Writing Life

I am Jan Krause Greene. I explore the vast capacity of the human heart as a novelist, poet and storyteller. My first novel was released in August of 2013. I currently have three other works in progress.

Just a little poem

Hi Dear Readers, I have not posted a blog in awhile because this month I have been really busy going to book events. It has been a great month of meeting people, reading from my book, participating on panels, and increasing my sales. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. But now I  need to rest a tiny bit and then turn my focus back to writing.. In the meantime, here is a poem I wrote a few years ago. Shortly after writing this, I signed a contract with a publisher.

In My Dreams

flying person


In my dreams I fly – in and out of windows, above mountains, between trees.

I don’t need wings to carry me.

I fly because I am light and free.

In my dreams.

In my dreams, I swim in deep, blue waters.

I jump off cliffs into the waiting ocean.

I rise to the surface and keep on going, up, up!

Right up to the sky.

I fly at night, the stars and moon lighting my way.

In my dreams, I am the leader of important causes.

I speak truth to power.

I bring healing to the hurt.

Food to the hungry.

Justice to the oppressed.

In my dreams, I make a difference.

What I do matters.

I am making the world a better place.

I will be remembered for what I have done.

In my dreams.


In my waking life, I do laundry.

I sweep, dust and vacuum.

I shop. I cook. I eat. I sleep.

I drink lots of coffee and not enough wine.

I take care of my mother.

I babysit for my grandchildren.

I go for walks with my husband.

I watch TV. I read.

Sometimes I even write.

In my waking life.

I tend my garden.

I watch the sunset.

I think great thoughts.

And I long to be the person in my dreams.

I long to do the things that matter;

To make a difference -

To know that in some way the world is better because I was here.

In my dreams, there is no question about this.

I am a person who can fly.

That is proof enough.

But in my waking life,

I measure my importance in small things -

A word of gratitude from my mother.

A smile when my grandson sees me at the door.

My husband’s warm embrace.

This is my real life - the life that says

“You are no different from anyone else.

You can not fly. You are earthbound;

tied to the earth by those you love.”

And sometimes, not very often, but oh so gloriously,

I feel myself rising to the sky on wings of joy

and, oh yes, I am awake!

This is my real life too.




Blogging and world peace

ID-10065199 I  just had a thought while I was reading some of the blogs I follow


The blogging community is made up of strangers from different countries and from different communities within our own countries. We are different ages, genders, sexual orientations. We have different types of educations. We are probably from different social classes. Most likely, we have different views about politics, religion, music, entertainment, and family life. Most of us will never meet in "real" life. We know each other only from our blogs.

Yet, we share our thoughts, feelings and ideas with each other openly. Some of us even feel like friends.

By and large, we treat each other's blogs with respect, sometimes even with reverence. We disagree with posts occasionally, but we don't seek to dominate, invade, or destroy each other's blogs. Most successful bloggers share advice with those of us who don't have many followers. We want to see all bloggers flourish.

forpeace6 (1)

All of this makes me think that blogging may help us avoid war and conflict. If we can learn to bring the same collaborative approach to our geo-political interactions that we bring to our blogging, there may be hope for a peaceful future.

I know this sounds naive, ridiculously simple, even pollyanna-ish. I know it doesn't address any of the complex problems that we face. Still, I feel that because bloggers have created communities without geographical boundaries, a seed of peace has been planted. I believe it can be nurtured. I hope that it will.

If you want to know more about Bloggers For Peace, please check out http://everydaygurus.com/category/peace/

seeds of peace

Monster Control - past and present....

From the mid-80s to the mid-90s,  I had a weekly newspaper column entitled HOMEFRONT. It was mostly about family life with five sons and a little about being a high school teacher. Once in a while I tackled the big issues of the day. Recently, a friend and former reader asked me to find a particular column that she had saved all these years and recently lost. The hunt for this column led me down a nostalgic path. As I skimmed through my enormous pile of columns, I remembered so many of the feelings that I had when I was raising my sons  who are now ages 29 to 37.

