Jill Weatherholt

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


132 Comments

Welcome Gwen Plano #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome author and blogger, Gwen Plano. I met Gwen several years ago through our friend John Howell. She truly is as sweet and genuine as she looks. Many of you know Gwen, but for those who don’t, please check out her website and blog. I also hope you’ll grab a copy of her candid memoir “Letting Go Into Perfect Love, Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse”. It’s a beautiful and inspiring story of survival, strength, faith and hope. Thanks so much for playing along, Gwen!

Would you rather live in an amusement park or a zoo?

I have a great love for the San Diego Zoo. As far back as I can remember, at least once a year, my parents would herd their tribe of seven into an old Pontiac station wagon and head to the zoo. We would spend the day there, walking the hills through the lions and giraffes, the gorillas and monkeys. I especially loved the penguins and Koala bears. I can easily imagine living there, sharing the night sky with meerkats and prairie dogs. As for making an amusement park my home, the very thought terrifies me. All the noise and lights, well, just not me.

 

Would you rather be stranded in the jungle or in the desert?

I grew up on a desert in Southern California. It was common to find tarantulas, scorpions, and rattlesnakes in our yard. My fair skin was usually shades of red, because we did not have sunblock back then. When I first saw Tarzan swinging from the forest trees, I was captivated. Could I do the same? Would I find a friendly monkey or maybe an ape? In my imagination, I joined Tarzan and swung high into the trees, ate berries from bushes and forged for roots buried deep. I know the desert, the hazards it brings. I love its silence and its eerie beauty, but if I were stranded, I’d search for my Tarzan in the jungle trees.

 

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?

Oh my, this is an easy one. Growing up on a farm, fifteen miles from the nearest town, I created alternate worlds and traveled to places I’d never seen. I used to look up to the clouds and I would imagine flying through their mist to mysterious lands with castles and kings and queens. Even today, when on a plane, I take a window seat. I watch the clouds pass me by and dream. Sometimes when I’m really happy and my heart soars, I close my eyes and let my spirit fly free.

 

Would you rather be recognized wherever you go… or live a quiet (monetarily successful) life of anonymity?

I am a quiet person and love anonymity. For many, perhaps most, this time of confinement and other restrictions has been very difficult. Since I am a bit of a hermit, I have been spared this burden. My confinement has helped me complete my first draft of The Culmination, and after a week, I will start to reread and prepare it for editing. I just might need to acknowledge COVID-19 for all the assistance it gave me.

 

If you were reborn in a new life, would you rather be alive in the past or future?

With either choice I wonder if I would remember my prior life. If I could remember, then I’d like to grow up in Dallas, TX and somehow stop the assassination of JFK. If I could not remember, then I would rather be alive in the future. The unknown always beckons me. A different time, a different location, how exciting!

 

Thank you, Jill, for inviting me to visit your beautiful site today. I am deeply honored. You asked that I share a bit about myself, and so I shall.

I have been retired since 2012 from higher education. I taught psychology for a few years and then was asked to assume a post in administration. For most of my 30 years, I oversaw Student Services, the branch of higher ed that includes residence life, health center, student discipline – all those areas that reside outside the classroom. I was effectively the “mom” to thousands of young adults and a supervisor to many. Earlier this week, I received a letter from a former colleague with an acknowledgement that means more than any award might bring. She wrote, “I think back on the care and compassion you brought in your leadership role every day and because of it, what a better place you made for me coming to work.”

Between travels with my husband and visits with family and friends, I write. I’ve just finished my fourth book and will send it to the editor very soon. Though this avocation is an accomplishment of no small measure for me, my greatest treasure and most profound source of joy has been and is my four adult children. It is they who have guided me through life’s mysteries and kept me close to my heart, close to the compassion my colleague mentions above.


237 Comments

Welcome Ally Bean #wouldyourather


Today I’m happy to welcome blogger Ally Bean. I know some of you follow her, but for those who don’t, be sure and check out her blog, The Spectacled Bean. Ally is the only anonymous blogger I follow, but I know if she were to pass me on the street, she’d stop to say hi. Thanks for playing along, Ally!

Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

I would rather be able to freeze time BECAUSE by lingering in the moment I could squeeze every last drop of goodness out of something wonderful.  Or thinking of Piper from the TV show Charmed, I could decide how to handle a difficult situation while I had it frozen in time.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?

I would rather be the funniest person in the room BUT I will suggest that to be funny one has to be intelligent, so it’s possible that the funniest person in the room is also the most intelligent person in the room.  Just saying…

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?

I would rather be able to fly BECAUSE I’d like to see the world as a whole from above.  Perspective is everything.  Plus, not to be too pragmatic here, the way the airline industry is falling apart, your own ability to fly may soon be the only way to travel the world.  

Would you rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix or an unlimited gift card to Starbucks?

I would rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix BECAUSE I can make my own coffee at home, but I cannot make my own interesting TV series or movie at home, now can I?  I like stories so therefore give me that Netflix subscription, please.

Would you rather write in a rooftop garden surrounded by city noises — or in a quiet studio with cows as your neighbors?

I would rather write in a quiet studio with cows as my neighbors BECAUSE as much as I like to visit a big city to experience the frenetic energy, I prefer to live in stillness surrounded by nature.  Oddly enough when this subdivision was new we lived near cows, and let me tell you when they *moo* they’re not as quiet as you might think they’d be.


182 Comments

Welcome Merril Smith #wouldyourather

Today I’m happy to welcome friend, poet, author and blogger Merril Smith. For several years, Merril and I have followed many of the same blogs. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her. Since she’s the first poet to play along, I was excited to read her answers. Thanks for playing, Merril!

Thank you very much, Jill, for inviting me to play “Would you rather?” I always read these posts with great enthusiasm, and I’m pleased to be on this side of things today. I see the world in many shades rather than simply black and white, and as you’ll see from the way I’ve answered these five questions, I’m not good at answering survey questions because I want to add disclaimers or ask, “but what if?” to every response.

I guess I’m full of contradictions though because I’m also good at taking and writing tests.

Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

I would never want to live in one moment. Wouldn’t that be boring? I would love to travel in time, but I would only want to be an observer. I wouldn’t want to risk changing any timelines, and I enjoy my comforts: running water, indoor plumbing, coffee, and chocolate. I also wouldn’t want to risk being hanged as a witch because of the things I know. However, I would love to be able to go back to see some of the couples I wrote about in my dissertation/first book, Breaking the Bonds. History is written based on the facts we have—but there is generally little documentation for ordinary people of the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century. Of course, I’d also like to “go behind the scenes” with famous people—Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Ben Franklin, and others.

Would you rather always have a healthy heart or always have a healthy brain?

This is a tough one. I don’t want a mental OR physical decline. But it was sad to see my mom not really with it, and I don’t want to be like that. I’d have to say I’d want a healthy brain, and hope that I’d also have a healthy body till my heart stops.

Would you rather speak all languages or be able to speak to all animals?

Hmm. . .if I spoke all languages, wouldn’t that include animal languages, as well as those of alien space creatures? If not, I would still choose to speak all languages. I’m only fluent in English, which is just sad, and makes me feel like the Ugly American. I do my best to communicate with animals, even if I don’t speak their language.

Would you rather live in a museum or a zoo?

So . . . anyone who knows me, knows that I love museums. I love animals, too, but I don’t like to see them in cages (though I know that’s not the standard now). I’d pick a museum with gardens, and I’d probably pick an art museum with a large and varied collection. And if I also have that language skill above, it could be anywhere in the world! I’d certainly have lots of material for ekphrastic poems and stories.

While answering this question, I was reminded of a StoryCorps story of a man who grew up living in a library because his father was the custodian. He could go and read any book after hours. I love this story, and I think living in a museum would be a similar situation.

StoryCorps story:

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/22/696578424/encore-how-living-in-a-library-gave-one-man-the-thirst-of-learning

Or there’s this animated video version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNeFhMnP7dA

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?

Breathing underwater would be a very useful skill, but I would love to see what it’s like to fly.  I love watching birds fly, and it looks so easy for them, but it seems incredible, too. Of course, since I have no sense of direction–and I get motion sickness–flying could be a problem.

