We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Lu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you think about it, we take risks every day. Most of these daily risks are small, though occasionally we take bigger ones. I have always been on the cautious side when it comes to risk-taking, due to the fear of failing. Some say the biggest risk is not taking risks at all, as you are missing out on all of those opportunities.
During the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and take the risk of doing something I have always been passionate about: publishing a children’s picture book, which I have titled Emma Ren: Robot Engineer. Publishing my book was considered a huge risk for me, as I am normally a shy person. Putting myself and my writing out there for the world to judge was scary. Ultimately, this risk was worth the reward, as I was able to fulfill my dream of writing a children’s picture book.
Hopefully, my book will inspire children to pursue their passion and follow their dreams as well.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an elementary school teacher and also an Early Language and Literacy Coordinator at my school. As a young child, I knew I wanted to work with children and I wanted to make a difference in the world. I believe there are many ways a person can impact the world, but the way I am going to impact the world is to become an educator. I want to share my love of learning with my students. Teachers have the most important influence on the world because they teach our future generations.
As a teacher that has read thousands of children’s books, I’ve noticed that the characters in most children’s books do not reflect the diversity at my school. As a result, I was motivated to create a children’s book consisting of diverse characters from different backgrounds. Having a diverse collection of multicultural books will instill ideas of equity, acceptance, inclusion, and understanding in our children.
With my love for children’s books, my passion for diversifying children’s libraries, and my dream of writing my own book, I’ve decided to start my own publishing company, Lulu Books, LLC. With this my goal is producing diverse educational books that children and families can read and enjoy together.
In the past year, I’ve learned so much about writing and publishing. When I first started, I knew nothing about publishing a book. It wasn’t easy learning and researching on my own. I’m grateful for all the people that I’ve met who share the same passion as I and who have helped me with this process. There’s still a lot to learn and I am ready because I believe in being a lifelong learner.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Originally from Sacramento, I am amazed by the abundance of things to do and the variety of foods we can find here in the Los Angeles area. I love to explore the hidden gems in smaller cities. LA is the perfect place to take a risk by adventuring out of your comfort zone. Let’s start with things to do.
The Huntington Library is located in the city of San Marino. It is a research and cultural center of 120 acres, including 12 specialized gardens. Originally the private estate of railroad magnate Henry Huntington has now become one of the must-see cultural destinations in Southern California. It is also filled with magnificent collections of rare books, manuscripts, and famous works of art. It is a great place to relax and witness all the beauty and culture it has to offer.
Old Town Pasadena is 22 blocks of Registered Historic District, known to locals as “Old Pas”, and located only ten miles from downtown Los Angeles. You’ll find an array of shops, bars, restaurants, galleries, and museums. The best way to explore this area is by wandering around and soaking in the scene. You may even stumble upon an outdoor concert, festival, or event. Walk down a cobblestone passageway and you may discover exclusive art or fashion. You can even take a seat and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at one of the many sidewalk cafes.
After taking in the wonderful atmosphere, I suggest going on a family hike. Eaton Canyon Falls is a relatively easy 4-mile hike in the San Gabriel Mountains, taking you up a canyon to a 40-foot waterfall. The hike is mainly flat and great for beginners, as well as the whole family. Parking is also free!
Let’s move on to the delicious LA cuisine. You don’t have to love horse racing to love The Derby, located in Arcadia. It started out as a gathering place for jockeys and race fans back in 1922. Now, it’s known for its bacon-wrapped filet mignon and crispy garlic bread, truly to die for. It’s definitely a hidden gem.
If you are in the San Gabriel Valley area or looking for a Michelin star Chinese restaurant, then you have to try Bistro Na’s. This restaurant includes the perfect balance between modern decor and classic Chinese elegance. I highly recommend the Crispy Shrimp, Stir-Fried Angus Beef with Garlic, and Na’s Braised Pork Belly. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes here.
Diplomat in Monrovia has become a favorite of mine. This Mediterranean restaurant has cute decor, parking is plentiful, and the prices are great for the portion size. You can’t go to a Mediterranean restaurant without trying their hummus, especially here. The cauliflower is always cooked to perfection, and filet mignon kabob melts in your mouth.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, two boys, family, and countless friends have supported me in this dream of becoming a children’s book author. I’ve met and learned from many authors who are now people I consider friends. I also want to give some credit to my cousin Linda, who believed in me and encouraged me to continue when I wanted to give up. I wouldn’t have made it this far in my career without them. They hold me accountable, and continue to push me to take risks every day.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teachermslu/_created/ Teachers Pay Teachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Icraftnteach