Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jessica Inclan GuestBlog: Things I Wish I'd Done

Ev! You've won Jessica's book, "Reason to Believe!" Send me your snail mail at, Bella. When I featured Jessica Inclan's "When You Believe" over at RBtheBook, that week's survey, "What paranormal power would you like to have?" got a record number of responses. I also got my first fan letter from a man who needed me to know about his regular paranormal communication with beings from other dimensions. Even cooler was when I sat with Jessica at RWA national for a little chat and some much-needed espresso. She's a funny and fun person, and I know you're going to enjoy her visit as much as her novels. Bellas, please welcome, Jessica Inclan...

Hi, Everyone!

I write to you from Lafayette, California,
a very small suburb of San Francisco. As you read this, I am likely teaching either one of my freshman composition classes or my world mythology class, all of which meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I bet my students wish I were still on my trip to Boston, leaving them in capable and substitute hands. I’ve included a photo of my boyfriend Michael and me, taken by some very charming German tourists.

The other days of the week, I am busy writing. I am the author of nine novels, but my paranormal romances are When You Believe (June 2006), Reason to Believe (October 2006), and the forthcoming Believe in Me (March 2007). Kensington Books published all three of those, and I just sold them three other forthcoming paranormal romances that should be coming out in 2008 and 2009. (Talk about optimism!). You can read all about me and more than you probably want at

I was thinking about what I should write to you all about, and I came up with a list of things I wish I hadn’t done. And a list of things I wish I had. Some are ancient and some are brand new, but I was thinking about my characters and their lists, and I thought I should have one of my own. Here we go:

What I wish I hadn’t done:

• Said “yes” to the South Dakota Book Festival and then cancelled at the last minute (oh, such bad karma!).
• Told my uncle who lives in South Dakota that I would be visiting! (Even worse karma).
• Had two glasses of wine at the No Name Restaurant in Boston
(when wine comes in red, white, and rose, one should know there is trouble!)
• Given my landlords notice. So how am I going to find anotherapartment?
• Eaten that hamburger last night.

What I wish I had done:

• Kissed that cute boy on New Year’s Eve, 1978. What was his name? If I’d kissed him, maybe I’d still know.
• Kept playing the guitar. Mom was right.
• Started my diet about three years earlier.
• Read more, laughed more, and not tried to get an A on every testin college.

So what about you? What do you wish you’d done? Not done?

I’d love to see what we wish for.

Jessica Inclan


Jessica Inclan said...

Well, I can't seem to post a blog response! Talk about imparied. I was writing to say I think the photo of Michael and I is just oo big, and boy, you'd think I was trying to solve some mathematical equation. Anyway, I tried to send it one last time. Let's see if it shows up.

I'm off to teach, and will check in later.



Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Jessica!!! I love your book covers.

What I wish I hadn't done? That list is too big for blogger.

What I wish I had done? That's an easy one, and it turns out I'm going to get to do that real soon; go to college. I had a job right out of high school, then got married and had kids in rapid succession, so it never happened. But now lots of years later it looks like I going to get to. It really is a dream come true. :o)

Kati said...

Jules how fun for you! I hated college, but I think that had more to do with me not being very studious (I was in it for the parties).

Welcome back Jessica! It's great to have you here.

Things I wish I hadn't done. Well, there are lots. The biggest is, that I wish I understood debt when I got divorced like I do now. I ran up $15K worth of credit card debt before you could blink. Now I've finally gotten my credit straightened out. But it took a really, really long time! Also, I wish I'd never smoked. I've quit, but man, I still jones for a cigarette occassionally (generally when there are cocktails).

Wish I had done? Well, there was this guy in college. We were both generally involved with other people and danced around each other through 4 years of college. We graduated and lost track. I'll always regret that I never got involved with him. He was terrific. And hot. LOL! He's probably got a paunch and thinning hair now, but at the time, he was delicious. I have a list in my journal of things I want to do before I die. Which is a different topic, but I guess the one thing I can still do, but haven't yet, is have kids. I'll get to it sooner or later. Just not yet.

Playground Monitor said...

What I wish I'd done?

I wish I'd learned earlier in life to stick out my tongue at the world and not care what "they" think.

What I wish I hadn't done?

I wish I hadn't gotten involved in a business venture that robbed me of 12 years of my life, too much time with my boys, way too much money for the return I got and generally left me with a great deal of disillusionment that it took years to get over.

One more "wish I'd done": Started reading romance when I was younger. I read my first romance about 5 years ago and man oh man what I was missing!


Julie in Ohio said...

