Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Day Eleven Book By Jen Karuza Schile

by @thewritermama on May 11, 2013 · 6 comments

Many moons ago, I was giving a presentation at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington for my first book, Writer Mama. Afterwards a woman came up to apologize for chasing her toddler daughter around while I was speaking. I thanked her for coming and for bringing her daughter. That woman was Jen Karuza Schile.

Many moons later, when I came back up to Bellingham to speak and teach at the Chuckanut Writer’s Conference last year, she hosted a lovely gathering of writer mamas for me at her home. Jen now has three children and continues to be a writer mama extraordinaire, as well as one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Please give it up for Jen Karuza Schile!

Introducing Jen Karuza Schile

A multi-generation commercial fishing family member and mother of three young children, Jen Karuza Schile blogs regularly about life inside a commercial fishing family.  She is the author of Captain of Her Crew: The Commercial Fishing Mom’s Guide to Navigating Life at Home.

Jen has published over 100 articles in National Fisherman magazine and was published in Pacific Fishing. Her personal essays have been published in the anthologies A Matter of Choice: 25 People Who Transformed Their Lives, Steady as She Goes: Women’s Adventures at Sea, and P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends.

Jen facilitated a writing circle and contributed to the newsletter for the Story Circle Network, a national organization of women writers. She received an honorable mention in the memoir category of the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

Jen is a founding administrator of the Facebook group Commercial Fishing Families & Friends and is a featured blogger on the National Fisherman magazine website. She spoke on a panel about commercial fishing families at Pacific Marine Expo in November 2012. She has also contributed to the website Happy Homefront, a website for geographically challenged families, and to AlaskaJobFinder.com. Learn more about Jen.

Learn about Captain of Her Crew: The Commercial Fishing Mom’s Guide to Navigating Life at Home

As a commercial fishing wife, girlfriend, or mother, do you feel like you spend your life waiting and worrying from one fishing season to the next? Are you frustrated when, just as you get a routine established after your partner heads to sea, it is time for him to come home—and for you to switch gears once again? Do you simultaneously enjoy and grapple with the commercial fishing lifestyle? You aren’t alone.

Inside Captain of Her Crew: The Commercial Fishing Mom’s Guide to Navigating Life at Home, you’ll find advice that will enable you to take the helm and successfully steer your way through the specific challenges facing the commercial fishing wife and mother at home. Readers of this thoughtful guide will grow in admiration and compassion for their spouses, families, and—equally importantly—themselves.

I asked Jen three questions about our giveaway’s theme topic, self-expression:

1. Is self-expression an important part of your life today, why or why not?

Self-expression, as it pertains to my blog, my professional writing, my platform, and my life, is both a joy and a challenge. I question myself all the time: How can I best convey my thoughts and feelings? Will they be misunderstood? Am I being honest, or am I sugarcoating to make things look better than they really are? Do I feel safe expressing my experience, my opinions, and myself? To whom am I expressing my thoughts and feelings? Who will read this? Have I expressed too much? Have I expressed too little? In spite of all of the questions, self-expression is an incredibly vital and satisfying part of my life today. No question.

2. What does self-expression mean to you and how do you do it in the world?

Self-expression means feeling safe enough to be honest about my life experiences and share them with my readers, whether those experiences are considered “good” or “bad.” Every inch of my being believes that it is our responsibility as human beings to share what we have lived through and learned from. Whether our path has been filled with joy or pain, or some of both, it is our obligation to share what we have taken away from the journey.

In my life, I have often relied upon the experience and wisdom of others to make me feel less alone and to find common ground. Therefore, I feel that I must also contribute to this process through my blog, my e-book, my professional writing, and even things as simple as Facebook posts.

3. How does your self-expression impact the world—your family, your friends, your readers, and everyone else?

I started my blog seven years ago because I wanted to specifically address the issues and lifestyle of the commercial fishing family and build a similar online community. Prior to launching my blog, there was next to nothing in the public realm focusing specifically on life inside the commercial fishing family. We had commercial fishing TV shows, books about tragedies and narrow escapes, and a few memoirs, but nothing focused specifically upon the modern-day commercial fishing family.

The response and affirmation from readers throughout the years has been incredible. I have a varied audience that ranges from commercial fishing insiders, to family and personal friends, to those who do not know or even care about the commercial fishing industry. The latter group connects with me through my writing on topics like “seasonally singe motherhood,” the loss of pets, childhood hearing loss, anxiety, school, and marriage.

I do this because I love to write and connect with others. Writing about one’s life is not always easy, and it can create a certain amount of fear. However, this is what I’ve been called to do since I was a small child. If my words and stories can make one person feel less alone and uncertain, it is all worth it.

And Now, Your Turn…

You remember how this works right?

Please read the complete rules at least once!

I ask you a question.

You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.

Please just respond once, even if you make a typo. ;)

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books).

Identity is a huge issue for writers to explore. It’s also a never-ending journey, because we are all constantly changing and growing, as we are all meant to do. Make me a list that answers this question: who are you? What list of words describes you?

Ready, set, comment! I will hold the drawing tomorrow and post the results here in my blog.

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway!

And thanks for spreading the word. We will be giving away great books by wonderful women authors all month.

View the complete list of authors and books.

View the giveaway Pinterest board.

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