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I am exactly the right age to do that, thank you very much!

Warning:  I’m about to start ranting.

I started knitting when I was in my early 20’s. I love it!  It’s relaxing and it makes me feel good to make things.  I’m now in my 30’s and I still have people tell me (often complete strangers) that I am too young to spend my time knitting.  Apparently, you must be old enough to retire and/or have a grandchild (or a great-grandchild) before it is acceptable for you to be a knitter.

I also enjoy playing video games.  This is not something that I gave up after I had my children.  In fact, I often play with them.  I personally feel that this is healthy for both myself and my girls.  I learn more about what’s going on in their world outside of our home while we’re fighting virtual monsters together than I would ever get if we weren’t.  For example, if their playing on the xbox or computer without me, I can yell directly in their ear “What do you want for dinner?” and get no response.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who feel differently.  Maybe they like it when their kids ignore them?

So basically, two of my favorite things to do are, by “normal” standards, out of my age range as acceptable hobbies.  Do I care? Not really.  But I am curious as to why it even bothers anyone else…  Who set these rules? And why do people feel the need to try to “correct” me?

Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for reading my rant.  🙂

Note to Self: They’re not real. They’re only in your head!

I'm glad I can talk to you...Some background:  In order to maintain my focus on writing a novel (and basically give myself a kick in the pants), I signed up for an online class on Writers Digest University titled “12 Weeks to a First Draft”.  I’m on Week 4.

I submitted my assignment last week and anxiously awaited the feedback from my instructor.  If felt like I was on a writer’s high or something.  I was feeling absolutely awesome about my story, my characters, and everything in my little world  seemed great.  I couldn’t wait to hear from my instructor all about my brilliance.

The next morning, I received the following comments:  “You do a great job of defining these characters, what motivates them, what their conflicts are, what their strengths and weakness are and you write excellent dialogue.  You have a great sense of POV…”  (See, I knew I was brilliant!  Hello Cloud 9!!)

And then she went on to talk about my main character, Bonnie:  “sometimes her thoughts and actions come off unsympathetic…”  And, in regards to her actions after her boyfriend died: “If she really loved Eric she would act far differently.”  (And… my feet are back on the ground.  Is that my heart in my shoe?) Continue reading → Note to Self: They’re not real. They’re only in your head!

What’s jesscombs.com all about, anyway?

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 jessica@jesscombs.com.

Thanks for reading!  🙂

Bestseller’s List, Here I Come (or Not)

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This past May, I quit my job.

There were about 100 reasons why I shouldn’t have done so and only one reason why I should.  Namely, it had become obvious that the best thing for our daughters was for one of us be at home with them right now.

The fact that we even had the option open to us made it selfish for me to continue working, and so here we are.  And while the same 100 reasons continue to loom, I could not be happier with the decision we made.

I have had an absolutely amazing summer at home with our girls.  We had a great vacation where we stopped at Gettysburg, PA, Mystic, CT, and visited Gillette Castle and Hershey Park.  I have grown much closer to my 15 year old, and that just wouldn’t have been possible without this time together.

As a bonus, I have been able to rediscover a passion that I long ago gave up on – writing!

Writing became an outlet for me when I was about 9 years old.  I still remember the words on the front of my first journal: “Sometimes I need to be alone, thinking, dreaming on my own. Trying to see what makes me ‘me’ … Following my own special path.”  But at 19, when I had my first child, finding the time for poetry and short stories just didn’t seem possible.  And writing a novel was never going to happen.

The school year, with all of its craziness, is about to start once again.  My husband will more than likely be laid off soon, which means I will be heading back to work at a “real” job.  But, I will not let that stand in the way of my dreams.

I will finish my first novel by the end of this year whether I’m balancing a full time job or not.  It doesn’t matter whether I ever get it published, simply realizing the dream is enough.  And with my husband and my daughter’s support, nothing is going to stand in my way.  🙂