Chadds Ford woman now a published author


When talking with Jeanne-Marie Curtis, one gets the feeling
that the Chadds Ford resident and single mother enjoys learning from life’s
experiences. She’s taken that enthusiasm for life and parlayed it into a
self-published book, “Junctions by Jeanne-Marie, (Every Woman’s Journey) and
Journal.” The book includes two short stories and seven poems. There are also
blank pages the reader may use as a journal.

“[It’s for] any woman that is or has had to face a difficult
situation. It takes you from fear to hope and finally to wisdom,” she said.

She agrees that men go through the same things and is
considering writing another book for men. “Junctions,” however, is strictly
from a woman’s viewpoint for women.

“Some of the stories are true, things that actually happened
to me,” she said.

Curtis said she’s always jotting down notes, recording
thoughts that come to mind, usually in poetry form.

“It’s not thought out. I don’t work at it. It just comes in
my mind, sometimes in the early morning, and I’ll write it down,” she said.

Curtis has been writing down her thoughts since becoming a
single mother 12 years ago following a divorce.

“One day I sat down and I looked at [the writings] and I
realized this is a journey that I’ve taken and that I think a lot of women have
taken, and we’re universal in that,” she said, with “that” being “the universal
growth of all women.”

“What unites us is the treasure of our emotional depths. We
can trust our instincts, feel our pain yet choose to live happily.”

Curtis reviewed her notes and poems and decided to get them
published. She went to Blurb.com, the company that put the book together for
her.

“I was writing for myself, but then I just wanted to share
it,” Curtis said.

The point she wanted to share was how people, “grow from
being fearful and timid and maybe not sure of ourselves, not trusting
ourselves, not trusting our instincts to a level of wisdom where we now feel we
can share what we know with other people.”

She defines wisdom as learning from trusting one’s instincts
and knowing what works and doesn’t work. Curtis also said that what women go
through is pretty much universal.

“All that we go through makes us stronger and that our job
after that is to pass it forward,” she said. “We don’t really get through hard
times or difficult situations alone, even though we might feel that we do. We
really don’t when we look back on it,” she said.

Curtis also said there are times when it’s perfect
strangers, “earth angels” as she calls them, who help the most.

Curtis currently works as a paraprofessional at Chadds Ford
Elementary School with kids in grades K-2 on whatever things the teachers need
her to help with. She started when her daughter was in kindergarten, but her
background is human resources management, having worked at Chester County
Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania.

She said coming to CFES was the best thing she ever did
because, “I’m a single mom and when my daughter started here I wanted to be
home when she as home, so this was the perfect opportunity. Being here has
actually opened my eyes to a lot of things about working with children and I
don’t ever see myself going back to my old career.”

Curtis said she didn’t realize how much influence the
teachers really have on the children. “School is so much a part of the child’s
life, much more than I ever knew before I had a child myself,” she said.

That discovery has been reinforced during her time as a
paraprofessional at the school.

“Junctions” is currently
available at Borders Books in the Shoppes at Brinton Lake.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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