Flash from the past: This is a picture from last December of my three oldest girls and one Spanish exchange student. It was a great semester! I know it’s summer, and this is a Christmas photo; but if your summer is humid and hot like it is in Vermont, you might be dreaming of December and icy cool snow too! I honestly would love to ski right now.

Anyway, children change your life. They keep it real. From the time they’re born with their delicate cries that keep you awake late into the night, through the years with illnesses, school, friends, activities, happy times, frustrating times, and all sorts of various events. They keep life evolving.

When my kids were little do I dare say times were almost radically different than they are now. I home schooled the oldest four for ten years. We lived with a yard overflowing with berries, woods, and wild life. It was a wonderful experience, a slice of heaven. Now they’re all in school and headed in different directions. We live in a public area with a tiny yard. Although I am happy to say that we do have a few berries, a cool tree to climb, and an adorable bunny who hops in and out once in a while. But I am now living through the “new” life of teens, with dating and driving, along with the familiar road of tiny tigers. It basically means that because of these beautiful souls I am perpetually sleep-deprived; my time is rarely my own. I hear all kinds of things. My oldest daughter tells me that kids are brutally honest with their feelings. Wow is that the truth. So, yes, children have shaped our lives, made us humble. Every once in a while my husband nods his head and says, “We’re going to get through this.” He says that because our lives are enriched, but it doesn’t go without a struggle sometimes.

Keeping life real is about respect. I love and care about my own kids and those who come into my home. With exchange students from varying countries, we are learning to respect different beliefs and cultures. I hope that experiencing such a busy household will change their lives for the better. I know it’s changing mine. I like to think that helping each other is a two-way street that benefits all of us, and leaves us with something we can share with the world.

So hey…why not rejoice in today’s youth? Kids make a difference. They’re our future. They certainly do keep life real!

About jvcarrwriterauthor

Everybody has realistic dreams, ones that start with a seed in the heart, are watered, then grow. Well...I finally published my dream, my young adult novel entitled Username: Bladen. The idea to write it literally struck me in the darkness of the night. I began this project not too long ago, though now it feels like forever. This book, in its original manuscript form, meandered down a typical publishing path in many ways, until it recently settled (Yay!) on the shelves of cyberspace. Soon, I hope it will find a happy home on the shelves of many book lovers, in a real home not just a virtual one. After all who doesn't like to see their dreams come true? Today, with the technological advances that we enjoy, dreams of publishing are well within a writer's grasp. Every mom, much to their chagrin, experiences sleepless nights. With six kids, I honestly can't remember the last time I slept through the night. Typically, when I wake up and can't fall back to sleep, I think too much about things, meditate, or pray. One night as I was praying, the plot for Username: Bladen literally flooded my thoughts. I got so excited about it that I decided to sit down and write and write and write. I spent a lot of time learning about publishing. I joined forums and writers' groups. When I finished my manuscript, I entered it into The Sandy Writing contest, which was a terrific learning experience. I didn't win, but one judge loved my story and gave me almost a perfect score. That gave me a lot of encouragement. I also queried it a little, and am amazed by how much I learned and loved the process. I know nobody likes rejection letters, but I appreciated the personal letters I received from agents that gave me insight into why they rejected my manuscript. Then finally, after I learned that publishers don't have a lot of shelf room for young adult novels with a male protagonist, I decided to stop querying and publish through Westbow. I found an extremely talented editor, and rather quickly finished the process of publishing my book. I couldn't be happier with the final result. If anyone has a story to tell, are willing to be diligent, and have a dream to be a published author, you can do it! Believe in yourself and make your dream come true!
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