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ABOUT

I love words. I love how they have history and layers and depth. I love how they dance across a page, how they can be raw and desperate or convey joy and hope. I love how they can change the world and explain it, how some have twenty-four definitions and others just one. I love how they can make people throw back their heads and laugh, and how a single word can change the course of a conversation or a day or a life. I love that, as the Gospel of John says, "In the beginning was the Word."

Who knew that a one-time high school dropout could end up having a lifelong love affair with—and make a career out of—words?​ 

I'm a wife, mom, sister, friend, Bible-loving, romantic nerd who quotes lines from Pride and Prejudice and Star Wars with equal ardor. I have a few pounds of flesh more than would fit comfortably in the past with Elizabeth or the future with Princess Leia. But that rarely keeps me from downing fried okra or a coconut macaroon. I am a budding photographer who, according to my children, takes way too many photos of inconsequential things. My floor is covered in books, my desk in gel pens, and my bed is rarely made.

I was born in Black, Mo, a sprawling metropolis, population five. Yes, five. We were a family of six, but since we lived so far back in the hills, we weren't counted. My childhood home sat in a gorgeous valley between my grandparents' little farm and hippie holler. Grandma taught me how to make incredible chicken and dumplins, pinto beans, and pineapple upside down cake. Why God has blessed me with such a wonderful life is still a mystery to me.

I have worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years and have contributed—either as developer, writer, or editor—to hundreds of Christian books and journals. As co-owner of Nashville Cooks, I write about Music City's diverse food scene and contribute recipes inspired by those menus on our website nashvillecooks.com. My husband Jeff, owner of Aesthetic Soup Creative Services, is a graphic designer. We are empty nesters eating our way through the cafes of Nashville and grabbing onto every adventure we can. 

Marilyn Jansen