Up until a year ago, I wasn’t very serious about writing. That is, I have always been very passionate about it, but I was afraid of putting myself out there. It’s both thrilling and terrifying, exposing your thoughts and uploading your feelings for all to see. It took a great deal of courage to interview with the Odyssey, and even more to faithfully post an article (almost) every week. I promised myself that I’d try it out for a year and see where it took me. Somehow, I got the hang of things.
While I was never at the top of any lists (to date, none of my articles have hit anywhere near 1K views), I was pleased with my work. Before I knew it, a year had passed, and I had a hefty portfolio of published articles with my name on them! I began wondering, “Where should I go from here?”
With my accumulated confidence and experience, I began this blog as the next step in my journey. That said, I would not have made it here without my year of hard work as an Odyssey contributor. For whatever reason, there seemed to be no satisfactory way to search for a list of my Odyssey articles, so I’ve provided links below.
Please have a look at The Odyssey Index: the 48 Odyssey articles that helped pave the way for JennSimpsonPens!
The Odyssey Index
Disney College Program: DCP Lessons
Here’s a shoutout to the cruel Hidden Valley commercial that made me understand how very real homesickness can be.
When my apartment flooded a few days before Thanksgiving, I had to share the holiday with total strangers who blew me away with their kindness.
Working as a lifeguard at Blizzard Beach was a fantastic experience, but Florida’s wildlife gave me a little more excitement than I had bargained for.
Question: How do you save guests from an angry snake in the lazy river without inciting a panic? Answer: You don’t.
There’s a fine line between being frugal and being miserable. For me, that line was somewhere between spending $10 on a toaster versus gagging on soggy sandwiches for 10 months.
MY EYE! It’s in my eye! Get it out!!!
There’s no wrong way to compose a cosplay.
Have you seen what they’re charging for Christmas Tree Skirts? It’s insane! You can make two on your own for that price, and with little effort at all.
Making treats for a Star Wars party has never been so easy! Find out how you, too, can make a battalion of Stormtrooper Cupcakes.
The WWE Universe is made up of three distinctly different types of fans. There was a place for me to fit in this whole time, and I never knew it!
The Ring was probably the first horror movie I became obsessed with. Relive these 7 movie moments that etched themselves forever in my brain. (SPOILERS)
I love Eleven like Eleven loves Eggo Waffles. This listicle full of pictures and gifs is sure to get you hyped for the next season of Stranger Things. (SPOILERS)
You can’t judge a book by it’s cover… so why not choose one of these three thrillers by the content of their (main) character?
My favorite story arc from Black Butler got an anime movie release! Here’s why I’m so hyped about seeing zombies on a luxury liner. (SPOILERS)
It’s been over a year since I wrote this one and I still don’t understand why everyone was so vehemently opposed to the idea of a new Ghostbusters movie.
My review of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call (and maybe why you should watch it before your kiddos do). (SPOILERS)
We’re not just talking turkey! Here are 11 suggestions to help purge the fridge of your Thanksgiving leftovers.
When we unpacked our Blue Apron box, one thing I didn’t expect to receive was the perfect opportunity to cook a meal together.
(SPOILERS) It’s good. It’s really good.
Apple Cider is better than Pumpkin Spice. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
Your child deserves a proper lunch. Do you know when the Free Lunch Eligibility Application Deadline is?
Before you jump to conclusions about cruel cafeteria ladies and lunch shaming, here’s the real reason why children all across the US are getting cold cheese sandwiches for lunch.
While this Kickstarter was ultimately unsuccessful, you can still order these delicious treats! Here are 13 macabre morsels from Psycho Cupcakes that you’ll want to munch on.
We tried Blue Apron for a week. If you’re thinking about trying a meal delivery box, here are a few things you should consider.
Cookie Tables are wedding staples in Western Pennsylvania (and a huge trend in modern wedding receptions). If you’re planning to have a cookie table at your wedding, you’ll want to check out these recipes for inspiration.
When you’ve spent as many years in foodservice as I have, you see a lot of things you’d rather forget. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to purge the memory of the boss who walked across the top of my prep counter while I was slicing meat.
Here’s a funny list of Pros and Cons to help you decide if you’re ready to be a homeowner.
The doctor’s office has always been one of my least favorite places to be… but, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
Ladies, we’ve all been disenchanted in the lingerie section, especially when hunting for a new brassiere. “This one is too big, this one is too small, and this isn’t the shape of a bra cup at all!”
When the going gets tough, the tough get tagging! In church leadership, supporting each other is what a good partnership is all about.
Monday doesn’t accept bribes, so we’ve got to find a way to deal with it. Here’s a bit of motivation for those workweeks that seem to drag on forever.
Experiencing something for the first time helps to create expectations about how that thing should be. There are no perfect moments in life; it’s all about how you frame them. This was my first article as an Odyssey contributor.
Misty and I love hanging out. Sometimes, a little too much. #MorningsWithMisty
My cat has an all-time favorite person. And it isn’t me. #MorningsWithMisty
If I hadn’t been there to warn my baby brother about the deadly peril associated with haircuts, who would have?
I’ve had long distance relationships with boys, my cat and even old roommates, but one of the hardest challenges for me has been trying to deal with the extra miles between me and the friends I grew up with. If you’ve ever been in an LDR, you know what I’m talking about.
There’s nothing wrong with marrying writers, but they do have their quirks…
For those who couldn’t attend GLS 2016, I made a list of 15 of the best talking points from the Global Leadership Summit.
When you find it’s hard to count your blessings, try making a Thankful Tree!
Sometimes it’s hard to be kind to one another, but if we do our best, our children are sure to learn from our example.
“I’m so triggered,” is really just a cutesy way of saying “I’m volatile and can’t control my own emotions!” Except… yes, you can. And nobody thinks it’s cute.
To be honest, I wasn’t even sure she was the thing I was looking for, but when the little girl beside me with the tear-streaked cheeks stopped crying and broke into a smile, I knew I had found what she’d lost.
Even if that shirt wasn’t actually on sale. Even if my bread ends up bagged with my bleach.
My final Odyssey article is a lot like this post, but with a bit of gratitude and no descriptor blurbs.
Planning a trip to Pittsburgh? Here are 17 words to spice up your vocabulary n’at!
Homonyms are tricky, but I love them. Reed if ewe dare.
Not all inspiration is created equal. Sometimes you may think your idea is a dud, but maybe it just deserves a bit of perspective. There are a lot of things you can do with a single stone.
Ft. Lyrics from Hamilton: An American Musical