Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Werewolves Use Sign Language

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
I love you.  American Sign Language

I love you. American Sign Language

My newest release, THE SHIFTER’S CHOICE, is out this week!  My hero is a shapeshifting Marine who cannot return to his human form.  His supervisors want him to learn sign-language to help him communicate but Johnny sees that as an admission that he will never be human again.

Now what you don’t know, can’t know from the story, is that I once learned sign language in order to communicate with deaf athletes competing in the World Games for the Deaf.  At first I was pretty bad, but the athletes and supervisors were very patient.  Each night I went to bed with a headache from trying so hard to understand what was said.  I was in another world.  The dorms had fire alarms that both sounded and had flashing lights.  I watched the deaf hold conversations through car windows while riding in separate vehicles traveling at 60 miles an hour.  “They’re stopping for food at the next exit.”  I knew I was starting to ‘get it’ when I had my first dream completely in sign language.  My crowning moment was toward the end of our competition when the director brought two hearing people over to me and asked me to translate what he signed–and I did!  Unfortunately I no longer dream in sign and I’ve lost most of what I learned.  But I’ll never forget my month among the deaf community.

The Collision of Serenity and Deadlines

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

January woods in snow

Publishing is made up of long stretches of quiet broken with brief intervals of frenzy.  This week is one of the frenzy ones.  I have been calmly working on my next Western historical proposal and feeling happy with the progress as my February 1 deadline inches closer. 

Then I somehow got caught in the crossfires by two editors both sending urgent requests for various important things that have deadlines that are not inching but running straight at me like a charging bear.  Suddenly my proposal schedule looks impossible because of all these budger projects jumping the line.

I’ve been three days at the questions for the editor and will finish today, then turn to the revisions, the cover arts sheet and then back to my proposal.  One by one, I’ll press send and deliver the next much needed electronic file.

But despite the flurry inside my office, the heating pad warms my feet and the hot coffee fills the air with a comforting aroma.  Outside, the birds dart to and from my feeder and the sun casts long shadows through the trees.  Inexplicably, I feel an irrational belief that all will all get done before the deadlines. 

Care to lay down any bets?

Virtual and Physical Wanderings

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Author Jenna Kernan’s wanderings. You never know what you’ll discover!


Virtual Wanderings:  This week I figured out how to create an Author Central Page in French and German.  I loaded up my bio in what will probably turn out to be very bad French and German with the help of an online translator.  Still waiting for the page to be approved but here it is for now:

Jenna Kernan’s Amazon Author Central France

I also made one for Germany.  Both these efforts required having the UK version open so I could guess what meant ‘open’ or ‘save’ or ‘cancel’.  Other virtual wanderings included finally uploading my book trailers to my Goodreads page.

I still can’t believe I managed either but I thank my RWA chapter mates at CoLoNY and especially Sharon Struth for her help with the book trailers (see her trailer here) and RWA Romance Writers’ Report journal for the article by Cynthia Eden about Amazon in the March 2013 edition.  As you can see I’m behind in my reading, again, still, always.


Physical Wanderings: I made it to my favorite Sunday flea market again and today was more interested in people watching than hunting for another important object for my home.  Here are the most interesting outfits for the day.

Most Original Costume


Most likely to buy powdered protein.
That’s a lot of Velcro weights!


Most likely to be ogled.
She’s sexy and a little bit frightening.


Guess Who? I wear orange so my husband can find me. It’s my version of a cow bell, so…most likely not to get lost?

As I mentioned, this week the local market was not nearly so interesting as those who came to hunt and wander.  I hope you have a little wandering time of your own!

Romance Writers of America – Atlanta 2013

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Historical Authors Terri Brisbin, Jenna Kernan and Diane Gaston


Have you ever tried to get through airport security without your license?  I did.  The cause was the multiple purse changes at the conference.  The big bag for traveling, the small purse that fits in the conference tote, the small beaded purse for the RITA Awards® and then back to the larger bag.  In all that movement my license ended up amid a sample of hand lotion in my suitcase (which I did tear apart at the airport to no avail).  They let me through thanks to my scuba card that has a photo plus three credit cards with my name.

But let me tell you about the conference.  I went in with two main goals:

1. Stay away from those who shout “The sky is falling.”

2. Have fun.

Pretty straight forward.


Regarding the first goal, I did nod my head and move away from authors, publishers, agents or editors who presented a doomsday outlook for publishing and the publishing industry.  I have to believe that good stories will always find a market even if I don’t know if that market will be in print, electronic or some other medium to be determined.  This didn’t happen as frequently as I feared.  Most folks are seeing an upswing in sales and so forth, even though print sales are generally down everywhere.

Regarding the second goal, I did have fun.  Some I anticipated, some came by way of serendipity.


GEORGIA AQUARIUM:  I try to do one touristy thing in every city I visit for conferences.  This year it was the fabulous aquarium.  Their dolphin show is not to be believed!

Whale Shark at Georgia Aquarium


BOOK SIGNING: Wednesday night I signed Beauty’s Beast in a ballroom with 450 authors as thunder crashed and lights flickered.   Lucky I’d been to the Atlanta Coke gift shop and had my coke penlight!

Readers for Life Literacy signing.


