No Fools this April Fool’s Day

I’m just finishing my last minute packing before Mac and I dash out the door to catch our 4 pm flight to Hawaii.  It’s going to be wonderful to see Ty.  It’s been a month since we were all last together and that’s a lot of time for Ty to miss out on his baby boy’s life but Spring Break meant that Ty has needed to stay there and my kids and school has meant I’ve needed to stay here but twelve hours from now we’ll all be together again for the next 3 weeks.

As I finished cleaning off my desk and checking items off my to-do list I came across a blog post from my friend and fellow author Kristin Harmel.  I met Kristin, Liza Palmer and Megan Crane all through Grand Central Publishing.  We all wrote for the 5 Spot line and became great friends. 

The thing about Kristin’s blog post that caught my eyes is that it was about her—and well, me.  As I read the blog I remembered exactly where and when it took place–the lobby bar of the swanky hotel I was staying at while attending the St. Petersburg Book Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Kristin and I were on a panel together and Kristin’s a native of the area and we were able to attend the welcome reception together and then spend the next day together as well.

I remember thinking at the time–this is a bit presumptious of me.  Who am I to suggest, much less tell, another writer how to write?  

I remember her expression.  I remember my own sinking heart.  The why, oh why, did I open up this can of worms?  You see, I’m so damn honest and I do love the craft of writing.  If I can help make a book stronger, I want to.  If someone can help make my books stronger, I want that advice, too.  It’s not that writing is a team sport, but we can always grow and improve.  

Today as I read Kristin’s blog, , I loved her message–we can always find ways to grow.  There is always something we can improve upon.  I know I want to improve on my terrible habit of procrastination, especially when it comes to writing.  Starting a new book, or facing the day’s pages, can create tremendous anxiety within me  and so I’ll often do anything and everything but actually write.  I’ll answer fifty email, write a speech, write a blog, put together a nine city book tour…but write?  Dig down inside me and face the scary face of failure?  To dig down inside and not come up with anything remotely good or interesting to say?  Ah, frightening! 

I loved Kristin’s blog so much (and no, not just because it included stuff about me, but because it made me think about how I’m tired of continuing the same bad habits and really want to change) that I’m going to do a special double-blog contest prize.  Here’s how it works–read Kristin’s blog, and then  comment here on my blog that yes, you did read it, and answer the question she posts at the end of her blog and you’re entered in the Kristin Harmel/Jane Porter book giveaway.  I’ll be picking 1 name for every 10 blog entries.  So if 100 people posted, I’d pick ten winners.  And what’s the great prize?  A copy of Kristin’s awesome Italian for Beginners, a signed copy of one of my Easy On The Eyes, a Starbucks card, some chocolate and lots of JP reader goodies.  Contest will run through Monday night.  I’ll count up the comments and announce the winners Tuesday morning.  Ready to win?  Go read Kristin’s blog and comment below, and you’re entered!

And now I better finish packing because my wonderful Surfer Ty is waiting!


  1. Hi Jane, I read the blog and I tried to answer Kristin’s question there, but something happened.

    It was awesome. The question you asked her, really resonated with me. I find it difficult to tough things out when they are specific to me, but let it be someone I care about, and I am a mamabear. I have to learn to do that for myself more.

    I deal very well with confrontation. I really hate it actually, I tend to walk away when it involves others, unless it escalates and someone is gonna get hurt. I hate it when couples argue. I think my idealized view of love, romance and relationships hinders my ability to deal with all the negative stuff that goes with it. I view love as pure and it can never be tested…yeah, my rational mind knows the view is a little skewed, but I can’t seem to get over that particular image. It is what I want, and the idea that it is faulty makes it somehow seem false. My mind is a little messed up when it comes to love and relationships, so forgive me. I hope that made some sense.

    I hope you have a wonderful spring break with your boys in HI. Have a great flight, and have fun. Aloha!!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

    1. Um, Jane, that should read, “I don’t deal very well with confrontation.”

      Peace and love,
      Paula R.

  2. Aw, thanks!!!!!! I’m so glad you liked what I wrote! Your words that day really inspired me, and I will always appreciate you taking the time to give me that insight and advice!

    Now my only regret is that I don’t think I’m eligible to win the Starbucks card from you (I’ve already read — and loved — your book . . . and, well, yes, I’ve also read my own book!). Rats!

    (Oh, and I procrastinate too!!!!)

    Have a great trip! Thanks again for the inspiration. 🙂

  3. I was surprised by how easily I related to Kristin’s blog. I’m not really familiar with her as an author, but I felt like I could totally relate to her difficulty with facing up to tough emotions. I’m a very non-confrontational person. I think it stems from my upbringing. There was a fair amount of conflict between my parents when I was younger and I don’t want that in my life, but at the same time conflict is a part of life and you don’t want to compromise yourself to make others happy. It’s a tough balance to maintain.

