Get to Know Me Tag

It has come to my attention that I have quite a few new followers out there! 1,173 people are in some way or another following this blog, either subscribed to the blog itself or able to see the posts when I automagically share them to facebook… 1,173! What in the deep world?!? This is both exciting and somewhat baffling. All those people reading my words… which, as an author, is basically the whole idea, so EXCITING… and yet, at times, I can’t help but wonder why? Why are there people reading my words? And why are people from ALL OVER THE WORLD reading my words? Some of you are reading from as far away as Australia/New Zealand, and that’s really, really cool!

But it also means that some of you may not know me very well. So I thought it might be time to sort of re-introduce myself! AND it just so happens that I was recently (well, almost two months ago… but in blogging terms, that’s still pretty recent, right?) tagged by the lovely Mackenzie over at Smudged Thoughts  (thanks, Kenzie!) for the “Get to Know Me Tag” created by Savannah Grace at Inspiring Writes and seriously, if you’re not following these two amazing bloggers, you SHOULD be! Go check out their blogs, you’ll thank me!

Okay, these things usually come with rules guidelines. Let’s see…

  • link back to the blogger who created this tag . . . check
  • thank the bloggerly bean who tagged you . . . check
  • share the tag graphic . . . *points above*
  • tag eleven other bloggers . . . uuhhhh well, this is where we enter a gray area…

On to… dun dun DUN… THE QUESTIONS!

Mountain Segue

~ Vital Stats and Appearance ~

Name: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Nickname: Never really had one. Sadness. My mom decided to spell my name JENELLE just in case anyone ever shortened it… she liked “Jen” better than “Jan”… well… wouldn’t you know it? Nobody has ever called me “Jen” but I like the way it looks anyway, even if I do have to correct everyone who ever writes it down… ever. LOL

Birthday: November 17

Hair color/length: Brown with some very faint red and blond highlights. Usually I like it long, but every couple of years I get this mad desire to chop it all off. I’ve had it as short as Rapunzel’s at the end of Tangled, and I liked it, but oddly enough found it to be a TON more work at that length. My favorite is when it’s somewhere between that and just beyond shoulder-length.

Eye Color: Blue-ish gray. A friend of mine insists that my eyes change color depending on my mood, but she’s the only one to ever say that, so I’m not sure I believe her.

Braces/Piercings/Tattoos: I had braces in jr. high. No piercings or tattoos of any kind. Not even pierced ears. Needles terrify me, and I can’t even watch other people put in their earrings, even though I KNOW it doesn’t hurt once the piercing is already there… but it makes me queasy, so… probably never going to happen. Though every now and then I am tempted by a particularly beautiful pair of dangly earrings.

Right or Lefty: I am a lefty, though for a lot of things I’m pretty ambidextrous.

Ethnicity: All-American Mutt. A lot of Irish/French/German/English maybe some Scottish, and I’ve been told I’m 1/10th Native American. Shrug?

 

~ Firsts ~

First Novel Written: Pretty sure it was a story I co-wrote with my friend in grade school. We called it “Rogtu and Scamper” and it was about two incorrigible puppies named… Rogtu and Scamper. We each took a character and wrote chapters from that pup’s perspective. I maaaay still have a handwritten copy lying around somewhere… pretty sure we never finished more than a couple of chapters.

First Novel Completed: That would be the story I wrote as a birthday gift for the same friend. I was 12 and the story was called Snake Dancer. It was about two young girls who escaped from a terrible orphanage and went to live in the woods. They found and tamed a wild horse who happened to be super fast and eventually took him to win the Triple Crown. It was awesome.

Okay, it wasn’t awesome.

But it was fun to write.

Award for Writing: I haven’t won any awards for writing per se… but my Beauty and the Beast retelling novella “Stone Curse” won a spot in the Rooglewood Press “Five Enchanted Roses” anthology, which is still one of the most exciting occurrences of my author career to-date.