Now I am a grandmother of four boys - ages 1 to 5 and one girl who is 6 months. My heart is filled with love for them, just as it was (and always will be!) for my sons. I find that my desire to protect my grandchildren is almost exactly the same as it was for my children. So I am going to share a column that I wrote in 1986:

The other night my youngest son told me he couldn't go to sleep because, "when I close my eyes they have monsters in them." I told him he was just imagining the monsters, but he would not be convinced. As I sat on his bed, keeping him company so that the monsters "will go away" I thought of all the things my children have taught me about monsters. A lot of is sounds vaguely familiar, like something I knew about a long time ago, but have since forgotten.

  • Monsters are hard to see with open eyes; appearing only as shadowy figures and bulges behind curtains, but they can be seen in great horrific detail with closed eyes.
  • Monsters are afraid of light and they sneak up on you at night, unless you sleep with a light on.
  • Monsters don't care if you believe in them or not.
  • Monsters are crafty and hide behind furniture, in closets, and most often, under beds. They have long arms and ugly hands and can reach out and grab an unsuspecting victim from the other side of a room.
  • Monsters also like to hide in basements, lurking under the steps while eagerly waiting for anyone to be dumb enough to go downstairs alone.
  • Monsters DO make noises. Kids hear them frequently, but the monsters slyly stop making the noises when a grown-up enters the room.
  • The best protection against monsters is having another person in bed with you. If that isn't possible, stuffed animals are a good defense. Even blankets and pillows can be arranged as protection.
  • Monsters like to hang around after you watch a scary movie or even talk about scary things.
  • Monsters are not afraid of children - no matter how tough the children act. But they are afraid of grown-ups.
  • You can't fool monsters. They know when you are asleep and they wait until then to get to you.(No one has been able to tell me what happens when they get you)
  • Monsters can go through closed windows and doors, but they can not follow you into your parents room.
  • You can trick monsters into thinking your brother is the only one in the bed. This is why it is important not to sleep alone.
  • Monsters hide in bathrooms, especially behind shower curtains.
  • Monsters have been known to do terrible things to poor little children whose parents didn't believe them when they said there were monsters in their room at night.
  • The only way to be 100 percent safe from monsters is to sleep in your parents' bed, snuggled in, safe and sound, between them.
  • All of the things grown-ups tell you about monsters being make-believe and just-pretend don't do any good when you are alone in the dark with one.

As I pick up the little boy with monsters in his eyes and carry him to our room, I feel a little sad, knowing that in a few years I won't be able to save him from his monsters anymore.

That was written more than 25 years ago. I knew then that eventually my boys would grow up and I would not be able to protect them from the real "monsters" they would encounter - the various really difficult and heart-breaking things that we all encounter as we go through life. I know this is true for my grandchildren too. There will come a time when the loving arms of their parents won't be able to take away their problems. This is the way life is meant  to unfold. When we are young, our parents fortify us and we gather strength for the hard times that may come as we get older. All people experience struggles and challenges, and most of us manage to survive them and live fulfilling lives. This is as it should be.

But, now, 25 years later, I am forced to admit that there are very real monsters in my grandchildren's future. Monsters that they will not be able to protect themselves from unless we, their parents and grandparents, do something now.

Mother Earth is in serious trouble. She needs us to take care of her. The ecosystems that have sustained us are in jeopardy. Our oceans and waterways are seriously threatened from pollution. Air quality is getting worse and worse. Much of the planet is already experiencing a severe water crisis in the form of  scarcity of usable water. Farmlands are less and less fertile. I could go on and on. The problems are many and complex.

But, here's the thing. There are solutions. Here's the other thing. Nothing is going to get better if we don't decide to do something. Now.

Most of the western world lives with such a high degree of ease and comfort that we don't even bother to learn about what is happening all around us. We don't understand the impact of our reliance on fossil fuels or the dominance of agribusiness. We don't think about the enormous islands of plastic - including one that is bigger than the state of Texas - floating in our oceans. We have all but forgotten about the hole in the ozone layer and we continue to argue about the reality of the greenhouse effect.

As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. But do we really want our bliss to be responsible for a life of extreme hardship for our grandchildren and future generations? I realize that when you understand the enormity of the environmental crisis there is a tendency to ignore it because it seems to big and complicated. But if each of us learned about one aspect and educated others about it, well, that could help.

If each one of us chose one or two ways to lessen our own personal negative impact on the environment, well, hey, that could help to.

