Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Okay, I’m taking this opportunity to brag a little on a couple of people, my two “mentees.”

Malia Spencer wrote a really neat paper comparing Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method with traditional rhetorical stages. It was a college-level final project for a rhetoric class at the University of Hawaii, and along with the illustrious Randy Ingermanson, she quoted me! She got a B and the professor had glowing things to say about it. Mostly due, I’m sure, to Malia’s writing and not so much to her quoting me. Though, I think it’s one of the few times I’ve seen myself quoted. Have to admit, it’s pretty cool. You can check it out here. Click on the links on the left to navigate the site. I’m specifically mentioned in the freshman and senior sections (yep, that was a blatant plug for me. Gotta take what I can get at this point.). Pretty nice to have someone say nice things about you publicly. Made me cry. Yeah, yeah, it doesn’t take much. Okay, enough blubbering. You can check out Malia’s blog here where this week she’s talking about some of the stuff she learned in her writing classes.

And, my other “mentee” Sabrina Butcher, just finished the first draft of her first book. I’m so proud! It’s a great thing to finish a book yourself. It’s still really cool to help someone else through the process. Both she and Malia have learned and grown so much, just since April. Unbelievable. I just kind of stand around and watch.

When I agreed to be a mentor, it wasn’t because I thought I had much to offer. I’m not published yet, I could be completely off-base with anything I say. I just remembered what it was like to decide to become a serious writer and have absolutely no clue how to go about it and to not know anyone who did. So, I figured I could share what I know, give my opinions (which are numerous) and be a listening ear. Didn’t expect to make two close friends.

And on the subject of bragging, I can proudly say that this year’s bragging rights for hiding/finding Christmas gifts goes to me. Usually Peter wins. I’ll do something stupid like leave a receipt out, or he’ll stumble over his gifts somewhere in the closet. And I never find what he gets for me, used to be because it was locked in the trunk of his car. Well, now he has a work truck and can’t do that, so I found my present today while I was looking for a video on top of a bookshelf. It was wrapped, but I have an idea what it was. If you’ve read the end of Witness, it’s from the same store Kyle buys Heather’s gift. Who knew my husband paid so much attention to my writing? And I managed to hide the receipts and wrap his presents without his finding them. So I swept the contest this year. Probably will be the only time that will happen.

And lucky you. You’ll get three posts from me this week. I’m hoping to post Friday or Saturday on the results of our road trip to Christmas, Arizona. Should be fun. Might even have pictures.


Malia Spencer said...

Wow,what a nice plug, thanks Jen! Let me clarify that I got an A for the project, B+ for the class. LOL And awesome on the present thing. Witness is still waiting to be read as is Big P and Sabrina's stuff. I'm way behind, can you tell?

I'm gonna play with Kapono and Chas this morning. I hope the growls in the back of my head will turn into actual words. We'll see how annoyed they are. You know anyone reading this and not knowing I'm a writer would seriously have issues with me. LOL

I also voted for Mike's story last night. Count went up to 41. He so owes you for all the votes you've thrown his way. :)

michael snyder said...

Okay, I popped over here to add to the Malia, to Sabrina, and to Jen (for getting your name up in ligts or down in B&W). So huge congratulations all 'round!

But now I must stop and say a sincere thank you for voting for my story. I'm honored, seriously, despite the goofy grin on my picture and the nerdy glasses.

Paula said...

Such a happy, upbest post! So cool that you were courageous enough to reach out to mentor others. And Malia, I'm so happy for you!

Doug E. said...

Great blog!


Jennifer Tiszai said...

Thanks for correcting my error, Malia. The holes in my brain have been larger than usual. So, that's even better!

Yes, the voices in the head. Been struggling with that all week. Though I keep telling Sarah if she'd actually give me some structure to work with, I'd finish her short story. As it is, I have a beginning and nothing else. Hopefullly Chas and 'Pono will be more cooperative.

Peter T said...

Regarding hiding the presents, its an easy fix for me. I'll just "hire" my 4-year old son to "casually open" certain gifts...

Ok, I'm going back to the previous blog: i.e best band names. I'll vote for Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. As far as a fictional band name, well, I've always been partial to the name "Unscented Fish." Don't know why!

...leave it to Jen's hubby to take her blogs into a totally different direction! (although Mike has to take some blame here too!). Yes, I do this to drive Jen crazy, but, hey, i yam de ill itrate uv da femaly.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Mike, if you ever want to run for office, you got at least 4 or 5 votes right here. :) Short stories, politics, whatever.

And you want to talk about pictures? Don't get Peter started on that subject. He's sick of me harping on it. I think I've gone through about 100 and still am stuck with one where I'm squinting.

Jenny said...

So how did a nice little blog of encouragement get hijacked so quick? Mercy!
Peter, come up with a better hiding place.
Short male person of the family, I don't care what Daddy pays you, no snooping--and it was fun having you over today!
Sweet young lady of the family--happy birthday girl.
And mom, wife, author, friend extraordiaire, namesake, (Jen)--hang in there. You've got plenty of cause to brag. Way to go--you and Malia and Sabrina.
Abundant blessings

Sabrina L. Fox said...

You're a great mentor Jen. I can't imagine what I'd do without you. I'd probably still be working on the first couple chapters. Wandering around. No direction. You've taught me to be able to see when my work is crap. In a good way. Before I'd look at it and go, huh what's wrong with this. Now I'm able to figure it out. At least some of it. I never would have made it with some sweet little thing who held my hand through the whole process. You're a great teacher and friend. Thanks so much.

Can't wait to say, You know that lady who wrote Witness.(or whatever the title ends up) She's my mentor.

Robin Caroll said...

Great post, girl! And uh, the whole finding/hiding the present issue just cracks me up! Merry Christmas, girl!