Janna Barber



A Spare Oom Of My Own

By Janna Barber

Of the six of bedrooms I can remember from my childhood, only two were completely my own, and the time I lived in both of them was less than two years. The rest I shared with my sister. In college I had five different roommates in three different dorm rooms and one apartment, then I got married. So I guess you could say I never really had a room of my own. Until now.

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Until You Can’t See Land

By Janna Barber

The first time I heard the band Frightened Rabbit was eight years ago, on a cruise ship in the gulf of Mexico. My husband and I had joined another couple on a five day Carnival cruise. We spent one day on the beach in Cozumel, and another visiting ancient Mayan ruins in Progresso, but the rest of the time we were on the ship. The main attraction for most cruisers is the ocean view, but for those who aren’t interested in wild seascapes, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had inside. And from the casino, to the dining hall, to the nightly shows, there are always drinks to be had. But on this particular trip I was the only one who hadn’t committed to abstain from alcohol, so we never ordered any. Until the last night after dinner when we were walking around looking at the ocean (again) and I decided to treat myself. I got a pina colada and walked to the bow of the ship to drink it by myself. My husband gave me his iPod and earbuds, with the perfect song cued up for me, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land.”

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A Hutchmoot Trilogy

By Janna Barber

A few months after coming home from Hutchmoot 2012, I stumbled onto an analogy for my three-year experience with this conference: Star Wars! Read More ›

S.Y.L.O.M.

By Janna Barber

“Ever’ man wants life to be a fine thing, and a easy. ‘Tis fine, boy, powerful fine, but ’tain’t easy. Life knocks a man down and he gits up and it knocks him down agin. I’ve been uneasy all my life…” —Penny Baxter (from The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings)

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Waking Up to My Calling

By Janna Barber

By the time I was a freshman in college, my Dad had been dismissed from the position of Senior Pastor at four separate churches. This is a hard fact for me to admit. It was even harder living through it. But I did, Read More ›

Book Review: Real Love for Real Life

By Janna Barber

There’s no doubt about it, my mother has the gift of hospitality. Enter her house nearly any time of day and you’ll be greeted by the warm smell of something delicious being Read More ›

Creating + Celebrating → Community

By Janna Barber

One of the best things I heard at Hutchmoot this year came from Thomas McKenzie during the session on cultivating artistic community. “Create content,” he said. Not “write the next great novel,” or “paint a really Read More ›

Caring Deeply

By Janna Barber

This is last entry of a three-part series. You can read the first and second entries here: Read More ›

Conquering Doubt

By Janna Barber

Doubt usually springs on me right after I’ve finished writing. When I sit down to revise, I find myself thinking: You are only thirty-four years old. Who gives a hoot ‘n holler what you think or Read More ›

Cultivating Discipline

By Janna Barber

One Saturday morning in February, I was reading through several old essays and detected a couple of threads where certain themes held together. I began printing and grouping and by the time I finished I’d Read More ›

A Hutchmoot Memory

By Janna Barber

One of the most meaningful moments at Hutchmoot 2010 happened before the event officially began. There we were, huddled in small, safe groups, smelling freshly delivered pizza, holding tightly to the backs Read More ›

Wade in the Water (and Song of the Day)

By Janna Barber

I had the idea a while back to write a post about two of my favorite bands: Waterdeep and Wilco. I like alliteration and alphabetical categories as much as any other former English major, and the comparison of Read More ›