Tag Archives: single parents

New Book Release – Sharing Stories on Our Autism Journey


June is a great month. It official marks summer break from school, as well as the first day of Summer. It is also my birth month, which is why I decided to publish The Road I’ve Traveled on my birthday.

The Road I’ve Traveled is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Its official release date will be on the 19th of June.

I absolutely love the cover. The anchor represents my time in the Navy. The color blue represents my love of the ocean, as well as autism awareness.

The Road Ive Traveled

The Road I’ve Traveled is a compilation of poems and short stories Jennifer wrote during moments of her life where she felt the need to get it all out. She writes about being in the Navy during the tragedies of 9/11, having to deploy to New York where she and her shipmates stayed in New York’s harbor for three weeks, guarding the coastline in hopes of preventing any further attacks.

She writes about loss, love, heartbreak, family. You can see the fondness she had for her grandfather as she includes a heartfelt eulogy she had written moments after his passing.

She also writes about being a single mom, as well as a mom to a child who is on the autism spectrum. The journey they have endured together has been bumpy, but they continue to plow through life, learning about autism and sensory processing disorder as they go.

You can find all of my books, recently published and upcoming, under my name and my pen name, posted on my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com/books
Or, you can find them on Amazon:
For all books published under my name, Jennifer N. Adams on Amazon, click here.
For all books published under my pen name, J. Raven Wilde on Amazon, click here.
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When Do You Find Time To Write?


writing on the road

Working on my next novel while running errands with my dad.

People still ask me how I find the time to write. To them, I’m quite a busy person.

“You’re a single mom with a special needs kiddo, you work full time, yet you have time to write and publish books? How do you do it?”

“Well, I make time,” I say with a shrug. “I love to write, so, I write.”

True, I have my hands completely full with my daughter. Being a special needs parent is a full-time job in itself, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m often approached by aspiring authors telling me that they don’t have the time to write, yet they want to write and publish a book. If you want to be a writer, then be one. Don’t sit on the sidelines saying how you wish you could be one. Make it happen. Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

I was going to college full-time, working part-time, volunteering, taking care of my daughter as a single mom, and helping my grandmother. In the middle of all that I had written and published three books; one of which was a novel.

I have been able to remove ‘attending classes, studying and doing homework’ off of my plate, but my plate is still full. Between IEP meetings (I’ve had 6 this year so far), meeting with someone from the school (a weekly event, if not daily), school events, afterschool events, daily life requirements of housework and errands, work (the main money-bringer), I still find thirty minutes to an hour, sometimes more, to write. If my daughter is at school and I’m off work, that’s plenty of time (8 hours, give or take time out for lunch) to write and get my errands and housework completed.

Being an author is a job.

Since starting my new job last year, I have had nothing but time to write, that I have made it my second job. Being an author is a job. You not only work on your next book, but you have to promote and market the work that you have published. How else are you going to earn an income from your work if no one knows it’s out there?

However, I tend to spend a lot of time writing than I do marketing. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m writing more, which means there will be more published works out there. The more you have published, the more your work will be noticed. I had also decided not to market as much until I had more published works out there.

I’m not saying all of this to brag, honestly! I’m trying to encourage others to make the time. I once used to look at published authors, wishing that I, too, could write and publish a book. I decided to tell myself that I could.

I started writing my novel, Chaos when my daughter was a few months old. I kept pushing it aside as I lacked the motivation to continue. My grandmother became my cheerleader, in a way, urging me to keep going. She knew I wanted to be a published author. I’m glad I listened to her.

Now that she is no longer here, I find myself thinking about her and what she would say each time that I need that little boost of encouragement. Or, I see the pride in my daughter’s eyes when she takes my children’s picture book to school to show everyone that her mommy wrote it. That right there is all the motivation I need.

WPC: Motion


This week’s photo challenge is, Motion.

My grams, ironing quilt blocks, to which the image came out looking really neat.

motion2

Chop Chop


kindle

A few years ago I bought myself a Kindle HD Fire, hoping that it will help me with my studies. I was thinking of ways to save myself money by downloading my college books or other reading materials for my classes, though ebooks for college courses are not as cheap as I had imagined.

I also purchased the kindle during the time my daughter began her therapy sessions. My intentions were for me to use the kindle for school, but I didn’t have luck in way of obtaining WiFi coverage at the college I was going to, unless I could find one of the very, very few hotspots where I could use my kindle; so it was generally used at home.

During the summer months, I kept my daughter home, rather than put her in daycare. It saved me money, plus, I was home majority of the time and would rather spend that time I had with her. Since she wasn’t going to daycare now, her therapists began visiting her at home. Upon their many trips to my house, I noticed that they were using an iPad as a tool for part of her therapy. They showed me a few apps I could download for her that would be beneficial for her in OT.

