Happy Monday!

Please welcome Jennifer Jensen to the blog. Jennifer is the author of  Through the Shimmer of Time, a brand new book for middle grade readers–ages 9-12 (or for anyone who loves a good time travel story!!)

Take it away, Jennifer!


First, a humongous thank you to Coleen for hosting me on my blog tour! And second, I recently discovered just how awesome she is in the creativity department—not only her books, but her doodles! Seriously, scroll back through her posts and play “Where’s Waldo?” with her Starbucks cups.


Starbucks doodles


Now, a confession: I’ve had a good number of short stories published, written several novel manuscripts that will never see the light of day (rightly so), and just released my first middle grade novel, Through the Shimmer of Time. And yet I’ve never considered myself creative.

I enjoy crafts, but can’t come up with the ideas myself.



Quilled flowers:  photo by Inna Dorman, via Wikimedia Commons


I like to sew, but I’m lost without the instructions (unlike my daughter, who ought to be on Project Runway).


Fashion Sketch:  by Damien Chandra via Flickr (creative commons license)


I have an idea of what looks good, and that’s slowly showing up in my house and my garden, but I can’t look at colors and make definite decisions on what will work, even white paint! Help!


porch flowers Jennifer Jensen

Porch flowers: by Jennifer Jensen


Sometimes I wish my creativity was with artsy stuff. I could decorate my home, wow my friends, and spend all my money at hobby stores. Instead, I deal with words in my mind – fun, dangerous or lonely, depending on the day.

Most of the hours spent at my computer are spent on the craft of writing, as you’d expect. But I’ll tell you a secret about the imaginative side of my writing: much of it takes place in the shower! (Longer and longer showers, in fact.) Plot lines. Scene snippets. Conversations between characters. Not to mention envisioning book signings and best seller lists! See, I am creative!

Unfortunately, this writer’s creativity has a few drawbacks:

• It’s a solitary activity, not something you can do with friends or family, having fun while making something beautiful.

• You don’t really have anything to share until you’re done, which can be months or years.

• When you live in your story, you’re not particularly living in the moment with your family. Spouses and children are known to give you odd looks when you say, “I don’t hold with no snake-oil medicines.”

• There’s no hot water left for anyone else.

Someday I might be able to doodle on coffee cups like Coleen. Until then, I’ll have to stick with words and a few time travel adventures.

What’s your favorite way to be creative?


Jennifer Jensen photo

Jennifer Jensen is an award-winning writer who wouldn’t be without her computer or smart phone, but still dreams of living in the olden days.

Until someone invents a working time machine, she lives in Indiana and makes do with plenty of imagination, loads of books and as much Dr. Who as the BBC will produce.

She’s a longtime member of SCBWI and has received two Indiana Arts Commission grants for her fiction. Through the Shimmer of Time is her first novel. Connect with her at her blog, Surrounded by Story, through Facebook or on Twitter @jenjensen2.


Through the Shimmer of Time


By Jennifer Jensen


A mysterious pottery shard . . .

A haunted cabin . . .

A shadowy stranger . . .

And no way home

Present Day: Jim has a talent for getting into trouble. Grounded from his model rockets, he goes exploring where he shouldn’t and gets zapped back in time. Can he find the way back home or is he marooned in the past?

1838: Hannah’s life in her frontier village is filled with a little play and a lot of hard work. A seemingly harmless trick lures a strange, dazed boy from the old haunted cabin. Now Hannah must make a choice – and face the dangers.

Together, Jim and Hannah struggle to unmask a thief and solve a murder while they search for the key to unlock time. It will take all their courage and wits, plus the rocket motors in Jim’s pocket, just to stay alive.


You can find Through the Shimmer of Time here: Amazon




11 thoughts on “Through the Shimmer of Time with Jennifer Jensen

  1. CJ Burright

    I know exactly what you mean, Jennifer. I always wanted to play piano like my extremely musically gifted cousins, but alas. The creative genes (especially homey ones like sewing) skipped me by. But words I can do! I’m often hit with inspiration on the treadmill, which makes it easier to jot down than if I was in the shower, right? 🙂 Congratulations on your release – sounds fabulous!

  2. Jennifer Jensen

    Hi, CJ. My problem is that I *think* I’m musical, but really I’m just mediocre! I play for myself, and play decently the pieces I learned long ago, but it takes me a long time to learn something. I’m actually a good teacher, though.

    I might get some inspiration on the treadmill, but I HATE the treadmill! However, I’ve been known to pull out my phone and use the Notes app and the little microphone to dictate thoughts while I walk. Other people in the park look at me funny. :0

  3. Patricia Tilton

    Jennifer, intriguing plot and setting for your new MG novel. Good luck with your promotional tour and book sales. I’m most inspired late at night when I want to go to bed. And, when I walk and wear my mind out from all of the mind chatter, inpsiration and creativity enter. Understand the mediocre bit. Sometimes I think some of us are to know a little more about a lot of things, and not necessarily be the master of one — like the piano. 🙂

    1. Jennifer Jensen

      Hi, Patricia. I do some late night inspiration, too, but unfortunately for me, I get so wrapped up in it that it turns into insomnia! And here’s to knowing bits of many things! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Karen McFarland

    All I have to say is, it’s a good thing you don’t live in California since we’re in a severe drought situation right now Jennifer. Long showers would be a problem. lol. But whatever works, right? Glad it gets those creative juices flowing. For me, reading sparks my creativity. Especially if an author has helped me think outside the box. Then I’m jumping for the nearest pad and pen to jot things down. Also, talking about the character or scene with someone helps me move the character forward, as if they become more real during the conversation. Is all good! And it looks like your off to a good start!!!

    1. Jennifer Jensen

      Karen, I see the pictures of the drought and I”m so glad I don’t live in San Diego anymore! Or the central valley. (I did a lot of my growing up in Calif, then moved to Oregon for high school.) But even when we had our nasty drought year hear in 2012, we’re on a pretty deep well. I cut my showers down a bit, but more than anything, I quit watering the lawn. Anybody on town water was rationed, though.

      I’m glad reading helps your creativity. I get so immersed in the story that my own flies out of my brain. But talking does help bring them to life, as long as I don’t talk about the whole plot too much! Hope yours is going well too.

  5. Clay

    I dream of living in the olden days – back in the early 1920s and 30s… seems like the “Golden Age” if growing up – no electronics – radio was the distraction and it was a family affair – or at least that’s how it is portrayed…. I don;t believe I would have survived living on the frontier, but who knows – we all adapt to our environment…..looks like an interesting book – as for being creative – i have to find quiet and and a place to think…. and a place to write it down..sometimes I come up with a story line and don;t write it down and it’s …. gone.. have a great week

  6. Jennifer Jensen

    I know what it’s like to lose an idea I didn’t get written down, Clay! And the 20s and 30s would be interesting to look into, for life beyond the Depression. The 20s conjures images of flappers and prohibition, but there had to be more to life than that! I do really like the idea of simpler times.

  7. Pingback: Am I Coming or Going? | Jennifer Jensen

  8. kath unsworth

    Jennifer congratulations on your book it sounds wonderful. As a child I would have loved such a tale. I tell my children they are lucky for the choices they have. I was a book worm and still read now instead of watching TV. My daughter is too, we sit together and read.

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