Thursday, January 15, 2009


So i did it! I survived my verimost first day of school! (my creative writing class) It was super fun and enlightening! And believe it or not, at 31 I was the YOUNGEST person in the course by at least 10 years. I was surrounded by extremely educated British people. Professors, Lawyers, Newspaper Editors... So I was really excited to get to learn with them, you know? Oh! And the teacher is a published novelist and apparently a very good teacher by the caliber in the room surrounding me.
So let me explain what happened when I first drove up: Okay, holy cow! The first thing I see other than this superbly gorgeous Elizabethan Mansion is Deer EVERYWHERE!

It was crazy cool to see them two/three feet from me in the English mist that surrounded the grounds of Burghley. They were so content and never even moved a muscle as I walked past. Seriously amazing and so fairy tale-ish it wasn't even funny! So then, I get into the class and I see who's around me and I'm like okay, wow! this class is gonna be so cool! Eeeeeh! Until we started introducing ourselves and I realized EVERY STORY was the same... all surrounding me. They all went like this:

I'm a (Insert amazing profession here) and I've always wanted to write.. blah, blah, blah... but I just haven't been able to find the time...blah, blah, blah... I'm taking this class to hopefully get motivated into actually writing a novel... blah, blah, blah...
Darn it!!!
All at once I was petrified to announce and tell about me. I mean, like crazy scared.. and I'm NOT ever scared. LOL! But this room terrified me. I was the second to the last person to announce who I was--with strict orders from the teacher that we were supposed to tell ALL of our writing experience and leave nothing out, so that way she can adjust the class to our needs. Afterall we were paying for it, right? Hahaha! So here I was the baby of the group. Everyone knew I was SUCH a baby too. LOL! They grinned at me and then turned and talked to everyone else.

So when it was my turn I started on the first part of the assignment.. my name and profession:

"Hi, I'm Jenni--uh, Jenni James. And uh, (ugh! I never say uh, EVER why am I saying uh???) I'm a stay-at-home mom of uh, 6 kids.

The whole room gasped. I continued, "As I'm sure you can tell by my accent, I uh, am an American. My hubby is in the military and uh, he's taken off the 5 days for this class so I can come here.

The whole room. "Awwws." I giggle nervously and then start. (Okay, here we go.. deep breath) "I uh, never wanted to be a writer."

More gasps. Another nervous giggle, I'm looking at my hands now. "Actually, I'm a professional children's theater director and I got into writing by becoming a playwright so I'd have enough roles for all the kids that auditioned for my plays."

More gasps and twitters now. I'm on a role, so I'm not stopping. "Anyway, I'd written three plays and then in March last year I felt this amazing urge to start writing a novel. Uh, (nervous giggle--here we go, the make it or break moment) Well, uh, since March I've written 4 novels (loud gasping, I don't pause) and I'm currently working on my fifth novel of my series titled The Austen Series. I'm rewriting all 6 of the Jane Austen novels and transplanting them to the US for teens. (Braving on and not looking back I take the plunge) And in August I was lucky enough to get an agent and in February I have an editor doing revisions talk with me." (Whew!)
The whole room broke out into applause. I mean, it. BRITISH PEOPLE were clapping!!! It was sooo weirdly cool and shocking. And they liked me! They weren't mean or weird or, I don't know, mad that I'd done so much. After that, I was a person. I was more than a person. I was part of the group in a weird Rock Star sort of way. It was crazy.

Then the lady after me, was like, "Wow. How do I even follow that? Uh, I've always wanted to write.. blah, blah, blah..."

So I survived and in two weeks I'm going back for more! WAHOOO!


  1. You are living the dream!! What an awesome opportunity for you! And WOW! I can't even imagine all the history in those gorgeous halls!

    Color me JEALOUS!!! :)

  2. Ohhhh...what a PERFECT place to take a writing class! Hope you have tons of fun!

  3. How could you not be inspired to write in an environment like THAT?! Such an awesome opportunity Jenni!

  4. Every bit of your news is beyond awesome! I'm so glad it's happening to YOU!

  5. Erica--I'm so lucky! I can't believe my life right now you have no idea! It's so exciting! It's the MOST beautiful place on earth!

    Melissa--I know! I'm so excited! Already i'm writing a story about one of the servants that use to work there!

    Julie--I know! I'm sooo excited! Thanks!

