About Jennifer's Sites
Corpus Delicious (A Dystopian Novel-in-progress)
Lilithe “Lily” Sylvia D'Adame, a Quality Control Engineer at a factory that manufactures a liquid nutrient for an entire country, goes into hiding with her lover Adam after they realize she can no longer maintain a legally acceptable weight, thus risking imprisonment or even execution.
In Corpus Luminous, solid food is illegal – in fact, most people have never even heard of it, let alone experienced it – and fat is taboo. “A-hh,” the national nutrient, is strictly controlled and carefully doled out to maintain a slim citizenry. Public consumption of A-hh is considered a perversion; everyone sips their A-hh alone, hidden away in Nutrition Stations – even privately, taking in sustenance is viewed as shameful, albeit necessary.
While underground, Lily and Adam, a former judge for The Board of Acceptable Body Weight, hear rumors about Corpus Delicious, a country that embraces, with gusto, fat and public eating of exotic substances.
The two lovers go in search of this fascinating land and discover a delicious new world.
Fat Woman Walking (A Body Memoir-in progress)
In Fat Woman Walking, the writer explores her relationship with her aging body, her struggles to lose and keep weight off, her skewed body image, societal concerns about prejudice against people of size, and racism.
A short excerpt titled “In Memoriam (A Nightmare).”
I mourn my thin body even before it becomes fat again.
Even as my hipbones jut out and my knees knock together, I think about the body that could have been, although it still is.
Because, deep down, I know where the scale is headed.
The old too-full gut returns, stomach a small, rounded ball, jutting out.
The acid reflux jerking me out of my sleep.
The daily walk becoming a slipshod and haphazard occurrence, the lack of energy and puffy eyes the re-new normal.
The daily naps on the sofa in front of the TV, the late-night prowl in front of the refrigerator and pantry, the junk food runs.
Ennui and heaviness.
The groaning jeans or shorts.
Yes, all too familiar.
How do I break this cycle of yo-yoing?
Like This Page (Random blog posts)
Everyone likes to be liked, right? Well, the writer hopes that readers will also like this page.
Never mind… Onward…
In a way, Fat Woman Walking emerged from this site – in fact, there are a lot of posts on LTP having to do with weight issues. Some of these posts have been moved over to FWW, although many remain on Like This Page.
You know, procrastination.
But, mostly, this site is eclectic and offers no common theme, other than the random musings of the writer, for example…,
In 2014, the writer was going through some old papers and found an assignment she had written in 1984 for a Death and Dying class, taught by Joy Ufema: her own eulogy, titled, “I Died on December 5, 1984, at 8:30 p.m. – What If?”
In 2014 that eulogy seemed a bit dated – a lot had happened in 30 years – so she updated it by adding another eulogy to herself: “I Came, I Saw, I Kicked A$$ – and I Didn’t Die on December 5, 1984, at 8:30 p.m.”(How My Life Has Played Out Since My Eulogy...) [Note: These Advanced Obituaries have been moved here, to Why I Write.]
Luna Drive (A novel-in-progress)
You will never look at the moon quite in the same way.
Many, many years ago, Jennifer wrote a novel and titled it Stratum (Seriously).
It was supposed to be a “literary novel,” populated by complex characters, filled with angst, unhappiness, family secrets.
All were deeply flawed and terribly complicated.
Unfortunately, they were also humorless and somewhat unrealistic.
That didn’t stop the writer from submitting excerpts of Stratum to Goddard College as part of her application for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program.
In late 1991, despite her work’s major flaws, she was accepted into the program (graduating in 1994).
Armed with a hard copy and floppy disk (no World Wide Web back in those days) of her flawed novel, she arrived for her first day as a new MFA student, ready to “fix” her manuscript.
“Um, no,” said her advisor. “I suggest you start a new work from scratch.”
Okay, she got the implicit message: the manuscript sucked.
No way, no how could this mess ever be considered a “literary” work, no matter how much surgery was done on it.
