jayellebee's Blog

About Me

I’m a third generation California native living with my husband, Ken, in the Sierra Nevada foothill community of Nevada City.  We have three adult sons, and one  furry daughter (pictured) named Shadow.

Education:  BA –  UC Berkeley; Elementary Teaching Credential – College of the Holy Names   

Affiliations:  California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch; SCBWI; Sierra Writers

Honors:  2010 Picture book manuscript, The Tale of Big Drool, selected for inaugural Smories.com contest; 2009 California Writers Club Jack London Award; 2008 CWC Distinguished Service Award   

At the ripe old age of 21, I was hired to teach kindergarten in San Leandro.  It isn’t much of a stretch to say some of my students’ parents were no older than I was.  Ken and I married the summer after my first year in the classroom, and I found a job closer to our new home teaching first grade in San Ramon.  When our youngest son was a kindergartener, I learned I had enough patience to be good to my class or my family, but not both.  The family won.  At that point, Mom gave me a plaque that read, “I used to be a teacher, but now I have no class.”

Volunteerism filled the teaching void.  Little League teams gained a team mother and score keeper.  Our parish found a new CCD teacher.  Our sons’ schools welcomed a fresh PTA board member, classroom helper, and developer/coordinator of reading incentive programs.  The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 shook me into action.  I created and instituted emergency plans for the local elementary and middle schools.

About this time, Ken enlisted my help at the front desk of his dental practice.  Over the years, a two-hour weekly committment grew into a full-time position as his office manager.  I learned the differences between a denture, a bridge, and a partial while becoming acquainted with the ins and outs of submitting insurance claims and handling accounts receivable.  When Ken retired in 2005, so did I.  No way I was going to continue setting the alarm clock while he got to sleep in.

Our sons have graced us with four grand-dogs.  Arrow lives with Michael and Claire in San Francisco. Meike makes her home outside of Seattle with Kevin and Kate.  Bumpus and Zazz keep Brian company in Martinez.  I’m finding adding canine characters to my middle grade stories is great fun.


1 Comment »

  1. We’ve been friends for a very long time but I never heard about your street sailing adventure – it had me in stitches and was so “you” my fun loving girlfriend. I remember taking walks and discussing your novel and it was fun to see it in print and of course I totally related to the poignant story of seeing our sons off to college. How beautiful to put these experiences on paper to share with the world. Best of luck.

    Comment by nina bucchere — March 5, 2010 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

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