First Publication: King’s Warrior, the first book in my Minstrel’s Song YA Fantasy series. I published it back in 2012 and have since completed and released the entire four-book series.

Conference: Realm Makers 2018! I’ve kind of been aware of Realm Makers since it started up, and sort of longingly watched from a distance for a few years, wishing I could go… and then last year things timed out just perfectly and I DID GO! It was super fun and I got to meet so many of my online writing friends and now they are more like real life friends because I’ve actually met them, and that’s really cool.

Query/Pitch: I… have no idea? I did my first “in person” pitching at Realm Makers and it was horrible and terrifying and I don’t like it at all. Back in 2010-ish I did some querying for King’s Warrior, but quickly decided that I didn’t like writing queries and that I only had a very limited amount of time and could either spend it perfecting a query letter OR I could spend it writing the books I wanted to write and perfecting that skill. It wasn’t a hard decision.

~ Favorites ~

Novel (that you wrote): Hands down and without a doubt, that would have to be Minstrel’s Call. It is possible that one of the Turrim Archive books will surpass it, but right now, those are all in hideous rough draft form. I love them dearly, but Minstrel’s Call is the culmination of 17 years of writing and dreaming and driving towards the goal of having the Minstrel’s Song series finished. And it came together so epically and beautifully…

A close second would be Stone Curse. I am so stinkin’ proud of that story. And I worked SO HARD on it. So hard. I still remember reading through the galley proof, my own copy I had sent in side-by-side with it because I kept coming to lines that I thought had been edited because I didn’t believe I could have possibly written them!

Genre: Fantasy. It’s always fantasy. I like other speculative fiction, and I love fairy tales and retellings, and I enjoy reading other genres outside of speculative fiction upon occasion, but in the end, my favorite by a very wide margin, is fantasy.

Author(s): Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald, Gwen Walker, Lawhead, Brooks, Weis/Hickman, Zahn

Writing Music: Totally depends on my mood and what I’m writing. Usually it’s either Christmas music, Celtic music, or soundtracks. Though lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Piano Guys and Lindsey Sterling while I write.

Time to Write: Anytime I have time. As a mom of four small hobbits, I can’t afford the luxury of a favorite time to write. Usually in the afternoons while they’re in quiet time/napping, or in the evenings after they go to bed.

Writing Snack/Drink: I don’t usually have a go-to snack. And usually I’m drinking water (because if I’m writing at night, anything else will probably prevent me from being able to fall asleep!)

Movie: The Princess Bride.

Writing Memory: My favorite writing memory is from back in 2001. My dad had challenged me to write a book during the summer – I would write 10 pages each day and at the end of the day he would read them out loud to the rest of the family. The goal was to finish the book before I returned to college. At the end of the summer, we were going on a family vacation, and I wanted to have the book done before then, but I also wanted to have enough pages stocked up so that he could continue reading while we were on vacation… so towards the end of the summer I started secretly writing a bit more than 10 pages a day so I had those last 50-60 pages to take with us up to a little cabin in the middle of nowhere in northern Minnesota. Each night, we’d go down to the dock with a flashlight and my dad finished reading my first novel to my extremely appreciative audience with the lapping water and the loons and the crickets playing a soundtrack to my story. One night, however, there was the biggest and most incredible meteor shower I’ve ever seen, so my dad paused on the reading so he could watch it with us!

Childhood Book: Picture book… I don’t even know. Maybe the Polar Express or Owl Moon? A lot of the picture books I love most seem to have come out more recently. Book that was read to me that I loved and can still read over and over? That’s easier! He Whistles for the Cricket by my grandma, Gwen Walker. Where the Red Fern Grows. The Hobbit. The Chronicles of Narnia. The Chronicles of Prydain. The Lord of the Rings. (Unlike Eustace, you can see, I grew up reading all the right sorts of books!)

~ Currently ~

Writing: I am currently working on the rough draft of the fifth and final book in my new series, The Turrim Archive. It’s fantasy/gaslamp set in a sort of Victorian-esque time frame, with airships and pirates, and *GASP!* NO DRAGONS!

