It’s 2014, and I’m . . . Here? I think?

Guys, this is so hard. It’s been so long and it feels like I’ve forgotten how to put words together. It’s funny, my writing started with blogging and now the thought of writing a blog post feels harder than writing a novel. But I have things I want to say so I’m pushing forward, hoping I’ll fall into some sort of a rhythm. I know better than aspiring to regular blog posts. (I’ll be happy if I make it to the end of THIS post.) But maybe if I get my feet wet again (by writing a post about nothing? I’m beginning to question my reasoning here.) it will feel easier to come and talk and share and write.

I didn’t post anything on Facebook or here on the blog about the New Year. I didn’t pick a word or make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. I didn’t even think about what my resolutions would be if I did decide to write them down. Last year rolled into this one with little fanfare or reflection. That feels a little sad, so let’s reflect, shall we?


2013 was a good year. My family life morphed into something that frequently makes my head spin.  My oldest turned twelve, a landmark that brings all sorts of added activities and responsibilities. My youngest turned 1, turning my life into a constant stream of toddler induced chaos and total mayhem MOST OF THE TIME. Nothing screams peace like a toddler in a diaper, standing in the center of your kitchen table flicking the keys off your laptop.  I mean, I’m not complaining. He’s totally adorable which makes the mayhem much more tolerable. But oh my word, he makes me tired. Funny how easy it is to forget how destructive a tiny person can be until you have another one, streaking naked around your living room, squealing with delight and sloshing his overturned bottle around like a maraca, spraying your sofa, your hair, your dog, even the ceiling with tepid milk. You can feel it, can’t you? The peace that fills my home? 

Also contributing to the general peace and quiet around here, 2013 was also the year we started homeschooling our three elementary age children. Because of limited educational opportunities in our very small town, we felt like it was the best option for our kids. I’ve been told all you should strive for the first year of homeschooling is simply to survive. And well, we are surviving. But I’m also not afraid to admit it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The constancy and the noise and the SO MANY THINGS to keep up with. It hasn’t been easy. It’s getting easier though, slowly but surely, which is promising. We’re settling into more of a routine and I’m learning not to be too hard on myself when things don’t go as planned. Because really. When does anything ever go as planned?

The House at Rose Creek Cover2013 was the year of The House at Rose Creek. Oh, what a lovely experience it has been to have my book out there in the world. I can’t think of it without feeling humbled and grateful and so happy that I have the opportunity to write and share my words with others.

book signingThe book launch party in August was a highlight of my year. I’ll never forget how wonderful it was to have so many people that I love helping me celebrate. It was a great night. My next book, tentatively titled Mountains Between Us (don’t get attached, it’ll likely change in the editorial process) is due out in August, 2014. I love this one even more than the first and can’t wait for everyone to read it.

I’m also working on a third novel, this one for the mainstream fiction market, which is both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. To publish in the national market, rather than the smaller, niche LDS Fiction market, I’ll need to get an agent, a process I hope I’ll be ready for by Spring. I hope I’m ready; I think I’m ready. Nearly Nell (again, working title, but I’m hoping it’s one that will stick around) is a novel I really, really love. (I say this like it’s unusual… like there are authors out there who say, “I wrote a book but I don’t really love it.” Just bear with me, okay? I’ll be done in a minute.) It’s a story that is so very different than my first two and I hope beyond all hope it can find a home somewhere out there in the literary world. I’ve been told the agent hunt is grueling, but I’m hopeful.

Other 2013 happenings? I celebrated 13 years of marriage to a man I’m still falling in love with, more every day. I attended my first LDStorymakers Conference and met many of my online friends in person, validating the unusual fact that many of them I already considered to be among my most cherished friends. The writing community is a wonderful thing to be a part of, that’s for sure. 2013 was the year of musical beginnings for the kids… cello, violin, guitar, piano. We are a noisy house. But it is noise I love.

I have high hopes for 2014; for the family, for my husband’s career, for my writing. But one day at a time, you know? Anything more than that, and it all starts to feel far too overwhelming.

