Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Friday Five


War and Peace

Last night, I was all, “Yes, I’ve read 646 pages!”

Then I realized I still have 810 left.


For the most part I’m enjoying it, although the last 50 pages or so were pretty dull (and stomach-turning). Sport hunting. Bleck.

There is a lot of romance, though, which is sweet in that old-fashioned “thee” and “thou” sort of way. After I finish, I’m watching the Audrey Hepburn version of the movie, which I’m pretty excited about.

Childhood Idols

I was so sad to read Valerie Harper had terminal brain cancer because I pretty much worshipped her character, Rhoda, when I was a kid. I wanted to be just like her and even went as her one year for Halloween.*

I’ve been re-watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda on Hulu and it’s been great. Rhoda is just as beautiful, sassy, funny, and cool as I remember.

*Full disclosure, I was like 21 or 22 when I did this. I’m pretty sure I just put on a multi-colored thrift-store hat and my usual clothes (jeans, my dad’s old cardigan, etc.) and people were like, “Oh, okay!”


As I’ve mentioned about a billion times, I’m rewriting an old MS. Ever since the first draft, I’ve had an issue with my main character’s boyfriend. He’s a nice guy, which I apparently can’t write.

At first he basically walked on water (the perfection trap), then I gave him way too many faults and I hated him for being weak. I also tried a balance, just focusing on the sweet things he did and I wanted to vomit over his blandness.

But FINALLY (I say while holding my breath and crossing my fingers), I think I’ve finally gotten to know him. And I like him. I may even love him! So exciting.


Last night after my husband went to bed, I caught the scent of something pleasant. As I wandered around the apartment, sniffing the air and trying to find the source, I walked into the bedroom and announced to hubby:

“I smell something like mint, tea, and hippies**!”

He responded, without missing a beat, “It’s the new toothpaste, I opened it to try it.”

I’m not sure which is weirder – that I enjoy the combined scent of mint, tea, and hippies or that he immediately knew what I meant.

**The hippies part was the lingering remains of incense. In case you were wondering why toothpaste smelled earthy.


I just realized I have peace, love and understanding, so since I don’t have a #5, I leave you with Elvis Costello (and Nick Lowe):


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

10 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. Oh, I loved Rhoda . . . and Mary, but like you I always wanted to be her. So sad about her illness, but so like Valerie Harper to respond with such honesty and grace.
    I commend you for tackling W & P–you can do it!

  2. Glad to hear you are still making your way through War and Peace. I still need to get around to that one. Have a good weekend!

  3. Yay for falling in love with your MC’s boyfriend! I can totally relate–it’s so difficult to write a love interest if you don’t love them yourself.

    And I’m looking forward to your War and Peace review, so keep on truckin’ 🙂

  4. I’m such a huge Mary Tyler Moore show fan! (The news about Valerie Harper is so sad.) The relationship between Mary and Rhoda is so sweet in those early seasons. And I want to see a picture of you dressed as Rhoda! I’ve always been more of a Mary throughout my life so it would be fun to pretend to be Rhoda for a day.

  5. I love the toothpaste comment. You could say “It smells like Asheville” and mean the same thing. So sad about Rhoda. And yay for your wip. I’m a little worried about my guy in Popsicle that he’s too perfect – but he’s with my agent now and we’ll see what she says. Such a balance to create a perfect mix of attributes.

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