Jill Weatherholt

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

Summer Spotlight: Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

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HollisMy name is Hollis Hildebrand-Mills. My mother named me Hollis because she said it was euphonious (her word) with Hildebrand. I wanted to keep these two names together. When I married my husband, I decided to hyphenate. I am the only Hollis Hildebrand-Mills in the world. The search engines and advertisers love it.

I am an artist, working mostly in collage or pieced-together type formats. I made a movie, I paint and most recently I posted 100 collages, one a day here on WordPress, on my blog. This was taken from an installation I put together for a solo show in New York City earlier last year. I discovered that the blog world was full of self-disclosure and I started to ramble along with each piece I posted. A write up of my online exhibition appeared in The Atlanta Journal/Constitution.

I live with my husband and my daughter who is soon going to college in a few months. I continue to blog. I also am working on another solo show for 2016, also in Chelsea, New York City. I have decided to show paintings for this exhibition. I always try something different, believing that true art is created out of the ether. I let the Universe guide me along.

I have quite a background, however, in the structured learning of doing art. I believe in this strongly. Although many people believe that art can be self-taught, I am not one of them. I have a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. And between pursuing a second degree at The Atlanta College of Art for four years, now known as SCAD, I worked extensively on post graduate studies in painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.

In order to support myself, which I did for many years, before I met my husband, I worked at TV Guide Magazine, various printing companies and art studios. I also was employed for thirteen years at an advertising agency in Atlanta. At the agency, where I worked the longest, I worked with some very interesting, creative people and eventually it was my privilege to work on the Orion Pictures Account. For Orion, I did their publicity in three major metropolitan areas and worked with the movie stars affiliated with the movies being released at the time. Both my assignments as an art director and my job as a publicist have influenced my fine art career, in the subject matter of my artwork and in the manner by which my artwork is done.

I was born in Roanoke, Virginia and moved to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania when I was eight years old. We moved again when I was fifteen to Stamford, Connecticut when my father commuted every day to New York City.

Atlanta is my home now. I like the South. The air is soft here. And the people are kind. They may not always mean it, but it is a more pleasant way to live. I live with a forest behind our house. Our house is on a slope, so in the winter, you can see the floor of the woods from the windows. The winter is now my favorite time of year because of that image.

One more thing, I catalogue my memories by what I was wearing at the time.

Here are my answers to Jill’s questions.


If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you like to meet?

I would like to meet The Virgin Mary. I am not Catholic, or particularly religious, but I am spiritual and I do believe she was a divine person. It also helps that I took four years of Latin in High School!

I would like her “take” on how things were at that time. And if miracles were being performed, if people were surprised when they happened.

Life has changed so much during the short time I have been in the world. From the “Your call is important to us.” recorded message to “You can look it up online.” (Yes, I could do that, but you are here now.) Changes in our culture have evolved so quickly, what must it have been like in Mary’s time?

Maybe during Mary’s lifetime, miracles, kindness, music and love were in the air. Sort of like the 1960s where we thought anything was possible. A movie is being made about a 60s artist, Joni Mitchell, starring Taylor Swift. Will they get it right? Or will it be like “Ben Hur”, Mary’s time. Where it could never have been like that. But how do we know?

What celebrity do you get mistaken for?

One time, in between jobs, when I was a pet sitter, I was standing in my client’s greenhouse and she, an older, more settled woman, handed me a lemon, grown from her lemon tree there. It was the middle of winter and very dark outside. I was wearing a white Laura Ashley blouse and bright yellow pants. She said to me, “You know, you remind me of Blythey! When she and I were young! She was my roommate in college!” I don’t see my resemblance to Blythe Danner. Her hair is nice and thick and she seems to move so confidently, but others see it. She, by the way, is Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I am a risk taker. Therefore, there is no to-do “bucket list.” Now traveling to a particular place is different. I would like to go to Machu Picchu, Peru. I recently got a Facebook message from Machu Picchu. The person was outraged because there was bad internet service there. Mulder, from the cult TV show, “The X Files” would find plenty of waves flying around up there, including UFO service, which I would find fascinating!

What do you miss most about being a kid?

I miss long summer afternoons playing with my friends, in our neighbor’s sassafras treehouse. The leaves looked like mittens and we sewed doll clothes. We made our dolls sleep outside overnight under a bush in our handmade sleeping bags. We worried all night about them on their campout.

I also miss ice skating on Crum Creek in Swarthmore or a pond when we moved to New England. The pond was clear and we could see gold fish swimming under the ice below. The ice was smooth. So that an outstretched jacket would cause the wind to propel us forward. Like a sail pulling our skates along, without having to move our feet.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Quit smoking. Hands down.