    I think my personal goal would be to be more open minded to new people. I got out of my most significant relationship in 2008 and I think I’ve been in a bit of a rut since then. I’ve used school and reading as an escape from dealing with the more complicated feelings that came with that separation. I still feel kind of lost when I think about what went wrong with that relationship. I know we both played roles in it’s end, but I wanted us to fight to make it work because he was my first real love. In the long run, it’s probably better that it fizzled out when it did, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling sad about it sometimes. That being said, I don’t want to continue to dwell on the past. I want to be able to be open to new people and new opportunities and move forward in my personal life. That would be my April resolution.

    Hope you have a wonderful time in Hawaii! I wish Ty lots of success!


  4. My First Day of April resolution is to not spend so much time on the computer so I can accomplish the goals I set for myself at New Year. I have been working towards those New Year goals, but at the rate I’m going, it’s going to take forever! There just never seems to be enough hours in a day!

    Enjoy your time in Hawaii with your family ~ you deserve it!

    1. Oops! I forgot to say that I read Kristin’s blog – I just went ahead & answered the question. Sorry.

  5. I read Kristin’s blog and it was thought provoking and interesting. I would like to be able to confront people who for various reasons have offended me, but I walk away from them and pretend that they don’t exist. I believe that I should be strong enough to voice my opinion and for them to understand where they stand with me. Have a wonderful trip to Hawaii and enjoy every minute of this family getogether.

  6. I thought Kristen’s blog was very insightful, and I think your statement was the reason why. It actually sounded very much like me too, so I need to think on it further.

    My April 1st resolution is to not go insane while my kids are all home from school for the month! 😉 Just kidding – sort of. I’d really like my resolution to be that I commit to my writing and not be scared that I’m going to fail or, frankly, succeed. Just do it.

  7. Jane, I thought Kristen was really smart to listen to you AND how thoughtful of you to help her! I resolve today to try to live more in the moment and do less worrying. IF I were a writer, I would wish for friends like you to be my sounding board. Like Kristen, I am that person that wants everyone to be happy which sometimes means I end up being unhappy. I am going to work on that, too.

  8. Hi Jane,

    I read Kristen’s blog and found both her blog and yours to be very interesting.

    My life has actually been filled with TOO much conflict lately. I’m not a conflict avoider, so have not been too troubled by it all; sometimes it helps to vent and it sure makes it easy when there’s an obvious target. But for my peace and sanity, my April resolution is to take the high road in my divorce, quit worrying about all the other women, and just do what’s best for my children…conflict free.

  9. I read Kristen’s blog and found it very interesting! I would love to confront some people in my life (one in paticular who has tried to make my life miserable) but I usually try to put it aside. In the end it really wears on me emotionally and mentally. I have never been one who wants confrontation, but I am also tired of being walked all over!
    Great topic and great contest!!

  10. i read kristen’s blog and like everyone else felt a little connection with your advice. i don’t think i let people walk over me but i would rather be in happy situations and tend to ignore the bad ones.

    have a great time in hawaii- i hope you share pics!!

  11. i read both blogs, I found them both interesting. I need to stop doing things when I really don’t want to. It drives my kids crazy for all I do the whole time is complain. I’ve already stepped up to the plate, made a few people upset but tough for I needed to finally start saying no and mean it.Happy Easter and have a great time with surfer Ty.

  12. I read Kristin’s blog and you know sometimes it takes a friend to show you the way. lol My husband is my best friend and i know he has always told me as it is. Honestly i don’t think many people have that kind of person in their lives. I bet if i asked dear hubby what one thing i do he’d have a answer right away. Myself i know there is more than likely more than one thing but i am oblivious probably as to what it is. I used to let myself get pushed around. Suffer in silence but i try to pick and choose what things i need to get worked up about now. I have just as much worth as the next person and i have to remind myself of that now and then. It’s neat that you and your friend Kristen can be honest with each other. It’s a wonderful thing!


  13. I think a lot of women have some of the same problem. We’re innately peace-makers and problem solvers. I know I try to avoid things in the same way, mostly without realizing I’m doing it. My April Fool’s Day resolution is to take better care of myself after a mammogram scare today.

