Joyful approach badgeHello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome the most fabulous Amy Lane to the blog.  I adore her books and am so excited to have her come and visit as part of the Joyful Approach Countdown to GRL!

Amy is here to share some thoughts on GRL with us. She has also brought a massive, three-book giveaway for one lucky reader! So please join me in giving her a big welcome! 

Evolution by Amy Lane

So, I got to do a podcast interview the other night, and, as always, I was partly embarrassed and partly excited to be given the opportunity to talk about myself for quite so long.  When the interview was over, I listened to it again and realized two things.

  1. Geez, did my voice sound older.  When I first started teaching, over twenty years ago, we used to have to film ourselves teaching, and I always thought the woman in the video sounded sort of squeaky and infantile—a lot like Minnie Mouse, but with less authority.  I mean, I’d like to look like that person again—she was a lot thinner, had fewer wrinkles, and her red hair didn’t come from a bottle—but her voice.  Yeesh.  No wonder the kids walked over her!
  2. I had a lot to talk about.  For every question, I had at least three stories or ways to go with the reply.  Back to the girl (twenty-three!) in the videos, I remember a lot of “uhms” and a lot of dead space—there were times in front of the students that I just didn’t know what to say.

And there you have it—the benefits of innocence and experience.

The beginnings of something are very often pretty, fresh faced, and enthusiastic.  (My enthusiasm right out of college was sort of nauseating, honestly.  Hubris.  I remember lots and lots of hubris.)  As things age, that prettiness takes a little more work, and enthusiasm is tempered by experience, knowledge, and a deepening awareness that not everything you think should be done is going to get done, and that everything and everybody has it’s limitations.

Well, when I put it like that, you’d want to pick innocence over experience every time, wouldn’t you?  I mean, the energy levels alone are pretty damned spiffy to have!

But it’s like having kids when you’re younger versus having kids when you’re older—everything’s a trade off.  What you give up in energy and playfulness you get in patience and solvency.  Yeah—I don’t really want to find the energy to take the kids camping every year, but I do have the resources to take them on vacation with a great hotel and super shopping opportunities and wi-fi!  I love camping, but dudes… wi-fi!  And honestly?  I’m a lot more patient, and a lot more sure of the things I choose to do with my children.  The self-questioning of the young is incessant and sometimes damned near paralyzing.  That?  Over.  All gone.  If I’m going to fight with my kids about something now, you can bet it’s life or death.

It’s that dichotomy, that trade-off, I think, that makes continuing a tradition and allowing a thing to evolve so very important.

So sure, when I look back at my beginnings, I was cuter, skinnier, and hella less gray and wrinkly—but look at all I’ve learned!   My voice is deeper and richer, and I’m a lot more confident in front of a crowd, and I’ve got a plethora of stories to draw from, some happy, some sad, that make me a little more entertaining than I was when I was young, exuberant, and really frickin’ cute.

That doesn’t just happen with people, actually.

Things bigger than people—events, companies, literary groups, schools—they have the same sort of exchange.  The first year, the thing is bright, exuberant, fresh and if it was anything like me as a teacher, disorganized and lacking in focus.

But that second year and that third year and so on—well, that’s when that fine-tuning goes on.  That balance between raw enthusiasm and attention to detail and focus and mission that turns something bigger than one person into something extraordinary.

So all of this?

Was the long way around to talk about GRL.

I wasn’t there on the ground floor—but then, three years ago, I was not nearly as brave about being an author in public.  Last year, I got to see the event as it was evolving—raw enthusiasm and bright, enthusiastic people fine-tuning and tweaking things to make for a better experience.

With the authors I know will be there, and the people I know in charge?  I’m pretty sure the sky is the limit for how amazing this is going to be!


chase in shadowFor Jay’s giveaway—and to celebrate the release of Ethan Gold in time for GRL, I’m giving e-book copies of Super Sock Man, Chase in Shadow, and Dex in Blue to one lucky winner. If the winner has the books in e-book, I can send a signed paperback copy of either Chase or Dex, so let us know!

Dreamspinner will upload the books into the winner’s DSP account (which you can get for free). All you need to do is leave a comment below to enter. The contest closes on Thursday, September 12th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • dex in blue

  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

And here are some of Amy’s pics from GRL!