About Me

JM pictureHi all!

My name is Jacqui Murray. I’ve been a teacher for over thirty years, fifteen at the college level teaching business and the last almost twenty as a K-12 technology teacher. I have a Bachelors in Russian, in Economics and a Masters in Business. I believe in education and use every bit of what I’ve learned to thrive in today’s world.

Lately–the past twenty+ years, I’ve considered myself a writer (I’m still teaching–I hate being bored). I wrote a book called Building a Midshipman about how my daughter got into the Naval Academy. It’s more than a personal journey, it’s a how-to for every high school student interested in acceptance to an Ivy league college. I edited a series of nine computer workbooks for grades K-8. all available on Amazon.com or through the publisher, and then I wrote a passel of books and ebooks on how to integrate technology into the K-12 classroom. I also write tech columns for NEA Today and a variety of other tech-in-ed ezines.

That’s my geek side. My other passion is fiction–thrillers, action, that sort of novel. I won the Southern California Writers Conference’s Outstanding Fiction Award for my debut thriller, To Hunt a Sub. Reviewers called it ‘strongly written’ with ‘interesting and unique plot hooks’. The sequel, Twenty-four Days,was also well-received. Its protagonist is the USS Bunker Hill, one of America’s most capable warships with more weapons than any other ship in the fleet. The next in the series will be out 2024.

Then I focused on prehistoric fiction with my saga, Man vs. Nature. It’s a series of trilogies set in seminal times of man’s evolution. The first is Dawn of Humanity, about Homo habilis, with one book completed, Born in a Treacherous Time. The second in the trilogy, Against All Odds, will be out 2021. The second trilogy, featuring Homo erectus, is Crossroads with the first two books out, Survival of the Fittest and Quest for Home. The third and final, In the Footsteps of Giants, will be out Winter 2021.

I love writing–always have–so this blog will cover writing topics, with brief forays into other things. If you know writers, dogswe’re intrigued by everything around us. Life is full of characters, plot lines, unique settings, and we want to experience it all. I share it with like-minded writers on my writer blog, WordDreams (this blog). I have two other blogs. One Ask a Tech Teacher, technology tips and tricks to accompany the books I write. One USNA or Bust–a how-to in getting accepted to the Naval Academy and what life is like if you do. T

I live in California with my husband and beautiful Labrador, Casey. I spend as much time as possible with my Naval Officer daughter and my Army Signal Corps Sergeant son. They are my passion. You can contact me by visiting the Contact Me page.

–Casey© Please don’t use image without permission


158 thoughts on “About Me

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  5. Dear Jacqui,

    Hello! After reading a number of your posts and also visiting all of your pages, it is patent that you thrive in writing stories/novels and have been very prolific indeed. Your achievements are very impressive and commendable. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for liking my older post entitled “❄ ❅ ❆ Snowflakes, Tell Me Why You Are…“, which was published in 2012.

    I would like to inform you that there is a much improved and far longer version, also entitled “❄ ❅ ❆ Snowflakes, Tell Me Why You Are…“, which combines poetry, visual art, animations and science in an innovative way. This new post has been revamped with a great deal more animations. The poem itself has also been extended by two stanzas, now totalling ten stanzas. Please come and enjoy them to your heart’s content!

    I would highly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

    Furthermore, since my intricate blog contains advanced styling and multimedia components plus animations, it is advisable to avoid using the WordPress Reader, which cannot show many of the advanced features in my posts and pages. Instead, read the posts and pages directly in my blog so that you will be able to savour and relish all of the refined and glorious details.

    I look forward to your visiting and commenting on my said post, given that I am keen and eager to know what your thoughts are regarding the new features and improvements there as well as the poem.

    The direct link is https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/snowflakes-tell-me-why-you-are/

    Wishing you a productive week doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

    Happy October to you very soon!

    May you find the rest of 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and composing whatever posts and stories that take your intellectual fancy or show off your imaginative flight!

    Yours sincerely,

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Hi Jacqui, Thanks for following and reading my post. You certainly are one busy lady!. I was first published way back in 1983/4, then ‘life’ interrupted and when I returned to the literary scene, ‘technology’ had gone berserk and I push when it says ‘pull’ so have to rely on one of my three sons to assist. Sadly, being a child in WW2 & evacuated to three different locations, I attended seven schools and had a fractured education, so didn’t do my English Lit.exam until much…later. You have certainly had a full and interesting life. Teaching is such a rewarding, wonderful vocation. Regardless of any short-comings, I love writing, and shall continue until I fall off my perch!, Cheers. xx

    Liked by 3 people

      • Wow, you look too young Jacqui!! Unless planning to run a small hotel, you won ‘t find my first book (temporarily out of print) too illuminating..(Husband and I had great fun running one though and I wrote about it,) I then wrote another factual book in their “Jobs In”series and updated some of the company’s books before changing direction for a while. I’ve written some light-hearted posts on my WordPress site https://joylennick.wordpress.com/ which might make you smile.
        Onwards and upwards. xx

        Liked by 2 people

        • I apologize for the picture. I figure I won’t meet most people in person I run into online so the picture is from my 30’s. A current picture is on Twitter here:

          A little older don’t you think!