Since I had a tablet, of the sort, I began downloading all kinds of free apps for her, to help teach her the ABC’s, counting, colors, shapes, all kinds of helpful learning apps for children her age. At that moment, my kindle became her kindle and has been ever since. It’s encased in a pink hard leather case, decorated with many stickers from our trips to the ER or doctor visits, though some of those stickers have since been ripped off. The kindle has been a treasured item for my daughter, who is easily bored when there isn’t any form of entertainment for her.

Flash forward a few years and to the present…it’s endured water, juice, and milk submerges; many drops to the floor (carpet and concrete covered); a near attempted meeting with the toilet; an almost attempted dunk into the Arkansas River, landing in the muddy river banks; a trip to Disney World, followed by a trip to the beach; a couple of family reunions during the hot summer days; and many roads trips thereafter and is still working. Only once had I taken it back to Best Buy, where I had purchased it, for a reboot, but it has been one tough piece of wonderful electronic device I had ever purchased and to have survived my five year old for the past three years plus.

Though, yesterday, the wonderful case which holds the kindle from meeting its dreadful doom, finally met its match…a pair of scissors. Those scissors are usually kept up high, so that tiny little hands can’t reach them. Those scissors have chopped bangs a tad bit too short, chopped up a tail of a stuffed dinosaur, chopped hair off a stuffed Pegasus to mimic a horrible mullet. Yes, those scissors have many reasons to be kept put away…in a safe place…until yesterday, when someone left them lying on the kitchen table, where they were being used to cut quilting fabric.

Mini me came running into the office, holding her kindle, still encased, though now in two pieces. My first reaction ‘Man, it finally ripped right in two’. Then, the careful learned forensic archaeologist that I am studying to be, looked carefully at the hard leather case and saw cut marks…this pattern looks strangely familiar. I didn’t get mad. The sad eyes I was given, followed by, “I’m sorry, Mommy” would only soften anything I would think to say, other than, ‘Where are the scissors?’

I followed her into the kitchen, took the scissors left lying on the kitchen table and put them back in a safe place. Then went to find my roll of duct tape, which coincidentally is the same color as my daughter’s kindle case. Duct tape, pink or any other color, can fix anything, including her kindle case. She just happened to have cut the case along the fold, allowing me the chance to save it, whereas, the many other things that she’s broken had not been savable.  But on this occasion, it was. And once again, I’m the Superhero Mom, whose daughter is now toting a kindle, whose case is held together by pink duct tape.

Life Choices


Hello, Friday, I’ve missed you!

Oddly, I thought it was May 17th, instead of April 17th. I must be mentally wishing this semester to be over with already and so I can start enjoying this gorgeous weather and outdoor activities with mini me. She’s only a child once and I’m missing out on taking her to the park in the afternoon, or playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles, all because I’m constantly stuck indoors, on the computer, working on homework every day.

There’s been a couple of times where I’ve skipped doing homework, just so I can play with my daughter; though I got a little behind, I feel it was worth putting it off. I don’t want my daughter growing up feeling that I never spent time with her and constantly pushed her aside in order to keep my nose stuck in the books or to constantly cit in front of the computer, typing up essay after essay.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going to class, I just wish to be done with it already and be out there doing what I’ve been going to school for. Three more semesters to go… Graduation date, Dec 2016!

Today’s Daily Prompt asked,

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

I wish that someone had pointed out to me, that going to college for Aviation maintenance was a bad choice. I had problems while I was in school just from being a female. The constant sexual harassment I had to deal with from the male student population and also from a couple of instructors. I tried to turn them in, but the dean didn’t wish to hear it; I was a minority, there were five females in the entire school, versus a 98% male student population. Plus, there weren’t any female teachers. The owner of the college began firing most of his female office staff. His goal, to make the college an ‘all male’ school. That just made it more uncomfortable being there. Alas, I cut my education short and graduated early, though I did manage to get my Associates Degree in Aviation Airframe.

Then, the recession hit and not only did I have trouble finding a job because I lacked experience, but I couldn’t find a job because the aviation business declined immensely and no one was hiring. I had to work for free to get my experience and didn’t enjoy it. The guy I worked for complained majority of the time about having to work and fussed at me constantly about the need for perfection. I finally quit working for him and started working somewhere that paid; I had a student loan to pay off and was falling into debt.

I fell out of love with aviation, it was more of a childhood dream and all those around me crushed that dream. I didn’t want to be around airplanes anymore.

Six years later, I decided to go back to school, but for something else, something that I will have no problems finding a job doing. There’s a huge market for anthropology, as there are many fields and sub-fields.

I continue to volunteer my time doing many different things as an anthropologist. I don’t even have my degree…yet and I’m enjoying myself. My current favorite, volunteering at the zoo with the large primates.

There will always be a list of shoulda, coulda, wouldas, so change that by finding something you enjoy doing. Live out your dreams. Follow through with your goals. Be happy with your choices.

Happy Friday, everyone!