  14. Hey there Miss Jane!!
    I, too, tried to answer Kristin’s blog and it didn’t like me!! You know the old saying, “Try, Try and Try Again.” Well Girl, I did! NADA!
    Any way here’s my April Fool’s Day resolution: It’s really feeling like Spring here. I want to get outside and enjoy every single day. This has been a long, cold Winter and I am sick of being cooped up. So, here’s a big YIPPY to Spring and MWAH I’m glad it’s here!!!
    NOW YOU GO TAKE CARE OF TY! Give Mac a smooch! Have FUN and I wish I was there with you!!!

    1. I finally got thru to Kristan’s Blog. I believe that confrontation with some people causes more grief in certain situtaions. I avoid them! I do stand my ground when I need to for I am very stong-willed!

  15. I Jane,
    I read Kristin’s blog and she seems like my twin. I avoid confrontation. I think that why I loved reading the Presents line because there is always a big blow up in them.
    I tried to post my resolution but I couldn’t get it to work.

    But in response to Kristin’s question I think I am going to try and be more true to my feeling the rest of the year. Let people know when something upsets me instead of trying to shrug it off.

  16. jane, i read kisten’s bog, after trying many times to access it. my april resolution is to not let other people’s bad days and bad attitudes affect my day. i will do my best to help them, if possible, but sometimes if they won’t help themselves, there’s not alot i can do for them anyway. i have to learn there are just some things that can’t be changed unless the person wants them to; and is willing to do the work. have a great time with your family and enjoy!!!!

  17. I just read Kristin’s blog. I agree that I’m a procrastinator too. I also think I could be a better parent…more attentive to my kids during “their” time and then use that space of “my” time to focus on myself. I tend to lose my patience and need to work on that too. I don’t think I started April off too well in that respect. I hope I can improve as it continues. I love my children and only want the best for them.

  18. Jane,
    Great topic, as usual. There I go – I am acting like Kristen did, as I attempt to step away from the edge right off the bat and not answer the question! In light of your examples, that won’t do. Instead, what I need to do is to stop blaming other people for my not sticking to resolutions. So, my April Fool’s resolution is to get tough and get strong and get going on my goals, and not make excuses and quit trying.

  19. I read Kristen’s blog and really enjoyed it. Her Italian for Beginners in on my TBR list. My resolution for April is to listen more and not just blurt out whatever I’m thinking without letting people finish their thought. Hope you have a great time in Hawaii with your family.

  20. Jane,
    I read Kristen’s blog and truly enjoyed it.

    My resolution is to try to tell people more what I’m feeling. I’m always doing for others and it seems like when it comes to me I let others upset me and hold it in. It’s time to say what I feel and be free from the stress.
    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii. Can’t wait to get back there and check out Ty’s new shop.

  21. I enjoyed both your blogs… and I do avoid confrontation if I can, but will eventually fight back if pushed too far (it often takes a lot of pushing though, and then I’m past the point of no return).

    I have two April resolutions, both dealing with procratination on my part:

    1. Get rid of the 30 pounds I have accumulated over the past 10 years (I work in a building with a gorgeous gym for goodness sake)

    2. Stop being afraid to start writing the book that has been percolating in my mind for the past year. It’s time to dive in, but it’s scary because I’ve never felt this strongly about a story and this might be the one I finish.

  22. Hey there, Jane! I hope you’re having a great time, as usual, with “Surfer Ty”.

    Yes, I read Kristin’s blog. Enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks for pointing it out to us!

    I have so many areas in life that need improvement, but I’ll limit myself to just one here: I need more sleep! I have been getting 5-6 hours of sleep most nights and, funny enough, I haven’t been able to shake this 4-month cold (stays 2 weeks, is gone 3 days, and then comes back another 2 weeks, etc.). I hereby resolve to haul my butt away from the blogs (sorry about that!) and go to bed. Speaking of which, it is almost midnight here, so I’m going to do just that. Sure hope this “resolution” lasts more than one night! Thanks for the kick in the butt!

  23. Wow, Jane, it’s great how your insight (and your ability and willingness to give it) made such an impact on Kristin. And, yay for Kristin, for being so open-minded!

    1. Ooops, I forgot the last part! My resolution is to be up front with my feelilngs about a difficult situation that has been brewing in my family.

  24. What’s your First Day of April resolution?

    This is a no brainer for me. My husband is always telling me that I “shut down” when I am told something I don’t want to hear. And after reading both postings I knew this is what I would try to work on. The sad part is that I know he is right and the truth hurts.

    It is easier not to deal with it and maybe later on when I think about it that issue or problem is gone. But IT usually is looking at me straight on. I do eventually deal with it at my own pace, but I wonder if the outcome would be different if I dealt with it right then.

    Who knows?

  25. Jane,

    I read Kristen’s blog this morning when it was posted on Mama Lit on Face Book. I just messaged you with a question and accidently called her Mia King! GAH! My brain!