    Angie--Aww, thanks Angie--I'm definitely just freaking out about it!

  6. What a cool/amazing/drop some british jaws/slick kind of first day at school. And at the Burghley House to boot. Ugh! I'm so jealous. I think your novels will do well. The JA novels are so hot right now. A series of all six for teens. I wish I'd done it--pea green over here even more. Oh well, at least one of my MC's last name is Burghley.

  7. WOW! that school is GORGEOUS!!! And how cool that the deer were there just minding their own business. That is the way it is here in wyoming. They are all over! I love it.

    As for your class....Who wouldn't love you! You ROCK STAR, you! That is awesome they were all in AWWWW of you. So fun! keep us updated about the class. Sounds like you are living the dream.

  8. I so want to be you right wonderful. The pics are amazing. I don't think I could have even stepped foot in the class on time for taking pictures. Jenni...enjoy this time. And of course they liked you...why wouldn't they? You are an amazing person!

  9. You are a rockstar, girl! Awesome! I love the first day of school (not really).

  10. Lotus--You have a MC with the last name of Burghley?? That is so cool! I love it! And I so can't take the credit for coming up with the idea of rewriting all the JA's LOL it was more or less forced on me by the Lord! LOL!

    Melissa--That building is sooo awesome! Seriously! I love it! It's just breathtaking! I wish you could really see it! And how cool the deer are like that in Wyoming??? That's awesome! Oh, and when I say deer, there were like hundreds all on that lawn--i didn't have my camera so I totally had to find pics on the web.. but man I wish you could've seen them!

  11. Ang!--Aww, how sweet are you! YES it is absolutely Magical! I wish you could be here too! It's wonderful! The best christmas present EVER!

    Kasie--hahah! I've ALWAYS loved the first day of school! seriously! it's like the day that starts the newest and latest adventure! It's so cool!

  12. That aerial view is amazing. What an experience you're having.

    Morgan Mandel

  13. Morgan! I'm so in love with the ariel view it's not even funny! It really is just as beautiful as it can be! And the BEST christmas gift EVER!

  14. wow! I was right there with you applauding too! THis sounds like soooo much fun in the perfect place and you'll be able to write about this again someday too!! Enjoy and be sure to tell us all about the next time too!

  15. Terri--aww shucks. LOL! It was really weird being appaulded to, you have no idea.. but it was cool at the same time. I'm feeling inspired to write already! I love that this class is every two weeks so you have time to really work on your homework!

    Emily--THANKS! LOL! I'm so excited to get to do this!

  16. Jenni! That is so, so beautiful! I love it, as your clone I demand the right to go to the next class with you. See you in two weeks! :P

    You know what though, I'm so glad you know how awesome your life is going right now. Too many in the same position might take things for granted and I love that you don't! Revel in it, til your fingers get all pruny! :D

  17. I am so jealous that you get to go to that beautiful school!!!

    And don't you know that you are a rock star baby!!!

    Glad that you are enjoying it so far I mean it was the first class right!!??

    And really the novalty of having a talented, gifted soon to be published popular writer will wear off and you will be wondering why you have lost your rock star status... and then you will realize that

    even if it is just in your own mind!
    What was your theme song again!!

    I wish I was there... Have fun in your class!!!

    Man I wish I could write!! Then I would have an excuse for wanting to go there.

  18. Jenn--COME! It's on! You're totally welcome! How fun will that be??? Hehehe! And YES! I'm very aware of how blessed I am, it's so freaking me out!

    Tiffany!--LOL! You crack me up so much! I love you, girl! LOL! and right now my new theme song for 2009 is "Fabulous" From HSM2 LOL! Nothing like keeping it real with my new Rockstar status! LOL!

  19. I look at your site and I am like holy crap that is such an amazing picture. I was thinking maybe you went site seeing or something. Well as I read and little did I know that you were going to school there. What!!!! That is so awesome. My dream my I remind you. Not to go to school even but to be able to say you went to that one. WOW!! It is like a dream. I am jealous jealous of you. I wish I could come visit with Kari in March!! I am so jealous of her to. What can I say, I am jealous of the Hamson girls!! HaHa.

  20. Aww Yolanda! You're so sweet! And I'm SUPER SUPER excited to show these places to Kari! I'm dying actually! Eeeeh! I miss her like CRAZY!