 

Merril’s Bio:

Merril grew up in the Philadelphia, PA, suburbs and now lives in New Jersey, near Philadelphia. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, Doug, and they have two grown daughters. She taught pre-school for a few years, then went back to school to get a Ph.D. in American history. She’s written and edited many books on history, sexuality, and gender, and she is also a freelance test writer for TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication). She began a blog several years ago, vaguely intending it to be a history blog of some sort, but the poetry muse took hold of her, and the blog has become a mostly poetry blog. Some of her poems and short fiction has been published in Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Wellington Street Review, Twist in Time, Vita Brevis, and Ghost City Review. She is working on a poetry collection.

Connect with Merril D. Smith:

Blog: Yesterday and Today https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @merril_mds

Instagram: mdsmithnj


159 Comments

Welcome Irene Olson #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, author, blogger and advocate, Irene Olson. Honestly, I can’t recall how or where Irene and I connected, but she’s been a tremendous support to me and my father during our caregiver journey. I admire Irene for her willingness to share her own personal experience with Alzheimer’s and its ever-changing effects on family dynamics. Thanks for playing along, Irene!

 

Would you rather live in the middle of nowhere, with no people or stores within a 10-mile radius, or live in a busy city?

 

That’s an easy one for me because I currently live in a rural area 10 miles from Seattle, WA in a neighborhood where I can’t see my next-door neighbors’ houses because of the forest-like environment that surrounds me. My husband and I love to hike but when we are not able to do so, our 3-mile walks through our neighborhood give us the sense of being in the wilderness without having to get in a car to travel there. But I am also a sociable person so knowing that many of my family members reside in the same state where I live, gives me warm fuzzies because I know a hug with them is just a short distance away.

 

Would you rather have someone clean for you or have someone cook for you?

 

I really don’t mind the process of cleaning as it gives me great satisfaction to witness the transformation from dust bunnies that hide in every corner of my house, to nary a dust particle in sight. And I’ll let you in on a secret…our three-year-old grandson’s fingerprints on our windows bring me joy, a joy that prevents me from wiping their existence from my purview more often than not. Someday the little guy’s fingers won’t be so little and most likely the joy in discovering bigger prints won’t compare to the feelings upon coming across them now. COOKING is something I really don’t enjoy so if someone could create menus and dishes that knock my socks off, I would sign up for that service faster than you could imagine. I am blessed, however, with a husband who cooks far better than I – a feat I attribute to him being an engineer by trade. He just knows how to combine ingredients to make them shine almost as bright as my smile when I taste them!

 

Would you rather be able to take back anything you say or hear any conversation that is about you?

 

If it were possible to take back thoughtless or ill-conceived words, that would be a gift I would choose above all else. I have certainly grown wiser and more careful in my later years but my earlier years weren’t nearly as thoughtful. Full transparency: as a college freshman, I was missing my family and my then boyfriend very much. On a Friday night while studying with my dorm room open, three young men knocked on my door and one of them exclaimed, “Why is someone as pretty as you stuck inside tonight?” Instead of accepting that very generous compliment, my emotions got the worst of me so my response to this innocent young man was, “I babysit kids taller than you!” Hurtful and inexcusable words that cannot be taken back. I still grieve having said those words forty-eight years ago; I just hope he hasn’t had to live with those same words all these years later. I hope you all won’t judge me for my past sins – I have judged myself far worse than any punishment you could ever mete out.

 

Would you rather publish one insanely great-selling book and never write again, or publish a string of 15 average-selling books over a 20-year period?

One best seller would really float my boat, especially if the title was Requiem for the Status Quo, written to honor my father’s Alzheimer’s journey, and those similarly taxed with the disease as a patient or a caregiver. I am friends with several authors who say they can’t help but write – I am not one of those authors. I am working on a project right now that greatly inspires me to get it out there for public consumption – but unless another idea/theme enthuses me as much as Requiem or my current work-in-progress (WIP), that novel may be my last published piece. Perhaps if I started writing for publication in my 30s or 40s I might feel differently, but that was not the case, so I’m quite certain my WIP will be my publishing swan song of sorts.

Would you rather never be able to write or never be able to read?

