Sometimes we meet kindred spirits who reach us on an intuitive basis, for many reasons. Jill Elizabeth has been my Guest Poet all of the past week and I know, after reading her work, that we are sisters of the heart. Please, welcome my friend, Jill Elizabeth Arent Franclemont, and offer her your support. Blessings to all...Scarlett.
|Jill at her desk. Courtesy of Francletography, c 2011|
About Me (Jill): The Very Short Version
Mine was an average, small-town childhood. I read everything in sight, went to school, played with friends. I imagined a lot of things and places, and decided I wanted to see them all – which meant leaving that average small town as soon as possible. I went to D.C., studied philosophy, put myself through school. I worked for five years, realized I wanted more and decided on law. Enter Chicago. Despite a hairy beginning (pick-pocketed my first day!), I survived law school and two bar exams, and headed to a law firm in Philadelphia. The billable hour and I did not get along. Within a year I was job hunting.
Enter the magical world of pharmaceuticals (employment, not consumption). It seemed like a dream – prestigious title, high pay, regular hours, travel, Corporate perks. At first it was. Then my boss (an amazing woman) retired. Then her boss (another amazing woman) retired. Then I learned how much those two women had shaped my experience – and how much I didn’t fit the mold of a Corporate American. Bored and frustrated, I took a sabbatical and started thinking.
I couldn’t stay. I didn’t enjoy anything about it anymore. The company was being acquired – a golden opportunity, since I wanted out. Back-of-the-envelope math told me I could decide what I wanted to do next based on what I wanted, not money. I wanted something utterly unlike the regimented bureaucracy of Big Pharma. I loved to read, people told me I turned a clever phrase. Why not write? A zillion months later, the company was sold and I was free. And a mess. I moved back to my hometown for a comfortable environment. It was a little too comfortable. But it helped bring back my long-lost sanity and let me be a real daughter, aunt and friend for the first time in twenty years. It was amazing, but a year passed without a single written word.
I couldn’t believe how time flew – or how easily entropy set in. I was tired of people politely asking how the book was going, and politely responding that it wasn’t. I was also tired of being unproductive. I needed a kick in the ass, and got one when I fell in love with an amazing man – an amazing, diligent, focused man. Score! Suddenly things looked different – in the best possible way. When I said I felt like writing, he said that was good because he was setting me up a blog. When I whined I didn’t feel like writing, he reminded me this was my dream and if I started, I’d be surprised how easily I’d keep going. He was right.
Here we are a year later. Amazing Man and I are married. I have two step-kids, a blog, a collection of stories and novel in the works, and more ideas than ever. Things are clicking along – some days more slowly than I’d like, but still: progress. I don’t know where exactly this will all go, but it sure is one hell of a ride…