SNIPPETS. Basically. Cheers.

me: if i did a snippets post, would anyone be interested?
arielle: YES. there are still other people who say to me 'yeah, i'm looking forward to jennifer freitag's next book coming out'
me: awww gawsh
me: i'd like to know that, too XD

I'M ALIVE!  And keeping my head down mostly while I work, because I don't have much energy for blogging + writing at the same time, you know how it goes.

h o w e v e r

Here I am with some sneak-peeks at what I'm writing, so please enjoy!  (it's just my life's work, ya know; no biggie; no pressure; don't have to like it; i'll just be eternally crushed if you don't. XD )

jenny's gonna shut up now

"Will you go back?" I asked.
"That - " there was a marked hesitation " - is doubtful. What welcome would there be for me, who lost three Foundations on a fool's chase? Very likely I would be exchanging the relative comfort of my prison here for the executioner's spike at home. They would call me a - " he sighed, and the word, unknown to me, I had to surmise was tantemount to a traitor. "And, over the past five years, the thought of that spike has worn the blanket of home rather thin."

To Marramir, as she climbed up beside the Roman Orchid, he said, "I see you managed not to die this time. We are going." He gave a toggle a roughish jerk into place and let his hands fall to his sides. "Tatter-catskins will have to take her bath later."
I could feel Marramir looking at me, but I did not turn round. I squatted just beyond Rhodri, arms around my broomstick, my head turned so that I could keep an eye on the reindeer. But I did not see them: my eyes were blind to the herd, seeing instead an inversion of the Emerald Jewel's face, a soft white cloudlight diffused behind her head, and a slatey darkness of disappointment on her brow.
She spoke past Rhodri. "I see he has also taught you desertion."
"And Achaemenimardux has taught you to take life cheaply," Rhodri retorted. There was no trace of weariness in his voice now. "Every time I turn my head for a moment, you are trying to get the kitten killed. How did you come to wear the cloth on your shoulders when you cannot even keep your head on them?"
Marramir rolled her head toward him: she looked tired, so utterly, bone-deep tired. "You are not my concern," she murmured.

Gently, I peeled back the muddy, crackling folds, feeling something hard and uneven underneath. A twinkle, a gleam of tarnished metal - then I had the thing bared and was staring down at a history which was not my own, lying across my lap in the voiceless defiance of the past. I stared into the face of the thing and my body began to shake.
"It is - it is beautiful," I murmured.
Rhodri reached out and touched it. "It looked finer when it was first mounted. We neither of us have aged without our blemishes."

I had never known hunger to be so constantly near to me as now, and I was further indebted to Rhodri for taking the time to show me what was good to eat from nature's own larder. An army marches on its stomach. Squatting down to unearth a faintly citrus-tasting root, plugging my nails with dirt, my mind strayed to the bitter climb through the mountains that Rhodri had endured, on the worst goose chase of all goose chases. Had they even had time to pluck herbs from the marchside and eat as they went? I stood, roots in my hands, and looked down at my body. The lush curvature of my form had sunk away to a sharp, serious, uncompromising thing, my wide hip-bones protruding and fanning my catskins out over them. My former, sedentary life had made me elegantly curved, shaped like a perfect Greek statue, but now I had become muscles and bone; what must Rhodri have looked like, who was perhaps half my size, and had not an ounce of excess fat upon him?
"I think, if I were Somermilk," I mused, rubbing the roots with the flat of my thumb until the little tendrils scraped off and fell to the earth, "if I were Somermilk, I would not have let Rhodri live. No one that strong cannot be but trouble."

Somermilk folded a cup of wine into her fingers, and as she drank it, I thought the colouring of her gown turned a russet-gold, as though the alcohol flooded veins and threads alike. "I am going to tell our hunting story to those we left behind, and you will hear it also."
What did it cost him, to keep all emotion out of his voice? "I will not."
"I even brought a gift for you." Somermilk nodded to Marramir, who, in turn, lifted a bundle off the bench and held it out. I thought of a dozen grisly things it could be. Perhaps the same thought was in Rhodri's mind, for he said,
"I have just washed. You touch it, not me."
Somermilk's eyes danced. "It will not retch on you." She rose, towering over the trestleboard, and gripped the bundle in both hands; with a snap and a shake she flung the whole thing out from her, and a familiar electricity shot through her frame, stiffening the fabric until its scarlet folds were flat-naked to the firelight, as deeply hued as though it had been dyed with blood, and I could see a victory-crown of black tulips sewn around an emblem of dragonfly wings.
"You can hunt us with fire and arrows," her voice had no laughter now, "but you will never defeat us, no more than the earth can overcome the sky. You cannot bind the mists. You cannot stop the waters. You cannot break the light of the sun and moon. We will strip your lifeless fabric trophies from your spears one by one, and when I am done," the electricity fizzled and the standard fell limp against Somermilk's thigh, "I will wrap you in them alive and burn you for the Midwinter feast.
"And now - " she folded back onto the bench, smiling slightly, "I will tell you the story."