    It had a great impression on me as a writer because I think I do that too in my writing and will go back and examine that! I like everything to be all happy and resloved so we can move on to the next conflict! My book came to me as a day dream fantasy so of course I want everything to be fabulous! lol My friends who read it in it’s first incarnation kept telling me to put more conflict in! I dismissed them as drama queens but I do understand it now!

    In my real life I think I do that too. Good antidepressants are probably not helpful as I don’t obsess about things anymore and a lot of things don’t bother me as they used to. Especially with my husband and kids — I pick my battles and let a lot of stuff go — maybe too much! Maybe I am internalizing it now since I have a cold sore the size of a dinner plate!

    Thank you so much for giving Kristen that advice! And for both of you to share it with us!

    Enjoy your trip!!!

  26. I read Kristin’s blog, and what you said to her really resonated with me as well, but in a slightly different way. I have a tendency to hold myself back because of fear of the unknown, so I always play it safe and never take any risks. But I know that, in doing this, I’m missing out on a lot and not living life to the fullest. So, my First Day of April resolution is to try to be brave, take chances, and step out of my comfort zone!

    Hope you have a wonderful time in Hawaii!

  27. I read Kristen’s blog and I really enjoyed it. I would say my April’s resolution is to stop spreading myself to thin. I like to step up to the plate and help out, but it always ends up stressing me out in the end. I need to slow down and enjoy life while I can!
    Have fun in Hawaii, Jane!

  28. Yes, I read Kristin’s blog. How nice that both of you can help each other out in the writing realm.

    After reading I am deciding to tell my neighbour when she hurts me by saying nasty things such as she has been doing. I am no longer going to laugh it off but tell her nicely that I didn’t appreciate what she said about me or my family. She is so forward.

    Have a great time in Hawaii.

  29. I just read Kristen’s blog and it’s funny how her question translates into my life, right now. I hate to admit it, but at different moments in my life I get overwhelmed and then do some sort of avoidance technique.

    For example, I remember in 4th or 5th grade I would shove my graded papers in my desk, not to hide them, but I just didn’t want to take the time to put them away in the proper place. Eventually I had quite a few shoved way back in there. It was one of those desks that didn’t lift up, but instead was more like a cubby. Then on Friday’s when we cleaned our desks, I would be so embarrassed by my mess that I wouldn’t tackle it. I’d work around it, pretending it wasn’t there. Weird!

    But that habit has followed me. In fact, just today, i decided to go through my office closet. For a couple of years, I had “stashed and dashed” papers and crap when company came over. Stuff that I should have taken the time to organize and go through, but it became so overwhelming, I just never got to it. And, well, now, here I am going throught stuff a couple of years old! It feels great to finally get to it, but I just can’t believe I let it get to this point!

    It makes me feel like a looney!! Thing is, I’m organized in every other area of my house..

    So, now that you now I’ve got issues, you can guess what my resolution will be!

  30. Hi Jane,
    Yes, I read Kristin’s blog…great advice you gave her.

    My April’s resolution is to be the best I can be. I have no control over someone else’s negative behavior.
    However, I do have control in how I will respond. 🙂

  31. I read Kristin’s blog.

    I think a lot of people do what you said to Kristin – just make things better without really delving into it too deeply. I know I do and I agree with what she said, that it can result in getting walked on / taken advantage of. Although, the older I get, the less I seem to care about making things easier for everyone else and I do take up for myself. But to answer the question, I’d want to get even better at doing that. 🙂

  32. Hello Jane. I stumbled upon your website after Googling you because I’m reading “Odd Mom Out” on Spring Break in the Keys. I also just read Kristin’s blog and both of you are inspirational. Therefore to answer Kristin’s question about what I resolve to do starting April 1: I plan to complete the fictional book I started writing several years ago. I could not get past the few chapters that I wrote because I figured I needed some plot twists or more depth to my characters (I’ll keep in mind what you told Kristin!) 🙂

    Now that I joined the Forty club last summer, it puts everything in perspective about balance, happiness, and doing things we enjoy but also making a mark on this world and a difference. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas on your blog. I look forward to reading more as the days continue. All the best from Sunny S. Florida! 🙂

  33. I ran into trouble logging into All Voice over on Kristin’s post, but here is the comment I tried to leave:

    “Hi Kristin – Jane is such a great teacher! How nice that she provided some insight that helped you with your writing. I bet I run into the same issue that she pointed out to you — conflict, even one posed on my fictional characters, is a real uncomfortable thing for me. Your blog post is a great reminder to remember the fight or flight reaction — preferably fight, especially in relation to the situation I get my characters in. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story!”