She was crushed; back in those days, she actually cared what the literary establishment thought (current attitude: “Pound sand”), so she soldiered on and wrote a new deeply flawed novel.
She filed Stratum away – both hard copy and floppy disk – where the book has languished ever since, and she pretty much forgot about it.
Fast forward to the future. The internet now existed, and Jennifer was now perusing Godaddy’s domain name auction site, looking for nothing in particular, except for high-paying keyword domains for bargain-basement prices, when she saw it: LunaDrive.com.
The term hit her right between the eyes. From a commercial standpoint, it’s a crap name with zilch monetary value, but she wanted it anyway.
In the domain name biz, buying loads of crap names will send one to poorhouse fast, a fact that has taken her years to learn (still learning, but getting better), but she wanted this name – she just didn’t know why.
Side note: she has sold her fair share of crap domains.
She stalked the domain for days:
To bid or not to bid.
Surprise, surprise: in the last hour of the auction, no bids had been placed on it. She was about to let the name go into the BIN (Buy It Now) category, when, suddenly, she knew why this domain was important.
She placed her bid.
No surprise: she won Lunadrive.com.
Luna Drive would be the new title of Stratum. Not only does the book have a shiny new title, but it will also be re-purposed, already started with Chapter 1 (maybe – she’s not ruling out switching chapters around) Current opening chapter: Bird Watcher of Luna Drive.
She had envisioned this novel as an “important” literary novel, when, in fact, it has pot boiler snark written all over it, full of Flannery O’Connor-esque characters, but not literary at all and a lot more fun.
Yeah, Monk meets Desperate Housewife...
Okay, okay, Jennifer finds Flannery O’Connor’s work, albeit literary, quite delicious, but this writer is too lazy to go back and plant all kinds of “symbols” into what will likely be a minor work of fiction.
No longer will she worry (or care) about so-called “literary merit” – she’s just going to have fun and write what she wants to write and read, and potential readers can take, or not take, what they want from it.
When Jennifer taught Creative Writing, she always reminded her students to keep their audience in mind.
For kowtowing to the literary establishment, that may be true.
But Jennifer has come full circle: Now she would say,
The hell with it! Write what you want! If it doesn’t work out, so what! Put it away, get it out again years later, re-envision and re-write. If it still doesn’t work out, so what again!
Caveat: if you’re writing for a class, you may have to care what your teacher/professor thinks (You know, those pesky grades), but, in the end, it’s your work, and once you collect that grade, your ex-mentor can, well, pound sand. Go ahead, prove her wrong about your work! Become rich and famous with that 1,000-page dragon-slaying or vampire saga!
There will be no dragons or vampires in Luna Drive – although Jennifer won’t rule out revising an existing character (Lizzie) who may think she’s a vampire and another character (Irene) who capitalizes on Lizzie’s blood lust.
Oh, yeah, that could work...anything involving the moon opens up a lot of vampiric possibilities.
For better or worse, she may post more chapters on LunaDrive.com and not worry about its worthiness or care what the literary establishment may think –
She’s just going to have fun!
Memoir Madness: Driven to Involuntary Commitment
This site offers select excerpts from Jennifer’s memoir Memoir Madness. The complete version is available on Amazon.
Christmas Eve, 1968, from lunar orbit, Apollo 8 astronauts deliver their Christmas message, a passage from Genesis.
On earth, 18-year-old Jennifer Semple embarks on her own odyssey, happening on the steamy streets of Hollywood, where heads, hippies, drug dealers, freaks, strippers, groupies, college students, Jesus Freaks, counterculture gurus, drag queens, rock stars and wannabe rocksters, Svengalis, and con artists converge during one of the most volatile periods in history.
After Jennifer’s boyfriend abandons her and cops threaten incarceration, her legal guardians convince the girl to return to Iowa, to “get her head on straight.”
Instead, Jennifer is committed to a mental institution in Cherokee, Iowa, where she is introduced to a world of questionable psychiatric treatments, doctors, psychologists, and social workers.
