Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


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It’s already January 31st!

Jan
“Commitment is an act, not a word.” ―Jean-Paul Sartre

I’ve never been one who makes a list of New Year’s Resolutions. I always work better with setting goals. Several years ago, I read an article about an alternative to resolutions. There was no list making involved, it was so simple, it was one word. Choose one word that could give you strength, provide guidance or challenge you.

Over the years, I’ve chosen: perseverance, peace and patience. Last year it was faith. It turned out to be the perfect word choice for 2013. I was faced with some challenging health issues and by hanging on to my faith I was able to make it through a difficult time.

This year my word is commit. The first thing I did on January 1st was commit to writing at least 500 words a day during the month of January. These words are exclusive of e-mails and blog posts. As of today, I’m happy to report I have over 19,000 words written on a new project. It’s too soon to tell if this project will turn into anything, as it began as a writing exercise, but it has morphed into something more.

By committing myself to at least 500 words a day, I’ve now made it a habit, just like my daily workout. I plan to continue my new habit through the month of February and see where it takes me.

If you had to pick one word, what would it be?


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Is that really true?

“The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

When I was a kid, I loved bubble gum, the bigger the wad, the bigger the bubbles. One day, while outside playing Red Light Green Light with the neighborhood kids, I swallowed my wad of bubble gum. Once the panic that I wasn’t choking subsided and I was breathing normally, we were ready to resume the game. That’s when a boy from the other neighborhood announced, “Jill just swallowed her gum, it’s going to wrap around her heart and kill her.”

I looked around and everyone was watching me. Then an older boy chimed in, “That’s not true, but it does take 7 years to digest.” Since that sounded better than the gum wrapping around my heart, I accepted the fact that this wad of gum would be with me until I entered high school.

A few years later, I learned that gum doesn’t take 7 years to digest when swallowed and as far as it wrapping around your heart, also not true. These were simply an urban myth, a story told as fact when there is little or no actual evidence to support it.

In reality, the makeup of gum makes it indigestible. It is about 30% gum base, which is a lot like rubber. However, it was a relief to learn it is expelled through natural processes within about 24 hours of consuming it.

When you were young, what urban myths did you believe to be true?


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Where are you?

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

As a practicing writer, one of the best decisions I’ve made was to start a blog. After blogging for over one year, the best part has been connecting with other bloggers. Many of you stop by each Friday, which I’m so grateful for, thank you.

Although we live miles and for some, oceans apart, each comment made reveals an additional tidbit of your personality, I love that. Many of you write for the pure enjoyment, many in hopes of publication and some because like breathing, you have to. I tend to fall into the latter category.

For me, the journey to become a better writer will never end. Writing will occupy my life until I reach an age or state of mind where I’m no longer able. As for now, there are two novels on my laptop, both of which require serious rewriting. I’ve had two short stories published, which was a complete surprise and then there’s my notebook of rejections. The notebook is a prized possession because it reveals the slow and steady progress I’ve made over the years.

Where are you now? Whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist or musician, share your experience so far in the journey…anything that comes to mind.


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An idea is born…

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” ~ Linus Pauling

When I was a little girl, I was full of ideas. Whether it was to have a money making lemonade stand, or to use my Easy Bake Oven to create a world famous bakery, I was always in search of the big idea. When I was ten, I had the idea to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records by blowing the biggest bubble with a wad of Bazooka Bubble Gum. The ideas were always endless.

One day, I was no longer a little girl and the ideas had disappeared. When I sat down to write a new story, I had nothing. Maybe what I had heard was true, ideas are like gold, they’re rare. That’s when I became obsessed with the perfect idea and the writing stopped.

Several weeks later brought the start of spring. I was still obsessing when it dawned on me; I was associating an idea with a plot. Ideas are not a plot; they are simply a seedling, planted in a garden, waiting to burst to life. The idea is only the beginning. It could be a character or place, it didn’t have to be a fully plotted story, not at this point.

Once I realized I could take any idea and ask myself a few questions, the words began to fly onto the page. Here are some of the questions I asked:

• What’s the problem?
• Who has the most to lose with this problem?
• Why is he or she so desperate about resolving the problem?
• How can I make this problem even worse for my character?

After I wrote down the answers to these questions, more questions developed and the story took off. All of these questions and answers began with one little idea. That’s the beauty of writing, there’s no such thing as a little idea or too big of a problem.

Do you think ideas are rare or are they a dime a dozen?


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When in doubt, throw it out!

Image courtesy of www.wikimedia.com

Image courtesy of http://www.wikimedia.com

The 2013 holiday season is behind us, time to take down the decorations and haul the Christmas tree to the curb. It’s also time to toss the fruitcake because today is Fruitcake Toss Day. Now is your chance to throw out that weighty brick-like mass of sugar, nuts, fruit and alcohol, without the guilt.

I don’t have any fruitcakes to toss, but I did my fair share of tossing over the holiday. I wanted to start 2014 with less stuff. I’ve discovered clutter stifles my creativity, so I made the decision to clear the clutter, during my time off work.

As you may know from previous posts, I’m a book hoarder. I love to read and as a result, I own a ton of books. Even with my Kindle, the hoarding continues, but now it’s done in secret and I don’t worry about running out of shelf space.

Before the holidays, my bookshelves were exploding. Many books were given to a dear friend diagnosed with breast cancer. She was beginning her treatments and needed something to pass the time. I also gave books to a few other friends and to my sister, but still, there were too many books.

The first day of my vacation, I decided to part with my friends. These books weren’t meant to sit on my shelves and accumulate dust. I spent two hours weeding through my bookshelves. I kept the books my mother had read and written her comments, they are special keepsakes.

I loaded my car with 105 books, ready for their new home, on the shelves of my local used bookstore. Although it was hard to say goodbye to friends who made me laugh, cry and provided inspiration, the time was right.

Hours later, I left the store with empty boxes, $25.00 cash and a store credit of over $100.00. The New Year looked promising…more books.

Does the New Year give you the urge to purge?