Put numbers in their place

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 31 December 2016 | 3 Comments

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My Resolution for 2017.

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The Path Less Travelled

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 1 November 2016 | 0 Comments

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  I looked down over a cliff and with only a belief, a calling and a trusty pair of flipflops, I started down. This was the beach calling me, not one with tidy boardwalks and crowded with tourists, but shards of sandstone around me and underfoot, and not a soul around.
  It is not unlike the writing life, this trail less travelled. Our ability to spot paths few others can see, then craft a map of words to follow draws us into a life much craved by those watching, but lonely in its midst. It requires us to spend vast amounts of time in places no one else sees, imagines, or wants to be. Loneliness is not just a side effect, it is a catalyst to dive in, discover, finish, and connect. In this moment, however, I didn't recognized any of this. I only knew I felt inside as awash and submerged as the rocks below, a day beautiful above but churning within. 

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Getting to the roots, Engaging to the core

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 24 October 2016 | 0 Comments

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Two weeks ago my beloved 50-foot silver maple tree succumbed to high winds and uprooted my lawn and my world. I've just spent five days taking my world back, not replanting to replace or duplicate, but embracing the opportunity to reach deeper, higher, differently. 

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Resolutions we can Keep

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 5 January 2016 | 0 Comments

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It's fresh start time, but I have the attention span of a flea and am by necessity, cheap. Can I commit to anything workable? Here are my thoughts.

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Five things my father's life teaches me about writing

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 18 December 2015 | 5 Comments

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     I am my father's daughter, a fact that both enriches and terrifies me. This will, however, make me a better writer. Here's how.
First, though, a bit about my dad. He wasn't a writer, he was an electrician by trade, both of us in the business of connecting: his medium was electricity, mine was words. We also didn't realize then, but it is apparent now, that we shared something else: battles with ourselves,  defining our lives from the time we both could remember. For him, it was being born a gentle, loving soul into a sandpaper world, a determined spirit in a body plagued by childhood illness and chronic pain, a  life lived, as a result, in the protection of intellect while the spirit starved. On rare days his spirit won, and in those moments anyone in his presence, ever so brief, was made to feel part of something special, warm, aware, trusting in the great potential and unseen of the universe, until intellect would slam shut the door and begin the lockdown anew. His battle ended, I pray, with his passing on Dec. 13, 2015. 
Reflecting on his life and death, however, has kicked my battle into high gear. I possess that same intellect, that same ability to talk myself out of things or even shut myself down rather than risk anything: stage fright as a child so severe that I quit the music I loved altogether at 16, and that by 30 was creeping into my writing as well. Shyness, self-doubt, fear of one's own voice are all butterfly kisses of death to any form of success as a writer.  
Life is choice.
So, should I ignore my spirit's desire to connect through writing and save myself a lifetime of combat? Or, do I take a breath and dive into the memories, risking pain and drowning to find treasures of knowledge my time with my father has created?
I choose memories. There are thousands upon thousands, so for this first attempt I didn't dive too deeply, and found these five. They came from our epic father-daughter battles, and from the quiet of just sitting together, saying nothing, knowing everything. Some things he taught me about what to do. Some are things I wished could have taught him.
Here they are, five things my father's life teaches me about writing.  

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A novelist, not a poet? Think again

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 28 April 2015 | 2 Comments

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Writing Rose, the character I didn't want to know

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 21 November 2014 | 0 Comments

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Writers control the story. So why choose a main character I didn’t like? Simple answer: he did, my male lead Jack, years ago, when I wrote my first book, Finding Maria. Rose was his love, his choice, and ultimately, his source of heartbreak when suddenly she was gone. To love Jack, which I do, hence the series of books to explore his life, I had to at least acknowledge the woman who made him a husband and father, and over two decades evolved to be the centre of his world. His heart had made its choice. To do justice to his story, I had to share hers, and that meant getting past the prickly habits and annoying weaknesses to the heart and soul of this woman. I didn’t have to like her, but I did have to understand her.

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Seed, Feed 'n' Weed: using stress to strengthen my spirit

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 14 July 2014 | 4 Comments

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In May, stress was winning I came close to giving up. Instead, I hit pause, and tried something new. And it worked. 

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Lessons from a clothesline

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 20 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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My basement clothesline now sags with dripping wet clothes. The forecast said thunder showers; I was swayed by the brilliant blue sky. So who do I blame: nature, myself, or this bloody Nova Scotia weather that changes literally in the blink of an eye?

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