HARLEQUIN DIGITAL PJ PARTY: On Thursday night included lots of fun and silly costumes.  Loved the Cracker Jack and cookies plus the opportunity to have some laughs with the fabulous Harlequin Digital team.

Book Seller of the year, Cathy Genna from the fabulous East Brunswick B&N with Jenna at the hotel bar



THE FIVE MINUTE MEETING:  Sometimes you bump into someone you know or want to meet or haven’t ever met.  I love this about conferences, the serendipity that connects you with just who you wanted to speak to or has you miss that meeting by ten seconds.

Harlequin UK editors creating a flip book at the Harlequin Author Party at the Ritz


HARLEQUIN HOTEL SUITE: There were more than a few minglers in the Harlequin suite.  I attended one for series authors, another for historical authors, and still another Nocturne authors, plus various workshops and informational presentations.  On Thursday I had coffee with friends, coffee with my agent, coffee with my editor followed by coffee with the Nocturne series authors!  I wonder why I had trouble sleeping that night?

Desert table at the Harlequin Authors’ Party at the Ritz


HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL’S TEA: The UK team of editors usually plans a special outing for the historical authors.  This year it was Dr. Bombay’s in a lovely neighborhood of Atlanta.  We had tea, scones, finger sandwiches and conversation with UK editors Linda Fildew and Joanne Carr.  Such a wonderful afternoon that just thinking on it makes me smile.

Historical Authors Diane Gaston and Blythe Grifford outside of an Atlanta tea shop at the Harlequin Historical Authors’ Tea


HARLEQUIN V.I.P LOUNGE: Now I did not have a milestone book or a Rita nomination this year, but was happy to ride on the coattails of author Susan Meier and be her plus one.  She had BOTH a nomination and a milestone (her 50th Book!).  Prior to the big Friday night bash we had an invite the V.I.P Lounge that included make-up artists and hair stylists to make authors really shine before the party.  Editors, Execs and authors mingled and snacked after a toast by Donna Hayes, C.E.O of Harlequin, Int.  Really, I wish I could have stayed there all night but it was off to the party for dancing, open bar and treats.

Author Susan Meier with stylist on her right and Jenna Kernan on her left


HARLEQUIN AUTHOR PARTY: I made it to midnight and had such fun.  A highlight was dancing on the floor with author greats Brenda Jackson and Nora Roberts.  Now that is a party!

Harlequin Digital Jayne Hoogenberk interviews author Jenna Kernan before the Rita Awards (r).


RITA AWARDS: I got to sit at a reserved table with Susan Meier and Jessica Hart who were both nominees.  Prior to the ceremony the Harlequin UK editors offered a Champaign toast and good wishes to their nominees.  The coveted statues were awarded and I especially appreciated the speech by Eloisa James, who showed off a handful of silver Rita® pins marking her numerous nominations prior to her win.  I have two silver pins representing my two nominations and am considering making earrings.


The MET – 8 hours, 6 miles and I still didn’t see it all

Friday, June 28th, 2013

It’s true.  My Fitbit pedometer says I walked 6 miles, most of it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I was there from open to close and I did not see it all.  I heard a man moaning to his wife that the tour only gave them an hour to see the MET and he knew he’d never even get a taste.  He was right.  When I have a full day in the MET, I have two objectives.  First I want to visit my favorite places and objects and second I want to find somewhere I have never been.  This time I found two entire floors that I had never set foot it.  It’s like exploring Hogwarts only with a better map.

Which floors, you ask, did I miss?  The first is the mezzanine above the main gallery in the Greek and Roman sculpture.  These are huge galleries, one of which has an entire chariot, yet I never set foot in them before.  The second is the third floor of the American Wing.  Did you know they have an entire room from the 1600 America up there?  Incredible.

                                                                                                              The view from MET rooftop garden is spectacular

This visit I was there at the right season to visit the rooftop gallery and café.  This spot has amazing views of Central Park and the city beyond.


Africa, Oceana and the Americas Section of the Museum is less crowded. A hidden jewel.

I love all the open spaces in the MET.  Top on my list are the large gallery in the Africa, Oceana and the Americas gallery, the large open area in the Greek and Roman Art galleries, The American Wing open sculpture garden, and the Egyptian Temple of Denhur.  Medieval Arts has an open place, the Medieval Sculpture Hall, where they set the nativity each year.  There is a Spanish courtyard (Gallery 534 Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco) just to the left of the grand staircase that is very beautiful.  Unfortunately, I did not see the Chinese Vanderbilt garden this trip because it is closed for renovations.  I hope they are taking good care of the koi fish.

Impressionist in the 19th Century European Art galleries are always popular, but if you get there early you can sometimes avoid the crowds.

Some of my favorite painting are by John Singer Sargent in The American Wing, including Madame X.  In the European section, I visit the Gauguin each trip (The Annenberg Collection: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Masters)  and in the Modern Art area I love Modigliani, O’Keeffe and Matisse.

The American Wing has lots of Tiffany windows, glass works and jewelry

As for decorative arts, I always love Tiffany’s windows and anything that is jewelry.  Faberge eggs are on display, if you can find them.

Moonstones and Montana sapphires, by Tiffany

I returned home footsore and astonished at how much I saw, how much I didn’t have time to see and feeling bereft for that man who only had a hour in that magical museum.