OWPC: Eigengrau


eigengrau

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is, eigengrau. This was a color I had to look up so that I could help you understand the color better by describing it.

sh2

She loves her superheros!

xmas lights

My sister and I took our kiddos to see the Christmas lights at Garvin Gardens. Of course, I had mini me up on my shoulders. So much easier to keep up with her that way, lol!

OWPC: Copper


I almost didn’t make this week’s photo challenges, as I have a pile of college homework to do; it’s almost the end of the semester.

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is copper.

My dad's cat, Willow. She's great at hiding, but my daughter can always find her. She greets her with an excited, "Hi, Willow!" Then gives her a gentle pat and leaves her alone for the rest of our visit with my parents.

My dad’s cat, Willow. She’s great at hiding, but my daughter can always find her. She greets her with an excited, “Hi, Willow!” Then gives her a gentle pat and leaves her alone for the rest of our visit with my parents.

WPC: Blur


This week’s photo challenge is Blur.

I rarely keep a blurry photo, as I always go for the picture that has better quality. Usually my cell phone takes blurred images. Some are noticeable, while others aren’t as noticeable until after I’ve posted them on my FB or Instagram pages. However, this one is my favorite blurred image. It’s of my daughter, shopping for a comic book. She’s staring up at Hulk, her favorite superhero; there’s two different stacks of Hulk comic books so, she’s trying to decide which one she wants.

She loves superheroes and comic books. There’s a lot of girl’s who read comic books, they’re not just for boys. A few years ago she found my small stack of comic books; I had a huge stack of them, once upon a time, but they had gotten stolen while I was in the Navy. I found her thumbing through them carefully and mumbling intelligible words, which only had me believe that since she can’t read just yet, she’s making up her own story lines. Suddenly, I thought ‘maybe she would like to have them, if not help me pick some out that she would like’.

Now, when we go to Hastings, the only store nearby that has a large selection of comic books to chose from, she always asks if she can get one. Of course I say yes, it makes my little geek heart leap for joy.

blurry

OWPC: Mauve part 2


mauve

Sometimes, mini me doesn’t like the toys that she gets in her Happy Meal, so she hands them to me and tells me that they’re for her cousin, Hunter, whom she is really close to. There were two times that I had asked her if Mommy could have the toy she’s giving away and she agreed. Both of those toys were beanie babies, an octopus and a turtle. I thought they were cute and placed one above my rear-view mirror, and the other tucked between the roof and sun-visor. She loves my idea better than giving them away.

For other One Word Photo Challenges, click here.

Alligators in Arkansas?


Spring break usually means vacation time for some, but to me, it’s time for catching up on college homework, as it does tend to pile up for us non-traditional students. It also means finishing tasks around the house that also needs my attention, such as taking my car into the shop to fix a burned out fuse, as well as having them take care of a recall. Then there’s the usual, dentist and doctor appointments that I can finally make since I have some time off. Or the opportunity to go into work early. All and all, for me, spring break just means staying busy, instead of relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere, listening to the waves crash onto shore, while I work on my tan.

But, it isn’t all work and no play, I do find some time for fun.

Yesterday, I took my daughter to the Alligator Farm in Hot Springs. She’s been begging me to take her to the zoo, yet most of the things she enjoys is out of order and under construction at our local zoo in Little Rock; the train, petting zoo, etc. Plus, they no longer have giraffes, which is my daughter’s favorite.

I had thought about taking her to Turpentine Creek, which is a wildcat sanctuary in Eureka Springs, but that’s a four hour drive (back roads and road construction) and it was supposed to rain yesterday. It was also slightly chilly, so taking her into the Ozark Mountains to walk around looking at wildcats wasn’t something she would enjoy.

The alligator farm was a relatively short visit. There wasn’t much going on, but on the positive side, it wasn’t crowded. Since alligators are cold blooded reptiles, they were being kept indoors where it’s much warmer. They have spacious yards outside, yet it is still too cold for them to be moved outdoors.

Along with the numerous amount of alligators, they also had a pair of Arctic Wolves, a mountain lion, turkeys, mallards and wood ducks, peacocks, a macaque, three lemurs, an emu, a couple of donkeys, and a handful of fallow deer, goats, and sheep.

Mini me was infatuated with the alligators, yet knew not to poke her fingers through the fence to try to pet one. Although, there was a guy holding a young alligator for visitors to pet (it had a rubber band around it’s snout so it wouldn’t snap anyone’s fingers off). Of course after I touched it’s belly, she saw that it was okay and touched it twice, which was long enough for me to snap a quick picture.

It was a fairly inexpensive trip, yet we always enjoy getting out of the house, no matter the price. I think that any young child or adult would enjoy taking a few minutes out of their weekend to visit the Alligator Farm. It’s easy to get to, plus it’s located five blocks away from downtown Hot Springs, where there is plenty of other things to see and do for couples and for families.

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