Listening To: Generally I am either listening to anything by Brittany Jean or Shawn Newby. Unless I’m writing and need music without lyrics, in which case, see my answer above about favorite music to write to. Love listening to country music on the radio in the car. That’s… about it.

WatchingLately it’s been a lot of Psych and Grand Tour. We’ve also been watching the new She-Ra on Netflix with the kids, which is totally cheesy but fun. And Star Trek: Voyager with the kids… which is “my” Star Trek – and the first Star Trek series I ever watched. I’m fairly certain it’s also the first tv series I watched with Derek after we got married, I’m pretty sure we watched Voyager before we watched Andromeda, but I can’t remember. We just finished watching TNG with the kids, which I’d seen before and enjoyed watching again, but when we started Voyager… it felt like coming home.

Learning: All the things. Most recently I’ve been re-learning what it means to have discipline with my writing schedule. I’ve been learning how to let myself write messy. I’ve been learning patience… which is a constant, ongoing lesson forever. Continuing to learn daily how to be a good wife and mom and teacher.

~ Future ~

Want To Be Published: Am published! Definitely want to publish more things!

Indie or Traditional: Indie. I mean… I suppose there’s always the consideration of a Big Five publisher offering me a contract… but I don’t know if I’d take it, honestly. I’d want to take a serious look at the contract and make sure that I still got to retain pretty firm control over what I wrote in terms of keeping my content clean and family-friendly.

Wildest Goal: I think it’d be really awesome to have my books turned into a high-budget mini-series. I’d love to have someone like Joss Whedon directing it… but again, I’d want to be involved in some of the big decisions to make sure that it gets done “correctly.”

Mountain Segue

~ Tagging ~

Eleven other bloggers? Seriously? Okay… here goes… most sincerest of apologies if you’ve already been tagged for this, or if you don’t do tags… feel free to ignore either way! But if you DO want to do the tag, I’d LOVE to come read your answers!

Deborah @Road of a Writer

Christine @ChristineSmithAuthor

Madeline @MadelineJRose

Tracey @Adventure Awaits

Sarah @Light and Shadows

Kendra @Knitted by God’s Plan

Liz @The Ink Lizard

To be a Shennachie

R.F. Gammon @The Writer’s Song

That’s not eleven. But I don’t think any of the other bloggers I read do tags… and most of the ones I do know are currently on hiatus anyway. But if you wish to steal this tag and do it… I hereby tag YOU! You’re IT!

~ jenelle

15 Comments

Christine

I absolutely looooved reading this and getting a deeper look into the world that is our dear Jenelle! ^_^ It was so fun learning more about your writing journey. That story about your dad reading your story out loud is just PRECIOUS! What a sweet family you have! <3

Thank you for tagging me! I did this one once but that was a looooong while back. I love your idea of using it to introduce yourself to new followers! I may have to do it again sometime for just that. :D

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jenelle

Awww! Thanks! :) My family is pretty epic.

Yeah, I sort of feel like maybe I did this tag before? Or thought about it? But, yeah, a lot of new followers lately, so it seemed like maybe another “hey, this is me” post might be in order. :-D Not a bad problem to have!

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smudgedthoughts

Okay, so I LOVED reading this! I consider myself a relatively newbie follower of yours (though I have been following you for a while???), so this was massively interesting to read!! Your favorite writing memory is probably the most wonderful thing ever. I’ve always wanted to see a meteor shower (apparently there’s a huge one around my birthday every year, but I haven’t yet managed to see it), and having your dad read your story out loud to everyone??? Oh my word, that is awesome… It’s like the most perfect writing memory of ever. And your experiences with Minstrel’s Call and Stone Curse sound absolutely magical. It must have been so surreal to have those books in your hands after all that hard work and dedication!!