 

Write. Hands. Down. I read non-fiction and fiction every day and have done so for more decades than I can count. Reading brings me joy, even when its offerings sometimes bring me to tears. I don’t necessarily read to escape, but I most definitely read to re-situate myself elsewhere. I think there’s a difference. I love my life, but I am not averse to experiencing something other than my personal journey. If I can learn from the successes and mistakes of others, just as I have learned from my own peaks and pitfalls, then I have complimented the writings of others, just as their words have complemented my own life.

 

 

Bio: Irene Frances Olson writes from passion and experience. She was her father’s caregiver during his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Having previously worked in the assisted living and memory care industry, she was not new to the disease—nor was her family immune.

After her father’s 2007 death from Alzheimer’s disease, Ms. Olson worked as an Alzheimer’s Association support meeting facilitator and concurrently, she worked for the State of Washington as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTC) – an advocate for adults living in LTC settings. The author maintains a blog www.babyboomersandmore.com, also known as Living: the ultimate team sport, focused primarily on elder issues, and her writing journey can be found on her author website: www.irenefrancesolson.com. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by writing novels that encourage those who just might need another cheerleader in their corner. Her latest and most joyful role as of late is as a grandmother to her grandson and a future grandmother to his sister or brother that will enter her world in September.

 


218 Comments

Welcome Jacqui Murray #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, author, teacher and blogger Jacqui Murray from WordDreams. Most of you know Jacqui, and you’ll probably agree with me when I say she is one of the hardest working and busiest writer and teacher out there. I know you’ll enjoying learning more about her. Thanks for playing along, Jacqui!

If you were reborn in a new life, would you rather be alive in the past or future?

I have an unrequited love of life lived in the wilds, when survival depended upon wits, being able to turn the impossible into the norm. Since my books are set 850,000 years ago, I’d definitely choose in the past.

Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?

That’s easy–the funniest. Intelligent people can save the world and solve the impossible but my experience is their intelligence isn’t always appreciated. I mean, who wants to be around someone who’s always right? But the funny guy–she entertains, makes you laugh, and you want more. I’ll choose that.

Would you rather speak all languages or be able to speak to all animals?

Oh of course–speak to animals! I read a lot about the body language of horses, dogs, wolves, and all sorts of animals. It is amazing to understand that their laughs (chimpanzees) and tail wags (dogs) don’t mean what they would if we did it. I love it!

Would you rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix or an unlimited gift card to Starbucks?

Since I don’t frequent Starbucks, Netflix it is! I’m way to frugal to spend so much on coffee. I don’t mind others doing it, it’s just not for me. I also rarely eat out. Another frugality. For that one, it helps that my husband is an excellent cook.

Would you rather live in the middle of nowhere, with no people or stores within a 10 mile radius, or live in a busy city?

If ‘the middle of nowhere’ included an internet connection, I’m there! I am looking for a retirement home and have found several that were perfect—isolated, mountain views, lots of space around me—but lousy internet. I kept looking.

Just a few of Jacqui’s books:

Born in a Treacherous Time – on Amazon

Survival of the Fittest – on Amazon

Quest for Home – on Amazon

Against All Odds—planned publication: late Summer 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb for Jacqui’s latest book, The Quest for Home:

Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she has trusted with her life. 

The story isset 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate any who came before.  

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Connect with Jacqui:

Amazon Author Page:  https://amzn.to/2XcIVZ1

Blog:    https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

 

Jacqui’s Bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.


272 Comments

Welcome Erica Henault #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, blogger, writer and photographer, Erica Henault. From my first visit to her blog, not only did I fall in love with her writing voice, but also her amazing photography. If you haven’t paid her a visit, please do. You’ll come away feeling as though you’ve taken a mini vacation. Thanks so much for playing along, Erica!

 

Thank you, Jill, for featuring me on your fun and thought-provoking “Would You Rather” series. I always enjoy reading everyone’s answers. These questions are more challenging than I anticipated. The unexpected surprise is how much I learned about myself.

 

Would you rather be stranded in the Jungle or in the Desert?

I would rather be stranded in the Jungle. I have more options for staying alive. After all, I watched all of the Tarzan shows as a child.

I can find shelter and build a tree house. I can make friends with the animals. I can stay healthy eating fruit, nuts and of course, bananas. I know I should drink water upstream from the herd. This important survival information came from the Spaghetti Western movies I watched in the 1970’s.

