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, October 29, 2014

The Book-a-Week Challenge

   I’m currently enrolled in an eight-week writing course through UCLA Extension.  It’s a course offered by an instructor I really like; the same woman who ran the writing retreat I attended back in May.  (Here’s the link to the blog I wrote about it:  http://wendykennar.blogspot.com/2014/05/writing-driving-and-metaphor-for-life.html).  It’s a course I’ve wanted to take for some time, but because it’s offered on Tuesdays from 10 am to 1 pm, teaching had always prohibited my participation.  

   There is something so energizing about being surrounded by other writers.  Generally I write by myself -- either at home or at one of my favorite local haunts.  (And really, I write outside my home just so I’m not distracted by things to do at home.)  Being in a class setting, however, provides an energy and support system that isn’t entirely there when you take an online course (which is what I would periodically do while I was teaching).

   Each week, we’ve got writing assignments to complete and each day, we’re supposed to be writing in a daily journal.  I haven’t kept a daily journal for many years, but dutifully started one after our first class meeting.  And, each week, we’re supposed to read a book (either a collection of essays or a memoir).  

   That last requirement is the most difficult one for me.  I’m not taking this class for a grade or to earn units that can be converted to salary points.  I’m taking this class for personal fulfillment.  And even though I wouldn’t be punished for not completing my homework, I want to be honest and respectful to my instructor, a woman I really like and whose writing insights I value.  So, I’m trudging away, trying to read my one book a week.

Week 1 -- Delia Ephron’s Sister Mother Husband Dog (Etc.)
Week 2 -- Sara Nelson’s So Many Books, So Little Time
Week 3 -- Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

   I enjoy reading.  I’m constantly reading, often more than one book at a time.  And I don’t just limit myself to books.  I’m also reading magazines and the Sunday Times (Here’s the link to the blog I wrote about reading the Sunday L.A. Times:  http://wendykennar.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-sunday-chore.html).  So there’s a lot of reading to do and a short amount of time in which to get it done.

   Furthermore, there’s two different ways to read.  I can read as a reader and get lost in the story that the author is telling me.  I can lose track of time, block out my surroundings, and escape into the book.  And, I can read as a writer.  I can read while examining the story in hopes of understanding the author’s craft and method.  I can notice the way the author introduces her subject, the way the author concludes the essay.  I am reading in hopes of gaining insight and information I can apply to my own writing.

   As an added bonus, this book-a-week-deadline means I should have no problem meeting my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge.  


  1. I know you have wanted to take this class for sometime ,so I am glad you are finally able to do so.You have a real talent for writing,and I am so glad so much of your work is being published and being read by so many people.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. I am glad you are enjoying the class. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    You are doing great work in your class! Your writing is incredible and I am proud of you!