          I have my earliest book I’m considering delisting because it’s getting dated. It still sells so I guess I’ll continue!

          Nice to get to know you, Joy!


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  11. Hello from a fellow Californian, Jacqui. Lovely blog, and although I think I’ve visited before, Karen Hume’s post sent me here again and so glad I came. Congrats on your writings and completion of the A-Z Challenge.

    Liked by 3 people

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  13. Hi Jacqui! So lovely to meet you and I´m totally hooked by your about story! My maternal grandfather was a shipbuilding engineer and I have a deep passion for everything related to the sea, especially historic novels like those by Patrick O´Brian 😀 It must be thrilling to have a daughter who chose a career in the Navy! And as you proofed by writing your novel, a great source for inspiration too 😉 Looking forward to read more from you! Sarah 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t think there’s any story that makes ships sound as interesting as Patrick O’Brian. What an author. I am proud of my daughter. There’s something about the Navy that resonates with her. So many kids never find that. And my wonderful son has it with the Army, too! I’m off to check out your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

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  15. Hi Jacqui! Nice to read about you and get to know more about you. I love that you have been in education. I’m a High School Guidance Counselor. Your book about your daughter getting into an Ivy League University sounds interesting. I just might have to purchase it and share with my students. And your Labrador is super cute!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Thank you so much for liking my post, The Song of the Sirens. I love your site, I can feel this bright cloud of knowledge calling me to read all the information you have.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I loved reading about you and your journey. Happy Memorial Day weekend and thank your children so much for their service. I too was a teacher of German as well as a Fulbright Exchange teacher twice to Germany. I hold five degrees in German and brought our two children on both exchanges while my husband held the fort at home in the US. We are a multilingual family as well as a musical one. Newly retired for about one and one half years now, I enjoy blogging, wrote a poetical memoir (A Past Worth Telling) and study voice with a voice coach as does my husband who is not yet retired. I have too many “hobbies” and activities and am not bored. I actually love the retired life without that alarm clock waking me up at 4 AM. Happy teaching and writing to you.

    Liked by 5 people

    • We have a lot in common. I work from home which could be confused with ‘retired’ since I no longer travel to a school. I love that you have a voice coach–how cool to pick up that hobby after retirement. No wonder your memoir is ‘A Past Worth Telling’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your comment is so astute. I almost majored in music (piano performance), even auditioned for the music school to which I was accepted and then left for three years study in Heidelberg! I have always had my music, and it’s so much fun to study voice in depth now and at leisure so to speak. How cool to work from home. You have to very disciplined I imagine. ^__^

        Liked by 2 people

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  20. Great info here, Jacqui – by chance, is this an even smaller world than I thought – did you used to attend Bikram classes with Lori? – whether or not, am pleased to have happened by here 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am honored, Annika. I’m amidst a huge non-fic project as well as planning my summer professional development classes. I’m going to try to participate, but I apologize if I can’t. I’m going a bit crazy over here in California!

      I’m glad to be (finally) home from my road trip. I loved it, but everything takes longer when I’m not in front of my home computer.

      Liked by 1 person

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  23. I have been searching for a website like this one. I used to write all the time before I had kids. I am now trying to get back into it, but it seems my brain was wiped clean at the birth of my last child. This website looks to very insightful and hopefully it will jump start my sleeping brain. Thank you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I’m going to take time to read all of the information that you posted for writers. I love to write, draw, teach and learn. I’m so glad that I ran into your page. Thanks for sharing! Lori

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Hi Jacqui,

    I enjoyed reading your ‘about’ section, and look forward to exploring more of your blog.

    Your prehistoric novel sounds interesting. Have you completed it?

    You have Labradors; I have Dachshunds. We have both gone to the dogs. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    • I love reading ‘about’ bloggers also. they always include such fascinating details. I’m taking a ‘fix your blog’ course and they’re encouraging me to make the ‘about’ less about me and more about my writing. I’m not sure that’s correct for a lot of writer blogs. Maybe for business blogs…


  26. Thank you sooo much for liking my post “Remember: Try to see the bright side”. I would love to hear your input. What did you like about it? I’ve been following you for a while, and it’s actually a bit intimidating (and exciting) to know that you’ve read something of mine.
    Again, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think a lot of people feel the way you do about writing. The joy of getting what’s only a glimmer in the brain onto a sheet of paper, and have people nod and smile–that’s an amazing feeling.