I always carry a small first aid kit with me. We often go on hikes. We often commute over the Malahat, an area similar to the Jungle. It is not uncommon to be stranded on this mountain road only a few kilometres from the city of Victoria.

Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

My first response was, “of course, travel in time.” Then I gave this question more thought.

When I travel in time, I don’t think I could be selective choosing only the positive, happy moments of the past and the future. I would have to take the bad with the good. I do not want to witness heart-wrenching sorrow, illness, pain and death.

In my life I have had numerous moments where I have told myself, “this is the best day ever” or “I wish I could make this moment last forever.”

Do I already freeze time when I take photos, capturing special moments in my life?

I found this question very challenging. I am actually surprised at my answer.

I would rather freeze time.

Especially if I could keep moments close to my heart and fresh in my memory. 

Especially if I could cherish an infinite embrace from the people I love.

Would you rather live in the middle of nowhere, with no people or stores within a 10 mile radius, or live in a busy city?

I learned many years ago to access a Happy Place in my mind for when I need a mental breather or to help with challenging times in my life.

In my twenties and thirties I would visualize a peaceful, very beautiful small lake about 100 km from Prince George. My husband and I with our two very young daughters would camp there. We were often all by ourselves. We would play in the water and spend all day drifting around in a little boat. A Happy Place.

Then in my forties, my husband and I canoed on the Bowron Lakes, a circuit of lakes in the Interior of British Columbia. The only form of transportation in this area is by foot and with a canoe or a kayak. I still recall one beautiful, sunny morning sitting all by myself on the side of a tranquil lake. Moose were swimming only a few meters from me. An overwhelming feeling of happiness and contentment washed over me. I knew I belonged here in the beauty, balance and harmony of nature.

My answer: In the middle of nowhere. My Happy Place.

Would you rather have someone clean for you or have someone cook for you?

Do not tell my husband. I have been trying to keep it a secret.

I do not mind cleaning or cooking.

To pick just one: My husband is an amazing cook and he has more energy than I do at the end of the day. I tell him what I want, usually some form of vegetables and seafood. He will conjure up an amazing meal. Voila!

Yes, I am a lucky woman!

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?

I would want to be able to fly. At times, I know I can fly.

Most of us have had the flying dreams, even when we were very young children.

During anxious dreams, I recall soaring over cars and rooftops trying to save myself and my family from danger.

I also recall dreams where I feel wonderful. I am flying just for the sheer joy of feeling free and unencumbered. I see our world from far above.

Is my knowing spirit giving me a glimpse of life before I was born?

Is my soul sharing a brief insight to my future?

 

 

Meet Erica Henault

Erica has been living on Vancouver Island with her husband for the past 28 years. She is grateful their two daughters and families live close by.

Her career was in health care as a Dental Hygienist for over 25 years.

She still considers herself relatively new to blogging although she has been writing all of her life. A common thread running through her stories is continual learning, evolving, mindfulness, inspiration and gratitude. She pays attention and looks for the lessons. Read more about Erica https://behindthesceneryphoto.com/about-me/

Erica loves interacting with fellow bloggers and she is inspired every day reading their stories.

Connect with Erica/Erika:

Blog: https://behindthesceneryphoto.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericafhenault/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.nz/behindthesceneryphoto/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erica_eh  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/misty.hen

Yesterday, Erica brightened my day when she emailed this gorgeous photo she captured on her deck. Thank you, Erica! ❤ ❤ 

 


311 Comments

Welcome Diana Peach #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, writer, blogger and devoted daughter, Diana Peach. At the risk of sounding corny, Diana is a real peach. The support she provides to writers on her popular blog is incredible, not to mention quite time consuming, I’m sure. For those of you whom are familiar with her gift of world-building, you can understand why I was excited to read her answers. Thanks so much for playing along, Diana!

Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?

Funny, definitely. I’m not funny. For a period of time (back in the olden days) I tried to memorize jokes and kept a little notebook for reference – yes, I was a dork. But humor never came naturally. It’s a special kind of intelligence that I lack despite my valiant efforts at joke collection. I love spending time with spontaneously witty people, but I wish I could contribute instead of just laughing along.

