All too soon, the end of summer is in sight. My husband and I spent the evening with friends. We dined on a delicious leg of lamb, salad, and other tasty fixings under the big Wyoming sky. The conversation flowed, jumping from one subject to another, and later brought to mind a few thoughts.
The past year has been interesting. It has been a whirlwind that I could never have imagined. Parts of it were quite interesting.
Things get kind of weird when people find out you have published a book, especially when you share a name with someone famous. Some of the conversations and comments can be quite funny.
"Are you THAT Jennifer Lawrence?" Nope, not even close. It is easy to say there are a few years and miles separating us. Not only that, we live in two entirely different places, and really, two different worlds. While I can't speak for the other Jennifer Lawrence, I can say that this one is strictly a small town gal. I know I would not enjoy the big city lifestyle.
"Ms. Lawrence! That chick stole your name! You should sue her!" I had to explain to my lovely students that this isn't how the real world works. Movie stars can choose just about any name they like. This led to an even funnier conversation recently. Because there are two Jennifer L's that are teachers in our building, I sign all of my student's passes and paperwork requiring initials as JLaw. Little did I know that the other Jennifer Lawrence goes by JLaw. A building paraprofessional finds this quite humorous, and now never misses an opportunity to call me JLaw.
"But you are a scientist, not a historian." I have heard this from many people, my students included. (I forgive the latter. They are still young enough to be linear thinkers.) Hmm...I didn't know the two were mutually exclusive. I have always believed a person should have many interests, and should always be growing and learning.
"You forgot to dot that i and cross that t. You, not only a teacher, but a writer!" This was from a casual conversation, posted on a social media site. I took the time to explain that I considered Facebook, most email, etc. as casual conversation. I do not expect it to be perfect on your end, and I don't expect it to be perfect on mine. Besides, we all make mistakes.
My favorite conversation was via email. A young lady from Gillette, Wyoming took the time to write to me. The conversation went something like this...
"Hi, Ms. Jennifer Lawrence. My name is Suzy Q. I am interviewing a famous writer. Could you please answer the following questions for me?" The email contained a reasonable list of questions pertaining to the writing craft.
I was flattered to be thought of as a "famous writer," however the child had a slightly different perspective than I did. (That perspective is changing, but that is fodder for another blog post.) Nevertheless, I spent quite some time and thought crafting the answers to her questions.
I explained that I kept a notebook or note cards with me at all times to jot down random thoughts that might become something I incorporated into my writing. I told her that I while I only wrote nonfiction articles and books, I hoped to eventually publish some fiction. This would include children's literature. I mentioned that I tried to write a bit every day. I explained the importance of having other people read my work before submitting it anywhere, and told her it was very important to be willing to accept criticism. Oh, how I believe I waxed eloquently in answering the child's questions. I concluded by asking her about her writing, and said I would love to read what she wrote. I didn't have to wait long for a reply.
"Dear Ms. Jennifer Lawrence. I only wrote to you because this was an assignment our teacher gave us. By the way, you are the only author that has answered so far. Thank you for answering me. Sincerely, Suzy Q."
As we sit here on a cool summer night, swattin' flies and swappin' lies, it is good to remember that working with children and animals will always keep us humble!
#JLaw #Writing #JenniferLawrence #History #Science
Jennie Lawrence is the author of Soap Suds Row - The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses 1802 -1876. She also writes a regular column for African Violet Magazine, and has done freelance work. She has started to dabble in children's literature as well.