After death, if you were to come to life as an animal, which would you choose?

Probably as one of my pets. I think of all my pets as having “personalities.” I don’t think of them as being a dog or a cat or a bird. For instance, when Judy Garland sings “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, Bloobie, one of our parakeets, sings too. Does Bloobie know she is blue? Most definitely.

If you could visit any place in the entire world, where would it be?

I mentioned Machu Picchu. I would like to see a UFO. From a distance.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

I would have turned around and given the baby sitter the day off. As I was leaving our house, I saw through the glass, the sitter hoist our six month old baby up in the air and our daughter was laughing.

I am very driven, and my art had to be done. Also, the time during each baby stage seemed to last. Time was slower then. I thought those days would be around forever.

What do you think the greatest invention has been?

The washing machine. I would hate to be rubbing our clothes on the rocks in the muddy stream out back right now. I like the purr and beep of our washing machine.

Is there anything about the opposite sex you just don’t understand or comprehend?

I see men as being linear. I am probably more of a multilateral thinker than most women, although we women all tend to be able to do many tasks at one time. It spills over onto our thinking, as well. When I see a car (and I do not know the sex of the driver), I can guess by the way the person drives. Men definitely can only do one thing at a time. Therefore my recent car accident took place because the man must have been on the phone. A woman would not have broadsided a car directly in front of her, even if she was on the phone, eating a burger and smoking a cigarette.

Thanks for taking the spotlight, Hollis! I too miss those long summer afternoons playing with friends and not a care in the world. Up next week is Jenny Pellett.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

119 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

  1. Great story, Hollis! I love artists and the things they can bring to life with their hands. I can and have studied art from an academic standpoint, but there’s a loose wire somewhere in my brain, because I can’t do it.

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    • Sometimes loose wires can be connected. (Not that you have them!) I read somewhere that the artistic side of the brain can be developed by drawing. (Be measured scientifically with those scans they do !) I did not address Gene Hackman, although I thought of doing it for you when I wrote this!

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      • I can draw zombie faces, and I can make up bizarre monsters, rendering them in unspectacular fashion. That’s about it. I satisfy my creative urge through writing and music. I’ve also made a few short films and hope to get back into that someday. I’ll leave the plastic art to the naturals like you!

        I still want to hear the Gene Hackman story.

        And thanks, Jill. Same to you.

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      • It sounds like your wires are connected, Eric! Making a film is a very creative thing! Also cartooning. Same with writing and music. I don’t think I have all that covered!

        The Gene Hackman story perhaps will come in the form of an email. Too public here! Or…maybe Gene would like it, who knows? A multifaceted guy!

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      • There’s just something about painting, sculpture, and illustration that doesn’t connect. I don’t mind being a spectator in that particular area.

        So the Gene Hackman story is not suitable for a family friendly forum like this one? Now there’s some intrigue!

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      • Well, Eric….it’s not that interesting really. It’s just that since this entry of Jill’s Spotlight is on my first Google page (!) Even your comments, I might add :)….. A few years ago, my daughter met Meg Ryan’s daughter (both our daughters being Chinese and of course, we had a lot in common…we had no idea she was Meg Ryan’s daughter.) Her nanny told us.When my daughter put it on Twitter, Ms. Ryan’s publicity people were all over us! Now, probably they will be all over us again. Well, I can handle it, can’t I? No prob, been there. I just don’t know how Gene Hackman’s publicity people might react. I have dug myself in pretty deep now haven’t I?

        Anyway the story isn’t as full of intrigue as this may turn out to be!

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      • NOW who has the loose wire!?

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      • Ah, I get it. Nobody needs phone calls from lawyers, do they?

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    • I’ve got that same loose wire, Eric. Have a great 4th of July!

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  2. So nice to meet you, Hollis! What a fascinating and impressive background you have. I enjoyed reading all about your accomplishments. I have family in Atlanta and have visited them once or twice. I agree with you about the southern kindness (even if they don’t mean it). I live in the Northeast and everyone is too cold most of the time to be friendly.

    Your answers to Jill’s questions are humorous and quite interesting. I really enjoyed getting to know you. 🙂

    A Happy 4th of July to you and to Jill! 🙂

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    • Thank you about the 4th of July wishes although our British friends……..:) So glad you have family in Atlanta! Maybe we can meet sometime! Yes, about the Southern kindness….. I find it easier to do business in the North. Especially New York, where they get to the point a lot faster… 🙂 Thanks for the compliments.

