Pharos-Tribune

Local News

May 6, 2013

A mother’s tale

Burnettsville author to hold book signing Tuesday.

As Jan Blackburn will tell you in her debut book, the kind of maternity perpetuated on 1950s and 1960s television by Harriet Nelson, June Cleaver and Marion Cunningham is no longer the status quo.

“Motherhood and Other Natural Disasters” came out in February and was self-published by Blackburn through the publishing company Inspiring Voices. Twenty years in the making, it provides a humorous and heartfelt account of Blackburn’s experiences as a mother.

“I found it very difficult to be a parent and work and do all the things you were supposed to do,” Blackburn said. “Our generation was told we’ve come a long way baby and you can have it all. And so most of us from my generation tried to do that.

“Then we got caught in the reality that it was impossible to be a full-time career person, a full-time mom and a full-time community person. It became part-time everything and you didn’t do anything really well.”

Blackburn said before “Motherhood and Other Natural Disasters” became the book it is today, it was a survey she sent to mothers across the country in the 1980s asking for their thoughts on how they handled the stresses and pressures of parenting.

“I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” she said. “My mom was a home mom and she made it look so easy. But I discovered it really wasn’t. I was trying to figure out how do we get back some of that innocence, some of that quality time that we lost.”

Blackburn sent the survey out like a chain letter and eventually received responses from New York to California. As she started compiling the responses however, she soon found her own sense of humor taking over and started penning her own experiences.

And so started the decades-long experience of crafting the book, inspired by her sons Nick and Jake, punching out a chapter or two whenever she had the time.

“Writing was always an outlet when I was a kid,” she said. “I would write these ridiculously sleazy novels that were totally pointless. Later in my angst-ridden teenage years, it was poetry, haiku, then in my college years it was time to write heated editorials and carry protest signs, I had that generation.”

Writing the book was one thing. Publishing it, Blackburn said, was another. “The rejection letters would beat me back from the post office.”

Then one day last year she came across an ad in “Guideposts” magazine for a book writing contest in which the top three submissions would receive a publishing deal from the magazine’s publisher, Inspiring Voices. The pile of pages she had come to call “Motherhood and Other Natural Disasters” had been sitting in her drawer for a while, so she figured it was time to take a chance on a contest rather than a publishing house.

A few weeks after she submitted the manuscript, she received word she was in the top 1,500 entires. Shortly after that, she was told she made the top 300. Then the top 33.

When the top three were announced, Blackburn’s name was not among them. The success she did acquire in the competition was enough to drive her toward self-publication, however, a route she said is ultimately worthwhile despite the expense.

Blackburn, a nurse for the Frontier School Corporation, also writes a regular column called “Buzzin’ with Mrs. B.” for the “News & Review,” a community newspaper in Monon.

Copies of Blackburn’s book will be available for purchase at an author talk and book signing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Monticello Public Library, 321 Broadway St., Monticello. It is also for sale locally at Canaan Bible Book Shop, Rekindled, and The Nest, or online at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and inspiringvoices.com.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers heading back to classrooms starting this week are facing the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that's been retooled for the third time since 2009. Some teachers and district administrator

    July 28, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 28, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS-PT072814 McKinley Mortar Work on Logansport senior-living facility continues The transformation of a building on Logansport’s north side that formerly accommodated children is expected to be complete this fall, when it will start catering to those on the other end of life’s timeline.Indianapolis-based Crestline Communities ha

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • History, carnival set for Delphi DELPHI — One hundred and fifty-nine years ago, the founders of Carroll County gathered together to catch up and connect, as it was one of the only ways to do so back in 1885.Referred to as the Carroll County Old Settlers’ Meeting, it still lives on t

    July 28, 2014

  • Eric Peters Veteran on cross- country mission PERU — Eric Peters is on a 2,700-mile mission.As a 23-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, Peters is used to missions. But this one is personal.Thirty-five days ago, he started a cross-country trek from his home in Clark, New Jersey, that

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Purdue corn specialist: Cool weather's effect on crop could differ from 2009 WEST LAFAYETTE — The next two months will determine whether the Indiana corn crop produces high yields as expected or is significantly damaged by any unforeseen, drastic changes in weather and diseases, Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen sa

    July 28, 2014

  • Late-season herbicide may be ineffective, scientist says WEST LAFAYETTE — For farmers seeing weeds in their crop fields this late in the growing season, hand-rouging and pulling them by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says.“The majo

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS-PT072714 - manhunt deputy - MLK Manhunt: Law enforcement capture State Hospital escapee BURROWS — An inmate who reportedly escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday evening was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning.Jim Gavin, director of communications and media at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administrat

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sports briefs for Sunday, July 27 Sports BriefsKizer helps Feverrally to beat StarsSAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lynetta Kizer scored 16 points and the Indiana Fever dominated the fourth quarter in rallying for a 75-68 victory over the San Antonio Stars on Saturday night.Shavonte Zellous added

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS-PT072714 Gregory Konrath mugshot Trial set for man accused of plotting murder PERU — An orthopedic surgeon at Dukes Memorial Hospital who is accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife and make it look like a suicide is set to face a jury trial.In Miami County Circuit Court Thursday, Gregory Konrath, 48, was scheduled to face tr

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition