About me

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I dreamed of becoming an actress so I could act out the stories my mother wrote. Later, but not too much later, I also wanted to be an artist so I could illustrate them.

Then I was accepted at Princeton and, with a bit of prodding, figured I should go. There I met Emmet Gowin, and I abandoned both acting and painting (mostly) for photography.

After college I taught kids how to tell stories with photographs and how to make cyanotypes and use pinhole cameras, which was all good fun but did not pay enough to cover my Boston rent, even with a side business catering dinner parties.

A friend convinced me to go into marketing, which led to writing, and for more than 20 years I’ve written corporate stories and fundraising stories and a few things in between.

One day in 2012, on a pure lark, days before my 25th Princeton reunion, I started this blog as a place to put some things I was curious about and write stories about those things, too.

My professional life happens at Kindred Place, a counseling center that specializes in working with families. My personal life happens in a century-old house, surrounded by people and dogs who love me enough to let me keep writing and making art, so I won’t get lost.

That’s the story for now. Another day I might write a different one.

All words and images © Jennifer Balink, 2017

21 thoughts on “About me

  1. Lovely writing. Well-deserved Freshly Pressed, but that aside, I really do appreciate your blog. Thanks and peace, John

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  2. Jennifer my friend Thank you for the reply.I must tell you that I have gone through some tough times with my heart and new hip. I had to start loving myself and start smiling and be happy and not feeling sorry for myself. And I love the Lord he gives me the strength to go on Thank You for reading my note..Joe

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  3. There you go. I should have guessed it. The whole thing feels vaguely familiar, except my 25th was in 2008, my Visual Art BA was in Painting/Printmaking, Go, Bulldogs, and our class notes person has threatened to put my tiny home-sewn little blog in our alumni magazine because I’ve done little else worth reporting, which is simultaneously horrifying and funny.

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  4. Jennifer, one of the joys in my life has been having you for a friend. Although we don’t get to visit or talk like the Cylix days, I treasure knowing that you and Bernard and the young ones are out there, living, loving, sharing and enriching the world.

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  5. Hi Jennifer. I just nominated you for a creative blogger award. I reckoned that I should nominate someone who is as busy as possible. 🙂 You’re not alone. See post number one today (3 June) on Storyteller for the details.

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