I admit it. I’m addicted to writing. It’s a compulsion I’ve had ever since I first held a pencil and could make words appear on pieces of butcher paper from the roll my parents wrapped bread and other goodies in at our family bakery in San Jose, CA. It continued through third grade, when I won a prize from the school bank for a little masterpiece called “It’s Fun to Save.” It drove away the lonesomes of not being able to play with other kids because polio left me less than agile, and it led to several notebooks containing imaginary escapades of my mom, my dog, my wheelchair, and me. As a senior in high school I won the Creative Writing award for the year—but earned only a B in the class because I wanted to write what I wanted to write, not what was necessarily assigned.
When I began college I decided writing was not going to feed me, and I loved the thought of teaching others how to communicate in writing. Teaching was a natural fit. For many years I taught high school English, that universally hated subject. Those years gave me happy fulfillment and lifelong friends in the form of colleagues and ex-students. I count among my blessings “kids” who are now in education, politics, on both sides of the law (one in prison, one a District Attorney), corporate executives, trades people, the famous and the slightly infamous. Keeping in touch with these people, along with experiences I had growing up as a person with a disability, gave me food for thought. . . and for writing. Much of what I write, then, deals with how people treat each other.
In 2005 my son, Brian, vacated the nest to begin his own life. Deeply saddened by this, his father and I set out the following day to turn his bedroom into a guest room and buy new living room furniture. When Brian asked why we didn’t do all this stuff while he was still home, I could only tell him my hopes that he’d drop by often to see whatever else we were up to. When he’s a parent of a teenager, he’ll understand. Meanwhile, my husband, Frank, and I are content to make a life of our own while enjoying the man our son has grown up to be.
Life is good. Life brings surprises. Life exists to be written about and shared.
Where to find Jackie O'Donnell online
Where to buy in print
Surviving Your Child's First Years: A Guide For The Extra-Challenged Parent
Written to help people with disabilities meet childcare challenges, this book is useful for any new mother. It is practical, yet lightearted, including such topics as getting the house and equipment ready ahead of the birth, bathing and feeding Baby, handling clutter, and facing emergencies—all with an eye toward energy-conservation, nurturing, and bonding. A great gift for all expectant moms.
Green Riches:Help the Earth & Your Budget
(5.00 from 1 review)
Eco-friendly can be eco-nomic. This book offers suggestions that are practical AND save money. It is for people who prefer not to be told what to do but who are problem-solvers, who like efficient, economical solutions that will enhance the lives of their loved ones. It is for concerned people living in a weak economy. It is for all who simply want to do their part to maintain our earthly home.
Small Ways to Shape the World
How can you bring about a more peaceful, just world? This little book offers simple ideas which anyone can carry out-- some comfortable, some more challenging. It’s both a supplement to Small Things Count!—Simple Ways to Live Christ’s Love Each Day and an introduction to the power each of us has to make a better world simply by living our lives.
Apple-Tempting New: A Tasty Tribute to New Life
A must-read for anyone who loves babies. Verses range from serious to silly, depending on who is doing the telling. Follow a family through pregnancy, bonding, sleepless nights, and milestones like crawling and the “firsts”: tear, steps, shoes, birthday, visit to Santa. Finally, the reader gets a glimpse of childlike wisdom, as Baby gives advice to a potential sibling. Life is good. Enjoy it!
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