First Blog Post

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”  -Dr. Seuss

When I first sat down to write this blog post I was filled with overwhelming anxiety.  I had no trouble envisioning subsequent posts which would revolve around new content and updates on current projects, but the first post has to SAY SOMETHING, at least according to the numerous websites (as in two) that I looked up in preparation for the words I’m writing at this exact moment.

Apparently, I need to invite, you, the reader, in by being personal, addressing you as a friend, disarming you with a funny anecdote, using numbers because evidently you trust them, tell you who I am, why I’m blogging, what I’ll be blogging about, and how you can leave me feedback (email me at jessicagajda@gmail.com or post a comment!).  I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even really said anything yet.

It’s probably obvious from this website that I’m a writer.  I’m also currently a stay-at-home mom and whenever I mention this to people they wonder how I get anything done.  It’s hard.  Really, really hard.  It requires a lot of dedication and an enormous sense of humor.  Proof-in-point, one day, last fall, I kept track of what I actually managed to accomplish in an hour of “work” as well as the various interruptions, and I put it all together in a piece I titled: Trying to Get Work Done.

Trying to Get Work Done

10:01 – Go downstairs to see if an older version of Thief of Time Synopsis is still on the old laptop.  It’s not.

10:03 – Right the infant and hand her a bottle.

10:04 – Looking up stats for back of envelope calculation

10:10 – Investigate suspicious noise in TV room; move infant away from toddler and procure toddler snack

10:14 – Finish calculation:

3.8% of US population identifies as LGBT

2012 US population = 313.9 million

So, 11.928 million are LGBT

2012 number of children between 12 – 17 is 25.1 million

total percentage of US population between 12 – 17 is 7.996%

Est. population of LGBT youth between 12 – 17 is 953,800

10:15 – Investigate infant’s cries; help her finish bottle

10:16 – Back to writing up calculation results

10:19 – Investigate suspicious noise from TV room; open up toy laptop for infant

10:21 – Back to work!

10:25 –Investigate distress noises from infant; infant fine.  Give iPad to toddler

10:26 – Back to work!

10:28 – Investigate toddler yelling at infant; everything fine

10:28 – Back to work!

10:29 – Help toddler load “moon” game on iPad

10:29 – Back to work!

10:31 – Go upstairs to search for older version of Thief of Time synopsis

10:33 – Found it!

10:33 – Retrieve infant from place of loneliness; place infant in jump-jump

10:34 – Back to work!

10:43 – Finished Back of Jacket summation for the Thief of Time

10:44 – Infant begins to complain.  Jump-jump no longer jumpy or fun.  Go upstairs to change infant and try to feed her.  Infant is not hungry and coos philosophically.  Place infant in swing in hopes she will fall asleep.

10:48 – Back to work!

10:51 – Reviewed Back of Jacket summation for the Thief of Time and posted to website.  Success!  (meanwhile, in background, infant has been making her trademark unhappy noise which is a combination of the sounds “boooo-oof” and vibrating her lips together with a raspberry-like resonance.  It’s not distracting at all)

11:03 – Finish reviewing and editing Middle Grade Novels Page.  Wishing that my Mac version of Word wasn’t so stupid and slow sometimes, and wishing that WordPress had a button for both updating a page and then automatically viewing that page instead of having to take the whole 1.2 seconds to click the update button, then the view page button.  I’m just saying, if you do those two things a lot (and I do) all those seconds really add up

11:05 – decide to call it a day, for now.  Get toddler and I lunch.  Will eat left over pasta while watching secret shame, Million Dollar Shopper (don’t judge me!)

So, now I feel like you have some insight into me and what I’m about.  You may be wondering why I was calculating the number of LGBT youth between 12 and 17.  Well, that’s because I’m committed to diversity in my writing and LGBT youth are sadly underrepresented.  There are, by conservative estimates, nearly a million LGBT youth who have been virtually left behind in the Golden Age of YA (although that’s beginning to change).  My novels, which are primarily upper middle grade and young adult, don’t focus on issues of diversity explicitly, but include characters from all walks of life because that’s what I like to read and I see a sad lack of it, both in main and supporting characters that are ethnically diverse as well as in orientation and gender identity.

My current project is a YA fantasy novel that is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where the main character is an afro-Brazilian albino medieval warrior nun who falls in love with the girl she’s supposed to kill.  Yup.  You can read more about it by clicking here or by going to my Young Adult Novels page and clicking on the title Crimson.

I think that about does it for my first post.  Let’s see, I gave you some insight to who I am, I think I included a funny anecdote somewhere, I told you how you can contact me (email me at jessicagajda@gmail.com or you can post a comment!), ooh, and I included numbers.  Big numbers.  Your welcome!

Mom and Little Shalon

IMG_1992

I Love Your Feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s