A Backpack,
a Eurorail Pass,
and Some Serious Baggage.

 

 

Jennie Withers

big-W.jpgelcome!

 

My greatest reward, and my greatest challenge, is being a mom. I am an English teacher by profession, and a writer by passion. I live, work, and play in Boise, Idaho. I believe we all have a story to tell, and my hope is that by sharing mine, I can help individuals navigate life a little easier, and perhaps feel a little less alone on the journey.

My first real writing project, Hey, Get a Job! came about because I needed a lesson plan. I thought teaching my Technical Reading and Writing students how to fill out a job application would be fabulous. I’m all about the “beg, borrow, and steal” theory of education, but when I went searching for lessons on applications, or anything else related to first jobs, I found nothing suitable for teens. I went to employers who hire kids, and I took the information out there for adults and made it consumable for teens. When I finished, I realized I had written more than a lesson plan. I wrote a book.

By far my longest and most arduous project is my memoir, A Backpack, a Eurorail Pass, and Some Serious Baggage. Travelers, like writers, believe in the power of setting. Particularly when they are twenty-two. I thought of traveling Europe with two close friends as an escape from my conservative Mormon upbringing and the pressures of conforming to a religion I did not believe in. I discovered that freedom means more than being worldly, having a guilt free good time, and finding the perfect pint of ale. I am looking forward to publishing this book soon and helping others deal with the baggage of abuse, grief, and sexual orientation.

“Hell’s Friday” is a phrase my grandmother (I called her Gram) used often. There’s nothing quite like a good “Hell’s Friday” to express an emotion that’s somewhere between a “damn” and a real get-your- mouth-washed-out-with-soap cuss word. Hell's Fridays are those instances that leave us frustrated, irritated, and surprised. It's also the Hell's Fridays that make life interesting, and often funny. And, of course, it is through those Hell's Fridays that we learn those lessons we need to make it through this thing called life.

Thanks for hanging out with me!


 

 
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