Judy Janowski: The Modern-day Thoreau
Of upstate new york
Editorial: I describe Judy Janowski’s writing as the modern-day, spiritual version of the 19th century, American philosopher Henry David Thoreau: She takes seemingly simple observations from her garden and weaves her poems to become something else again with a deeper insight. She’ll even add a recipe or two and some gardening tips along the way. If you think you or someone you know would enjoy a walk on the quiet side, Judy is your new author. —Joseph Gary Crance
What were the inspirations behind your Life is a Garden Party series?
Life Is a Garden Party was never a forethought. I was visiting with an elderly neighbor one July afternoon. Afterwards a thought kept repeating in my head – “from dawn to dusk, from dusk to dawn.” I finally wrote it down and then kept on writing, not realizing it was beginning a series. This neighbor encouraged me to keep at it, as he also wrote rhymes. One day when coming in from gardening the title came to me. I realized afterward that the deer population think there’s a party waiting in my garden!
My dad wrote jingles, so perhaps this ability was inherited. Also, the ability came after several surgeries rerouting the blood supply to my brain. There is a word describing being able to do something after surgery that one wasn’t able to do beforehand.
A lot of the stories were written by simply sitting outside observing my surroundings–various birds’ breakfasting, the miracles within a seed, the flight of a butterfly. Nature is my inspiration.
What’s the greatest enjoyment you've had from being a published author?
I most enjoy connecting with readers, hearing their perspective. The first poem in my first book states, “enjoy them while they last, for soon spring will be past.” A reader once told me that was a description of life in general (the poem was about bulbs). She had the ability to read between the lines. So the title was once again appropriate. I learn a lot about perspective from various readers.
When I started writing, it was an addiction. Seemingly, the muse has left. Spare time is spent editing what was written more than 10 years ago–which is an encouragement to me to read about God’s past faithfulness, knowing God will continue to be faithful.
The pandemic has been a hindrance in reaching people one-on-one.
If you had to begin your writing career all over again, what would you do differently?
I’ve learned writing/publishing “takes a village.” In talking with other first-time authors, I’ve discovered we’ve learned the same lessons the hard way. I recommend a support system.
Hoping my next published book will be a Christmas book (God’s Gift to Us – Christmas) with coloring book for children (The First Christmas). In the process of editing it once again. Plan to discuss cost of doing so with publisher in the spring.
Where to buy the Life is a Garden Party series:
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