learned and used to write and publish hundreds of columns, stories, articles, and three books—in her spare time.

Unlike other time management programs, this unique approach helps you focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses to make the best use of your limited writing or other creative time.

Here, a few thoughts from Jeanette:

What inspired you to write Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives? I noticed that all the time management books I’d read were based on the writer’s personality type—mostly Choleric, or Type A—which doesn’t work if you are an introvert or ditzy, like many writers. I decided to write a book that addressed how you can manage your time, based on various personalities.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb? If you got an A+ in procrastination, can’t find your car keys, and might need a lifetime pass to Clutterbugs Anonymous, you can benefit from this lighthearted approach to managing your time and getting more writing done.

How did you research or plan your book? I planned the book based on classes I’ve taught at writers conferences on time management, which were well-attended and from which I received a lot of positive feedback. I also threw in some funny articles on clutter control, a list of 40 tips and secrets I’ve discovered (the hard way) for saving time, and a bunch of fun cartoons drawn by my artist son.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book? I hope writers and other creatives—from artists to musicians to movie producers to Play-doh sculptors—will be encouraged by God and my words so that they can learn to manage time, even if born disorganized and discombobulated like me.

Sound like a winner? I thought so. You can pre-order your copy of Shock the Clock over at Amazon. And RSVP to Jeanette’s launch party — games and prized included — over on Facebook!3 final

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About Jeanette Levellie: A spunky pastor’s wife of thirty-plus years, Jeanette Levellie authors a weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Greater, a popular feature in her local newspaper since 2001. She has published stories in Guideposts anthologies, stories in Love is a Verb Devotional with Gary Chapman, articles in Christian and secular magazines, greeting card verses, and poems for calendars. She is also a prolific speaker for both Christian and secular groups, and loves to make people laugh while sharing her love for God and life.

Jeanette is the mother of two grown children, three grandchildren, and servant to four cats. She lives in Paris (not the French one), IL, with her husband, Kevin. Her hobbies include dining out, talking baby talk to her cats, avoiding housework, reading, and watching old classic movies. 

Learn more about Jeanette, and her other books and projects, at www.jeanettelevellie.com.

Keeping the Lighthouse

I would keep a lighthouse.

Don’t really know a lot about them, about what it takes to keep one, to do the job. I’ve lived my whole life in the precise middle of the United States, unaffected by their charm. They’re a coastal thing, lighthouses.

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For sale in the UK.

I do understand they’re mostly a thing of the past. Many have fallen into disrepair, not just because of neglected and expensive maintenance needs, but also the advancements at sea that have rendered the use of them less necessary. But find one for me anyway, somewhere—my soul has always been drawn to Maine—with a small vintagey cottage at its trunk. That’s where I’d live, contendedly.

I would operate the beacon of light, I would do my best to navigate others safely. That would come first, at odd hours in the dark I would do my duty proudly. I would do the necessary bits to maintain it all, bringing in help when required, that’s how I would build my circle of acquaintances. And when no light was needed, if everything was in order and I could let it be, I would hunker down into my quiet cottage and write. Just give me WiFi and a stout coffeemaker. Novels and pens and journals. Easy snacks and an open mind, warm quilts and a faded, well-worn decor. I would be supremely inspired — and at peace — in a place like that.

It would be the best of two worlds: work that mattered, paying enough to exist, and living a simple, creative life.

I would keep a lighthouse.

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This post originally appeared January 7th of this year on my blog Woman, Determined.

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