Digging Deep & Finding Out Who I Am

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – The Litany Against Fear, Dune

Yellow Sash

Jennelle’s Yellow Sash in Kung Fu

Last weekend I took my first martial arts test. Let me back up a bit first, though, so I can explain this. I’m over 40 years old. I started learning the martial art of T’ai Chi about six and half years ago and only in the last two years or so have I begun studying Kung Fu. Most of the kids I study with could be *my* kids by their age alone. I’m certainly not the oldest person in class, but I am the oldest testing in the Kung Fu classes so far.

This test I took consisted of seven kids still in their teens and early twenties, a guy in his 30s (bless him for showing up), and me. It was more than a physical endurance test, though. In addition to demonstrating our ability to perform martial arts techniques accurately over time, we also had write a two-page paper (sweet Jesus so short!) answering the question “Why do you practice martial arts?” Continue reading


8 Rules to Become a Great Writer

There’s considerable pressure in writing a blog post that will land directly on a holiday. I have to confess I panicked momentarily when I realized I would be the Teatime blogger responsible for Christmas. I flirted with a take on the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas for a moment because the ideas amused me, but nothing really stuck. Eventually, I put everything on the back burner for a while and let my subconscious work on the idea until something popped to the forefront.

Gift boxI wanted my Christmas post to be something special for everyone. A gift of writing if you will, suitable to the holiday season. It was actually during a martial arts class that I realized I had the perfect “gift” to give all our readers here at Teatime. During the question and answer session after a particularly difficult kung fu workout, I realized that the rules to become a great martial artist actually apply to being great at anything you do, including becoming a published novelist. Best of all, there are only 8 rules to remember. Just eight. That’s it. Sharing them is my holiday gift to you all. (I hope you approve, Sifu!)

Happy holidays,

~ Jennelle ~

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