I Spy With My One Good Eye

My Grandson taught me that game. Now it’s real for me, for I had cataract surgery this morning (again). This time on my left eye, and it’s still a bit blurry.

Last week, after cataract removal on my right eye, hubby and I watched a movie, and suddenly, CLARITY. I thought I had glasses on but didn’t, and I was reading subtitles.

Daughter Nina says maybe my clear vision is symbolic of a new clarity of consciousness. I accept that.

I am here today to offer you a free reading on yet another book if you are a writer or a wannabee, or simply interested. It can be read in one sitting—I did that yesterday, sat down, and read it beginning to end. I hope I caught any mistakes. With me, you never know. 

I’m giving it to you for free (Until February 2, Ground Hog’s Day), for I love you and want to thank you for being here.

Right now, https://travelswithjo.com has 13,401 subscribers. WhooHoo. I’m super excited.  

If you want to add suggestions that would make Grab a Pen and Kick-Ass better, please feel free. 

Oh, I just had a better idea—review it. I’ll turn cartwheels—oh, oh, scratch that. When I was a kid, my cartwheels were a sad imitation.

Grab a Pen and Kick-Ass by jewell d, came out today on Amazon Kindle for the entirely outrageous price of $1.99. I’m not likely to get rich on that, and I have to split the fee with Amazon, but what the heck, I’m doing it. And I splurged $1.99, and bought it. I wanted to see how it looked on my phone.

You see, I’m a wannabee too. I’ve heard the hype that you can sell tons of books on Amazon, so I’m dragging out my scale—it’s been broken up until now, but now it’s fixed and can weigh all those books that are going to sell.

Here’s an excerpt:


Good advice is often simply Giving Permission.

I am, therefore, giving you good advice, “Grab a Pen and Kick-Ass.”

This is for you writers or wannabees out there. I can’t tell you how to write the Great American Novel, but I can motivate you to Grab a Pen and Kick-Ass.

You know your boot will never touch anyone’s backside, but you can join the ranks of those who have touched our spirits, made us feel, laugh, cry, and who have, yes, taught us something. We loved them, we traveled the road with them, we re-read them.

And I can set your feet on the trail toward a writing life by listing the ten very best books on writing.

Those books were written by the masters. Read them all.

But first, read mine, “Grab a Pen and Kick-Ass.”

Thank you for being here.

I appreciate you.


“I have put my heart out to be shot at.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien


Do It Anyway.

What’s the first book you remember?

I’m not talking about the tedious little readers we had in grammar school. “See Spot Run, or was it “See Dick Run?” In either case, Dick and Spot ran while Jane watched. You see, I go way back.  Now Spot, Dick, and Jane all run.

My mother read my first chapter book to me. It was Anne of Green Gables. She also read Black Beauty, but that wasn’t a good idea. I didn’t know about muckraking books in those days, and the treatment of that horse put an ache in my heart that never left.

But, when I discovered Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion, I fell in love with that magnificent wild black horse, the author, horses, and reading. Next, I read Heidi and Jack London’s Call of the Wild—those writers kicked ass.

You know what I mean, they touched our spirit. They made us love books. They gave us adventure and set us on a never-ending reading trail.

Join the group. Write your book. It’s worth the effort, even if your work gets shot at.

Don’t you sometimes read words that make your mouth water?

An author who can seamlessly blend structure, setting, character, genre, and dialogue kicks ass. We know it when we see it, but doing it? That’s another matter.

If you are at the place where you hear lofty words in your head, you see the story, you have good taste, you recognize good writing when you see it, but when you read your words and they sing off-key, chances are, you’re in the GAP.

That means you’re here and want to be there.

The gap will close. Keep on writing.

It’s good that you have discerning eyes and that you can be objective.

You know that the writing life is magical, painful sometimes, yet worth the doing.

Don’t you hate it when some whippersnapper whips out a book in a few months, finds a publisher, and is published before hair has made its appearance in unseen places

Never mind. I’m jealous.

I’m not here to teach you how-to-write. I’m going to give you ten books to do that. I’m here to nudge, I could say kick your ass into believin’, persevering’, and doin’. (I’ve been reading Where the Crawdads Sing and have developed a southern drawl.) Talk about salivating over words. That woman kicks ass.

I was motivated to write this book after reading an online list of the five best books on writing, and screamed, “There are more, and I can name them!” My list is ten. But the world needs one more—mine. You can have all the best advice in the world, but it you don’t keep your butt on the chair, it won’t work. I’ll tie you to the chair.

Hang on, I will list the books. I just need to keep my pen moving. Yep, I’m writing with a pen sitting in our Pries with the heater on and my little dog Sweet Pea beside me.