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?

I’m a scuba diver, which is pretty darn close to breathing underwater. So, I’ll go with flying. I took hang-gliding lessons for a while and loved the feel of the “wind beneath my wings.” The air became something tangible, as fluid as water, and I felt like a bird coasting on the invisible currents. It was thrilling, but expensive, so I never advanced beyond the very basic level. Even so, it was memorable.

Would you rather have someone clean for you or have someone cook for you?

Not both? Ha ha. I’m a lousy cook, but I’m a lousier housekeeper. It seems like a huge waste of time in light of my limited years in a body. Just an hour a day of cleaning for 60 years comes to about 2800 8-hour days of housework. With no weekends off, that’s 7.5 years of dusting and vacuuming! Ugh. When I clean, my husband invariably asks, “Are we having company?” And he’s right! It’s the only time I bother. 😊

Would you rather read your writings to an audience of ten people who love you or to 10,000 people you don’t know?

10,000! And I sure hope that with an audience of that magnitude I’d find 10 fantasy readers who can tolerate my prose. Lol. Honestly, I was a theater person before I decided having a family was more important than the limelight. I have no problem with public speaking in front of gigantic crowds (once I get over the initial jitters, of course). Just don’t expect me to be funny!

Would you rather write in a rooftop garden surrounded by city noises — or in a quiet studio with cows as your neighbors?

I live deep in the Dragonwoods, Jill, in the land of the Gnome King and his guardian snails. No cows, but plenty of deer, owls, and coyotes, swooping bats and baby dragons. There’s a gentle troll beyond the back gate, and a witch lives in the upturned stump by the gnome tree. As a hermit, I love the quiet and solitude and the ever-present magic.

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.
Myths of the Mirror blog: https://mythsofthemirror.com


135 Comments

Welcome Melissa Henderson #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, writer and blogger Melissa Henderson. Melissa is a beautiful storyteller and is currently hard at work on her second children’s book. Her first book, Licky the Lizard is a wonderful story for both children and adults. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks for playing Melissa!

   Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

What a great question! I don’t want to do either. I want to experience every moment God gives me. Even through the bad times, I can learn valuable lessons and gain wisdom.

   Would you rather look 10 years older from the neck up, or the neck down?

I am laughing while reading this question. I’ve always looked older than my age. I would rather look 10 years older from the neck down.

   Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?

I would rather be the funniest. Joy and laughter often fill my heart and soul. The Lord provides plenty of experiences to make me laugh at my self. Being able to laugh at myself truly helps when I’m not the most intelligent in the room. Our family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

   Would you rather live in the middle of nowhere, with no people or stores within a 10 mile radius, or live in a busy city?

Living in the middle of nowhere sounds wonderful. The peace and quiet of nature. Yet, a busy city is filled with opportunities to make new friends and learn from experiences. I must admit I do enjoy the idea of living in the middle of nowhere.

   Would you rather have someone clean for you or have someone cook for you?

Having someone clean for me is wonderful. Times when my back has been hurt or sickness has prevented my husband and I from doing daily cleaning activities like vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms, we have hired professional house cleaners. What a great blessing to have a clean home! I appreciate the hard work of the house cleaners.

 

With Melissa’s permission, I’m sharing a special note she recently received from a young reader. I think most published authors will agree, it’s not about the money. Knowing your words touched someone means far more.

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. She and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild. The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.
Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com


202 Comments

Welcome Liesbet Collaert #wouldyourather

Today I’m excited to welcome friend, writer, blogger, photographer and world traveler, Liesbet Collaert. Many of you already enjoy reading about Liesbet’s nomadic lifestyle on her blog. If not, I encourage you to do so. Each visit is like taking a trip to a magical destination. She and her husband Mark are living a lifestyle that most could only dream of experiencing. Thanks so much for playing along, Liesbet!

Thank you, Jill, for featuring me on your lovely blog this week and for letting me play along in your entertaining Would You Rather series. I had a lot of fun participating!

Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

Travel in time. That way, I can keep going back to the moments I’d like to freeze and experience them over and over again. 😊 The main reason I’d like to travel in time (sometimes in the future to have a quick glance at the outcome of a decision in case it’s disastrous and I’d have to go back and change it, but most often to the past) is to investigate something that has always intrigued me. Choices.

