Book Tour: Vala Agendas author J.F. Jenkins on making time
Please help me welcome author J. F. Jenkins to Gravetells!
A lot of people ask me if it’s hard to be an author. More specifically, they ask if it’s hard for me to create something, to have so many interesting and different ideas. Every time I sort of shrug and say: “No, not exactly”. People who write, who create, don’t have a hard time coming up with ideas. Not initially. Sure, there’s writers block, but I don’t count that as a lack of coming up with ideas necessarily. A writer can be blocked because of lack of motivation. They could know exactly what they want to do, and just not have the words to get there.
The hardest part about writing, and maybe even creating in general, is making the time to do it. Work is probably the biggest thing that gets in the way of my writing. The day job, the one I have to do in order to pay the bills since writing on its own doesn’t quite do it. At the end of a work shift, I’m usually so tired, the last thing I want to do is come home and work some more. I’m crabby too, and my brain just wants to be left alone so it can relax.
The second biggest thing getting in the way is other people. For me, this is usually family. I love my family, but a toddler doesn’t understand the concept of quiet time too well. Most of the time, we can work out some kind of a system, but there are always those days where he’s off or I’m off. Those are the hard ones. My husband also requires a good chunk of my time, and I’m more than happy to give it to him. But it still keeps me from reaching my writing goals for the day. Then of course there are things like holidays which take up days worth of social time. At the end of doing it all, sometimes writing is just the last thing on my mind. And that’s because of the simple fact that the longer I go without writing, the harder it is to get back into doing.
So what’s my point? There’s always going to be something vying for your time as you get ready to write. The house needs cleaning, the cat puked on the carpet, someone wants to snuggle, and sometimes you just plain don’t feel like doing it. The more you tell yourself: “I’ll do it later when I’m done with everything else”, the more you’ll find to add onto your “to-do” list. Make the time to write, and do it every day, and that will separate you from the people who want to write and the people who are authors. Treat it like a job. Because writing is a labor of love.
Read an excerpt from Vala Agendas
“Can I help you?” she asked, shielding herself protectively with her arms.
“Sorry, you smell good,” he murmured, practically purring in her ear as he pulled away. He still maintained his close proximity.
“I smell…” She frowned and was about to sniff at her arm, but she stopped herself. “…good?”
“You smell good. Kind of like lilies of the valley, actually. Let me guess—you use that for your scented body wash?”
“I just use Dial.” Her entire body tensed more as he moved in again, his face dangerously close to her neck. “I don’t mean to be rude, and while I’m flattered you’re so fascinated with my body, you’re also making me uncomfortable. If you’re just trying to butter me up so I’ll go home with you, you should stop now, because that’s not going to happen. Back off before I make you.”
He moved away once more with a smug smirk. “I thought I smelled fire, too.” He extended his hand to her for a polite and friendly handshake. “My name is Denver. Yes, like the city in Colorado. Last name is Collins, and I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I don’t usually meet someone with that kind of scent. It’s strong. I knew there was a reason I noticed you.”
Is this guy high or something? “Apology accepted. Iʹm Cheyenne. I’ʹve seen you around school these past few weeks, but I don’ʹt think we’ʹve ever been formally introduced until now. You’ʹre new, right?” Cheyenne shook his hand nervously. He had a strong and confident shake. He seemed to be a genuinely nice person, outside of his odd behaviors. If anything, it made her look good in front of her classmates to be talking to the new cool kid, and a young, attractive male. She felt a little less like a freak.
“I’ʹm temporary. I haven’ʹt been formally introduced to anyone. You’ʹre the first, and it’ʹs only because you smell so nice I can’ʹt stay away.”
“Do you use that line on everyone? It’s unique. A little creepy, but unique.”
“No.” He sat back and proceeded to grab a napkin off the bar and fold it in front of him multiple times. He didn’ʹt have much of an attention span, apparently. “I actually don’t pick up women often. I just made an exception for the blue-eyed beauty in front of me.”
Cheyenne’s face flushed again. “I wasn’t aware you knew the color of my eyes, seeing as how you’ve been staring at my breasts the entire time.” It came out a lot harsher than she intended.
In fact, she wasn’t meaning to say it at all. “Sorry, I—”
“You’re right. I was, but I remember you from earlier. I noticed your eyes when you were looking across the school yard at me.”
“You do remember that.” She shrank in her chair a little, officially wanting to hide under a rock.
“It’s a little hard not to when you’re so cute.” He moved closer to her, not quite as close as before, but enough to cause butterflies in her stomach. “You don’t like it here. I don’t like it here. And since we both don’t like it here, maybe we should head out and find something else to do. Maybe we can go someplace we both like.”
About the author…
J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with her husband, son, and two cats. She graduated from Bethel University in 2006 with a degree in Media Communication with minors in both writing and film. When she is not busy writing, she spends her free time playing games, reading, and spending time with her family.