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F*ck Field Day

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Thousands of kids across the country are currently, or have just finished, participating in a “Field Day” of games and displays of athletic prowess. Every school has a different name for it. You know of which I speak.

I feel so sorry for them.

Like the odd duck that I am, I always dreaded Field Day.

I was a kid who rarely talked to anyone if it wasn’t necessary, something I would realize three decades later was generalized anxiety disorder. Even back when I was a tiny third grader, I got up the nerve to try and talk my gym teacher out of making me participate in Field Day.

It didn’t work.

She assured me she would put me into something easy. The 50 yard dash, she said. I had no idea how long that was, but any distance I have to run is too long.

It was a chilly morning, so I wore my grey hooded sweatshirt. I ran as fast as I could. I came in fourth. That might not sound bad, but there were only four kids in the race. Total.

They gave me a ribbon to remember my shame. (It is still in my house somewhere. I think my young son ran off with it.)

I just talked to my mom on the phone, in 2017, and she was apparently there in the stands. (I don’t remember that, but I don’t remember a lot of things.) She remembers that there were other mothers sitting in front of her who watched my performance and felt bad that I was so far behind the other kids.

Great boost of confidence there, mother. I know I am forty-one years old now, but that doesn’t really help the old self-esteem any.

I guess this is where LOVE YOURSELF would come in handy.

If I remember right, I didn’t even know that the 50 yard dash was an event you ran. It could have been a long jump for all I knew. I probably had to wait for the other kids to start before I even knew where the finish line was. (It is a good story. I think I will stick to it.)

Someone took a picture of the racers standing behind big signs that showed where each of us placed. They took the picture from my end. The losing end.

They put that picture of me behind the giant four, with my sweatshirt hanging off one shoulder, my hair escaping my ponytail, and looking winded, in the glass display case in the main hallway at school the next year.

And the year after.

And so on.

I was a week from graduating high school, happened to be walking through the elementary building, and there I was, in that picture, STILL BEHIND THE DAMN FOUR!

I believe to this day they are probably still putting up the same picture of me from June 1985. Boy, I bet my clothes look really dated now.

I Googled “Field Day 1983” and half expected my picture to pop up. So far, it hasn’t.

Even more amazing, that is the ONLY YEAR I ever participated in Field Day. Maybe that is why they thought it was momentous enough to display year after year.

At my school, when I was there, only third, fourth, and fifth graders competed in Field Day. It was the 80s. All the kids drank Kool-Aid and Sunny Delight and watched copious amounts of television. There wasn’t a drive for everyone to exercise. Society was busy telling us to Say No to drugs.

I didn’t avoid Field Day in fourth grade on purpose. I had the pox. (Chicken, not small.) I missed the last two weeks of school. I had a grumpy teacher all that year who seemed very tired and done with teaching. What kind of reward did I get for putting up with her all year? I had to miss her retirement party 😦  Although cupcakes and treats were left inside my desk for when I returned. (Eesh, talk about unsafe food storage conditions!)

The next year I did avoid Field day on purpose. My mom took me to the lake. She is a good mom. I thought she was just being kind to her woefully unathletic daughter for all these years. (It is genetic, after all.) But now that she told me that story about the mothers in the stands, maybe SHE just didn’t want to have to feel bad for me again.

And if the goal for the day is exercise, then the school should be satisfied. I am sure I got way more exercise at the lake than I ever would have running a race for two minutes and feeling anxious the rest of the day.

Middle school had many, many (too many to mention) hells of its own, such as showering after gym class and dissecting frogs and all those pubescent hormones trapped inside a building with gray concrete walls and no windows all day, every day. But at least I got to leave the hell that was Field Day back at the elementary.

Remember, if you see me running fast, then either there is an escaped dog in front of me or a zombie behind me.

Dog chasing was once a regular hobby of mine. Not by choice, mind you.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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Hear It from the Author Herself

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I will be at Leon & Lulu in Clawson, Michigan THIS SUNDAY, April 30th from 11:00AM-5:00PM with copies of Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom and the Riley Sisters series. Please stop on out and say hi.

This event will feature MY FIRST EVER BOOK READING!!! It will be from 2:15PM-2:30PM.

If you follow my posts at all, you know that I am secretly terrified about this. I haven’t practiced at all yet. Should I read from printed 8 1/2″ X 11″ pages or an actual copy of my book so that people can stare at the cover and want to buy it? (That cover is really awesome. See below.) Which parts should I censor in mixed company? How far will I get in 15 minutes? What if that is the whole book?

Really, the only reason I can make myself do it is the same reason that someday I would like to record the audiobook for it myself: because it is so fun to do the witch’s voice.

[If you are interested in donating to the “Make Troll Gurl Available in Audiobook” fund so that I may soundproof a closet and buy a quality microphone, please send me an email at: jennifer_friess@mrugly-manentertainment.com]

Also, a reminder that this weekend is your LAST CHANCE to enter to win TWO ROCK STAR PASSES to the Great Lakes Books Bash, October 27 & 28th! The two passes cover admission to the signing & panels Friday as well as early admission to the signing on Saturday and panels on Saturday.

All you have to do is sign up for my author newsletter to be in the running. Drawing will take place 4/30/17. The winner will be notified by email. Click here to sign up.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

In-Person Appearance This Saturday!

