Jennifer Lyn King

writer photographer artist world traveler

A True Scary Story

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A True Scary Story

“Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.” -Carlos Ruiz Zafon in The Angel’s Game   Being scared happens. It’s part of living. And, sometimes it’s what teaches us who we are, and how to be brave. I’ve had a few scary instances in my life … of being followed when I was a...

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The Expat Experience: 5 Things I Learned from 4 Years in Prague

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The Expat Experience: 5 Things I Learned from 4 Years in Prague

“Life might be difficult for a while, but I would tough it out because living in a foreign country is one of those things that everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges and transforming you into a citizen of the world.” -David Sedaris, on the expat experience Three months ago, my life changed drastically. After...

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30 Favorite Books for Summer Reading

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30 Favorite Books for Summer Reading

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.  ~Henry Ward Beecher The best way to summer read is to start with a stack of great books, the kind that will keep you reading all hours of day and night. The hard part is finding the great books … On Memorial Day, I...

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On Trying to Be Brave

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On Trying to Be Brave

“Some say fate is beyond our command, but I know better. Our destiny is within us. You just have to be brave enough to see it.” - Merida, from the recent (excellent) animated movie, Brave Sometimes life calls us to do big things. Most of the time, all we want to do, naturally, is curl up and be comfortable, to settle and do the norm. I know recently I’ve felt that way, and many...

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The Importance of Home, Especially in Times of Transition

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The Importance of Home, Especially in Times of Transition

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.  -Charles Dickens Countless acquaintances and many friends have asked how the past month has been, and how my family is handling the huge changes we’re facing moving from Europe back to Ohio in the United States. We lived in Prague, Czech Republic,...

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Walking Toward the Sunshine: On Choosing Beauty

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Walking Toward the Sunshine: On Choosing Beauty

“Walk towards the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.”  ― Mary Engelbreit Winter is a bleak time, especially in former Soviet Bloc countries. I know this well, from these four winters of living in Prague, where the absence of color and light seems to be magnified. All around Prague, Communist housing projects scathe the skyline. Square buildings about 20 stories tall stand like trees...

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On Seeing Beauty: A Daily Challenge

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On Seeing Beauty: A Daily Challenge

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson For the past three months, I’ve been working on an experiment. It’s been a simple experiment,...

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The Essentials for Surviving Life’s Tough Spots

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The Essentials for Surviving Life’s Tough Spots

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. -Anne Lamott Being human means that life won’t always go smoothly. Last week for me was a very bumpy road made rough by a medical emergency, my severly suffering child, a rusting post-Communist hospital, and a wide language gap. Yep, it was a tough spot in the...

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Synchronized Swimming, the Olympics, and Me

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Synchronized Swimming, the Olympics, and Me

“We want the girls to meld together. This sport helps train you for life that way.” -Betty Hess, synchronized swimming coach, Pennsbury Falconettes   Many years ago, there was a girl who loved to swim. One day at her swim team practice, she saw legs rocketing up out of her school’s pool water. Loud music blared from a speaker nearby. As the girl watched, she was entranced....

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My 3 Years in Prague

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My 3 Years in Prague

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m not sure there is a way to become an expat besides just taking the leap. Actually, a leap from a cliff into a murky pool of water. There is no way to know if, on the other side of a Trans-Atlantic move, it will work out until you try it. It’s like diving into...

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Sharpening: The Power of Continuing to Learn

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Sharpening: The Power of Continuing to Learn

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” – Henry Ford When we were young and in school, we had the wonderful opportunity to learn, to challenge ourselves, to sharpen and stretch and grow, and find out new things about ourselves. But when we cross the threshold from college years to adult responsibilities, something happens. Our focus shifts from learning...

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Authors: 5 Steps to Building Your Own (Professional-Grade) Website

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Authors: 5 Steps to Building Your Own (Professional-Grade) Website

Some may say simple writers may not be able to build their own website, and have it look professional-grade. But I disagree. I think if you can structure a 80 – 100,000 word novel to lure a reader through a story to page 380, and you can bake a cake from a box, then you can build your own beautiful author website. It’s all about making informed choices, asking questions, watching...

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10 Things I’ve Learned from 2 Years in Prague

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10 Things I’ve Learned from 2 Years in Prague

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” - Maya Angelou   Two years ago in the middle of a July thunderstorm, I boarded an airplane in New York City with my husband and our three boys, then ages 10, 8, and 6 1/2,...

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Website Reconstruction: Thanks

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Website Reconstruction: Thanks

If you’ve tried to visit my site, http://jenniferlynking.com, in the past 7 days, you know that my site has been down. Some days, a directory appeared in the site’s place; some days, an error message. Most days, if you could have seen me at my computer, you would have witnessed my lacking techie side trying to figure out how to migrate my WordPress website from Yahoo web hosting...

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Writing Wednesday: How to Make Time to Write

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Writing Wednesday: How to Make Time to Write

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend to them than inspiration.” -Ralph Keyes “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” — Stephen King , On Writing About seven years ago, I attended my first big writers conference. I remember being so very overwhelmed, as most aspiring writers feel when they dip their...

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