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Buying My First Home Has Taught Me That I’m Not Always Excellent At Life

September 7th, 2014 No comments
Female hand reaching for a house isolated on a white background.

Being an agile life leopard requires more than getting your oil changed on time.

As an adult I’ve been living for years under the embarrassingly wrong-headed (but kind of adorable) assumption that I’m decent at life. Not great, mind you, but I’ve got the swing of things. Routine and practice has insidiously bred false confidence. I totally have checking email, getting my oil changed, and setting up online banking accounts down. I am queen of the universe!

As a child and uber sulky teenager, I was constantly faced with new experiences that reminded me quite clearly that I was not an agile life leopard. I remember, all too clearly, misaligning my car the first time I tried to enter an automatic car wash, desperately feeding empty envelopes into the ATM because it was making a whirrrring noise (note: Banks are really unhappy if you feed blank envelopes into the ATM), and nearly hyperventilating when trying to navigate the Atlanta airport alone on my first business trip.

At this point in my life, I feel like I “get it.” I don’t mean to humble brag, but I’ve got a few good crock pot recipes up my sleeve, have managed to automate about 90% of my online bill pay, and I even paid my taxes two weeks before the deadline this year. So you can see where all the false confidence starts seeping in, right?

But recently I embarked on a strange and perilous journey filled with frustration, maddening costs labeled “Document Signing Fee to Escrow,” and forced inner reflection. I am buying my first home.

And guess what? Turns out that I’m not as awesome at life as I thought.

My whole house buying issue is really about the fact that I don’t actually know how to make such a big decision. When my real estate agent opens up a door, I wander in trying to look confident as I glance at empty rooms and wonder, what am I supposed to feel? My agent will point to towards the ceiling and chirp about crown molding, and I’ll nod like, of course I totally know what that is and care deeply about it.

This is going to be the biggest purchase I make to date in my life. It’s going to turn into the place where I write, where I sleep, where I wonder important things like – how can sea water really be bad for you when our bodies need both water and salt? (Seriously, think about it.) A considerable chunk of the hours I work will go towards keeping this house in my possession. I will voluntarily agree to pay property tax, HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance, and an insane amount of interest along the way.

All of these thoughts keep playing in my mind as I wander from house to house thinking, How will I know it’s the one? Will a little bell go off somewhere in my brain? Please let there be some kind of internal perfect house-within-my-budget bell in my brain.  

One upside to this whole house hunting experience is that it has lodged me out of my usual comfort zone. The queen of the universe has retired her crown…at least for now! I think that’s a good thing.

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I Got A New Website And It’s Awesome!

October 5th, 2012 No comments

What’s the next best thing to winning the lottery, curing the obesity epidemic, or stopping Kia from ever showing another terrifying dancing hamster commercial*?

That’s right, getting a brand new website.

So you’ll forgive me if I throw myself a little awesomeness party (if you can’t come, just send your gift by mail. Checks and Visa gift cards also accepted) for the launch of my new website, www.JBennettWrites.com.

J Bennett Writes Home Page Screenshot

Ain’t She Purdy?

It’s not 100% done yet (my fault), but the bones are all there.

When I published my first novel,Falling – Girl With Broken Wings, I had my talented friend Marcella Smith design a website for the series. Then I started writing a couple of short stories about a grouchy vampire named Nathaniel and his very put-upon housekeeper, Deidre.

I realized that – hey, who knows where my brain will go? I certainly don’t. So, I decided that I needed a website for me, J Bennett the author (and my wandering brain).

www.JBennettWrites.com features both my Girl With Broken Wings series and my The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles series. I hope in the future to add even more pages as me and my brain write up some new adventures.

The site was designed by Marcella Smith of Paradigm Graphic Design. She’s amazing, by the way. If you need any graphic work done, she’s your gal.

I should just state for the record that if you notice any clunky page layouts or any graphics that look like a drunken monkey created them, that’s not Marcie. That’s me messing up Marcie’s design after she handed the site over to me (just turn away Marcie, turn away).

With that in mind, take a tour of the site if you have the time or inclination. For fans of the Girl With Broken Wings series, I plan on adding a few extras on the right menu of the GWBW pages. Stay tuned. They’ll be populated soon, I promise.

Thanks, as always, for all your support!

*Why aren’t more people taking the threat of giant mutant hamsters who have apparently learned to drive more seriously?

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Going Where Millions Have Gone Before – The Blog-o-sphere

January 1st, 2012 2 comments

Being shy. It’s awesome.

Especially when you want to do cool stuff like leave the house, talk to people who are not your reflection and take risks that will put you OUT THERE.

 OUT THERE is the delightful place where you strip down to your underoos and allow every sentient creature in the known universe to point and comment.

And people say the nicest things about your underoos.

Shy people love feedback. They love it when everyone in the world compliments them on their underoos. This is why shy people take risks all the time and become such successful and well-adjusted individuals.

This blog isn’t necessarily about being shy. It’s more about taking risks in spite of being shy and trying to succeed even though that almost certainly requires outside contact with people and the ability to project the aura of someone who is totally not freaking out about basically everything. I call this timid courage. I am trying to become a timid courageous person.

I own my own business. I’ve also just ePublished my first novel.

So very timid courageous.

And now this blog where I will attempt to write things. About myself. And other people will be able to read these things. Probably not many people at first, thankfully. Maybe not many people ever. But still. It’s out here. Me. In my underoos, sort of.

You can expect posts on writing, business, marketing, taking risks and my adventures in timid courageousness. I’ll also share some writing every so often.

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