  27. Hi Jacqui,
    I would like to nominate you to participate in a Writing Process Blog Meme.
    If you accept my nomination, you will need to write an article prompted by the following four questions and post it on your blog on Monday, April 21, 2014. You’ll also nominate three writers of your choice to post their articles on their blogs on April 28, 2014. The four questions:
    What am I working on at the moment?
    How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    Why do I write what I do?
    How does my writing process work?
    I’d be honored if you would accept this nomination. Please let me know ASAP so that I can feature your blog in my post on April 14, 2014. And I apologize that this is somewhat last minute – took me a while to figure out how to do this.
    Thank you,
    Shari Pratt

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you friends for sharing the article is quite interesting, hopefully we all get that true happiness rays began to warm our hearts and make the heart glad, when we can share with each other sincerely. Lots of love from Gede Prama 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This is a wonderful read. I appreciate to meet you. Fancy first being inspired, doing the book re your daughter getting in – very interesting!

    You are well accomplished. I admire you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • With as hard as agents say they work to publish the handful of books that get out into stores, no wonder they reject so many great books. They just don’t have time. Well–we have time. We’ll do it for them!

      Love the concept of your book. I hope it’s doing well for you.


  30. Beatiful site , beautiful words thank you for wonderwordworld .Useful and clear explanations , lovely tips and also free …You are the one of an idealist & honest , naive person ,I think . I will follow your beautiful site , passionately.I don’t have a web or blog and I want to send my wife’s blog adress below , bye Turkish by ; Güle güle . Means ” go with joy.”

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Hi Cynthia

    Thanks for your kind words. Most of what I share are situations I found myself in and what the solutions were. It amazes me how much there is to say.

    I visited your site. It’s darling. I love the animated dog gifs. I’m sorry to say, but I don’t accept outside reviews. I do those through my publisher, Amazon Vine and several outside agents. I’m pretty limited in what else I can accept. There are several websites that do take books for review you might check out. If you can’t come up with any, comment back and I’ll look around for you.

    Thanks for thinking of me and I wish you the best of luck.


  32. Hi,

    I’ve been reading your blog for the past hour. It is filled with helpful tips and information. I also have learned that you are an amazon reviewer, teach kids, and love dogs!

    I am the author of a fiction fantasy series about dogs written for ages 7-11 and would like to know if you would accept a copy of my book, Angel in a Fur Coat, for a review.

    It’s a fun easy read about angels trading their wings and halos for fur coats and bones to be born on earth as dogs but first they must learn what it means to be a dog so they go to school. They learn about various dog breeds and different dog jobs and when they graduate they get their fur coat and are born on earth to find the person they were made for. The stroy is told through the eyes of one special little angel whose everlasting dream is to be a person’s best friend. The book is titled: Angel in a Fur Coat.
    My website is http://www.Gooberella.com and email is Xia@Gooberella.com


    Liked by 2 people

  33. Hi Jacqui,
    Wow I’m really impressed. We have somewhat similar backgrounds although I haven’t accomplished nearly as much. I have a business degree (MBA, U of Chicago) and some experience in teaching most recently two years in China teaching finance at a University. I am also interested in using technology for teaching and developed what I consider a brilliant approach using multimedia in the classroom with an avatar that interacts with both the teacher and the class. Unfortunately due in part to my limited marketing skills the concept never got off the ground.
    Now I am writing a Science Fiction novel, Mankind’s End, and fear that I have done some of the things you suggest will turn off readers. It is a long and complicated story and although I try and make the characters interesting and have a good hook, will it be the end of mankind?, I’m going to try and rethink parts that may be a bit too long.
    I read your short article on scribd but now that I’m at your website I’m a bit overwhelmed by all that is here.
    I do have most of my book posted on authonomy (www.authonomy.com) which is a great site for novelists. I’d suggest you try it yourself but not sure if you have time.
    One other thing: Instead of a yellow lab I have a black and white Border Collie/Retriever mix.
    I’ve posted a number of stories about him, Toppy, in a collection called Tales from the Top which is on scribd and can be found under my pen name dloganw.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Anna Of Alaska. I post upon request, for the most part. At work, there are times when the mood or the topic of conversation, inspires me to tell some tale of my life or experiences. Since you said I should write more, I’d be happy to do so. What would you like to know about my life? I’ll see what I can put together for a new post.

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments. Your interview was very interesting. Characters can be just as challenging as any friends or enemies in the real world and just as demanding. Best of luck with all your desires.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been reading through your entries in Anna of Alaska. What a life! I can’t say I’d survive, but I’m enjoying it vicariously through you. I’m a completely domesticated human–could not survive without my ac, my heater, my mechanical devices to ‘skin the bear’ for me. But in my dreams, when I don’t have arthritis and headaches, I’m up there with you, hiking the short three miles to your neighbor’s house.


  35. You mention in the Fifth Grade Technology* workbook that there is an available teaching module the accompanies the workbook for purchase. I can’t find this module anywhere. Where can I purchase this?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry to say, this is no longer available. With the huge number of platforms out there, it became impossible to provide step-by-step directions for all of them. Do you have a specific lesson plan you’re looking at I can assist with?


  36. I am interested by one painting you used as an illustration for your article “How to Show (Not Tell) an Emotion–A to D”. It shows a man huddled up and the dominant colours of the background are blue, yellow and orange. Would you happen to know the name and artist of this painting? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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