MK- I have cousin who has been going to college off and on for 10 years WITH NO MAJOR IN MIND. I feel as though I have avoided all the B.S. that goes with college after high school; undecided majors, parties (although...), etc.
I'm going with a plan and purpose. At least that is what I told my husband. :P

Jessica Inclan said...

Oh, these are so great.

Firstly, I am so glad I went to college! It was the first place I learned to learn for learning sake. Not for someone else. So Julie, go for it!

And MaryKate--the men we didn't get involved with. I'll never forget telling Sanjay More I would not go to a dance with him. Why did I do that? Sad, but true.

Smoking--well. I smoked. I forgot to put that on my list. I was able to quit because I got pregnant, not that I advocate that as a quitting method!

And I hate to think about credit card debt.

Jeez--this list is getting interesting.

Kati said...

Jules - what kind of degree are you going for?

Julie in Ohio said...

MK - Nursing. RN, hopefully. :o)
I feel ya on the smoking. I smoked for a number of years. Unfortunately the cravings didn't quit with cigarettes. :\

Jessica - I too found pregnancy to be a good way of quitting. The kids were quite an inspiration for me. :o)

Kati said...

Jules - My sister is an RN. Post-partum care. She's brilliant at it and is the most patient person I know. I think you have to be very very special to be a nurse. And I think you'll be terrific at it!

Julie in Ohio said...

MK - Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm so excited/nervous, I'm giddy. :o)

I have a list of things to do before I die, in which going to Italy is number 1.
I'm just hoping that it doesn't get pushed to the "what I wish I would've done" list.

Another item is clean out my closet, but I think I have time on that...

Angelina said...

My husband said the most astounding thing the other day. He said the thing he regrets most in his life was using cosmetic cover-up his freshman year in college to hide his acne, because it just gave him more acne. Whose life is so pristine that something as innocuous as bad makeup choices is all he has to regret?!? I've lived with the man 12 years and I was shocked! But I couldn't disagree with him. He really does try to live his life to the best of his abilities and doesn't look back.

But his zero-regret list is well-balanced by my lengthy one: I wish I'd been less promiscous in college; that I hadn't dropped ballet, piano and volleyball; that I'd spent more wisely in Europe so the money that was supposed to last seven months wasn't gone in four; that I hadn't lost contact with so many people I've cared about in my life ...

I take a wistful look back and then try to be more like my husband, just looking forward.

Vivi Anna said...

Things I wish I had done:
1. stayed in Germany and went to school
2. stuck with piano
3. pursued a writing career right out of high school
4. told one of my ex-boyfriends that he rocked my world not that other guy

Things I wish I hadn't done:
1. jumped out of that moving vehicle
2. got involved with a guy that completely and utterly ruined my life
3. drank so much in my twenties
4. lost track of great friends

I'm sure there's more....

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Wow. What a cool topic! Ciao, Jessica! What a day on Blogger. But we finally got everything posted, especially the pic of you and your very cute and nice boyfriend, Michael. The pic makes me wistful for Boston; the Customs House in the background (the big, pointy tower) is my fave piece of architecture in the city, along with the remarkable Leonard P. Zakim bridge. He was a remarkable guy who really affected the lives of so many people and did tons to, well, build bridges between diverse groups in the city.

JulieO, you will tear up college! Going when you're a "non-trad" is the best, cause you're really there,, ya feel me? Nursing is awesome. Have you thought of Nurse Practitioner? What about medical school. Paging Dr. JulieO, STAT! (ok, I tend to push people on the shoot for the moon thing when I should prob do it more myself, too). :)

Marilyn, I agree on the romance novels! I know the business thing must have sucked, but we learn, we learn, no? I'll bet you were great at what you did...

MK, that reads like a romance novel. sigh.

Angelina, what a guy! He's not alone, cause I think there are lots of us who regret former make-up choices...

Vivs and Angelina listed my great regret: losing touch with good friends when I didn't understand how important friendship was.

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle - I feel ya on the whole really being there. I *want* to do it (unlike high school) so I will be there 100%. That is my goal and belief. (fingers crossed)
Sadly I don't see med school in my future. Doctors are so pretentious, anyway.

"...lots of us who regret former make-up choices..."

LOL, Michelle! No truer words have been typed. :o)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jessica :-) Love your book covers...I'm going to have to check them out :-)

What I wish I had done:
-Join the Air Force when I turned 18.
-Continued on to college after High School.
-Continued to play the piano.
-Given myself more time to write.

