Jessie answers your questions

I hope you all had a joyous Christmas and were able to stay warm and comfy. : )

We had a mostly quiet weekend. We dealt with the cold like everyone else, with a few frozen lines and some equipment that wouldn’t start and fun stuff like that. We didn’t lose any animals, even the little calf that was born just before the rain that ushered in the cold. She’s doing great and I posted a pic and asked for names for her in the Cowboy group I’m in on Facebook. 

When I have to work in really cold weather, I always say to myself, I won’t complain this summer when it’s 100 degrees out and the humidity is high and everyone is miserably hot. I’d rather be hot than cold any day, and deep chills like the one we just had make me appreciate summer. So, if you hear me complaining this summer about the heat (I can almost guarantee you won’t, but you never know) just tell me I should be happy the water lines aren’t frozen, okay?

But, really, whatever weather God gives me is fine with me and I’ll thank Him for health and life and all the good blessings he showers on me daily. 

I promised I’d answer some questions in my newsletters for the next couple of weeks, and boy, did you guys ever go to town on asking me stuff!

By far the most popular question was, how do I do everything. : ) I’m so glad you asked. lol 

I’ve been thinking about what to say and will have the answer to that in a newsletter soon, but today I’m going to answer two other questions. 

First, an easy one. : ) 

I just finished “Cowboy Marrying the Lady” and was wondering if I somehow missed Daphne’s story with her little girl Powell? I really enjoyed the series and the piecemakers.

Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the series, and I loved writing the Piece Makers. lol And, yes! I wrote Daphne’s story and you can get it HERE.

 And a slightly harder question: How did you get started writing?

This is a great question. Especially because I am not like a lot of authors who always dreamed of writing a book and always carried around a pen and notebook and jotted ideas down, or had drawers full of stories or anything like that.

I guess I had some aptitude for it in school since I was chosen for a special writing…conference or something (is it terrible that I can’t even remember what it was? I think there were four of us from our school who were chosen, but it was a small school) and I won some awards for my writing, but I never considered being a writer. Not even for a second.

So, anyway, in February 2013, I was sitting on the couch reading on my laptop. That was about the time I had discovered ebooks. I didn’t have a Kindle (had they been invented yet?) and I had borrowed a few from my library since it was February in Pennsylvania and I didn’t drive anywhere I didn’t have to, not even to the library. ; )

I had finished teaching for the day and my kids were running around the house. I wasn’t really paying attention, because I was frustrated with the poor quality of the book I was reading. I can’t remember now what was wrong with it, but the story was just…not to my liking, I guess, because I slapped my laptop closed and said (to no one in particular), “Anyone could write a better book than that!” 

My husband just happened to be walking from the office through the living room (where I sat on the couch) to the sliding glass door. He was heading outside to check on the maple sap we had boiling out there, making syrup. He stopped and turned and looked at me and said, “Why don’t you?”


Well. I guess that will teach me to complain. I had never considered writing a book before and after he said that, while I considered it, I wasn’t sure if I even could. But, it was like God opened that door in my mind – one I hadn’t even known was there – and I knew I wanted to try.

So, that was 2013. I spent the next five years writing every chance I got. I wrote six books that will never be published. (Yes, they were that terrible, and also the computer they were on has long since passed away, so they are lost to mankind, thankfully.) 

I wrote over a million words, revised them what felt like hundreds of times, read books, took classes, wrote more, entered contests (did terrible, like finished dead last pretty much every time), wrote more, read more, took more classes, entered more contests and did marginally better, and kept doing that, over and over. 

I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to write anything worth reading, but I don’t quit very well, especially since I felt like this was something God wanted me to do. Sometimes I thought that was just becuase my kids were watching me to see if disappointment after disappointment and rejection after rejection would make me quit and they were watching, too, to see how hard I was willing to work to make this thing happen. 

After all, I’d always told them that if they could read and knew how to work hard, they could do anything God wanted them to do, because, once you can read, if you’re willing to put the work in, you can learn anything you need to know. I never got super fancy or anxious about our homeschool, because I always figured that if any of my kids wanted to do something bad enough, they would teach themselves how or find a way. 

I guess that’s what I was doing.

Finally, in 2017, I started doing okay in the contests I entered, then I started winning. lol At the beginning of 2018, I had two manuscripts accepted for publication from three different publishers. I accepted the offers of two.

There were a lot of different reasons, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that self-publishing was the best path for me. So, on December 22, 2018, I hit “publish” for the first time. 

Thanks so much for spending time with me today!

Hugs and love,


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