Note: These are questions people have asked, plus a few that I just felt like answering.
Q: What’s the point of this blog? Is there one?
A: This blog has morphed over time. Originally it was about a time I fell in love with a man who adored me and then he sprouted angel wings and flew away. The blog started as a way for me to document the man, our relationship, and to process my grief. Those blog posts got turned into Sweet Baby Lover. The blog then transitioned to a holding pattern while I pondered ideas for a novel but those ideas never came together. Due to a rant by my mother about Savannah Guthrie’s arms, an email at work about professional dress for women, and a brochure for a conference that I did not attend, a spark was struck and I started ranting about women’s professional dress. I did that for about a year and then realized I had no more interest in the topic. Now I’m pausing on the blog to focus on writing for pleasure, and will use the blog simply as an accountability tool. I don’t know what the blog will become next, all I know is this is my field (I’m a farmer, not a sharecropper on FB).
Q: I found you through Sweet Baby Lover and am glad you’ve moved off women’s professional dress because I wasn’t interested. Do you know what’s coming next?
A: My plan is to write stories that explore the wild and noble territory of the human heart. I won’t be posting them for awhile. I’m figuring my way through this next phase and there may be some stumbles in the dark. That’s okay–as long as I keep moving forward.
Q: Is “Jule Kucera” your real name?
A: Yes! You couldn’t make up a name like that. Wait—I suppose you could, since my parents did. Or more accurately, my father did. My parents fought over my name. My father wanted Jule, my mother wanted something that would fit in more easily. They argued so strongly that they were too spent to come up with a middle name. Jule Kucera is all there is and no, “Jule” isn’t short for anything.
That covers the first name. As for my last name, it’s actually very common—in the Czech Republic. However, in the Czech Republic, women get an “ova” added to the end of their names (e.g., Martina Navratilova). If we were in the Czech Republic, my brother would be Eric Kucera and I would be Jule Kucerova. The Czechs found my last name quite disconcerting. When I was in Prague for the weekend, hopping over after a business trip to Budapest, this is what happened when I checked into my hotel:
“Welcome. May I have your name please?”
“But you are a woman!”
“Yes. I am an American woman.”
“But you are ‘Kucera’!”
“Yes. In the states they don’t put the ‘ova’ at the end.”
He was mortified—in his mind America had turned all their women into men.
As long as we’re spending such a long time on my name, here is one more question that gets asked online: “How do you pronounce it?”
Jule rhymes with cool. Kucera is pronounced “koo-chair-a”—in the Czech Republic it has a č which turns the soft c into a ch. If you say it fast, it sounds like sneezing. Koochaira!
PS: None of my friends call me Julie.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I write to feel my own words, to know my own thoughts, and to create a safe place for them to land. I publish so those thoughts can be shared. Words are my clay and publishing is my kiln.