A few years ago, my mom found out that her father wasn’t her father. She and my uncle had taken a DNA test and it turned out he was her half-brother.
The relationship between my mom and grandma was already strained, so this bomb basically destroyed what little bit of communication still existed between them. On the few occasions they did speak, it always resulted in my mom insisting on knowing who her real father is and my grandmother insisting that either the DNA results are wrong or the hospital gave her the wrong baby.
While this revelation tore my mom up inside, it didn’t affect me at all. (Cue the stages of grief…)
I had never known her father… my grandmother had remarried by the time I was born and I had always thought of my mother’s stepfather as my grandfather. Even when my grandma divorced and remarried again, I considered her new husband my new grandfather. (I’m pretty adaptable that way I guess.)
I barely let any of it bother me and continued on with my life. After all, what did any of this have to do with me?
Whenever I visited either of them, I listened as my mom and grandma berated each other and recounted their side of the story over and over again. Each defended themselves as if I was the judge & jury and they were trying to avoid the electric chair. Still, it barely registered as a slight annoyance on my “things I’m going to stress about today” meter.
Then the day came when I got this text:
I’ve loved to write since… well, I can’t remember a time I didn’t like to write. Even during periods of time when I didn’t have the time, or was just so down on myself that I figured “why bother,” the stories would run through my head as if I was typing them at a typewriter (without all the messy corrections).
Characters and places haunted me and I found myself lost in conversations as I tried to listen to what they wanted to tell me. As a teenager, it was typical for me to sit in class or at a party or even watching TV, but be visiting my fictional world in my mind. (Go figure I wasn’t valedictorian.)
But one day, it just stopped. I quit trying to remember my characters and their worlds, quit telling myself that one day I’d write out their adventures and read them when I’m old. I’d lost my first love. It just went away.
And I didn’t care.
I didn’t ask myself why.
I’m not even sure I noticed…
Until I took a week long road trip with my daughter.
Now I can’t get the silly little goblins in my head to be quiet! And my poor husband has had more one-sided conversations with me than he’s probably had the whole time we’ve been together. (I’m incredibly lucky he understands and just laughs.)
I’m pretty sure it was stress and just general busyness that stole my stories away, but it doesn’t really matter.
They’re back now. And the typewriter in my mind is steadily typing away.
Well, I wasn’t sure what I was going to post about today. All I knew was, I really needed to post something…
I figured it’d probably be an update on my Anger Management Experiment. That seemed pretty boring though since it’s been two weeks and my husband has yet to make me want to yell at him… I’m not complaining, just doesn’t make for a very interesting blog post…
Then I thought to myself… Self, we may have to check out The Daily Post and see if it’s got a good writing prompt for the day. Hey, I’m dramatic. That would’ve been an awesome post for me!
But, I ultimately decided to celebrate with you guys instead. Because when I logged in to start typing away I discovered… My blog is a year old!!!
One year ago today I started this whole crazy blogging experience thing!
I looked back at my first blog post. My husband did get laid off not too long after posting that and I did go back to working outside the home for a while. It didn’t take him long to get back to work though (praise God)! Now I’m doing transcription part-time from our house and still spending tons of time with my babies.
One thing that I said in that post that I completely forgot about was that simply realizing my dream of finishing my first novel was enough. Obviously, I was a little naive when I said that. Finishing writing a first draft was pretty simple… perfecting it is a whole other bag of worms all together!
Sure, technically I “finished” writing a novel. (Technically I’ve got 1 1/2 novels written at this point and way too many short stories to count.) But I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get it to a point where I feel like I can say it’s done. I’m actually starting to wonder if I’ll be able to make it as great as I want it to be…
But I am incredibly proud of myself for writing it at all… I did realize the dream (even if the dream is currently in something like its 6th draft stage and has had almost every word changed at some point.)
And here I am, a year from starting this blog and I’ve met so many great people! I’ve been introduced to some awesome authors and my to be read list just keeps growing. I’m really looking forward to what the next year on jesscombs.com will bring.
Another amazing experience blogging has opened up to me is the wonderful world of book reviewing! I had no idea that you can get free books in exchange for writing an honest review. This is something I just started and I’m looking forward to sharing lots of reviews with you all!
