Posts by Jen Seriously

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Jennifer’s passion for reading began at the tender age of 3 when she enjoyed flipping through her father’s electronics catalogs to pick out the words she knew. That budding obsession with the written word progressed into late nights under the bed covers with books and a flashlight – and a reputation as the only child to be reprimanded for reading. As an adult, she found she still loved to read more than write, but is working on creating more of a balance between the two. She can be found 80 percent of the year in beautiful Boulder, Colorado hiking with her Finnish Lapphund, and the rest of the year travelling to exciting destinations, both domestic and international.

The Novel: Which Novel?

So…I kind of have a reputation for being a starter and not a finisher, especially when it comes to writing. I lack the ability to resist the next bright, shiny thing. I have a lot of ideas that I get excited about, and I have a hard time sticking with previous projects, making revisions, and god forbid actually going through the slog of submissions. I realize that this is foolish because I have a lot of great stories that I should attempt to put out into the world, but this is just the way I am.

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What Fresh Hell Is This?

Earlier this year, I ran a mountain relay race and it did something to my brain. It made me want to up my running game. I mean, distance? Yeah that’s kind of cool. Maybe someday I’ll run a marathon. But running uphill at 12,000 or 13,000 feet where you’re struggling for oxygen and then being pulled down the other side by gravity so fast that your legs can’t keep up and you nearly trip over your own feet and tumble down a ravine? That’s where it’s at. And that’s how I ended up spending money on more ways to torture myself. Continue reading →

The 14,000 Foot Summits of 2019

Despite the late start to 14er season this year, due to the massive amounts of snow over the winter, my friends and I managed to get in just as many peaks as in other years. Dedication to the cause! Not that I ever plan to hike them all—Class 4s with full climbing gear are definitely not for me—but it simply wouldn’t be a summer in Colorado if I wasn’t on the tippy top of the state at least a few times. Here are the five I ticked off my list in 2019.

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What I Did On My End of Summer Vacation

Saturday: Spent seven hours in the car

Sunday: Went grocery shopping

Monday: Called into an all-hands at my full time job

Tuesday: Did half an hour of work for a freelance client

Wednesday: Got my oil changed

Thursday: Groomed the dog

Friday: Woke up to a 6:30 AM alarm

Saturday: Cleaned up the house

Sunday: Got stuck in a traffic jam (until I was crafty enough to find a way around it because I carry an atlas in my car since I often travel places where there is no cell service, as in this case)

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Where Have I Been?

It’s been awfully quiet here on Jen Seriously for the last two months. What gives?

The simple answer is that I’ve been trying to prioritize my time better. Without any real responsibilities or obligations outside my full time job, I have plenty of free time, but I do a lot with that time and have a lot of hobbies, interests, and personal goals. Trying to balance each of them so I feel like I’m maximizing my life, making time for what makes me happy, and working toward specific plans I have for my future isn’t easy. At the time this posts, I’ll be driving back to Boulder from a week-long trip to the mountains in southwest Colorado. It was my unofficial end-of-summer last hurrah, and now it’s time to get down to business (although I’m secretly hoping the weather cooperates for at least two more camping weekends). Continue reading →

Am I A Grown-Up Now?

Now that I’m 40 and half my life has gone by, it seems about time to do the big girl thing and commit. To property. I almost bought a townhouse back in January and then I didn’t…and then, a week ago, I bought the same townhouse I passed on before. Well, not the exact same one, but it’s in the same community and it’s the same unit letter and position, just one building down. I’m glad I waited because the interest rate I have now is a full percent lower than what I had back in January. That’s tens of thousands of dollars in savings on a loan this big. Plus, I got a better unit because in this one, the previous owner shrunk both the kitchen and bathroom slightly to fit in a third bedroom. The location of the building is also better, with a large tree at the corner and not butting right up to the next building.

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Ghosts of Colorado Past

At the end of June, I flew my dad out from Buffalo for a little visit. The last time he was here, four years ago, I lived in downtown Denver, by Union Station, so we did a lot of city activities. This time, I’m a Boulder gal and much more outdoorsy, so the itinerary was quite different. We made a huge loop from Boulder to Glenwood Springs, down to Ouray and Durango, across to South Fork, and then back up to Boulder. We visited some natural wonders, like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes National Park, but the main purpose of the trip was to check out old mining towns. My plans were somewhat thwarted by the massive dumps of snow Colorado had all winter, even as late as June 21, which meant some of the back country roads I wanted to take to get to the most remote places were still closed the last weekend of June. But we got to roam around plenty of places that were good fodder for the imagination. And I’m sure my dad was happy that he was saved from more jostling around in my SUV than he already got.

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Chi-Town, Take Two

Despite my love of big cities, I somehow didn’t make it to Chicago until I was 35 and then never made it back. So when Solar had a week long conference there—giving me a free place to stay right on the river—I decided to join. Why not? And when he suggested we extend the stay through the weekend since he has friends there we could stay with, again, why not? And so my United rewards ticket carried me off. With the exceptions of the view of Trump tower from my hotel and the weird sewage smells that hit my nostrils from time to time as I roamed the city, the trip was fantastic. Every day brought fun experiences, and here are the three best days.

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The Half Year Book Report (#5)

Here are the books I finished from January 1 through June 30 2019. Of particular note is that I just discovered Curtis Sittenfeld and clearly enjoy her work, since I read two of her books this period and am in the middle of a third. And then got to meet her at LitFest, along with some other wonderful authors Helen McDonald, Erika L Sanchez, Melissa Febos, and Ross Gay. Curtis was as lovely as her writing is. But…the highlight of LitFest was meeting my favorite, favorite, favorite essayist Sloane Crosley! She came right up to my table as I was enjoying the pre-panel discussion catering and we chatted for a few minutes. If I lived in NYC, I’d want to be her best friend. She’s just so cool!  Continue reading →