    Both your post and hers really resonated with me. The conflict piece I mentioned above . . . as well as your mention of wanting to change some bad habits in your life. I feel like I have picked up more bad habits than good ones as of late (added to the ones I know I already have!), so I am trying to turn those things around. They permeate all parts of my life — work, writing, love, health and wellness — and at times it feels overwhelming. But posts like these help to know we’re not alone, and there’s a kind of relief in knowing these things are more of a shared experience. As always, thanks, Jane, for your honesty and encouragement!

  34. Really enjoyed your blog and going over to Kristen’s blog and commenting there as well. It is so gratifying to see that other women think the same way in how we do things and how we want to make ourselves better.

    I talked about being an “enabler” with my kids and how I do not want to keep doing that. I need to let them do things for themselves and either do well or fail but learn on their own.

    Also, as I make my way through my 40’s I am learning that I do not need to make everyone happy and that making myself happy does not need to be at the bottom of the list. I have a whole new outlook on life and that I don’t have to sacrifice all because I have children and a husband who travels a lot. I can still have a life.

    The last few years I began running and have competed in several races up to a half marathon last spring. I felt invigorated doing that and a sense of accomplishment. I am still running but enjoy other pursuits as well.

    Thank you both for your wonderful insights and Jane have a wonderful time with Ty and your boys!!

  35. Hi Jane!
    I read Kristen’s blog and loved her message also. This is a fun contest and I have never read any of Kristen’s books (but have been wanting to!)
    I think my April’s resolution is to stop worrying so much. It’s kind of how I’ve been ever since I was little. I think I picked it up from my mother. 🙂 But, it really makes life miserable sometimes and I know I need to relax. I am going to try a yoga class and see if that can help me. I feel like as long as I know there is a problem and am willing to make it better, nothing can stop me!
    Have a fabulous time in Hawaii with your boys!

  36. I like Kristin’s way of saying “First Day of April” resolution, because I think we belittle ourselves enough, without calling ourselves “fools.”

    Even though I have attentive brothers, a delightful husband and helpful neighbors, I am going to learn how to do “handy-man”-type things. I am going to buy My Own tools, possibly paint the handles pink, and quit subtly pyschologically assuming that other males should take care of these things.


    1. You can buy pink tools! My dad got me a set before I went away to college. I want to say we bought them at Target or Walmart.

    2. Thanks for the heads-up on the pink tools. Although not everything in life Needs to be decorated or celebrated, I’m thinking of being bold and putting these in my Easter Basket.

  37. When I read your comment to Kristen about how she creates her characters, I thought… hmmm a book without much conflict, problems solved quickly, no serious confrontation… totally my kind of book. At the same time, at the very front of my mind, is a situation where I now have to deal with a passive aggressive bully who is trying to bully me out of a position of leadership at my church. My natural inclination is to retreat when a bully attacks, but since my church is one of my favorite places to be, and I hold a position of responsibility there, I have been struggling with how to hold on. In books, I tend to skim over the conflict part and head right toward the resolution part. My goal…try to stick it out a little longer with the conflicts so maybe I can get a better grip on reality and how to deal with real life situations.

  38. Enjoyed both your blogs. I am definitely nonconfrontational and keep things inside until they just explode. Think it would be better to let off a little bit of the steam along the way so that’s my April Resolution. Hope this is more successful than the New Year’s ones!
    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii!

  39. I have read both blogs and really enjoyed them! To answer the question, what I have noticed about me is sometimes I let off to much steam and say things I shouldn’t without thinking first. I need to start thinking before I say what I think, if this makes sense! Think before you speek!

  40. hi Jane, very interesting to see both perspective of yours and Kristins first meeting.

    for Kristin (sorry – I couldn’t figure out how to set up an account there – sometimes the “ancient” gene kicks in): Very intuitive piece – sometimes it does take blunt observations from an “outsider” to make me go hmmm… I also notice that some of my personal “quirks” spill onto my work interactions. Sometimes it’s good, more often that not, it’s not. But overall, my personality is what makes me tick at work – I just have to remember to set “boundaries” so that I don’t sound like a nagging mom. My April 1st resolution? it’s one I try to keep everyday – to make this day the best day and better than yesterday. In short, I try to do my best everyday. Sounds corny, but there it is.

    Jane: Enjoy your Easter with your man and your boys! and thanks for sharing Kristin’s blog. Made me stop and think after reading both of your writings.

  41. Hi Jane,
    I read Kristin’s Blog, wow it was great, hit home for me.
    My April 1st resolution will be to be more “real and open” about what is going on with me Physically. I have a Chronic Medical condition that causes daily pain, some days worse. My bad habit is to say “No, I’m fine”.. when inside I am struggling to get through work, cooking dinner, or just housework. I feel I have to be strong, and muddle through it, when actually, it would show more strength to ask for help, at work, or home. So, I will work on it! Just as I will work on going back to Hawaii!
    Have a fantastic time!

  42. Hi Jane,
    I read both blogs, and I think sometimes I have the opposite problem – I have no problem being confrontational, and sometimes I wish I could take a step back and just smile nicely and not say exactly what was on my mind that second, because sometimes it really is not worth it. My husband is very good at assessing a situation quickly and typically comes to the conclusion that there is no reason to get mad over ever perceived injustice, and that my role is not necessarily to teach someone a lesson on how they should become a better person. I do not have a poker face, my friends know that I do not hold back, and I do hold grudges. They do know however that I am honest and not mean, and love them dearly.
    What would I do to change? Perhaps try and put myself in someone else’s shoes first before judging them. And start back up with yoga – I think that really helps center myself and help the positive energy flow.
    Have a great time in Hawaii – jealous here in NY!

  43. Hi Jane~
    I read both blogs and I have a really hard time being confrontational. I usually just sit back and smile and inside I could just blow. I certainly don’t think it’s healthy to do this, and I think I need to voice my opinion more. Thie would be my resolution for April. My other resolution would be to start volunteering more of my time to organizations. My business has been hit hard by the economy, like many. So, I might as well take advantage of this slow time and help others out! Seems to make perfect sense to me.

  44. whenever there’s a conflict, i tend to keep it quiet. I don’t like confrontation and the chaos. keep it quiet and it will just fade away and vanish poof which is very unlikely. But it just hurt me in the long run, as i always keep it inside and not letting it out. The people around me won’t be able to know what they did wrong and continuing doing so, ticking me off, bullying me simply because i just keep everything quiet and they thought that i’m ok with it. I feel that recently it started to take a toll on me, I started to feel very stressful, my eye spasms like mad which never fail to spook me whenever i’m in front of the mirror and wanting to cry all the time, but i didn’t of course ;).

    I want to start say what i want to say if i’m not happy or disagree with something. I did started it on 2/4! I marched (actually walked normally) into my boss’ office and just say it. I actually feel the difference; i feel ‘light’ and sane! And i should do that more often!

    i read kristin’s blog but i’m not sure i’m eligible. No harm in trying and letting it all out.

  45. I avoid confrontation and any kind of unpleasantness. I am a people pleaser and I always try to gloss over the bad things. I always want everything to be perfect and it is not because life is not. Maybe my April 1st resolution can be to try to be less perfect because I am far from it!!

    Happy Easter, Jane! (and Kristin, too)


  46. Hi Jane and Kristen-
    Don’t we all need friends like that? Someone who can be honest and true to us, to make you a better person. I was referred here by Jane and loved reading your thoughts and insights. Thank you for the reminder to take the chance, listen to the ones who have our best interest at heart and dare to make a change. All my best to you and your new writing challenges and adventures. Can’t wait to see how you encorporate it into your next book.

    Jane you have such a kindness that you share with others. We really must take chances and explore life more sometimes. The things we can learn going outside our comfort zone have always amazed me. I have found new strengths many times.

    Have a wonderful visit with Ty. Eat lots of peeps as they are in prime picking season! We all know how much you love those little things. LOL Hugs to all.

  47. To me, facing a difficult situation or facing your fears does not always mean being confrontational. It truly pushes me to step outside of my comfort zone and enforces self discipline.

    I enjoyed reading Kristens entry, and once again I have realized what a true and honest person Jane really is. What a friend you are to all.

  48. Read the blog. Very inspiring. My resolution is to try to stand up for myself more and give my opinion. Sometimes that is so hard to do. Don’t want to rock the boat.
    Hope you have a great trip to Hawaii!!

  49. Yes, I read the great blog…you really helped Kristen, through your honesty and sincerity– just as you are helping each of us as well. How refreshing! I shy away from confrontations but here recently (but before April 1) have dealt more directly with them and I feel better about it. Diplomacy works.
    Have a wonderful Easter in Hawaii. They opened up a ‘Everything Peeps’ store in DC, thought of you….you’d love it…too cute!!

  50. I read Kristen’s blog and bookmarked it so I will read her regularly. I think in some way we all love our characters and hate to do unpleasant let alone bad things to them. I am working on that aspect of my writing now. However, for my resolution starting now–I need to put myself first more of the time. Like many mothers, daughters, wives, etc. I often take care of other people instead of taking care of myself–health, happiness, and writing all included. I’m sure often I look toward taking care of others so I don’t have to show the discipline it takes to care for myself. Thanks for the blog and thoughts.