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    • Hi Maria! I think you’re right about Northern being too cold, especially after this past winter.
      Have a great 4th of July! xo

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  3. Wonderful to meet you Hollis! I’m sure you get this a lot but I love your name. Very cool. I saw a UFO once and it wasn’t anywhere near Machu Picchu 🙂 If I saw one hovering over Machu Picchu I would think I was hallucinating because of the thin air. I was raised Catholic so like every good Catholic girl I desperately wanted to ‘see’ Mary, preferably in a grotto or in the garden beside the rose bushes. A vision would guarantee my sainthood.

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  4. Ah Hollis, I felt I knew you a little already, but now you’ve filled in many of the gaps. I loved your answers to Jill’s questions. Machu Picchu would definitely be a wonderful place to visit – just watch the altitude doesn’t play havoc!
    I imagined that you had always lived in the south – I don’t know why- so it was really interesting to find out that you’d moved around so much.
    And by the way, for me, today is red …

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  5. What an interesting read Hollis. You certainly embrace life and take great interest in everything around you. Sadly I simply don’t relate to art (or poetry) and I’m sure I’m missing out there. I’m sure every parent reading had a ‘gulp’ moment at the minutes lost to your babysitter. And, while I’m (naturally) not going to agree on you on the multi-tasking thing I do enjoy interpreting the ‘body language’ of cars and predicting what the driver is going to do next 🙂

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  6. Roy, you seem to like to write, so there is your art. I like your “body language” of cars comment. I will think of that as I plow through Atlanta traffic! I would never have thought of describing it that way! Thank you!

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  7. Love Blythe Danner–and love your answers to Jill’s questions. I’ve seen a couple of UFO’s, but would love to see one up close and personal, like right inside. 😀

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    • First off, Elizabeth, that you even know who Blythe Danner is, is amazing!
      A lot of people do not! Secondly, have you really, I mean, really seen a UFO? (And you know it to be a real UFO!) And that you would like to go inside! 🙂 You are more of a risk taker than I am!!!! Fun comment. Thank you! Something to think about! 🙂

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      • Hi Elizabeth! I think Hollis looks like Blythe Danner too. Yes Hollis, I know who she is. 🙂 I suppose I need to conquer an escalator before I board a UFO.
        Have a great weekend!

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      • Hollis, I have always been a Danner fan. 🙂 And yes, I’ve actually seen two UFO’s. One in Florida when I was a teen. It hovered right above our woods for quite some time. I think it may have actually landed. I tried to get out of the house to go investigate, but my dad made sure that didn’t happen. More’s the pity. The government couldn’t or wouldn’t give an explanation to the many who witnessed it.

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      • Well, I think that is the way it is. If there really are UFOs around, the government doesn’t want to stir up panic. Where have I heard that before? 🙂 But…..I think there is some truth to it. Too many people have reported seeing things. As Woody Allen would say “I am wanted back on earth!” (“Annie Hall”)

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      • Jill, because of my messed up ears, I have a terrible time with escalators. Everyone thinks it’s funny how I avoid them. I can never seem to get on or off without tripping. I guess it is kind of funny. (at least to those watching) :/

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      • I knew someone once who had a phobia (but I am sure that is too strong a word for what you two have) about riding escalators. It was around the time I had a fear of riding elevators alone. I used to stand around and wait for someone else to get on the elevator before I would push the button. The person always thought I was holding the elevator for them. Crazy. I would say “You’re welcome!”

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      • Elizabeth, I avoid escalators due to my fear of heights. Do you have issues with your ears popping due to the altitude change?

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    • Good morning, Jill. No, I have the opposite problem with my ears. They can’t pop. Bad eustachian tubes and an inverted eardrum keeps them from popping ever and throws my balance off, so the movement of the escalators are a nightmare for me. Otherwise, I might enjoy riding them. 🙂

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      • Oh, that sounds painful, Elizabeth…all of that pressure. Trust me, they’re not that fun to ride. 🙂 I typically break out in a cold sweat if I have no other option.

        On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:11 AM, Jill Weatherholt wrote:

        >

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  8. A fun post! It’s always good to meet new (to me) bloggers.

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  9. Nice to meet you! You have a very artistic name. 🙂 Wow. You have had such an interesting mix of work experiences!
    I can see the Blythe resemblance.
    Happy fourth of July to you and to Jill!

