Tuesday, January 26, 2016


You guys! THE TRICK TO LANDING releases in three weeks! THREE WEEKS!!! And the good news for all of you is that I have a bunch of Oceanside High swag I want to give you!

How can you get some? Basically, send me an email with your address to jenny.kaczorowski@gmail.com. Sure, it would be nice if you pre-ordered LANDING or left a quick review of FALLING, but it's not required. I'm just really excited that I get to do this book thing AGAIN!

Want to know more about LANDING? Here's the blurb:

When you wipe out in life, who helps you get back up again?

After a gnarly fall in competition, a DUI, and moving in with her mom dashed her hopes for a spot in this year's X Games, 16-year-old skateboarder Summer O'Neill is left with one last shot at redemption. But her fresh start is even harder than getting back on the half pipe: hours of community service, a party girl reputation she can't shake, and life with a mother she hardly knows leave Summer scrambling to keep her world stable.

The very last thing Summer is looking for is a boyfriend, at least until she meets Sebastian Vega. Steady, unassuming, and self-assured, he's everything she's not. Before long, she's sneaking out for midnight sandcastle building excursions and trading in her art class for private photography lessons with Bastian.

But Summer's past won't stay behind her and Bastian has problems of his own – including a bleeding disorder that seeps into every aspect his life. While he pushes against the limitations of his hemophilia, she is bound by the rules of her probation. When the ramifications of her past crimes collide with his frustration, it may be more than their budding relationship can bear.

With the next X Games qualifier rapidly approaching, Summer has to own up to her mistakes if she wants to soar again. If she can't, she'll lose more than her second chance. She'll lose her future-in skating, and with Bastian.

You can also check out my Instagram feed for my favorite quotes and photos inspired by LANDING!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

...meanwhile back at the ranch...

So...long time, no blog. Back in August, I said something crazy like "both my kids will be in school two mornings a week! I'm going to have sooooooooo much free time!"

Protip: never say things like that. Eating your own words just isn't all that satisfying.

BUT! All kinds of good stuff (and crazy stuff) happened this fall. My oldest started kindergarten and I am so in love with his school! We are beyond blessed to have the kind academic and social opportunities we do at our local public school. He gets to walk to school with the other neighborhood kids. It takes us an hour to walk the half-mile home in the afternoon because all the kids are hanging out and talking. It's a brilliantly diverse school too. He's living and learning and laughing with kids of different racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds from us. We can teach him the value of diversity, but he gets to live it. He gets to see it in the faces of his friends. It's beautiful. AND he's learning to read, which is basically like watching a kid discover magic. It's amazing.

With kindergarten and my youngest off to her first year of preschool (which is also amazing), I launched into edits on THE TRICK TO LANDING (insert awkward self-promo: available for pre-order now). Oooph. This book fought me, but in the best way possible. I wanted so badly to tell Summer & Bastian's stories well and Meredith, my amazing editor at Bloomsbury Spark, made that possible. I am really proud of how it turned out (and that cover!!!! It makes me so happy) and I cannot wait for it to release on February 16.

While I adjusted to kindergarten & preschool, edited a book, wrote and submitted a couple huge grant application packages for Sound Art, and kept myself/my marriage/my house from falling apart, I also go an up close and personal look at exactly how messed up the foster care system in Los Angeles is. In all seriousness, this situation might be the worst heartbreak of my life. I learned and grew so much through it, as did my family and our friends, but wow. What a mess. Life will never be the same for any of us, mostly in good ways. I certainly see the world through different eyes now.

Throw in a couple illnesses, my husband's knee surgery, a trip to urgent care with yet another head injury for my 5yo (but, hey! At least no concussion this time!), a lot of personal growth and uncertainty about the future (like, what state we'll be living in next year) and it's been the exact opposite of the relaxing "free time" I imagined. But isn't that how life goes? Here's to hoping 2016 will be quieter!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Vagabond Summer, Part 4

(Catch up on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Sometimes you have to blow things up.

Sometimes you need to travel 1,000 miles away from the place you call home before you can discover what home really is.

In a basement apartment, in blazing heat and no air conditioning, away from the familiar and the comforting, we tore down walls and ripped out hurts and dug up disappointments to find our family at the center of all our busyness and distractions.

Three weeks into our vagabond summer, we started to find our footing again. We started to enjoy our time instead of rushing to cram in as much as we could. We settled into the knowledge that changing location only does that – it doesn’t actually change who you are. And we began to rebuild.

Amid the chaos, we stumbled into church on Sunday morning, completely unsure of what to expect. I’d found Nexus PDX through a Google search for something near our rental. Three weeks was long enough that I wanted something. If we were even considering moving to Portland ever in the future, I wanted to know there was a faith community we could call home. That we wouldn’t find ourselves spiritual orphans, without the family we’ve found at our church in Los Angeles.

There have been a few people in my life that felt like friends the moment we met. Like something in me recognizes something in then. “Oh, it’s you!” Walking into that church felt like coming home. The two Sundays we spent with Trevor, Julie and the rest of the Nexus family left an indelible mark on my heart and my soul. If we did nothing else that entire summer, the encouragement we gave and received were totally worth it.

To finish off that first Sunday on a beautiful note, we barbequed with dear friends from the newly wed small group we'd lead years ago. Rob and Amber live in Hawaii now but ended up in Portland for a couple days while we were there. Our boys struck up an instant friendship, while we shared our hearts and souls and journeys over the years.

That second week in Portland, We blew things up, put them back together, and build deep friendships over burgers, beers and artisan gelatos. We visited stunning parks shaded by towering trees. We ate every recommended doughnut in Portland (for the record, Pip’s are the best, but only fresh and they are kind of different animal all together).


With our time in Portland winding down, we spent those last days in a whirlwind of fun. We visited the Portland Children’s Museum, the Oregon Zoo, splash pads, the local pool and the rose garden. We spent an amazing day on Sauvie Island, where the Columbia and the Williamette meet. We picked berries and swam in the river. We fished for crawdads in our own backyard (where the water was so clear, it looked like it had come from the tap!) and ate them for dinner. We were wild and free and family. 


We found so much of what we were looking for, and yet we still had no real grasp of why we’d come. Joe and the kids spent our last morning at the Oaks, the little family-run amusement park nestled along the river in our neighborhood. I took myself in for a long over due haircut. I think we were all in a bit of denial. Despite the struggles, none of us were ready to leave.

We drove away from Portland with lumps in our throats, already aching to come back. 

And there was still the small detail of where we were live for the next week, when our renters moved out...