  51. Funny thing is I did make a few April 1 resolutions but did not read either blog when I did it. I like what both of you had to say and I saw myself in both of you. My resolutions were made concerning my life. I work in medicine and put everyone else first but have had some serious health issues the last few years that I have been avoiding. I finally cannot do that anymore and, while waiting to get into doctors and testing, I decided to finally take back my life and health. I have let everything go except for work. I have now vowed to put my life back in order, regain my health, and to reach back into my life and reconnect with everyone I lost. I finally got some answers regarding my health and yes I am sick and look forward to a lifetime of medication etc…but I have a plan and am going to follow it. Even have started working out again and eating a decent diet and learning about the wonders of meds and am happy to do it. I am tough and am in the process of changing my life–finally–for the better. I stay upbeat and realize everything could be much worse and there are always people out there sicker and worse off than I am. I wish them all well. Have started to write again and get order in my life. Funny thing is I decided all this the end of March and the beginning of April. Can only go up from here. I hope this posting applies to the resolution question. Enjoy your work and Kristin’s. Who ever wins…congrats…enjoy the Starbuck’s coffee (yes! I finally got to have some today!!), chocolate, and the reads. cat

  52. Great post, yours and hers. I spent the entire day fretting over how to begin a necessary confrontation on a very important issue. Perfect timing. (And of course, there are so many things to improve – I’m trying to crack only one of the nuts at a time. 🙂 )

  53. I read Kristen’s blog and really enjoyed it. I will make sure to visit it regularly now. I don’t like confrontation. I am a very easy going person and just want to keep the peace. At the same time, I know that I need to stand up for myself more and not let people walk all over me. It’s going to be hard for me, but that’s my goal.
    Have a Happy Easter, Jane…don’t eat too many peeps! 😉

  54. My First Day of April resolution (or rater my 4th of April resolution) is to be more open to new thinks in life- I can be very sat in my ways sometime(maybe a lot of the time LOL) and I would like to try new things- new food, new places to go and in general be more adventures. Also I would love if I was less shy near new people but that is something that will take me more time to change.

  55. What a great blog from Kristen and rings so true for things I do… I always try to avoid going over the emotional edge, and remain strong and positive… but that doesn’t always work so well. It makes one seem unattached and not always passionate… it also can lead to keeping everything inside and then losing it over nothing.

    I think a good goal for April is to be true to yourself and let yourself feel without becoming overwelmed. Also… to stop procrating (I also do that so well).

    Thanks for sharing such an insighful blog.

  56. Jane,
    Thank you for directing me to Kristin’s blog – now I want to read some of her books! I read her blog and posted my comment on her blog. Confrontation is something I try to avoid, but I’ve been trying to be more aware of the times I need to speak up and to do it. I have a friend who does this very well and I love to be witness to it. A lot of it is about confidence, and I get much more of that as I age (I’m 45) and don’t care what people think so much anymore! It’s very liberating!

  57. Thank you for sharing Kristin’s site. I really enjoyed reading her blog.
    My April resolution is to be more patient and enjoy life more.

  58. I read Kristens blog and, well am not surprised. You always inspire each of us to be better and be honest with ourselves.

    Confrontation doesn’t have to confrontational I learned a long time ago. Standing up for what you believe or feel is a good thing. When you present yourself in an educated calm matter people listen. Being emotional does work so well.

    It was wonderful to see you push Kristen to develop her characters further and deepen her characters. I truly think she will be amazed with the end results. What a good friend.

  59. I put everything off especially the hard stuff. I did in my marriage. Wanted to be a pleaser. It worked ok for almost 20 years but I was so unhappy. I felt like a clown with my smile painted on. I put off going to college not to raise a family but because I was afraid to fail. I am going to college now at 37yrs old. I am trying to face hard stuff including my own feelings.I loved Kristins take on it thanks for showing me her words.My english professor wants me to write about the failed adoption that I went through with the only daughter I will know. It’s interseting she says and she wants to see how I would write it. I vow to write about it in at least on journal or essay this term.

  60. Hi Jane!

    So…. thanks. for pointing me in the direction of something new and interesting in regards to reading. I love when people suggest things…….. its always entertaining to see what others are reading and just to start with something new. I’ll be looking out for “the Blonde Theory”.

    As for something I do that totally spills over into work? I get hooked. I can dish BS to people like no other, but I cant take it. Same goes for at work. I have a smart mouth on me, and often times I fire things I shouldn’t, but when a customer gets upset or smart alecky to me I get defensive and angry and just……….. I’m a brat! I need to stop that. I really really do.

