Janet Alcorn (Crum)
Works By Janet Alcorn (Crum):
Published Works (Janet Alcorn)
“Woe is Me, Poor Child, for Thee” In The Colour out of Deathlehem: An Anthology of Holiday Horrors for Charity, Grinning Skull Press, 2021.
“Collateral Damage” In Arizona Literary Magazine, 2021.
Published Works (Janet Crum)
Crum, J. “A Christmas Duet [short creative nonfiction].” Harmony: Humanism Expressed Through Art and Writing, v. 19, 2022, p. 13-14.
“Proof Text.” In Arizona Authors Literary Magazine, 2020.
Numerous journal articles and other professional works in librarianship
A Bit About Me
I’ve lived in five states and three time zones, the majority of the time in Northern California, where I was born and raised, and Portland, Oregon, where the sun is a mysterious novelty that confuses the locals. During that time, I’ve worn quite a few hats: librarian (my current day job), English teacher, wife, mother, and obsessive gardener. I was even a Jeopardy contestant about 20 years ago (spoiler alert: I lost. Cue up that Weird Al song.)
Through all the ages and stages of my life, I have written. As best I can remember, I first started writing for the sake of writing (as opposed to for the sake of completing an assignment and thereby staving off parental wrath) in 5th grade, when I decided that since Marcia Brady had a diary, I needed one, too. I journaled through high school and college, filling cheap spiral notebooks with whiny angst about whatever rock star or classmate I was crushing on. I became an academic librarian and wrote journal articles and even co-edited a real, actual, honest-to-goodness book.
I’d always wanted to write fiction, but a disastrous attempt at a short story in high school convinced me I had no talent, and I was enough of a sucker to believe that talent was inborn, and you had it or you didn’t, and I didn’t. And so I approached age 50 with one huge unfulfilled dream.
I don’t know exactly when or how I started to think seriously about writing fiction, but I do remember taking a break at work one slow afternoon and Googling, “how to write a novel.” Yes, I really did that–and I am a professional librarian, i.e. an expert searcher, and I launched my writing career with a Google search. *sigh* Anyway, one of the first results I found was the website for the Snowflake Method. Randy Ingermanson made the process sound do-able, so I started doing it. As I planned and drafted my first novel, Vanishing, Inc., I read everything I could find on how to write fiction, and I learned as I went along. The first draft was horrible. The second draft wasn’t much better. Many additional drafts ensued, each one sucking a little less than the last (this iterative process of suckage reduction is called, “revision,” otherwise known as the seventh circle of authorial hell).
In addition to that first novel, I’ve written a second novel-length manuscript and published several short stories. When I’m not earning a living or wrangling cantankerous fictional people, I garden, listen to 80s rock at ear-bleeding volume, and hang out with my husband and son.