Jenny and the Pumpkin Tree. Have you read it? No, you haven't.
I know that already because unless you are me, my first grade teacher, or my mother (and you are not), you have not read Jenny and the Pumpkin Tree. Don't feel bad, you're in the majority here. And despite its profound effect on me, you aren't missing much.
Jenny and the Pumpkin Tree was the first story I ever wrote. I was six years old and it was for my 1st grade Reading class. The story was eleven pages long, full of hand-drawn illustrations (worth millions now) of people with too many fingers and bulbous, bright orange pumpkins on every page. My teacher read the story, called me up to her desk during Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) Time, and gave me a smile.
"This is very inventive, Emily," she said in a kind, low voice. "Excellent work."
And from that moment on--even though I didn't know what inventive meant because I was six--I was hooked.
Between the raging success of JatPT and where I am now, 20 years have passed. (Wow. Twenty. That feels like a lot.) In that time, I've started several thousand new stories (not an exaggeration) and even finished a few, I've filled several hundred black and white marbled Mead Composition books (a slight exaggeration), and have never run out of things to write (total bullshit. I run out of ideas all of the time; I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)
Mostly I write fiction. Not (ever) poetry. I don't like to write nonfiction nearly as much as fiction; mostly because most of what has happened to me has never been all that interesting. That's why I started writing in the first place. If you're looking for writing relating to my life, this website is also home to my blog. That's where I gripe about being plus sized in a Double Zero world.
Outside of my writing, I have the following things:
1.) A remarkable husband. He's a brilliant photographer; his passion for his work is a source of daily inspiration for me and what I am trying to do. In addition to running a theater and his own business, he also works tirelessly as Head Cheerleader for the Emily Needs to Finish Her Book team. (We're working on a better name.) On top of all of that, he's quite the looker. I am one lucky girl.
2.) An abundantly supportive network of family and friends who let me yammer about characters and plotlines and who have always been willing to read anything I scribble down and give me their feedback.
3.) Two of the most hilarious and entertaining felines ever.
When I'm not working or writing, I spend my time being silly with my husband, chasing my cats off of kitchen surfaces, and taking as many naps as possible without being diagnosed with narcolepsy. Somewhere in the mix of all of that (and now all of this website business as well) I try to read as much as possible. Books are the most delicious of snacks. Cheese is a close second...but it's not fat-free.
If you're feeling up for it, I invite you along for the ride as I try to finish my current work, tweak and revisit some of my old stuff, and maybe even create something totally new. I can't promise another Jenny and the Pumpkin Tree, but you just might find something you like.
Kisses, Emily J.