I’m a firm believer that life is about choices and not about luck or following social norms. Yet, I wish I had the ability to experience different paths in this precious lifetime. My future, in general, can be left alone; each new day is exciting and promising. But when it comes to my past, I often wonder what would have happened if I picked the other direction at a split in the road. To be able to experience alternate paths would be most novel and satisfying to the curious mind!

Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?

This is a question about which is more exhausting. I think they both are. Being the most intelligent person comes with an incredible burden… Not only are you expected to know the answer to every question, explain unusual occurrences or behaviors, and inform everyone about what’s happening in the world, you are supposed to “do” something with that wisdom: improve humanity and not waste away your time. The pressure!

Intelligent people are usually responsible ones as well. They have common sense and realize the consequences of ignorance or not following rules. Therefore, it is hard for them to live in a world full of inconsiderate peers. The frustration! Plus, imagine thinking… all… the… time! That brain never stops. What if you can’t find the solution to a problem? The guilt! And, of course, new ideas have to be recorded and shared and turned into plans and creations. Phew!

So, I’d pick being the funniest one, in an empty room, where I’m not expected to crack jokes all the time. I’d sit there quietly, smiling at myself. My thoughts will be amusing instead of intellectual and I can be ignorant, relaxed, and worry-free. Aaaah!

Would you rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix or an unlimited gift card to Starbucks?

This answer will surprise people who know me well, which is to say, who know I don’t drink coffee, don’t care about the coffee culture (I mean, coffee obsession), and – as a frugal person – am disgusted at the prices charged at such establishments, and all the trash produced. While a lifetime subscription to Netflix would entertain and enlighten me more, I don’t have much free time these years, so I’d rather spend those precious moments reading a good book. Don’t offer me anything that will get me in trouble with productiveness!

Instead, give me an unlimited gift card to Starbucks (or anything that warrants the occasional splurge), where I can be treated to unlimited WiFi and electricity to work, a flush toilet and running water to wash my hands, a comfortable table and chair to act as a desk, a selection of smoothies (I presume they have those at Starbucks; I’ve actually only visited one to use the toilet) and chocolate drinks for which I will bring my own mug, and a sweet pastry on a washable plate to get me going. Oh, the joys of spoils!

Would you rather know every language or know how to talk to animals? 

This question makes me happy. I assume “every language” doesn’t include the animal language, otherwise the answer would be too easy…

I adore wildlife. Of any encounters, excursions, travels, or destinations I experienced in my decades of roaming this world, my interactions with wildlife – in the wild! – have been the most cherished moments in my life. Manta rays, sharks, dolphins, tortoises, iguanas, kangaroos, snakes, armadillos… Being able to actually communicate with this earth’s creatures? Sign me up, please!

And I haven’t even mentioned how incredible such a gift would be to understand our precious dog Maya (or our previous rescues Kali and Darwin); to be able to gossip with her about the ever-changing smells in the neighborhood and the intricacies of humans. To fulfil her unknown needs and solve all her canine problems. But mostly, to find out what happened to her in the first 4.5 years of her life, before we adopted her.

Would you rather never be able to write or never be able to read?

This must be the hardest question to answer for authors. I’ve always been curious and enthralled about how your other guests answered this dilemma, Jill. I could have skipped this question, but what’s life worth without the occasional challenge?

Now, I might not be a published author (yet), as a published article writer and longtime blogger, this is still a difficult choice. You see, I’ve been writing daily diaries since the age of 14, have been writing travel reports since I was 20, have been blogging frequently since 2007, and have been writing “professionally” for the last decade or so. Writing is a pertinent part of every day. Yet, I choose to never be able to write instead of never be able to read.

Why? Because I NEED to reread and edit EVERYTHING I write, even my journals, emails, and chat messages (I know) and I cannot stand the idea of leaving a typo or inaccuracy in there, if I can prevent it. I’d die. Therefore, reading creates life. And compelling, inspiring, accurate, and coherent stories.