(Please still use the contact me form to suggest books for me to read! I plan on posting reviews on books from my blogging peeps over the next year as well and if my husband doesn’t have to buy me books anymore, I’ll have to come up with something else to write on the I love you because board…)
I hope those of you who have followed jesscombs.com over it’s first year have enjoyed it as much as I have (although, admittedly, posts were few and far between there for a while). And I look forward to another year with all my new blogging friends as well… Let me know what you think and if you’ve got any suggestions for the next year.
Happy Birthday to ME!!! 🙂
So I basically suck at blogging.
If you found this blog when I started it last summer, then you may have noticed that I went from posting almost daily to being almost eerily silent. You may have also noticed that I’ve occasionally changed a background or something, but haven’t bothered to even post a quick “hey y’all, how’s it goin’?” since November .
Of course, it’s more likely that you barely noticed I’ve been gone at all – much like the tabs on my page that I just discovered disappeared at some point during my tinkering.
Oh, before I forget…
Hey y’all! How’s it goin’? And now back to our regularly scheduled blog post…
No excuses, no reason, I’m just failing at being a blogger.
It’s not for lack of trying, or for lack of something to say. (I’ve always gotsomething to say!) It’s just that I can’t stay focused on writing a post. I start, then stop to browse other themes, then start on a completely different post, then move on to whatever in my real life requires me.
The number of unfinished drafts I have saved on my laptop is actually a little embarrassing.
But it’s not just blogging. I’m really starting to think I may be failing at life in general. (Yep, that’s right — you get a grade for this life thing.)
So let’s start with the last thing I posted about… NaNoWriMo. I won! YAY! I didn’t fail at writing a novel in 30 days! I’m so amazing…
After finishing the first draft of my novel in November, I tucked it safely away in it’s little Scrivener folder and moved on to my next unfinished project.
Much like this blog, I’ve visited my NaNo novel many times and even done some editing here and there… but that’s as far as it’s gone. At this rate, it might be ready for a first reader somewhere around the year 2040.
So “F” number #1 goes to… failing miserably as a novelist.
Let’s move on to “F” number #2, shall we… Continue reading “Note to Self: You're failing miserably at…”→
Warning: Today’s post is not going to be funny or upbeat. I’m about to be serious (for once).
Mauerbauertraurigkeit – n. the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
I saw this word on my Twitter feed today.
My husband and I were sitting at the table this morning talking about this problem I have. He went downstairs, I checked Twitter, and there it was.
I had no idea that this word existed…. But I should have. (I also wasn’t sure it was a real word when I read it, so I looked it up here.)
When I was in the 8th grade, a close friend died. Almost every year thereafter, until I was in my late 20’s, I lost another friend. At one point, I attended a funeral every month for 5 months… none of which were for anyone over the age of 24. Continue reading “How Can I Keep My Sanity and Enjoy My Life? By A Power Outside of My Own.”→
I’m sure your wondering what you can expect from jesscombs.com. Okay, you’re probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. 😛
First, let me tell you a little about me…
My name is Jess Combs. I’m 35 and I have two daughters. My oldest is 15 and my youngest is 10. I love reading, writing, running, knitting, and gaming. I’ve been a stay at home mom since this past May and I’m loving it! In the past, I’ve been a legal secretary, a paralegal, and a phlebotomist. In addition to my current job as a professional mommy, I’m working on finishing my first novel.
So what can you expect posts to be about on jesscombs.com?
You can definitely expect to read on the ups and downs of my writing pursuits. Where am I on the road to being published, what I’m learning along the way, and hopefully some insights from others with much more experience than myself. 🙂
Since I am that rare species known as “gamer-mom.” You can probably expect to read a little about gaming on occasion. (Don’t know what a gamer mom is? Gamer moms not only know what an MMORPG is, but so do our children. We balance guild leader with mother. We plan raids/dungeons for the weekends (and after homework is checked and done). We tuck our kids in and become assassins in Assassin’s Creed. We know when the new game and/or expansion is coming out before our kids do.)
I’ll also occasionally post about my latest adventures in running, my knitting projects (currently a ginormous TARDIS afghan), and reviews on what I’ve been reading.
So that’s a little about me and jesscombs.com (also me). Any questions, feel free to reply to this post or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading! 🙂