"You are a dog," said the Roman Orchid, stepping back, "and deserve what I have brought on you."
"No." Rhodri pushed past him and turned, looking up into Achaemenimarduc's face. He smiled blithely. "You are a dog, and I am the vomit you keep returning to. Good morning." 

again, i hope you enjoyed them!
see you next time
xoxo, jenny

How To Do It All (& Stay Sane)

For those of you who have more than one responsibility, of which writing tries to be a member, let me clear something up.

( + stay sane)

When my daughter was born, I was in free-fall.  Who was I? What was I supposed to do?  How did I continue wife-ing, + author-ing, in addition to mothering??  I had a LOT of heartache + confusion to battle through, which took me years.  Y E A R S, people.  It was not easy.  I used to write all the time, whenever I felt like it.  Now I couldn't do that.  Was I still a writer?  Was I doing my vocation a disservice?  Would my writing genius DIE??

Try to tell me you haven't worried about this too.  You have a socially-accepted "job," or children, or you're in school - whatever: there are "other things" that you view as taking up your time + not allowing you to write.  Am I right?

yes, + we're wrong

Here's the problem with this way of thinking: no one has a "full-time job" I know I tell people, "Yeah, being a mother is it's own full-time job," + you all get what I mean.  But it's not.  Nothing is a full-time job.  Except breathing.  Breathing is a full-time job.  You do not do any one job constantly.  Every job requires breaks, even if all you can do in those breaks is rest - that's okay too.  But the key, I've found, is to get rid of this mentality of "full-time" + "part-time" jobs.  All jobs take their time, + very few lives are going to have everything cordoned off into neat, symmetrical packages of time so that no one task feels cheated.  That's just ridiculous.  All jobs take their time.

linear vs. integral 

"to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven"

As Westerners, we tend to take a linear view of our lives, continuing from Point A (birth) to Point B (death), with little tics along the way that highlight the customary milestones of a normal existence.  As useful as this view may be, it isn't the only view.

My own butt-hurt regarding my writing was alleviated by the thought that my work (mothering, being a wife, keeping a house, being a writer) are not strictly separate "jobs," but rather "gears" that are interlocked.  It takes awhile to get the gears all in place, so chill out, guys.  I can't do all my jobs together at the same time, but neither do I have to chop them up and hermetically seal them off from each other.  They can interlock.  Perhaps writing-time links with nap-time (not always, but I see that it's possible), etc.  When one gear is cranked away, another can come into view.  The tasks can be integrated.

Whoever you are, whatever you're doing, chances are you're not writing all the time, + you probably feel guilty when you're not focusing on writing.  Don't.  Everything has a time, everything has a purpose; you can forget about such things as "full-time jobs" + the ridiculous mental pressure applied by society on that concept.  You still have your job cut out for you: you still have to figure out how to match your gears; but you needn't feel guilty.  You needn't feel that you're cheating your creative self because you have other responsibilities as well.

there is no writing utopia

practical advice: replace "should" with "need" + "want"

This was a hugely useful piece of mental health advice I discovered.  "Should" is usually a harbinger of undue guilt, whereas "need" + "want" help clarify an issue.  Exempli gratia: I "want" to go clean the kitchen, but I actually "need" to rest.  This puts everything in perspective.  Try it!  Sometimes what we want to do seems like the best thing (cleaning the kitchen is always a good thing, ehwot??), but isn't actually the necessary thing.  I don't always want to write, you guys.  Writing is stressful + hard.  Writing means I have to think.  Thinking is exhausting.  Sometimes it's easier to just not do the writing, + sometimes I have to tell myself that what I need to do is sit my butt down + work on my manuscript.

remember: your only full-time job is breathing

thanks for still breathing!
xoxo, jenny