I’m delighted to introduce my friend Jennifer Major to you today! She’s funny, genuine, and wonderfully supportive of all her writer friends. She also happens to be a redheaded Canadian who loves to read and write Native American stories. Today she’s sharing about her journey toward publication and inspiring us all in the process to work toward our own dreams. -Becky
There was this girl…woman…adult aged female…who harbored a secret wish. But, she was fairly certain she’d never leave the winter side of the wish, because she and her husband had four children. The youngest was born when our mystery woman was a few months shy of 40.
Yup. She was BUSY. Always winter, never Narnia.
Anyway, one random wintery night (December 26th, 2011, 10pm-ish) our friend thought to herself, “What do you want in fifty years? A bucket of regret?”
So, I started to write. That was three and a half years ago. And now? Here I am, on the summer side of that wish, learning things I never knew were things. Meeting people who ‘get’ me. People who actually do wake up at odd hours with characters in their minds. Voices in their heads. Stories that need to be heard.
My friends, we’re each given That One Thing. That thirst inside that cannot be quenched. It took me 48 years to figure mine out. Why? Not because I have four children, but because I wasn’t listening. I was avoiding. I was running. I was afraid.
Because what if I failed? What if people laughed? What if I was terrible at it?
But that night, it was if God reached down from Heaven and said “Take my hand, I know the way.”
I’ve given my writing career to God because it’s too big for me to handle on my own. And what has He done? He’s orchestrated research trips, introduced me to people I’d never have met unless His hand was on the moment. Given me a drive to excel. To work. To take the disappointments and keep going. To carry the story in my heart.
How do I know God is in this?
After an arduous research trip in 2013, I boarded a train in Gallup, New Mexico. I was utterly exhausted. “What am I doing, Lord? Does any of this matter? Speak to me! Tell me I’m doing the right thing! Please!”
Full train or not, I wanted to be alone. A man sat down. “Hi, I’m Max Perez.” He seemed nice, but I was so tired.
Hold on, child. Trust Me.
Max and I chatted. He’s a school principal. At a Navajo school in Shiprock. He asked about my manuscript. I told him the rough outline. About the Navajo warrior who runs from battle. Changes his name. His identity. Max asked the warrior’s names. I felt awkward. He asked again. “Well, first, he is Natanii. And then, Nez.”
“Cool.” Max grinned and settled into his seat. “Now, tell me the entire story. We have time.”
So, I did. Even the parts about God being there when life is at its worst. Yup, I preached.
As we approached Albuquerque, Max grinned again and said, “Jennifer, I want you to ask me the name of my old school.”
“Uhhh, okay…Max, what’s the name of your old school?”
“Natanii Nez Elementary.”
Jennifer Major is a Canadian hockey mom of 4 who dislikes snow, being cold, and did she mention she seriously loathes snow? She and her tree scientist husband live in the snowiest part of Canada, and share their home with their two youngest hockey players. Despite her pleas, her husband refuses to study palm trees, sand or beaches. Thankfully, her research into Navajo history takes her to places with plenty of palm trees and saguaro cacti. And heat. Jennifer is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Management.
You can connect with Jennifer at: