who knew?

About Myself
Name: Janie Little Upchurch    
Gender: Female
Age: Older than you want to know
Birthday: December 7
Status: Married to Eddie for 39 years
Hometown: Brighton, TN
Current Town: Orlando, FL for 43 years
Education: BA
School: Union University
Major: English
Minor: History
Occupation: Author


Email: JanieUpchurch@mac.com
Facebook: Janie Upchurch




Books: Bible, Chick Lit., Mysteries, Biographies, Informational Books - especially on health, travel, and politics

Quote: “You were born an original, don’t die a copy.”  Unknown

Homemade Soups
Veges (esp. Fried Okra) and Cornbread 
Chicken with lemon and wine sauce
Sprout, Tomato, and Avocado Sandwich
Quick Breads
Travel Desinations:
I-75 to see two of our daughters and their families

Any road trip for the fun of meeting new people, seeing new sights,and experiencing new events, all while riding beside  my husband as he listens to sports on the radio and I read or  write or sleep or look out the window. Oh, and we talk.  FHB_-_Purchasing_Info.htmlFHB_-_Purchasing_Info.htmlFHB_-_Purchasing_Info.htmlFHB_-_Purchasing_Info.htmlhttp://facebook.com/JanieUpchurchhttp://www.southernplate.comhttp://www.ginaholmes.comFHB_-_Purchasing_Info.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3shapeimage_2_link_4shapeimage_2_link_5shapeimage_2_link_6

    I have a letter that I wrote to my grandparents as a very small child, probably when I was in first grade.  It was short and informational and written out of love. Its major piece of information was that “Daddy got a new mule.” 

    My next significant memory of a writing experience was in third grade when I wrote a long paper about Cinderella.   The teacher marked my errors in red and told me that if I would fix those and rewrite it, she would send it in to a contest.  I did not want to spend my time doing that when I could be riding my bike, or whatever, when I got home, so I did not do it.  Throughout my life, I have so often wondered why I made that choice.

    No other significant writing experiences occurred during my school years until I was in college. There, I wrote a short story for a class and was turned on.  I even tried my hand at poetry.  Sharing this one always gave my children a laugh, so it will probably do the same for you. 



I don’t remember the beginning.

There is no end.

Yes, it is the in-between that matters.

    After graduating from college and moving far away from family and friends, I diligently wrote letters and thank you notes.  That is when I realized  my growing creativity in even the smallest writing projects.  I wrote devotions for ladies meetings, kept a journal, wrote letters to the newspaper’s editorial section,  an article for a homeschool magazine, and more. While homeschooling my children, I taught them the fundamentals of writing and I kept my own notes on ideas for someday writing a book. Through the child rearing stage of my life, writing became an increasing interest and practice. But I was a frustrated writer at that point as I felt that I could not commandeer the necessary time from my growing and developing and very high energy family in order to pursue it whole-heartedly.

     Still for a long time, I keep an ongoing potential book in its first draft stage under the front passenger seat of our car, and I wrote as we traveled.  That book was going to be informational, a “How To” book entitled, How to Travel on a Shoestring Budget.  Continually, I had new and different books rattling around in my head. Continually, I wrote things for myself personally, to and for others, and for events, but never  progressed far toward that prized book.  Its nagging to become a reality was always quieted by whatever was next and urgently needing only me. 

    After my youngest child was married, I was an empty nester, and too soon for me, I might add. I found the empty part of empty nester extremely empty.  Life was progressing according to a normal pattern for my children as they established families of their own.   Slowly, it occurred to me that this was a new beginning for me also.  It was my thrill to  embrace the vast and varied possibilities not only of that great life’s work of grandmothering, but also that dream of serious writing. I have written a Bible Study for the Book of Ephesians and numerous health articles, only using them with small groups. 

    One December, I saw an article in the newspaper about Nanorimo, a loosely connected national novel writing group.  The name Nanorimo,  stands for National Novel Writing Month. November is that month and the novel must be 50,000 words in rough draft form, begun on November 1 and completed by midnight on November 30.

    Though I had never thought about writing a novel, I took the challenge that next November and found it exhilarating.  I finished my exceedingly “rough” draft in three weeks, writing for untold hours everyday. From there I put it away for a few months to let it and me rest before tackling the countless rewritings. 

    While it rested comfortably in my files, my husband experienced a life threatening surgery for which he needed months of care and a year to regain his strength and spunk.  Its residual has reconfigured our lives as I have now taken over the more physical jobs and he has found things to enjoy that he never dreamed of previously. I think he may someday begin a blog on his “chef” experiences.  And perhaps I will write another book, drawing from his happenings and mishappenings. 

    Meanwhile, the novel in my files and yet unnamed, called my name and finally I said to it, “You do not have to remain in a hidden file forever.  You were originally created out of love and I am now going to love you into the hands and hearts of many.”  So, enjoy meeting Elizabeth and all those who influence her life in my long awaited novel, Finding Herself Blessed.        

Writing with My Heart and Soul