I seriously need to read your books. They’re definitely on my 2019 TBR (though now I can’t remember if I’ve added them to my GR list or not… I need to do that immediately), and I am so beyond excited to start reading them!!! And I love your philosophy on query letter writing, as well. Focusing on book writing, rather than other “authorly” things is something I’ve been trying to do more of lately. And while I’m going to be trying to go traditional (indie is SO inspiring to me, but I just know that I would make a total mess of everything if I tried, since I’m kind of a chaotic tornado), I think I’m going to take this to heart. Getting an agent and going on submission and getting a book deal means nothing if you don’t keep writing the books of your heart. (As a bit of an aside, you don’t happen to have any posts on indie publishing, do you?? I’d love to hear any advice you might have!!)

Agh! I want to comment on every single thing about this post, but I think this comment would turn into a small novel. XD Basically I just really really really really really loved this, Jenelle! It was so much fun getting to learn more about you and who you are as a person and writer!! And also your childhood books are PERFECTION. Just had to mention that. XD

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jenelle

Eeep! Your comment is so lovely! I love long comments so much! *hugs it to pieces* Thank you for your kind words.

I hope you get to see a meteor shower someday! A really big one is such a beautiful thing… God’s fireworks, truly. (I haven’t seen another one like that before or since… I know there have been a few great ones, but they always seem to be happening around 3-4am, and that’s… not an hour I am capable of being awake for and still be a nice person the next day) LOL

Yes, holding those particular books was… truly surreal. I mean, it’s kind of surreal every time, but there was something super special about those two.

I feel like I DO have some posts on indie publishing… or perhaps it’s just that I SHOULD definitely have posts on indie publishing… what do you want to know? If I’ve written a post on the topic I can point you to it. I kind of did an overview post many years ago when I still kind of knew nothing: http://jenelleschmidt.com/publishing-the-indie-route/ wow… that was 6 years ago. Um… yeah… seriously. What questions would you like answered? I’m always looking for blog post ideas!

I did a small series of “tips and tricks” last year, which you can find here: http://jenelleschmidt.com/category/writing/writing-ruminations/tuesday-tip/ but it wasn’t so much about publishing as it was about getting past writer’s block and some formatting foibles to avoid… things like that.

I’m so glad you enjoyed the post!

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smudgedthoughts

ACK! It took me far too long to respond to this! And MEEP! You are so welcome!! Sometimes my comments can wildly out of hand wordcount-wise, but sometimes i just have a lot I want to say. XD

UGH ME TOO! I’ve never even seen a shooting star, so meteor showers just seems so surreal to me. Oh goodness. I’m not sure if I can stay up that late (or wake up that early??) but I might just have to do it if it’s my only chance to see one. I’m kind of obsessed with stars and the night sky (not enough that I know all their names or anything [although I'd love to learn the star names someday!], but enough that it really inspires me and makes me WANT to learn more about the night sky) so someday I’m going to make this happen. XD

I can’t even imagine! I know for a fact that I’m gonna cry whenever I get to hold my first book XD, and to be able to have something that you worked so hard on must be even MORE amazing.

OOOH! I think I’ve already checked out these links and read the posts, but I’m gonna double check to make sure I didn’t miss anything! They’re all super helpful and interesting to read, so thank you so much for linking them!! And as for what I want to know . . . I’m not really sure? Anything and everything, I guess. XD I mean, possibly some tips on marketing and how to get your work out there without the help of a big publishing house to back you up? (I’ve heard that publishing houses aren’t doing as much for their authors in the way of putting their work out there anymore, but I guess I don’t know if this is true or not.) Or maybe tips on how to stick to your deadlines when working for yourself? That right there is one of my main concerns if I were ever to go the indie route. I think I’d be horrible at working as my own boss, so any glimpses into what that looks like from an indie published author could be really cool…. But of course these are just ideas and you don’t have to do anything with them if you don’t want to! And thank you SO much again! You’ve already given me so much to think on about indie publishing!

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Sarah Pennington

Thanks for tagging me! I did this on Dreams and Dragons ages ago, but I haven’t done it on Light and Shadows.

Question: What are your thoughts on the new She-Ra? I know a lot of people on the internet are really excited about it, but a lot of them are excited in the context of gender/LGBT+ stuff. Would you say there’s much there to be concerned about? Or is it worth watching? (Not to say that stuff connected to LGBT+ stuff is never worth engaging with, but yeah. It does require being intentional.)

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jenelle

It does require being intentional, for sure. I really don’t appreciate it when LGTB+ agenda shows up in kids movies/shows. We stopped watching Dragon Prince because of this, as that showed up quite blatantly in season two and felt like a sucker punch. Would have made us stop watching Voltron as well, except it didn’t show up until the last scene of the last episode, which was super frustrating, so we’re pretty careful about that. So far, we are a few episodes into season 2 of She-Ra and haven’t seen anything hinting at that agenda – though we are keeping a careful eye on it because Netflix has proven that we can’t trust them (and your comment now has me worried that it’s going to head that direction). It’s super, super, super silly and cheesy. (For example, the theme song tells you, “We’re gonna win in the end!” But somehow, it’s also really fun. The show in many ways feels like it’s geared towards a younger-than-normal audience… younger than either Voltron or Dragon Prince, but not quite as young as say PJ Masks. If that makes sense.

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Sarah Pennington

What? It shows up in Dragon Prince? Darn it, I wanted to watch that show. How/when does it show up?

The stuff I’ve seen about She-Ra mostly focuses on the relationship between She-Ra and Catra and a lot of fans interpreting it as romantic (as opposed to platonic) affection/connection/attraction. I wasn’t sure how much of that was actually in the show versus just in the fandom. Silly and cheesy is fine, though. (Also, have you watched Miraculous Ladybug with the kids? Just curious. That’s another fun show, and I think it’s aimed at a similar age range.)

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jenelle

Yeah. Dragon Prince was a major bummer. It shows up in season 2, in a very in-your-face agenda-y sort of way. The story-telling around it is also not very well done. The council of kingdoms gets together and you find out the youngest member of the council was the daughter of “2 queens” and then there’s at least one flashback episode that seemed to be written solely for the purpose of introducing these two queens who came and helped rescue all the kingdoms in a big battle with a troll-thing and I’m guessing they died?… not sure how much there was beyond that because that was the point where we stopped watching.

The relationship between She-Ra and Catra so far has seemed very much just a deep sister bond, they grew up together and were good friends and looked out for each other, but She-Ra was the “favored daughter” and so when she leaves the Horde to become She-Ra fighting on the side of the princesses, Catra feels abandoned and betrayed and starts digging up all her own bitter memories about how she was always in She-Ra’s shadow and uses them to fuel her own quest for revenge/better place in the Horde/beating She-Ra.

I have not seen Miraculous Ladybug, but I have seen someone else post about it at one point.

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Sarah Pennington

Ah. That’s annoying. :P

Ok. That’s reassuring. I’ll probably watch the show sometime, then, whenever I decide to give in and get Netflix.

That may have been me; I’ve mentioned it multiple times. It’s a fun show; I’d recommend it.

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Elizabeth Koetsier

Thanks for sharing, I didn’t have plans to watch Dragon Prince but it is good to know. I have so far loved the show Merlin which as been fairly clean and has not veered into this direction, maybe your kids would like that show, Jenelle, if you have not heard of it already.

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jenelle

I love Merlin! Ooh, you’re right, I think my kids would like that show. I haven’t finished it yet, but maybe when we’re done with Voyager… :) (Though most of them are still little enough that I might wait a bit until they’re more excited about live-action stuff… slowly but surely I’m introducing them to the concept of movies/shows that AREN’T cartoons… LOL)

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Elizabeth Koetsier

<3 I just noticed that you tagged me! Thank you! This was a fun post and I enjoyed getting to know you better and so agree that fantasy is a wonderful genre to write and read!

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jenelle

You’re welcome! Haha, sorry I never got around to letting any of the people I tagged KNOW that I tagged them… #epicfail

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