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    • Thank you, L. Marie. Yes, I do have what seems to be an interesting mix of work experiences. And it seems diverse. But when you think of actors being artists…..my work with the actors seems to fit. Actually some of them went to art school. Like Weird Al. (If you know of Blythe, perhaps you know of Weird Al….) He was nice, BTW!

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    • L.Marie, I must tell you, thanks for the name compliment. I had trouble with it when I was little. In fact, I was always trying to change it on the first day of school every year until I was about 8. The most creative version of my name-changing campaign, was the name Hollisha. Now is seems avant guard! As everyone seems to have been making up names with sha on the end of them! 🙂

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      • Hi L! I hope you’re enjoying the 4th and not working too hard. I agree, Hollis sounds like an artsy name. 🙂
        Oh my Hollis, you went to school with Weird Al? Is there no end to what you’re going to reveal. We might need a Part 2 for you!

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  10. Thanks for the fun share, Hollis. This series has been so interesting. Jill is a great host!

    Blythe Danner has popped into our living room several times recently ~ advertising for some osteoporosis drug she takes so she won’t “break a leg” for real.

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    • First, yes Jill has taken on much work to give us all some celebrity! And cool about Blythe Danner !!!!! I think she must be near eighty now, but I am not sure. I did look her up when her former roommate (also a dramatic soul) told me about the resemblance. She also has appeared in some Woody Allen films. I will look for the ad!! Thanks for the compliment!

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      • Aw…thanks, Nancy! I’ve really enjoyed learning more about everyone. How else would I have ever know that Hollis went to art school with Weird Al! 🙂
        That’s it, an osteoporosis drug. I remember she says, “Break a leg,” but I couldn’t remember what type of drug she was adverting.
        I hope you’re having a great 4th of July

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      • Adverting…..Is that a British way of saying advertising? Or is it now called Adverting and I don’t know it, because I have been out of the business for a while.?

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    • Jill, I hate to disappoint you, but I did not go to school with Weird Al. He went to RISD, I think! Which was a different art school. (And very difficult to get into.) But he and I did become “sort-of” friends. Based on the fact that we “spoke the same language.” He decorated a tee shirt of mine with puffy paint in the limousine on the way to the airport and his manager wrote me a very good letter of recommendation. They saw how hard my job as a publicist was. It was so much fun, though!

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  11. Nice lady…you, too! 🙂

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  12. What a pleasure to meet you, Hollis! Like many others, I greatly admired artists. I’ve never been able to paint or draw (I couldn’t even draw a simple house in my high school art class). But I can knit and crochet and greatly appreciate the tactile nature of art. Your life sounds fascinating. You sound like a very kind, imaginative, introspective, and creative person. I can see why you and Jill connected 🙂 I have to admit, I got a wee bit of a heart attack at reading about Taylor Swift possibly playing Joni Mitchell in a biopic: is nothing sacred??? And you appear to be an X-Files fan! I loved that series 🙂 When my husband was in the Peace Corps (many, many years ago), he went to Macchu Picchu. I hope you get to go. Happy Friday and Happy 4th!

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    • Well, 1WriteWay, you make me feel so special. Yes, I loved Joni Mitchell myself. Yes, is nothing sacred? As far as The X-Files, Scully had seen it all (I especially liked her abduction… the director used her pregnancy to his advantage!) It seems we have a lot in common!

      I find it hard to believe you could not even draw a simple house. You must have had a bad art teacher. Everyone can draw. I can’t knit. I appreciate those who can knit and crochet. Thank you for all your warm generous compliments! I will check out your blog. Happy Fourth to you too!!!!!!!

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    • Hi Marie! Thanks for stopping by on this lovely 4th of July. I’m learning more and more about our similarities…I can barely draw a stick person. I so admire artists who can sit seaside and paint or draw a beautiful landscape….maybe in another life.
      Enjoy your 4th! I really hope you’re getting some rest. xo

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    • 1WriteWay, are you taking any new followers? I would like to follow you. Do you have a blog? Hollis

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  13. Hollis, you are such a (warm-hearted) hoot! I love your ideas that are moving in all sorts of directions! That wish to go back and send the babysitter home hit me so hard. What a beautiful thought, but also so heart-breaking how in order to gain something we have to lose something else, especially that fast-fleeting babyhood. Jill, I LOVED this showcase of Hollis! What a fascinating lady!

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  14. Luanne! I am blushing! What nice things you have said! Yes, I think I am a sensory person. I do go in all directions. As Joni would say (about my wishing I had let the babysitter go home), “something’s lost and something’s gained in living everyday!” Although I really don’t want her advice on raising children. (Hope that does not wind up on Google) Thanks, Luanne! Very much.

