Falling into Gear

The rain is falling outside my window, and for what seems like the first time in months, I can hear it.

Two hours ago I dropped the hellions off at school.  Today my sons head to grades six, five, and two. It’s been a busy eight weeks, filled with days of trampoline parks, camping, laser tag, mini-golf, water-gun fights, and theme parks.

I love summer. I’m not going to lie.

walkway-2030319_1920.jpgI love watching the hellions play soccer and baseball, seeing their hair turn bright blonde and their cheeks become freckled and tanned. I love heat, and Prince Edward Island beaches, and sprinklers on lawns, and the smell of freshly cut grass.

I love everything about summer. Even the storms. Especially the storms, even though they can be hard to hear over the gentle roar of every neighborhood kid in a ten block radius descending on my kitchen to raid the cupboards like a swarm of locusts attacking a crop.

But, I have to admit that fall isn’t so bad, either.

Near the end of every summer I get the same old itch. A creative current seems to electrify the air. And, even though I enjoy spending summer vacation with the boys, every night for the last two weeks I’ve been fantasizing about what life will be like when they head back to school. This morning I woke up up early to go for a run. The sun wasn’t up, so I promptly threw that idea out the window. (Maybe tomorrow?) I got the hellions ready for the day and out the door. Soon, I’ll take a shower, begrudgingly devote an hour to housework, and finally sit down to work on Old Souls.

The goal is four hours a day six days a week of writing, one hour a day five days a week on social media–including the work I put into Scribbles–and, at least a half hour every day of reading.

A couple exciting things are set to happen in the next two months.

I’ve contributed a story to an anthology, The Box Under the Bed, that will be released on Amazon October 1st. (It’s available for pre-order now, btw.) My submission, Cassie, will be featured alongside the spooky stories of twenty spectacular indie authors, just in time for black cat season. The anthology has been compiled and edited by best-selling Amazon author Dan Alatorre, who many of you will recognize as a regular here on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

Shortly after the book’s release, I’m heading to Altamonte Springs to present two workshops at the Florida Writer’s Conference. (And hey, you can register for that here and find out more about my workshops here.)

But, even more exciting than that is while the boys take their hell-raising act to school, Old Souls will once again receive the attention it deserves. The characters will come back to life in my imagination, and soon, they’ll be living and breathing in the imagination of others, too.

Because the book is nearly ready to slip back into the trusted grip of my critique partners. And you know what happens after that?



There are still a few steps to go after that. But we’ll get there.

Until then, you can expect a more consistent posting schedule here. I’ll be uploading more short stories this year than in previous years. And, as Old Souls becomes tighter, I’ll be able to release a few more deleted scenes. I’m hoping to host quite a few guest blogs too, so: if you have a piece you’d like to share, shoot an email to me at scribblesoncocktailnapkins@gmail.com.

I’m excited to kick the upcoming writing year into full gear.

As always, thanks for coming along for the ride.

J. A.


35 thoughts on “Falling into Gear

  1. That was a lovely (yep blokes use that word too!) catch-up with you Jenny – seems like the ‘old days’ – you know when I wrote rubbish and was just a little bit in awe of you (honest!) My rubbish is a bit more refined nowadays and as apparently I can be a bit scary it’s perhaps no surprise I’ve ended up in the ‘anthology’ too! There is no accounting for Dan’s taste in words; no money changed hands, though I did stop winding him up for a while which may have disorientated him a bit; and of course he met Lucy on his UK trip; Lucy the most disorientating woman I know; yes I’ve met up with Lucy more than once!. Right I’d better stop in case my editor reads this and slaps my wrist for using too many exclamation marks!!! Cheers Eric.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Amazing schedule and demands on your time. Reminds me of my mother juggling three sons ball game schedules and all the other activities during the summer . Thank you for my morning smile and the warm memories that flood my mind. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you for dropping by my blog, J. I loved this post of yours…the tone of wistfulness for the fleeting beauty of summer. The idea of three hellions is quite intimidating but the fact that you can put in so many of hours of writing is admirable. Congratulations on your story getting published. May the book fly off the shelves of bookstores and e-readers. Cheers.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Falling into gear – good stuff from J. A. Allen | Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

  5. I love summer, too. This one hasn’t been great here in Ireland, not since the end of July anyway. But autumn is good too: the smells, the changing colours in the woods on the hill behind my house. I’m getting into the mood to get a lot more words down on paper. Glad to make your acquaintance via Dan and that scary anthology!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Summer is great, but I love fall. The crispness in the air is invigorating, and I find it a great time for setting new goals.

    Glad to hear your writing will be revving up. I hope all goes well – and best wishes for your upcoming writers’ conferences. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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