If each one of us decided to become informed and then to inform decision-makers at the local, state and federal level, well, heck yeah, that could make a difference too.

If nothing else, start with a simple search of the internet. You will be amazed at what you find. I have included a few links for you. Not because they are the best, or the ones I trust the most, but because they were so easy to find. Check them out.

I know once you start you won't stop looking, because this earth is your home, your only home and when you really think about it, it matters more to you than almost anything.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. SeussThe Lorax




 and if you are looking for some solutions, check out the books at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Exploring the Capacity of the Human Heart

Welcome to the first edition of my blog. I will be exploring with all of you the incredible capacity of the human heart to hold within it love and hate, hope and fear, pain and joy, forgiveness and revenge....and much more. I hope that I will hear from all of you with your insights about what the heart can hold.

This blog will feature a variety of posts, including poetry, video, art and a readers' forum.

To get us started, here is a poem I wrote:

What I Would Have Said 

What would I have said to my children when they were born if I knew then what I know now?

When my first son was born, I sat awake in my hospital bed and wrote a long letter about all my hopes and dreams for him. 

 I wrote about how much we anticipated his arrival, about how much we loved him before he was even born.

And how we would always love him, no matter what. 

I wrote essentially the same letter to each of my new born sons. 

Many years have come and gone. 

My sons are men now and I have grandchildren.

My life is full. My heart is full. The words of love I wrote are still completely true. 

But if I knew then, what I know now, the letter would be different. 

Not knowing then, that my marriage would end in divorce, I neglected to tell them that all love is good...no matter what....having loved someone matters.

No matter how it ends, or changes, love is never wasted. 

Never fear a broken heart because the only way you can get one is by having loved deeply, and deep love enriches the soul.

Never think that once your heart is broken, you can’t ever love again.

Each time we love, we increase our capacity to love.  

The human heart is designed to love and it has the capacity to grow and expand until it is so big that it loves the whole world. 

Most of us run out of time before our hearts get big enough to hold love for the whole entire world, but many of us come pretty close.

Yes, there was a lot I did not know when I wrote those love letters to my children.

Not just about love, but about the incredible mystery of life. 

So many things I didn’t tell them, because I didn’t know then what I know now.

I would tell them that they are the stuff of stars....

That the very atoms that pulse and vibrate inside us come from the stars! 

We are in the universe and the universe is in us; in all of us, no matter when or where we lived.

I would tell them that they are connected to every being who has ever lived or ever will live.

That long after they have died, the atoms that were part of them will be somewhere in the universe, part of some other life...recycled in the air, the soil, a beautiful flower, a tree, or even another person. 

And because of this, we will never be separate from the rest of the world; from the earth that we live on, from the people we call enemies and those we call friends. 

I would tell them, because I do know it now... 

that everything they do really does make a difference.



Our actions have an impact far beyond our ability to know.

The choices we make about what we eat and how we live affect people everywhere....not just metaphorically or spiritually, but really. 

We share the earth with billions of people and there will be billions more after we die. 

What we use and what we conserve affect them all.

Wars we wage and wars we avert affect them all.

Discoveries we make and how we use them affect them all. 

They are us and we are them, only luckier.

I would tell them that we were chosen to be that accumulation of atoms that won the birth lottery; that we were born to a life of relative plenty.

That we have responsibility because of this.

And I would tell them this too.

None of us will ever make the whole difference; none of us can truly change the world,

Because each and every one of us is needed.

I would tell them “the power of one” really means the power of EACH one combined with the power of many other ones. 

And, although, they share the atoms from the same stars as the rest of us,

Each of us is a totally unique, unduplicatable individual person.

Within each unique individual lies the future of the world.

We are all chosen to use what is in us-

 that stuff that makes me, me and you, you -

 No one else has that to offer to the world.

 So, shine like the stars that are within you! 

Love so much that your heart expands until it can hold the whole world in its care. 

And know that as my heart grows, my love for you grows, every day.

Looking forward to our exploration of the varieties of human experience and how the heart grows to hold and honor all that we experience. I plan to write once a week, but in the beginning, I may write a little more often. So please check in now and then!

In the meantime, what do you think about the heart's ability to grow big enough to hold love for the whole world? Do you have any examples to share? Please leave a comment if you do!