*Jen throws confetti and pops the bubbly*
Thank you Francine for letting me hang out at your blog today! You’re a fabulous ray of sunshine, and I would share my gluten-free cupcakes with you anytime. Unless I had only one left, then we’d have to negotiate. XOXO
(Thank you Jen for being here! It would not be the same without you, love! xo)
The question I’m asked most when chatting with readers and other authors, is what my family and friends think about being my cast of characters in my memoirs and movies. It can be a slippery slope writing non-fiction. Living under my roof are two fabulous yet extremely opposite male teenagers, a six-year-old daughter who wants to marry NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer, two Golden Retrievers with penchants for consuming sticks of butter and ant traps, and an ever-patient husband who tolerates my quirky creativity. If I’m not authentic when writing about my life experiences, readers will instantly know. They will feel it in the words I write, and the ones I omit. Yet, how much is too much to share concerning your personal sphere of family space?
It’s okay to tell the whole story, yet as a family we choose the story that’s told. There are some Tucker family secrets that shall remain that way after collectively we decided to twist it, lock it, and then put them in our pockets. I want write about our sagas, yet not end up on stage with Dr. Phil in five years with my friends and/or family cursing my existence. Yet if there’s a silver lining, a moral to the story or even a glimmer that a reader will relate and not feel alone in a similar experience or journey, then to me that’s worth its weight in concert tickets to see Seal. If you know me, that’s worth more than gold.
My teenagers are supportive and proud of what I do, yet I respect their desire to remain in the background when it comes to events and my penchant (translation: addiction) to making iMovies. My sweetie pie husband, Mike, is a willing participant. Director, actor, cameraman, key grip (I have no clue what that job entails—I just like saying it), you name it and he’s all in. His SAG card is pending approval as far as he knows.
And then there’s Gracie. She lives her little first grade life with a flair for the dramatic. She’s the child who built multilevel stages out of my FIRM Fanny Lifter in the basement at the age of three and choreographed a little ditty to the Britney Spears star maker, “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” Where she heard the song, how she created moves like Jagger all while straddling the world of Pull Ups and Dora the Explorer panties, I will never know. I guardedly let her be a part of my creative craziness because she wants to be involved. Plus, she has some great ideas!
In our Mr. Wonderful Season Finale video, it was Gracie’s idea to put him in the dollhouse and film her playing with him unbeknownst to moi. That scene played so well because of her little brainstorm.
Writing about my life, then sharing information with others by utilizing technology has led to wonderful things. Thanks to Twitter, Gracie has met and befriended half of an Indianapolis television station. I’ve been informed by my daughter to “know my place in the relationship” with this new set of friends she’s acquired. She doesn’t share well with others unfortunately. Without a little something like Facebook, I would’ve never met the fabulous Francine LaSala. I’m forever grateful to author Jim Higley for teaching me about iMovies at the 2013 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, or I would’ve missed out on an opportunity to make Francine laugh because I am 42 years young and play with dolls. Since she now claims me as a friend and her official court jester, it led to the humbling invitation to join her and six other talented authors at the inaugural Book Buzz NYC event later this month. Crazy, right?!
(Crazier still, Jen made awesome trailers for the event. Watch now!)
I don’t want you to be afraid to share your struggles, joys, and outrageousness with others. Your insanity just might be the sanity someone’s longing for. Embrace technology and utilize it for good rather than evil. It takes a village to raise Jen Tucker, so if I can make an iMovie and program my DVR to record Modern Family, you can too. Step away from technology once in a while and live life rather than just tweet or record it. Mr. Wonderful would want that for you.
Bestselling author JEN TUCKER has found a place in women’s nonfiction literature writing about days that seem to take a wrong turn before they even get off the ground. Her memoir, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out, was a 2011 Goodreads Book Awards semifinalist in the humor category, and she’s back with her latest memoir, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. Jen writes monthly humor columns for the popular websites Chick Lit Central and Survival for Blondes. She resides in West Lafayette, Indiana, with her ever-patient husband, their three children and two mischievous golden retrievers.