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There will be an appearance Saturday, April 8th by Jennifer Friess!!!

That doesn’t seem very glamorous. Wait, that’s me.

But, heck, I’m announcing it anyway.

Tomorrow me, and several other even more fabulous authors, will be at the Lenawee District Library from 2:30PM-4:00PM. That is a short window of time, so if you snooze, you will lose.

The LDL, as they refer to themselves, can be found at 4459 W. US-223, Adrian, MI 49221.

This will be my first event where I will have copies of Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom to sell. I am so excited to be able to tell people about Ginny’s story in person!

To see other events, please click here: EVENTS PAGE

Don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter during the month of April you will have a chance to win TWO ROCK STAR PASSES to the Great Lakes Books Bash, October 27 & 28th! The two passes cover admission to the signing & panels Friday as well as early admission to the signing on Saturday and panels on Saturday.

Click here to sign up.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Spring is Giveaway Time!

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I have updated my EVENTS PAGE!

If you are a member of my newsletter, you had this information on MONDAY!

If not, you should really sign up for it, and I will tell you why in just a minute.

First off, you should know my first event is NEXT SATURDAY! It will be an Author Fair at the Lenawee District Library in Adrian, Michigan, from 2:30PM-4:00PM. Please make plans to stop out.

I also wanted to call to your attention that I have UPDATED my info for Utopia Con. Yes, ladies and gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) I will now have a table on Saturday, June 24th in Nashville, TN. And in case you didn’t know, this is the FINAL Utopia Con, so it would be great if you stopped out. You can click the graphic above to obtain tickets.

I am excited to let you know that I have TWO ROCK STAR PASSES to giveaway for the Great Lakes Books Bash, October 27 & 28th! The two passes cover admission to the signing & panels Friday as well as early admission to the signing on Saturday and panels on Saturday.

Now, more about this newsletter business. I will be giving the TWO Rock Star Passes to ONE Lucky winner (because it is always nicer to go with a friend, right?) who is on my Author Newsletter List. If you are already on it, then you are already entered for a chance to win.

You aren’t? Well, then it is super quick and easy to sign up here: http://eepurl.com/7YhHr I promise, I won’t spam you. I send out about 4-5 newsletters a year and they contain super-important information about events, books releases, and sometimes even a book trailer 😉

The contest will be open until April 30th, 2017, at which time I will pick a lucky winner and notify them by email.

Good luck! And spread the word.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Utopia Anxiety

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How can Utopia (noun: any visionary system of political or social perfection. -Dictionary.com) ever be a cause of anxiety, you ask?

Well, I’m talking about Utopia Con, a writers conference happening THIS WEEK in Nashville, Tennessee.

Last year at this time, I was sitting at home, trying to figure out what this event was that every single author I had met in my short six months as a published author was attending. Everyone said it was life-changing.

UTOPia art 2016

So, in October of last year, when I started to see tickets selling out for this event, I purchased my ticket. Even though neither my husband nor I had a job and things looked super-bleak, I bought one because my inner voice told me to. And I am glad it did. My husband and I are both employed at the moment, things are slightly better, and my publishing is in a little bit of a funk.

I am going to Utopia, first, in search of new friendships. I need someone to message me occasionally and say “keep it up.” I could do the same for them. Fellow authors E.A. Comiskey & Patti Keno are great for that, but I am kinda high maintenance.

Second, I need to be re-inspired. I went from knowing nothing about independent publishing to educating myself on writing, editing, formatting, proofreading, swag, even the climate and crops of Alabama! But I have new books brewing, and they scream to have improved marketing and better sales. How can I do that? I hope I will find the answers.

So, I am worried, because I am taking this big huge trip by myself– From Michigan to Nashville. And I am poor, so I am camping, in a tent. But I love the tent. I don’t really love bugs or hot weather or rain, but hopefully they will not spoil the trip too much for me. Part of me is SO looking forward to having some alone time. My son is 5 1/2. I haven’t been alone, except to go to work, in 5 1/2 years it seems. But also, I will be ALONE. No one to lean on and help me.

WARNING: This may only be interesting to others attending the same conference.

So, I present to you, a list of my worries:

– The campground will lose my reservation
– Rain
– Heat
– Cold
– Skunks (the website warned that they frequent the campground!)
– Not having anyone to talk to
– Having too many people to talk to
– No one will give me a hug
– Strangers will hug me and it will feel awkward
– Not learning anything helpful
– Learning that I am not worthy to be publishing books
– My worn tire will blow out, causing me to careen into a semi trailer on the expressway and die
– There is so much road construction that I won’t arrive until I’m due to return home
– I will miss my family
– My family will miss me too much
– My family won’t miss me at all
-I will starve
– I won’t get to see any of the Nashville sights
– My front driver wheel will fall off because it has a lose control arm and needs the ball joint replaced
– My front passenger wheel will fall off because it also needs a new ball joint.
– There won’t be any Mobil gas stations down south (I want to use my Mobil credit card as much as possible on the trip. My first job was at a Mobile gas station. For a pretty thorough description of it, read Books 1 and 2 of the Riley Sisters series ;-D )

There are many more, but I have to go look at maps and try and figure out where to park to go to the Bluebird Cafe!!!

I will give you an update on my adventure in my blog and newsletter when I return. (IF I return…)

Haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet? Get to it:  http://eepurl.com/7YhHr

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

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