How Porch Swing Writing Got Its Name

My stuffed animals heard a lot of stories when I was a little girl. A pen and paper was no option for a tiny blind writer, and a Perkins Brailler was too bulky to be carried everywhere.
All of the drafting, character sketching, writing, and revising occurred inside my head.
For better or worse, very likely for the better, the audience for those early imaginings was limited to my Grandma, and my stuffed animals. I made up the stories, and just told them to whoever would listen. The “writing” was like dreaming then, but so vivid!
As I grew older, I liked to be outdoors when I was dreamwriting. In the springtime, I spent hours on my Mam-Maw’s porch swing, surrounded by the scent of hyacinths and lulled by the sound of birdsong. Stories took shape against that peaceful backdrop, and although I technically had no way of writing them down, those are still my sweetest writing memories.
Time passed and technology eclipsed my imagining. I possess ways to write that fit in my pocket! Now I write indoors, and publish instantly if I so desire. But I named this blog for the time and place when my writer’s voice was formed, on a porch swing, with spring and youth blossoming, and the possibility of magic in every dawn and evening.
Welcome, to Porch Swing Writing!

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The Front Porch

Welcome to my front porch.

Sit a while, have a glass of sweet tea, or a bite to eat, and I will tell you a little about myself.

My name is Jena.

When I was a little girl, hay and honeysuckle were the scents I loved, and the sound of mockingbirds was my symphony. In my little hometown in east Texas, I sold Girl Scout cookies, took ballet and gymnastics, played a cow in the Christmas pageant at church, and had amazing birthday parties. I went through an awkward preteen stage, but it all worked out. In high school, I played drums in the marching band, acted as class President, stressed over SAT scores, and even won Band Sweetheart. A fortress of loving family supported me through all of it. I grew up sweet and slow, in a town filled with good people.

I went to college, got a cool apartment, and thought I knew a lot more than I did. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, but I had a lot of fun along the way. Later, I met my best friends, walked a half marathon, read a lot of books, and wrote some as-yet-unpublished novels to pass the time.

These days, I adore animals, including skunks and snakes. I am slightly obsessed with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I will watch football for twelve hours straight, and baseball doubleheaders for as long as they last. Diet Coke is my oxygen! I love exercise, once i can get myself into it, and swimming is my favorite outdoor activity. Sometimes, I do stupid hilarious things that make my friends love me even more, and sometimes I give everything I have and don’t succeed. In other words, I am normal, quirky, imperfect, and occasionally amazing.

I have been blind since shortly after birth. It’s inconvenient on occasion, but otherwise, no big deal. I have a severe sleep disorder called Non 24, which is a result of my inability to see light. That challenge is much more difficult, because it disrupts my life on a regular basis. I also have temporal lobe epilepsy, and although my seizures are infrequent, they are the greatest hurdle for me where my health is concerned. In short, I am no stranger to adversity.

Even so, I love my life, and I feel blessed! My parents and grandparents taught me to see the world through a lens of optimism, to view unfairness or hardship as a challenge rather than an end, and most of all, to be grateful, for things big and small. My younger brother taught me that blindness made no difference, by treating me normally. My uncles taught me to laugh. My friends taught me about grace, dignity, and selflessness. If I am a good person, it is because every person in my life played a part in making me who I am today.

There is still so much I want to do.  I want to visit Scotland, see animals in Australia, become a life coach, try scuba diving, and a million other things. I hope I can share my vision of the world with you, make you smile, and leave you glad that you read this blog.

Come by any time.

I will be out here on the porch swing, writing and dreaming.