• Category Archives J. Lasterday
  • How I Became J. Lasterday


    I recently published my first children’s book, and I did so under a pen name. Of course, I anticipated the inevitable questions as to why I chose to do that and why the name J. Lasterday.

    I used a pen name because I wanted to have a distinct separation between the vastly different genres. I wanted kids to be able to look up J. Lasterday, and find exactly what they were looking for. The same with my Amanda Tru name. Of course, I have no problem with people knowing both names belong to the same person! Hey, if you enjoy my Amanda Tru books, maybe your kids will like the J. Lasterday ones!

    As far as the pen name itself, it is very sentimental. J. stands for Jane, and is in honor of the imaginary friend who stayed with us for a very long time. In fact, he still shows up every once in a while. (Yes, Jane is a boy.) My oldest son first introduced us to Jane when he was about three. Many kids have imaginary friends, but Caleb had an imaginary town, complete with a large population of friends. Jane, however, was our most frequent visitor. So much so that he was somehow adopted by my second son. We played with Jane a lot. When my boys would run races around the house, I would call the races as they competed against Jane and others. That poor Jane. He wasn’t very fast. I don’t know that he ever won a single race.

    If you look at the dedication for my book, “The Dragon’s Escape,” you will see that it is dedicated to my boys, “in memory of all of your lasterdays.” The following is a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago, around New Year’s. I think it clearly explains the origin of Lasterday.

    When I chose a pen name, it was a name which, to me, captured the essence of childhood. I want my books to spark imagination and revel in the joy of being a kid. So for my wonderful “grown up” readers who love my unexpected stories, I will be Amanda Tru, but for the children, I will be J. Lasterday.


    Blog Post from January 2013

    Whew!  I’m running behind!  I’ve been busy finishing writing my new book and also getting some big projects done for my family.  So, I know it’s late, but this is my New Year’s post.

    I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions.  Of course, I have some things I would like to accomplish this year.  I have a list of books to write, and I have the standard ‘get into a good exercise routine’ goal.  I’d also like to revamp my Bible reading and devotional time.

    However, I tend to be a very goal-oriented, stubborn person anyway, so I don’t necessarily need the pressure of a resolution to accomplish my goals.  If anything, I tend to get too focused on the things I need to accomplish.  I can get so caught up in the details that I lose the beauty of the big picture.  I think it’s actually a pretty common problem with moms.  There’s so many expectations put on us by others and ourselves that it’s hard to remember to breathe let alone take a moment to stop and enjoy the view.

    So maybe what I need is an anti-resolution . . .

    My 3 year old uses the term ‘lasterday.’  I think it’s a combination of ‘yesterday’ and ‘last night.’  He frequently asks in his cute voice if we did something lasterday.  And I never correct him as to the proper term.  Why?  Because I know that he will eventually realize it on his own, and his lasterdays will forever cease.  And what really bothers me is that I don’t know when the last time is that he will say it.  If I did know, I would try to find a way to record it.  Or maybe I would just hold him and savor the sound of his cute voice telling me about lasterday.

    So that got me thinking . . .

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You asked me to play with you.

    I’d stop everything I was doing

    And we’d get every toy out and play with it twice.

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You wanted me to pretend.

    I’d crawl after you and the other ‘kitties’

    And answer you in meow.

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You sang the wrong lyrics to a song.

    I’d belt out the wrong words with you

    And dance you around the room

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You asked me to read you a story.

    I would find the child’s version of ‘War and Peace’

    So it would last forever.

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You wanted me to ‘tuckle’ you in bed.

    I’d crawl in beside you, pray away the nightmares, sing lullabies,

    And fall asleep with you in my arms

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You let me kiss and hug you goodbye

    I’d making it embarrassingly long

    Then watch until you were long out of sight

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You asked me to kiss your owie.

    I’d put extra magic into the kiss

    So it would cover all future hurts.

    If I knew it would be the last time

    You crawled into my bed in the morning.

    I would snuggle you close, smell your hair,

    And remember my little baby

    Time goes so fast.

    So many lasts.

    And I know not when.

    So I’ll savor each time as a last.

    I’ll close my eyes, hold you close,

    Take a picture in my mind.

    Keep that one moment to last forever.

    Then I’ll let you go.  Smile through my tears.

    And follow you into tomorrow.

    I have an impossibly long list of things I should accomplish this year.  But this is my anti-resolution:  I’m going to try to work on the things I really want to remember in twenty years or more.  I’m going to try to live in the moments of my children being young.

    So, if you come into my house, you may have to excuse the clean laundry pile the size of Mount Everest and the pretend kitties crawling around the furniture.  We’re busy making memories and enjoying whatever lasterdays we have today.

    Poem and Post by Amanda Tru