About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Used To, I Don't, But I Will

   I don’t know why I don’t do “them” anymore.  “Them” being little things that I used to do that I simply don’t do anymore.  I don’t remember there coming a time when I decided not to do these things.  These things were little, but not insignificant.  After all, they were idiosyncrasies of mine, parts of my personality and character.  Certainly not insignificant.
   Because I don’t do these things anymore, does that mean I’m not the same person I once was?  Have I lost some of my individuality, my spunk without realizing it?  Have I succumbed so much to the pressures of my roles (mother, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend) that I have let little pieces of myself disappear?  Maybe.  But, here’s an important first step.  Acknowledging what I miss and making a conscious effort to incorporate these little things into my life.  
   So, here they are.  The 5 things I used to do that I want to start doing again:

  1. Wear hats.  I used to enjoy going into Target and trying on hats.  I didn’t own many, but the ones I owned, were worn in regular rotation.  There was a large, purple, floppy straw hat with a brim that always seemed to hang over more on one side than the other.  There was my beret.  My prized hat possession.  Worn on cold, rainy days to keep my ears warm as I waited for the bus.  Worn on not-so-cold days because it made me feel French and fashionable.  
  2. Zone out.  When I was in high school and feeling stressed about an upcoming Chemistry test or a paper about A Separate Peace for my Advanced Composition class, I would lie on my bed with my head at the foot of the bed, and prop my legs up on my pillow.  Then,  I would put my walkman on and just listen.  Usually it was a one-song break I indulged in.  But it was enough.  It was an escape.  No one heard what I listened to, I was floating in a bubble, away from the brown student desk in the living room waiting for me to finish my homework.
  3. Say “yepper-pepper.”  I don’t know when I started saying it or when I stopped saying it.  When I agreed with something, instead of just saying “okay” or “yes,” it was “yepper-pepper.”  I guess it was my version of “okey-dokey.”  
  4. Answer the telephone with an alternative greeting.  “Hello” is boring.  “Hello” is formal.  I rarely greet someone face-to-face with “Hello.”  Even strangers are greeted with “Hi.”  Why then do most people insist on answering the phone “Hello”?  In pre-caller-i.d. days, I didn’t know who was on the other line.  Family members were prepared for my salutations, telemarketers and classmates not so much.  Some days, I tried different languages.  “Hola,” “Bonjour,” “Ciao”.  But then I decided on my favorite - “Aloha.”  The word conjures up images of turquoise waters, soft sand beaches, juicy pineapple, flower leis.  Why not start a phone conversation with that word?
  5. Wear skirts as often as I used to.  I used to enjoy wearing long, hippie-like, free-flowing skirts that just grazed my anklet.  They were cooler than pants, temperature-wise.  They were less-restrictive than pants.  And they still covered my legs, should they get cool in an air-conditioned classroom.  But someone close to me told me I didn’t look good in long skirts.  And fool that I am, I took those words to heart, rid my closet of most of my long skirts (I still have 2), and stopped wearing the ones I have.      
   It’s true - writing something down makes it more real.  There it is for all to see.  For my husband to go back to this blog sometime in the future, point to #5 and say, “Wear it.  You want to wear long skirts, again, so do it.”
   And I will.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


   A year ago, I started an experiment.  Inspired after watching Julie and Julia, I decided the only way to take my writing seriously was to start a blog.  For one year, I posted an essay a week.  Okay, in all honesty, I missed two weeks; but 50 out of 52 is not too shabby.  Writing had been something I liked to do, but the way my life was going, I wasn’t doing it.  I needed a deadline, granted a self-imposed deadline, but a deadline nonetheless.  This blog taught me that I couldn’t call myself a writer if I wasn’t actually writing.  And now, I was writing.  I was a writer.
   So, in recognition of my first year of blog-writership, I have decided to “graduate” and post my blogs at a new site.  It is my hope that this new site will allow new readers to discover my writing.  In the past year, my work has been published in a few places.   And, truthfully, I’m still wishing for the day when writing will pay the bills.  But, that day isn’t here yet.  So I’ve kept my day job (teaching), my 24-hour-a-day job (wife and mother), and this is my part-time job.  
   This past year taught me that I hadn’t been true to myself for a long time.  Writing is what I enjoy, it’s what I feel compelled to do, and yet I wasn’t doing it.  Now, I am.
   So enjoy each week’s posts.  They are personal essays - on topics that have inspired me, irritated me, and intrigued me.  Feel free to leave your comments, and please, share my blog with others.