    My first day of April Resolution? Completely off subject from what we are writing about……….. but my brothers getting married end of May so my goal is to be healthier and start running again. Get into shape and look great in the family photos! Oh okay……… and to relax more…… not get hooked!

    Hope you’re having a great time in Hawaii! (Jealous again! I want to traipse off to Hawaii periodically!)

  61. Hey Jane… this one’s a beast – and it’s looooong.

    My eye is on the prize, but not the physical prize as mentioned.. just the metaphorical prizes – Peace. Living. Fearlessness!!

    I have had two things pointed out to me this weekend – I am not living life to the fullest, and I am not getting out there and dating. The second of course was not posed to me quite as bluntly, but probably had the most impact.

    Tonight a guy I work with was like, “I’m confused. You are YOU, and you’re not dating anybody? Why are you not attached?” Well, I responded…. “It’s more than likely because of ‘baggage’ and the fact that I probably have a BIG sign up that says ‘BACK OFF’ in capital letters, while I have my arms poised in opposition.” So he says, “Okay then. So it’s by choice.”

    I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line my romantic ideal of love and relationships turned into … men are not trust worthy; they really do not love or care about women at all; and they are just out for what they want and will hurt whomever they can to get it.

    Do I honestly believe that is true? No. Deep down I know it is not. This is the ‘new leaf’ I NEED to turn over. The viewpoint I need to change. So my “First Day of April Resolution’ is to change my views personally and professionally. It’s going to take quite a lot of work, but it is needed if I want to live the way I truly want to. These are the things I am aware of and could improve upon. Probably once I tackle those, I’ll just LIVE … like my other friend was kind enough to point out to me that I need to do :0)

  62. I enjoyed reading Kristin’s blog post. My goal is to try to not be so afraid to try new things. I let fear hold me back from experiencing many things.

  63. I read Kristen’s blog too.

    Like you, Jane, I am a terrible procrastinator, in general and in my writing. I sit down at my computer and just find everything else possible to do instead of writer; Facebook, e-mails, DVRd shows, my extensive RSS feed. I get so overwhelmed with feeling that none of it is coming out right and it’s just never going to work that I can’t even get started sometimes. Boy would I like to get a grip on that! Even setting a deadline for completion and lining up CPs to work on it with me can’t seem get me moving consistently.

    It’s difficult when you’re so set in your ways to get that jolt that makes you sit up and change. I’m glad that you were there to give Kristen that jolt. Obviously, so is she.

  64. I just read Kristin’s blog and I really like what you said to her jane and how you helped her to improve her writing style, it is so insightful and I hope that people that care about me are able to say things like that to me about my life and the things I do. So to answer Kristin’s question, my first day of April resolution (five days late…) is to turn over a new leaf and start eating and living healthier. Happy Monday and have a great week. 🙂

  65. Jane- Wow did this blog strike a chord with me! Thank you for the link.

    My post to Kristen:
    Hi Kristen,
    Thank you so much for this blog post, and to Jane for directing people here. Your post really resonated with me, as I do the exact same thing. I used to get really upset and think there was something wrong with me until I read a writing book by Harlequin author Laurie Schnebly Campbell about the character typing system of Enneagrams. I realized that there were a whole slew of people that avoid confrontation (#7 on the scale) and that I was “normal”. Now I’m not saying I don’t still fall into the same behaviors, but when I recognize it, I can laugh instead of fret and move myself in a different direction.
    Thank you again! You really perked up my day.

    Shannon 🙂

  66. AND…for my April first relolution I’m going to re-commit myself to all the stuff I want to do, instead of getting overwhelmed and not doing anything!

  67. After reading Kristin’s blog and pondering her question I came up with so many resolutions that I could adopt. But, most importantly, I decided to be resolute daily in being more intentional. Intentional when I play with my girls, intentional about showing affection to my husband and intentionality in being more organized. Thanks for continuing to pose hard questions for us.

  68. Kristin’s admission of slapping on a happy face is often true of most women. I always want to keep the peace in my family and my husband’s, but sometimes I need to just sit back and let them figure it out. Hard to do!

  69. Hi all! Hope you’re doing well and thank you for patiently waiting for me to announce the Kristin Harmel/Jane Porter blog winners. Because we had 75 comments, I picked 7 winners:

    #1 Paula R
    #7 Library Lady
    #17 Melissa A
    #42 Felise
    #45 Lesli
    #53 JN in Oregon
    #65 Shannon-Nicole

    Congrats to the 7 winners and please send Lee @ janeporter (dot) com an email with your address so she can help me organize the mailing of books and goodies. I think you’ll all really enjoy Kristin’s book!


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