Today's guest for Saturday Stories is published author Jane Still.
Q—Would you please tell us about yourself.
I grew up as the only untalented citizen in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. I couldn’t sing or dance so I didn’t compete in the huge community music festival. My piano teacher fired me. I had no talent for band, but they felt sorry for me when I begged and let me bang on the drums. I was always optimistic however, so when I went to Rick’s College I tried out for the ballroom dance team. I made it only after my dance partner pleaded my case. The dance team went to Europe and I did not make the first string but was the last person picked on the second string. My claim to fame in Europe was being the quickest costume changer, destroying a lift in a room full of European dignitaries and getting the ‘pig award’ for eating the most.
I married a man whose idea of the perfect birthday gift is ear wax candles. We had six children in eight years who had no appreciation for my efforts to have them perform dances I choreographed and who did not appreciate my daily renditions of show tunes sung at the top of my lungs in the shower.
Q—Tell us about your books!
After writing for the paper I decided to try my hands at a book. My books are full of hilarious stories about the life of my family. One of the things that make them so funny is that everyone can relate to them. My friend Charlotte Lindstrom once said. “Jane everyone wonders what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in someone’s home. No one needs to wonder in your home. It’s all out there.”
My friends tell me their husbands steal my book. When they can’t find it, they listen for the laughter and steal it back. Mother’s Daze is about being pregnant and all the crazy emotions and changes in your body.
The Crazy Daze of Motherhood is full of stories about life’s little emergencies.
Q—What sparked your interest in writing stories?
One day I learned that a friend of mine had published a story. I decided that if she could do that I could too. Never mind the fact that all I had written to that point was some really bad poetry. I marched myself down to the local paper and with no clue to what I was going to say. I presented my idea of writing a humorous story with a cartoon for their special monthly edition to the editor. He liked it and I was a published author.
Q—You have a philosophy, and I quote “You’re not doing your job unless your children are worried about being seen in public with you.” Could you elaborate why you believe this to be true, please?
If your children are not worried about being seen in public with you, you are missing out on all the fun of being a mom. What kind of war stories will your children have to tell? You are building memories for a lifetime. How boring for your children to have to sit around and have nothing to brag about. My children will probably be able to write their own book and become millionaires. They are the objects of worship for having had to live through such hardships. We had tons of their friends in our house all the time because they couldn’t believe the stories my kids had. Once I got out of the shower to hear giggling outside the door. I put a towel on and my kids had invited the neighbors in to listen to my full throated show tune concert.
Q—If you had to describe yourself as any fruit or vegetable what would it be and why?
I would have to say a tomato because it can’t make up it’s mind whether it is a fruit or a vegetable. I can never no what I am going to show up as next.
Q—What is the key to finding humor in all faucets of your life? Any advice for those needing some help?
Can I just say that I didn’t always find the situations I write about as funny? But looking back…. I love to laugh at myself. When I find myself getting mad over something stupid, like trying to choose the right kind of baggies at the grocery store, (see my blog) I see how ridiculous it is and it is easy to write about. Most things are not a serious as we think they are. Relax, enjoy the moment. Life is not going to end over spilt milk.
Q—If you had to choose one writer to script the next year of your life, who would it be and why?
The writers of the I Love Lucy Show. Why? Because I love Lucy. I relate to her.
Q—If you were trapped on a deserted island for five years and when you were finally rescued by a fancy yacht with a master chef who, out of pity for your plight, offered to cook you ANYTHING...what would you ask for?
I would order a huge bowel of ice-cream covered with chocolate and over a pecan pie and topped with nachos covered with melted cheddar. That way I could get my nachos fix first and work my way to the pie and ice cream.
Q—What is one thing, as a grandmother, you wish you had known as you were raising your children?
I would enjoy the small moments and cuddle them more, do home school and realize that every little mistake was not going to be a serious flaw of their character.
Q—Pretend you live in a magical kingdom and you are like a fairy godmother who has the power to grant to each of your children one magical gift, what would those magical gifts be and why?
No big philosophical things here
•Jason – a wife. He’s 32 for heavens sake and would make an awesome hubby and daddy
•Ariana—a million dollars. She is amazing and would know exactly what to do with it.
•Adam—a little common sense and a little boy just like him, absolutely adorable.
•Garret—I would wish for him a week without brains. He knows exactly how smart and successful he is and a little boy as annoying as him so he would really know how wonderful I am.
•Kristjana—a day without disasters and public humiliation. Only a day though. I would miss the laughter.
•Briana—a week dedicated to thinking and then a big holiday to recover from it and get back to her fun loving, happy little self that everyone loves.
Q—What is your favorite quote from a General Authority?
I love quotes so here are some of my faves.
"We want our women to be well educated, for children may not recover from the ignorance of their mothers."
~Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball
“Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.”
“Courage doesn’t always soar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
~Mary Ann Radmacher
Q—If you were granted the ability to travel back in time and see any piece of history, what would it be and why?
I would definitely go back to the 1890-1920’s I love the music from back then. It makes me happy. I would love to wear the fashions from the long dresses and parasols to the flappers. But if it was a time machine then I could zip on over to the world war 2 era where Hollywood was doing all those amazing musicals and where it felt good to be an American.
Jane, thanks for stopping by! I love your sense of humor.
If you want to learn more about Jane check out her blog The Crazy Daze of Motherhood.