While incarcerated, she corresponds with a new boyfriend and interacts with other patients: a psychopathic predator; a 17-year-old unwed mother; a teen cutter obsessed with rats; a young married mother enthralled with “10 ways of suicide”; and a mentally challenged man, a 25-year resident, among others.
Finally released, she flees Iowa, escaping to Pennsylvania.
Years later, Jennifer, seeking another kind of release, has returned to Cherokee, this time voluntarily and as a visitor.
“I was driven to Cherokee,” the memoirist says, referring to a northwest Iowa regionalism synonymous with being committed. “Writing this memoir has driven Cherokee from me.”
Strong Liquor (Short Stories, Essays, Poems)
Jennifer envisions an anthology that focuses on the effects of alcoholism on family, work, and social life.
She was drawn to the stunning title, but the website needs serious technical work and filling out of content.
Suddenlys (Flash Fiction and Essays)
Suddenlys.com publishes flash fiction and essays, 1-1,500 words (give or take).
Jennifer discovered “Flogging the Dolphin” in her spam email and decided to publish it as a “Found Story.”
She did not bother asking for permission because she doubts very much if a scammer will bother coming after her for copyright infringement.
But she did offer Bramble Degan Katherinevbt a publishing credit, quite possibly his/her first ever!
On a more serious note, a shaky Jennifer wrote “Nocturnal Visitor,” an essay about a Latino man who pounded on her door at 3:00 a.m., calling into question her self-avowed liberalism when she refused to open her door to him.
Jennifer would consider publishing flash fiction and essays by others. See Guidelines for Submitting to Suddenlys.com
The Fat Lady Sings (A Big, Fat Novel)
A family reunion – need we say more?
But we will:
WHO: The Mallorys, Bacons, O’Flahertys, etc.
WHO: Danny O’Flaherty!
WHAT: Family Reunion.
WHAT: Command performance. Be there.
WHEN: June 20, 1990, from 10:30 a.m. to ????
WHEN: From the beginning of your existence to ????
WHERE: The Lake.
WHERE: Wherever you go, wherever you live.
COST: A favorite dish, plus $25.00 per couple, $7.50 per child, to help defray the cost of renting The Northwest Quadrant of the Winnehaha Pavilion.
COST: More than you’ll EVER be able to afford.
RSVP: Sally Millhouse, (712) 555-1234
RSVP: Or ELSE!
SPECIAL NOTE: We’ll be sitting for family portraits!
WHY: We want to dig out the secret spaces in your memory, we will make you face your past.
Typed on the “Directions” sheet:
THE REASON FOR THIS GATHERING IS BECAUSE THE LAST FAMILY REUNION WAS BACK IN 1972 WHEN PAPPA MALLORY, ROSIE, AND AUNTIE WERE STILL ALIVE. LET’S GET TOGETHER & SHARE MEMORIES!! PLEASE CALL OR RETURN THE ENCLOSED R.S.V.P. AND INCLUDE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES FOR THE FAMILY HISTORY. 250 wds. ADULTS, 100 wds. KIDS.
Not to be missed: the entire family, including the dead, will be there.
Jennifer has been working on this Tour de Force since forever.
This version is very rough (and incomplete), but Jennifer is currently working on revising this crazy family drama and adding some new angles. Will the new and improved version be successful?
Side note: this fat novel kind of galloped away from her, so in the early aughts she compromised and carved out a collection of short stories: Are You Ever Going to be Thin (and other stories) – available on Amazon.
About The Querist:
The Querist presents George Berkeley’s 18th century queries, one query at a time.
This site also offers queries from our own 21st century.
These queries raise questions, big and small, from the past and the present.
Although most of the queries are topical and unique to their times, perhaps we can understand how history tends to repeat itself.
Although the text here simply raises questions, answers may be found in the query itself and, perhaps, within the querist.
Yeah. This is an oddball site.
Jennifer can’t explain how she fell down this rabbit hole.