I’m Jen, age 21, and from Illinois. I’m currently a college junior at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, where I am studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with the goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist.
I have enjoyed writing my entire life. Ever since I first learned the alphabet, I’ve been writing and making up my own stories. English quickly became my favorite subject in school, and in third grade, I wrote and published my own picture book called Benny The Runt Banana. In seventh grade, I decided to try to write poetry, and although it was difficult, I immediately loved it. After being paralyzed by a neuroimmune disorder called Transverse Myelitis just before eighth grade, I was afraid that my years of writing were over. But I regained my left hand almost completely and taught myself to write with it, even though my right was originally my dominant hand. In July of 2013 I finished writing and publishing a book called 5k, Ballet, and a Spinal Cord Injury with my friend Sarah Todd Hammer, which is about our journeys with TM. This was followed by a sequel entitled Determination in August 2016, and then Up and Down in October 2018, the third and final book in our trilogy.
Over the years, I have written many different stories and poems, and in 2013 I decided to create a blog to keep and showcase my best work. For the most part, it began as various little poems and a couple short stories, but eventually, I started writing more blog-type posts as well.
When I was younger (even when I first started this blog), I knew that I was two things: writer and runner. I’m still a writer, of course, but I can no longer run. However, I do have other hobbies as well, such as singing and swimming. I recently competed in adaptive swim at the National Junior Disability Championships in Fort Wayne, IN in July 2018. I am also pretty obsessed with musical theatre, my favorite shows being Les Miserables, Next to Normal, and Hamilton!
Writing is still one of my biggest passions, and I hope you enjoy my work (even the terrible stuff from when I was younger)!
(This blog originated on Weebly, but I moved everything here a couple years ago!)