Bio

Liesbet Collaert is a freelance writer, photographer, blogger, translator, and editor, originally from Belgium. Above all, she is a world citizen and lifetime traveler. She’s been a digital nomad since 2003 with no plans to settle. After years of backpacking, RVing, and sailing worldwide, she, her husband, and their rescue dog Maya have been roaming about the United States in their 19ft camper van Zesty since 2017. Stories about her eight-year sailing odyssey on the 35ft catamaran Irie can be found on her blog It’s Irie – Cruising The World The Way It Is (www.itsirie.com) and her current camping adventures are documented on Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary (www.roamingabout.com). She recently finished writing her first travel memoir, which she plans to publish in 2020. You can also find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/roamingsabout/) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/roaming.about/).

 


225 Comments

Welcome Donna Connolly #wouldyourather

Today, I’m excited to welcome fellow blogger, Donna Connolly. Many of you know her, but if you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so. Not only does she write captivating content, she’s a wonderful photographer, too. I’m so happy our paths have crossed. Her sweet smile is guaranteed to brighten up any blog she visits. She’s here to play “would you rather.” I think you’ll enjoy her answers as much as I did. Welcome, Donna!

Would you rather live in the middle of nowhere, with no people or stores within a 10-mile radius, or live in a busy city?

Local scenery.

I currently live in a small, oceanside town on Vancouver Island. V.I. was recently declared by CNN as one of the “top 20 places in the world to visit”. I (very biasedly) agree with their ranking.

Our small corner of this diverse area is the perfect mix of quiet and community. Daily, I walk most places that I wish to go. During these outings, I frequently run into several familiar faces along the way. As much as I love serenity, I could never give up community. And, if I needed to drive everywhere – yuk!

Due to my desire for community and walkability, ‘Big City’ could be my only choice here.

 Would you rather speak all languages or be able to speak to all animals?

Muttley Crew, Dog Walking Group, Oceanside, Vancouver Island.

Relationships and connecting with others are two of the top joys in life (IMHO). Along with my native English, I speak a smattering of Mandarin, French and Italian (in descending order). When travelling, I have often been frustrated by not being able to communicate more fully with locals and other visitors.

I volunteer at our local humane society and am part of a weekly dog walking group, even though I don’t currently live with any pets.  I would love to speak to animals. It would come in very handy in so many ways (which I would vow to use for good, and not for my chance to appear on Late Night with Seth Myers). Sadly, I would need to give up ultra-cool ‘animal speak’ in order to converse in our world’s 6,500 tongues. I would then immediately begin making very exotic travel plans to remote and distant places.

Would you rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix or an unlimited gift card to Starbucks?

Thank you, Jill, for throwing in an easier question. I am not much of a television or Netflix watcher, so I would definitely go with the coffee gift card. And if I could use it to pay-it-forward, how amazing would that be? You can read about my (slightly embarrassing) pay-it-forward experience here.

 Would you rather have someone clean for you or have someone cook for you?

The aromas are amazing!

This question poses another difficult dilemma. As I write this, our youngest son (31) is in the kitchen, preparing a red lentil curry. I do love to be pampered with someone else’s cooking. But when I pull away from the intoxicating aromas, I need to remind myself how much I hate cleaning the bathroom or facing a sink full of dishes. Decision – done!

Would you rather be able to freeze time or travel in time?

My husband and my mom. Two people whom I admire and adore.

As I age, I find myself trying to hold on to precious moments with family and friends. I never want to take a single moment, or a single person, for granted. To have even more time together with loved ones is my number one wish. Strengthening this choice, I believe that the future is a gift that is sweetened by our hopes, dreams and desires. To experience the destination without the journey would take away much of this magic.

Thank you, Jill, for inviting me to play ‘Would You Rather?’. It has given me much to think about. It has also allowed me to hang out in the exact spot where my very first Guest Post appeared. I speak for myself and others — your endless support of fellow writers and bloggers is deeply appreciated.

 

ABOUT DONNA:

Donna lived and worked in Beijing, China for fourteen years. Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island, Canada, in June 2015. To document this transition, Donna initiated ‘Retirement Reflections.’ Her favourite part of blogging is the interaction with others. Read more about Donna here . You can connect with her in the comment section below, or via the following social media sites. She would love to hear from you.

Connect with Donna

Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Linked In • Pinterest • Instagram