What I wish I hadn't done:
-Procrastinated about going back to school.
-fought so much with my mother.
-let my hair grow so long...because now, no one wants me to cut it, lol

Jessica Inclan said...

I'm glad the book covers work! The weird thing is that the men on them are supposed to be brothers. I would have to say their mother (who is a character in the novels) must have strayed. But I guess people who work on covers know what they are up to!

I just came home from teaching. A long day, three back to back 1.5 hour classes. My myth class is reading the Tao Te Ching, and I think the Tao would say my comments on regret and my list of what we haven't done wouldn't be the way to go. In fact, it might suggest we need to let go.

However, I think I would like it if my biggest regret wasn't wearing acne medicine! That is a pristine life.

It's been fun to read through these and see what we wish we had or hadn't done.


Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Ali! That is funny about your hair because I'm in the process of growing mine out. Although mine isn't anywhere close to yours yet, I'm going to think twice about letting it get too long. :o)

Fighting with my mom came so naturally to us that it wasn't until I got older and looked back to see all the mistakes we've made. She is now my best friend.
I wish I hadn't spent so long fighting her over everything.

KimW said...

Welcome, Jessica! I heard good things about your books a short time ago and have your name on my bookstore list.


I don't really have much that I look back on and wish I had done. I figure there must have been a good reason why I didn't at the time and I just don't remember what it was. lol

Wish I hadn't done, well, mostly bit my tongue a few more times and not spurted out what I really thought to people. I'm much better at holding it in today.

Stacy~ said...

Wow, interesting topic. Jessica your books sound fascinating and I would love to check them out.

Julie, I also have a list of things I want to do before I die. One of those things was to take a cruise, and I did, 2 years ago, so I think by putting it on a list, I somehow have made it happen.

Major kudos to you guys who've managed to quit smoking. It's a vice my mom has that she wouldn't give up even if it would save her life. I've tried it, just like every teenager does, but that was as far as it went for me.

Things I wish I hadn't done: hurt people who meant a lot to me because I was too selfish. I fought with my mom so much, and now it's better but I look back and regret some of what I put her through. Took a position in my company that I didn't want just to make someone else happy. Taken the little things too seriously when there are more important things to concentrate on.

Things I wish I had done: been a better friend - didn't lose touch with some people who meant a lot to me. Trusted my instincts more. Spoke up for myself and believed in myself more.

ev said...

Julie- You will have so much fun in college! I graduated 2 years ago after a looonnngggg abscence from school and had the time of my life. I can't wait to go back again too. I hope you have day classes- it is so much fun being with people of varying ages (rather than night classes where everyone was the same age). The points of view and discussions were always great and lively!!

What will you be studying for?

ev said...

What I wished I hadn't done:
1. gotten married right out of high school (thank god, no kids then.)
2. hooked up with the sperm donor.
(he was and is a big loser still)
3. been as loose as I was in college the first time around (after the divorce 2 years later)
4. lost my temper as much a i have (hey, i'm Sicilian, what can I say)
5.learned to be neater than i am.

What I wish I had done/glad I did do:
1. hooked up with above mentioned sperm donor. (the kid is worth it- most of the time ;))
2. quit smoking when i did
3. quit partying as much as i did
4. not learned how to manage money
5. not had a goal in mind for my future a hell of a lot earlier.

Jessica Inclan said...

Thank you so much for all your nice comments about the covers and my books. I hope you can check the books out from the library or a bookstore!

I think this topic inspired me. I was reading the Tao Te Ching as I mentioned, and then I started thinking about Robert Frost's poem "The Road Less Traveled."

Well, we all take turns, and these lists show that we can see them. Thank you all for sharing these thoughts. Really, grist for the mill. Makes me think about the life ahead of me!

Have fun on this blog. It's great, and thank you Michelle for having me aboard.


Playground Monitor said...

Blogger must have eaten my earlier post about cutting long hair. If you want to cut it, why not donate it to Locks of Love? They provide wigs for children who have lost their hair. Your family couldn't give you a hard time about helping a child, could they?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Love that poem.


krissyinva said...

What I wish I hadn't done?
I wish I didn't drop out of college
I wish I didn't wreck my friend's mom's car when I was 14.
I wish I hadn't run up my credit cards when I was 18

Wish I had done?
I wish I would've been more outgoing in school
I wish I would've kept in touch with old friends

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I found this exchange particularly moving. It isn't easy to be honest about regrets, but I think it's healthy to state them in a way that says the things happened/didn't, but I've moved on.

Jessica's right, the Tao thing is a little tough for Westerners to take to,this idea of moving forward w/o ever dwelling on the tough stuff. (that's pretty simplistic, but there you have it). I think it's good to examine stuff at least once, accept responsibility and understand what moved us to react/respond, then move past.

