I am a retired high-school teacher, a writer, a snapshot photographer, a global nomad, a former Camino de Santiago pilgrim, and a grandmother.
I like many things: museums, books, research, walking, conversation, spiritual topics, personal growth workshops, cooking, and traveling widely and often.
As an Educator: I had twenty-five years of experience as a public school English teacher, primarily in the School District of Philadelphia, where in 1986 I was named Teacher of the Year. Then, when I’d seen my dancer daughter through college and sought new adventures, I moved to California to pursue spiritual and personal growth interests.
As a Writer: In 2006 in Pomona CA, I stepped bravely (and naively) into the entrepreneurial world. I founded JantzenBooks, Inc., an educational materials publishing company that focused on parenting education and family literacy. Our first publication was the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal™ system, designed to provide elementary schools with practical ways to support parents in helping their children become better readers and learners. It’s now out of print. Unfortunately, at that time I didn’t know much about marketing, so my tiny company went out of business in 2010.
Next I wrote PLUS IT! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids (published by Morgan James in 2009). To “plus it” means to take something you’re already doing, add something to it, and make it more useful or better. This slim book shows parents how to tweak routine home-life experiences so they become educational and fun for kids, without extra time, trouble, or cost. PLUS IT! is an easy read, chock-full of excellent ideas for babysitters, relatives, and even teachers to use. It is available on Amazon.
As a Pilgrim: During those California years, my interest in the Camino de Santiago in Spain increased. I walked it in 2008, 2011, and 2013, and those experiences morphed into writing multiple drafts of WALK: Jamie Bacon’s Secret Mission on the Camino de Santiago. What a journey of discovery, challenge, and expansion writing a novel is!
As a House Sitter: In 2012, I got tired of home ownership. I decided to try out another lifestyle template. I became a nomadic house-sitter, living happily without a home base, dependent on a work-of-mouth network to provide me with lively, beautiful places to live, caring for homes, pets, and/or plants. I’ve written a book about that, too, but am not quite ready to reveal it to the world yet.
If you’re an Instagram user, you’re welcome to follow me at “house_sitting_nomad” to see photos of some of the places I’ve landed. If you’re a blog reader, please follow me by entering your email address in the box on the right so you’ll be notified when I make a new post.
More Formal Credentials and Other Bio Stuff: I have a B.A. in English from Bethel College, North Newton, Ks; an M.Ed. in Psychology of Reading from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.; an M.A. in Spiritual (Applied) Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, Ca; and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Temple University.
I grew up in India as a child of Mennonite missionaries, which probably explains my interest in travel. Growing up, I attended the famous Woodstock School, an excellent boarding school in the Himalayan foothills. As a single parent, I raised my beautiful dancer daughter in Philadelphia. And nowadays when our schedules permit, I love spending time with my two grandchildren in California. Life is a miracle.