My guest today is my daughter, Barb Kent,  who, apparently, is another budding writer in our family.   People are encouraging Barb to either write a book, start a blog or do something more than simply post her prose on Facebook.  We are starting to suspect the ability to write may be a genetic trait. I am both proud and happy to introduce her to you.

Barb Kent in Her Mountains

Barb Kent in Her Mountains


2016 is only 10 days old and already a mantra for my year has evolved naturally. I didn’t intentionally come up with one, it just sort of came about. It’s not, “The Year of Yes!” or “Magnificence and Mayhem”, though that would be pretty cool. It is “F-It!” Not in the cynical or negative way at all though. In the “let’s give yourself some freedom and have some fun” kind of way.

Sadly, it has taken me 54 years to really feel this way deep inside. I’ve spent those years worried about what others thought of me, feeling so badly if someone didn’t like me and, as the years will do to us all, letting the tragedies of life shrink my life out of fear. I think what finally changed was getting my nose pierced. I can almost hear the gasping right now. I’ve wanted to do it for years now, but I thought it was ridiculous for someone my age, I was worried I would regret it and what people would think of me.

Then one day a 70+ woman came into the store and as I talked with her, I noticed her nose piercing. She had that amazing spark in her eyes and she was looking at climbing gear. I told her I wanted to get a nose piercing but was afraid of looking ridiculous. She told me, “Oh Honey, do it! If you don’t like it you can always take it out!” and it freed me up! How had I made something so simple so complicated? How had I gotten to where I second guessed every single decision and desire I had?

The next day I went. When it was done and I looked in the mirror, my eyes teared up with happiness. I found myself hugging the huge, hairy, tattooed and pierced man who did it and telling him how he changed my life! Ha! But he was just the vehicle. For some reason it did, because I finally learned to say “F-It” to those fears that kept me from being who I am inside and it felt amazing.

My husband said it looks like I have had my nose pierced forever because it just looks like me. I’ve said “F-It” to quite a few things so far this year and I’ve not regretted it once. I’m thinking your life may need a little less, “I shouldn’t. I’m scared” and a little more “F-it”, too? Here’s to 2016, a year of good “F- its”!

Barb Kent

Barb Kent

Barb Kent was born and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, moving to Colorado in 1982.  She is the mother of two adult sons, one of whom she lost in a mountain accident in 2010.  A former personal trainer, she is an avid reader, talented writer and loves nothing more than the mountains where she lives.  She spends as much time as possible outdoors hiking, snow-shoeing, skiing, or running and gardening in the warmer months.  Her closest buddy is her beloved rescue dog, Bella,who is always at her side.  She is married and lives with her husband, dog Bella, and rescue cat, Dollie.  In her spare time, she loves nothing more than chocolate and a good book.

Barb and I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment to let us know you stopped by.

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman



About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief and first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
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  1. Virginia Bicknell says:

    I found the blog by Barb Kent to be interesting. Seeing that Barb is such a beautiful woman, I would have thought she would be filled with confidence. It helps to realize that being smart and looking attractive does not always give us the courage to follow our dreams.

    • jtzortman says:

      Glad you enjoyed her bog, Ginny. You can’t tell a book by its cover, you know. I don’t think beautiful women realize they are. They often only see their flaws when they look in the mirror or someone or something makes them feel lesser.

  2. I enjoyed this post immensely! Had me smiling all through it. So nice to meet the daughter of one of my favorite authors. You both inspire me to have a better year, also.

    • jtzortman says:

      My comment back to you went awry, Nancy. When you finally get to come to Ouray, I want you to meet Barb. You have much in common. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Linda Reed says:

    So glad to ‘meet’ your daughter through you, Jackie! Barb, the F-it syndrome comes with age; the older you get, the more you feel that way. Life is too short to spend it worrying about what others think of you…..when they probably aren’t thinking of you anyway, except as a passing thought. I love being ME and I am glad you are learning to love being YOU! Keep writing!

  4. jtzortman says:

    When you come to Ouray, someday, Nancy, I want you to meet Barb. The two of you have a lot in common. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mr. DAVE says:

    What a great picture, and the one with outstretched arms, ready to fly, no attachments, and who cares what they think attitude. Throw out your arms and be proud Jackie. She will do fine in her writing, and great to share with Mom, a lot in common their.

    • jtzortman says:

      Thank you! She is a much freer spirit than me and I am very proud of her. She’s been writing for a time on Facebook, so this was just a little launch for her. She’ll probably have her own blog before long.

      • Barbara Shepperson says:

        I love Barb’s post and her new attitude! Like Barb, I have spent a large part of my life doing what others thought I should and not what I want, afraid of what others would think. Like Linda Reed said in her comment, I am finding that the older I get, the less I worry and that’s a good thing. Feeling free is always a good thing. Barb, keep writing. I’m sure there are many people that need to hear what you have to say. I know I do!

  6. jtzortman says:

    Well, Barbara, who knows better than me that you’ve spent your life trying to keep everybody else happy, being fearful of what they’d think if you did what you wanted to instead? Maybe you need to print Barb’s post out and read it often. I’m glad to hear that you are getting over this now, though. I got another letter from you. I think I am now three behind, but working on it. Love you!

  7. sharonervin says:

    So happy to meet Barb who has writing in her DNA. That can be a blessing and a curse, depending on how one responds. My advice: Go with the flow. Breathe it in and out and let the good times roll.

    • jtzortman says:

      Good advice, Sharon. Thanks for telling Barb your words of wisdom. There are a lot of lessons to learn when you become a writer, as you well know. Not as easy as it looks, is it? 🙂

  8. Olivia Milton says:

    Another writer in the family??!! Awesome Barbara…. Straight forward, mince no words, enjoyable.

  9. Ron Corbin says:

    First of all, Jackie, looking at yours and Barb’s photos…are you sure that you’re not her sister. You must have been really, really young when you had her.

    I enjoyed reading her Mantra and could almost feel her relief of happiness in her words. Keep encouraging her to write. That’s another way to feel freedom.

    • jtzortman says:

      I was 22 when I had Barb, but thanks for the compliment, Ron. So glad you liked her article. I will encourage her to keep writing and send her your advice. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. WINCE LEE says:

    I truly enjoyed reading Barb’s Mantra. I am glad that she followed the path of happiness and not what people thanks she should do. Barb is a pretty lady just like her mom. Life is to short for let others tell you what you can or cannot do in this life. Uncle Wince

    • jtzortman says:

      Thank you, Uncle Wince. Yes, you are right about life being too short to live it for other people’s control. I’m glad she has learned that lesson, finally.

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