I love the Frost, and I love the M.Scott Peck, "RLT." Starts out w. the gem: Life is difficult. (I also love Frost "Stopping in a Woods..." The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep..." Always reminds me of New England. And don;t flay me cause I didn't look up the punctuation, ok?

I see the theme in our writing, "I wish I'd been a better friend..." I always feel that way. I wonder if any of those friends wish they'd been better to us, and wonder what we're up to? I guess what we can appreciate, too, is the e-friendships here. I always say blogging is great for women cause it gets us close enough to make strong connections, but not so close that anyone asks to borrow your clothes. :)

This is pretty easy to get right; we can use our friendship here to make up for those old ones, kinda learn to become even better friends w/ other women.

Julie in Ohio said...

Morning, Bellas!!

Thank you, Jessica, for stopping by yesterday. The topic you brought up is one that I've thought about constantly but never really expressed it that way. Please stop by again.

LOL, Michelle! Don't you remember that little gorgeous red dress you wore to nationals? I believe Amy was up to borrowing it first but I was second in line. :P

Marilyn- I have a friend who just donated hair to Locks of Love. Her hair is now short and sassy. :o)

The road less travelled would accurately describe the path that I have taken and I'm sure a number of the rest of you.

amy kennedy said...

I missed such a good topic--Jessica, hope you stop by again. I can relate to so many things people said. Especially the losing track of great friends--I moved so much...

Seriously though, I try not to dwell. And the things I wish I had done, I try to see if I can do them now--except that college thing, I'm still on my year off, the 30th year off.

As far as the Tao goes--I found I could understand it so much better when it was according to Pooh.

amy kennedy said...

Morning Julie--does locks of love take hair that's been dyed and or with grey in it?

Oh and Jules--way to go. My sister went back to school after years of being away to become an RN. People will love your bedside manner.

CrystalGB said...

I wish I had gotten a teaching certification when I went to college.
I wish I hadn't waited so long to get my drivers license.

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy- I believe my friend said that she couldn't have any chemicals in her hair for Locks of Love because she had to keep getting her ends trimmed until her highlights were out.
Thanks for encouragement. I am very excited and scared out of my mind. I begin in January so keep your fingers crossed for me. :o)

Playground Monitor said...

This whole thread makes me think about Tim McGraw's song "Live Like You Were Dying." My husband and I often refer to spending 2.7 seconds on Fu Manchu -- like last February when we dropped everything and drove to Clemson, SC to watch our son run in his conference meet. He was conference champ in the mile and his team won the title. Magic moments.


amy kennedy said...

Magic moments indeed.

And Jules--you don't need crossed fingers. Too bad about the no chemicals in the hair--just don't know if I could do it. How selfish is that?

Crystalg--could you get your certificate now?

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Amy! -You and me both. I'm waiting for my hair to fall out because of an overload. :P

Marilyn- I love that song.
Those moments with you son really are magic moments. I think about all the soccer games I sit through in all weather conditions and I think to myself "there is no place I'd rather be".

Dannyfiredragon said...

I wish I had:

1.) told someone important that I loved him, but I was to shy.

2.) got my teaching degree instead of my Master when I was at the university for the first time, so that I wouldn't have go back to university.

Jessica, I really liked "When you believe!

amy kennedy said...


Dannyfiredragon--but you have your Masters--that is wonderful.

Playground Monitor said...

Congrats Ev!

Y'all behave, Bellas. I'll be retreating in the mountains this weekend with my RWA chapter. I cannot wait until 3:15 when my ride picks me up. Yahoo! Whoopee! Yay! Y'all think I'm excited about 2 days away from cooking and cleaning? *g*


P.S. Remember to mark your calendars for Wednesday when Michelle blogs for us and we blog for her. Gonna be molto fun!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure I have any real regrets either way . . .

I sometimes wonder how my life would be if I'd: gone to Berkeley; not dated the Abhole; married my college sweetheart; skipped grad school and gone to Germany; turned down my job and gone to Prague with Jesus Christ, Superstar; called that guy who gave me his number last New Year's Eve; etc.

But had I done any of those things my life would be totally different, and I LIKE my life.

Julie in Ohio said...


ev said...

I am such a Loser with a capital L as my daughter would say. I had to go back and see why everyone said Congrats!! LOLOL I missed it on the other page. Must be because it is too early in the morning to really be reading my mail??

THANKS EVERYONE!! I can't wait to read it!!