Seriously. Is this adorable, or what. These little people make me very happy. Also very crazy. But mostly very happy.

Seriously. Is this adorable, or what? These little people make me very happy. Also very crazy. But mostly very happy.

15 thoughts on “It’s 2014, and I’m . . . Here? I think?

  1. Lara says:

    I admire that you are home schooling. I can barely handle Christmas break! I can’t believe Jack is already a year old and all your kids are looking so big! Can’t wait to read your next book. I really loved The House at Rose Creek.

    Happy new year!

    • jennyproctor says:

      Lara, Jack is almost 2!! His birthday is in April. I’m trying to give the homeschooling more time before I’m too vocal about my opinions, but if you wanted the cold hard honest truth right now? If I felt like I had other options, I wouldn’t keep doing it. It’s been trying in many, many ways. My opinions might change in the next six months. We shall see. 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time homeschooling. I can’t imagine doing it with little children. My experience worked out that when the triplets were born my older kids who were homeschooled were fairly self directed. It is a hard lifestyle choice though! And if it makes you feel any better, I don’t have resolutions (other than to experiment with trying to learn to eat liver…) or a word either…

    • jennyproctor says:

      Cindy, Jack and Ivy are hands down, the hardest part of making it work. Sam and Lucy are pretty self directed, though they definitely need encouragement and general supervision, but Henry still needs lots of one-on-one. Sam and Lucy help a lot to keep Jack entertained and occupied when I need to focus on school with Henry and I remind myself frequently that he won’t be two years old forever. I think we’ll get there, and I still don’t regret the decision I made to pull them home. If you ask the kids how homeschool is going, they’ll tell you they LOVE it. So it can’t be all that bad. 🙂 It’s just a new dynamic to get used to, a new rhythm to find.

      Liver. Liver? Why oh why would you want to eat such a thing? 🙂

  3. Cindy says:

    Jenny–you’re right, he won’t always be that age. It’s probably good to keep that in mind. And if your kids are loving it, I’m betting that you will start seeing things happen in their relationships and in your home that will help you get through this phase.

    I’m not a fan of having my kids do much of their school on the computer (they watch CNN student news every day–so awesome, they do a music notes practice, and one of my kids is doing some khan academy math) but there was a time when I lived for them to get to the point that they read well enough (read/comprehended) to do Switched on Schoolhouse Language Arts. I don’t know what it was about LA that gave me fits but it really took a load off to figure out that I needed that. We stopped it with the triplets a few years ago because they really didn’t like it and we haven’t done nearly as good of a job covering topics as Switched on Schoolhouse did…so sad! 😉

    Liver. You know I’m a Watson, and that we’re all tired. But really it’s beyond ridiculous that I could sleep 9-10 hrs/night and still take a 2 hr nap every day. I just had a bunch of specialized bloodwork done and one test revealed low iron stores. I am hoping that if I get brave enough to try it, liver might help me stay awake longer…

  4. Laree Ipson says:

    I hear your “peace” . . . I’ve got my own 18 month old, plus a almost 4 year old with a severe receptive language delay (meaning she literally just doesn’t have a clue what you are saying to her 1/2 of the time). You inspire me – what a full year you had! Can’t wait for the next book – the first one was wonderful.

  5. Erin says:

    Jenny, I’ve been lurking here a while, inspired (and made jealous) by the things you take the time to share. It’s been encouraging to me to read your journey toward publishing your work, and now maybe I can return the favor by encouraging you! I have five kids, oldest is 12, youngest 3, we’ve homeschooled forever, and I’m still standing, still writing, still trying to figure it out and still nuts but loving having my kids home with me. It is hard work, but really really worth it in my experience. What a brave thing to do, and bravo to you for having the guts to do it. Thank you for what you write here. Best of luck with everything, I’m cheering you on!

    • jennyproctor says:

      Erin, Thank you, thank you for your comment! I appreciate your encouragement and your support so much. It really does help a great deal to know that others understand, and that they’ve survived similar journeys. I’m glad you de-lurked and hope the internet will provide opportunities for us to get to know each other better! Thanks again! This was just the virtual hug I needed. 🙂

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