When I was first beginning to get used to the idea of actually Having My Book Published, I made a list of all the schools I had ever attended. I researched their websites and found email address and sent individual letters to each school. I told them my maiden name, when I had graduated, what I was up to, and gave them book information. That was back in October of 2014.

One of the colleges I graduated from was Mary College in Bismarck, ND. It’s changed it name now to the University of Mary. I contacted  Tom Ackerman who kindly passed the email on to Alumni Director Karen Herzog and her Creative Services team for marketing and the Momentum Alumni magazine.

Karen asked to read my book, so I sent her a copy when it became available in January, 2015. Karen read the book and responded, “I truly enjoyed your book – you have the poet in you.” It made me smile. I like to consider myself a sort of closet poet. Hearing her say that was very special. Karen said she’d like to do a feature article on the book for an upcoming Momentum edition.

We corresponded back and forth with email questions and answers for the article and I sent her jpgs of the book jacket and a few photos. After we finished the work, I got busy with other things and the Momentum story went to the back of my mind. For February. And April. And then in May I got an email that it had gone to print.

So here it is the beginning of June, and I open my mailbox, and there it is. The newest Momentum. And my story is in it.

Capture, Writing is an Act of Faith

And I’m thankful and in a silly way sort of surprised. Because it all seems so long ago that I wrote that first email. Back in October of 2014. That’s nine months ago. It feels like a lifetime. And what I’m learning is that it takes time, work, effort, and waiting. That momentum builds slowly. That the little steps eventually add up.

After the article came out, I heard from several old college friends and teachers. And later this month, I’m going back to The U. of M. to visit and connect and remember those good days way back when I was young and a dreamer of dreams. Way back when, before I knew Zambia and had a family and had a book. The Momentum article reconnected me with people I’d forgotten. So, thank you to Momentum! And to Karen. And to Mary College now all grown up into the University of Mary!

Scroll Down Momentum (page 8 in the pdf or page 12 on the print version) to read the Q&A article Karen put together. 





Jill Kandel
  • Julie Strauss Bettinger
    Posted at 08:29h, 11 June Reply

    Jill, I agree with the assessment, “You have a poet in you.” Poets use words to make sense of experiences. For example, I love the part of the interview where you say, “…what I was doing was putting words into a time that was basically a big silence in my life.”

    And the connection with the inmates, “…the women have lost their voices and have stuffed their own stories.”

    You are giving them courage to tell their own stories. Yes!

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 08:57h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Julie! I thought her questions were great and they made me think! Courage, my friend!

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