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Checkmate! Passports and Pacifiers available for presale.

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Sometimes, I think in a random pattern. It's like the Kevin Bacon game six degrees of separation. My dog will start pawing at my leg with his ball and I'll remember something I need from the store.

Miles playing with his ball -> Chloe licking the bottom of the fridge -> Did I drop some food? -> I need to clean up those breadcrumbs, maybe give to the birds? -> That bread I made was amazing -> I need yeast for another loaf

I consider it an effect of being a Lefty. Or maybe being a mom to four whose thoughts bounce around like said pup chasing his rubbery ball around the house as he crashes into the walls.

Here’s the thought pattern…As PTA President, one job is coordinating our clubs and activities. Being as we’re virtual, that is really quite minimal, except for the Chess club. The school parent and the organizer have been diligent and, frankly, fantastic in ensuring the club's continuity. So much so that I think, "Maybe I'll sign up my oldest."

A perfect shot: the family, the dog, a Checkers piece masquerading as a Bishop, the free red table, and a mess!

(Spoiler alert: I didn’t.)

However, it did occur to me that maybe I should teach her how to play the game. Five minutes later, I'm surrounded by four kids and a husband as I explain how to set up the board and the roles of each piece.

(Second spoiler: I’m terrible at Chess.)

I taught myself to play in fifth grade when I had the bright idea to write my first research paper on Chess. When I could choose anything in the world (literally, the world—my smart friends chose Mexico and France), I selected a game I didn’t understand or had even seen played. This is before the Internet so all of my research came from dry library books.

I now know the rules but have no concept of strategy. However, since we're only a week into it, I’m undefeated. Me, along with my five-year-old, Lucas, who has played only one game against his big sister. My strategy involves strategically capturing my opponents with minimal losses until Surprise!, it’s Check or Checkmate.

That leads to another story. (Don't worry, it's a quick one.)

A vital skill from business school at NYU Stern is owning your name. I am fortunate to have a very American first name paired with a very Indian last name. I am literally the only Kaitlyn Jain on Earth. That certainly helps when setting up a digital footprint since I don’t share my name with any serial killers or famous singers. My maiden name (Martin) certainly would not be the same experience.

Watching football over the weekend with my husband. “How tall is our quarterback?” I asked AJ. “He looks short.”

“Google it.”

“6 foot.” Which means 5’10”. I know. As a collegiate athlete, I was 5’9”.

“Hmm…I wonder what’s listed for my name. Now that I’m a famous author and all.”

My website. Excellent.

LinkedIn. Facebook. Instagram. PTA Board.

Good. Good. Good. Good.

“How about my book?” I type in Passports and Pacifiers.

My website again. Great. I've got a pawn.

Goodreads. Excellent. Captured the horsey. (Knight.)

NetGalley. Very good. Here's the Rook.

A stranger's blog post. Check.

Holy smokes...My book is available for presale!

On Barnes and Noble.

And Amazon.

Even eBay. (Out of stock.)



Like when I play Chess, I’m surprised when it comes. I’m elated.

We have Checkmate. Check it out, mate!

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