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, February 9, 2011

Let's Play

I remember my grandma playing solitaire.  I can still see her hands, marked with age spots and arthritis, shuffling the cards, setting them up, seven across.  When I was young, I couldn’t figure out what she was doing; I didn’t recognize the pattern.  I soon learned.  
Solitaire was a great escape.  It helped me pass the time when I was stuck inside my elementary school classroom on rainy days.  Later, I played solitaire at home, sitting cross-legged on the floor, in front of our coffee table, listening to a cassette on my walkman, and losing myself in the red-black-red-black pattern.  The “King, Queen, Jack pattern” were so much easier to figure out than my trigonometry formulas.
When I got my first laptop, solitaire was there waiting for me.  It was my reward.  I’d make deals with myself.  Write two pages, and I could play a game.  But, solitaire was addicting.  If one game didn’t go well, I’d convince myself I deserved another try.
Later still, my husband purchased a Nintendo DS.  I’m not a video game person, but I was introduced to Sudoku.  Soon, I was the one playing with that DS.  Sudoku was great the summer I had my wisdom teeth removed.  When the pain awakened me from sleep, and I didn’t want to disturb my snoring husband, I’d come downstairs, take my pain pills, and play Sudoku.  The pain was too intense for me to concentrate on reading, and I’m a voracious reader.  But something about Sudoku worked to pass the time.  As an added bonus, I felt like I was doing something much more educational than mindlessly flipping channels, watching commercials for products I was never going to order.
Now, it’s Bejeweled that has me hooked, and on another device -  my husband’s iPhone.  I am, in no way, a high-tech person.  I recognize the value and convenience these items provide us but that doesn’t mean I want one for myself.  Bejeweled is the only thing I do on a regular basis on that iPhone.  There’s something about the pretty colored stones, falling into place.  The question of what level can I get to today?  How can I line up these different colors in the best combinations?
What is it about these games?  Why are they so addictive?  Why do they keep us coming back for more?
For me, I think there’s a certain order they provide.  Everything goes in its place; there are patterns to be found.  And right now, my life feels so out-of-balance, so lacking order, that these games give me some sort of escape.  So many aspects of my life are beyond my control right now.  I feel as if I’m strapped on some roller coaster.  I can’t stop it, can’t see what twist or turn lies ahead.  All I can do is hang on, ride it out, and scream. 
With these games, I have the option of starting again.  I know I can do better.  I just got off to a bad start.  It doesn’t work that way in life.  A bad day at work must be worked through.  A sleepless night with my toddler son ready to party at 3 a.m. must be dealt with, awake.  There are no do-overs.  
Or, maybe it’s because with these games we understand the coveted result.  We know the outcome our attention and strategies are to yield. In life, we progress young to old not always sure what to do, where each decision will lead us, or what the outcome should look like.


  1. Honey,

    I am glad video games are providing you a nice escape!

    Video games can have a positive effect on the mind and body!

    I Love You!


  2. I love Bejewled! It's good to have an escape now and then. You definitely deserve it! Have fun with it :)

  3. I love games, but Bejewled is not one of them. Nothing wrong with taking a break and playing a game you like. I like Sudoku, but those can get hard. Keep on playing!

  4. I am certainly glad you have a little escape that helps you clear your mind of some of the things you are dealing with right now.Your writing and how you explain everything just draws people in to keep reading what you write.I love you and am very proud of you.

  5. Your certainly correct when you write that games can be addicting. When I was working, I removed solitaire from my office computer, I found I spent a lot of time playing. I never got into video games because they are addicting also. Now my escape is golf, not only on the course, but at home studying the nuances of the game. Your writing stimulates a lot of thought.

    Love, Dad