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  15. Very nice to meet you, Blythey-lookalike, Hollis. Interesting interview.
    Another excellent post, Jill!

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  16. Hi Hollis, lovely to meet you! I was fascinated by your answers to Jill’s questions, especially your thoughts on Mary (and no, I’m not catholic!). I also love your name!
    Thank you Jill for introducing Hollis to us! Have a great July 4th 😀 xo

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  17. Sherri, I will look up your blog as well. I have seen your comments interspersed in Jill and I believe Jenny’s blog! Thank you for commenting and enjoying my thoughts on Mary. A group rate to Machu Picchu and sainthood for us all! Happy 4th of July to you too!

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  18. I love the fact that no one in the world has the same name as you, Hollis! I wish I had an uncommon name but unfortunately there are thousands of Dianne Gray’s in the world 😉

    Like you, I would love to visit Machu Picchu – and see a UFO (from a distance) lol 😀

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    • Hey Dianne! My name is uncommon in a good way but was trouble for me as a child. No one was named Hollis until I attended art school and there were three of us!!!! The other two went by Holly and Suzanne. Go figure that one out? It sounds like enough of us here for a group rate to Machu Picchu!!!! (I know I have said that twice before. Sorry.) About those UFOs. After this interview, I am not so sure…..Thank you for saying nice things about my name.

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      • Hi Dianne! I’m with you, a UFO from a distance is more my style. Well, there might be thousands of Dianne Gray’s in the world, but there is only one fabulous author Dianne Gray and we are so blessed to know her!
        Enjoy your weekend.

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  19. Hi Hollis, your name suits you – you seem to have a fascinating history and thoughts to go with an intriguingly unique name.

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  20. Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by. Her background is so interesting…it makes me seem pretty boring. 🙂
    I hope you’re having a great weekend!

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  21. Hollis! So great to learn more about you. I am SO with you on the man thing. Probably the reasons my husband and I argue has more to do with the differences in how our genders deal with issues (but of course we’ll get along great if he ever acknowledges I’m always right). 😉 I, too, can also tell the sex of a driver. Men generally drive way too fast and take stupid chances. And it doesn’t seem to improve with age.

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  22. Hi Hollis its nice to meet you. I liked your answers to Jill’s questions. I have wondered about the time of Mary and how things were and only if we could imagine those, it would be magic. You have a very impressive background. I respect and admire artists and I do agree with you that we learn art properly through structured learning., self teaching cannot educate us in a proper manner. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
    Hi Jill. You are full of innovative ideas my friend. I like this series of introducing your great writer friends to your blogger friends. Thanks so much. Take care and God bless.

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  23. saminaiqbal27, we seem to agree on quite a lot. This forum of Jills’ has indeed brought me in touch with some fine writers and interesting people!

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    • Hi Samina! It’s so good to see you. 🙂 I’ve missed you and your weekly posts. I hope all is well in your world.

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      • Hi Jill. It is so good to be able to start working on my posts on a weekly basis. It’s good. I have missed you very much. Everything is fine now. My mother-in-law has left in good health. She had ups and downs after her surgery. Her health took priority over everything and the experience of taking care of her has been rewarding and I have learnt so much about elderly care. I love your interviews and look forward to reading more and visiting the blogs of your writer friends. Thanks so much. Take care and God bless.

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      • Hi Samina, I wasn’t aware of your mother-in-laws health issue. How blessed she is to have you as her caretaker. I hope she is doing better. I’ll look forward to your blog posts, they’ve always been wonderful. Take care, my friend…so happy to see you again.

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  24. Nice to meet you and your wonderful, creative world, Hollis!

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  25. What a friendly-looking Gravatar you have, Hollis 🙂 I’m glad because I was a little intimidated by your list of achievements.

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  26. Wow your art sounds amazing. I’ll definitely pop by your blog to check it out. 🙂 What a great celebrity to look like too. 🙂

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    • Nice to meet you, Kourtney. I am blogging now not as frequently as I used to. (But I plan to change!) I read in Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” that it is easier to blog everyday than to blog once a week. I read that yesterday. I don’t see how that is true! I am assuming you have a blog. I want to check it out as well. Thanks for the compliment. Jill’s generous Spotlight has put me in touch with so many interesting people!

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  27. Hi Kourtney! I hope you’ve survived the world of revisions. I know you’ve been working hard.
    I definitely see the resemblance between Hollis and Blythe Danner.
    Thanks for popping over!

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