Thursday, September 12, 2019

Trippin' with Holly and Susan!

This week, Susan Gable and I posted our 95th episode of Trippin' with Holly and Susan! Have you seen them? We try for a nice mix of videos about writing, books, reading, tv shows, movies, Erie PA tours...

Basically, no topic is off limits! Well, almost no topic! LOL

As we approach finishing up the first 100, we're looking at the second 100 and asking for your help. We'd love to know what you'd like us to talk about. So please send us questions or suggestions for topics. Or send us places in Erie you'd like us to visit and take you along for the ride!

I know most of you watch them on Facebook, but I have been busy parking them at YouTube. So if you've missed an episode, or (eek!) haven't seen an episode, you can always find them there! You can post any suggestions here or on Facebook, or send them to me at HollyJacobs1 (at) gmail.com.

Thank you all for trippin' with us! And for helping to fill the tank by buying our books!

Holly

PS Check out my summer of Rom Com:

The Makeover (a bad makeover...and a fun comedy!)
How to Catch a Groom (a science geek and a romantic makes for a lot of fun!)
How to Hunt a Husband (a fake-stripper with a heart of gold and her fake-biker boyfriend try to fool their meddling mothers!)

And September Sales:
Laugh Lines (a book with the ugliest cover ever but a lot of comedy!)
Bosom Buddies (the opening scene is based on my years as a lactation consultant...and it's a comedy!)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Creating—My Novel Freshman Experience

I opened up the kiln today. It always feels like Christmas!! I know what I hope for, but I never know quite what I'll get. 
As I emptied it all out, I was thinking about the act of creating and about the art show I went to last night.  I am a creative person. It's more than writing. It's all the little crafts I've played with over the years. Quilting, cross stitch, crocheting, painting, basket weaving...  I've tried so many things. And I'm sure I'll do some of them again, but I've found my true home with pottery. I love making things. I love trying something new. I love...I just love it.

At an art show last night, I talked to someone who told me they weren't artistic. They weren't creative. I mulled over that comment ever since and wish I could go back and heartedly disagree with them.  Everyone is artistic in some way. I look at people who dress to the nines. Who always look put together while I sluff around in jeans and t-shirts. My everyday wardrobe easily functions as my studio clothes and my camp clothes. LOL That ability to be put together is creative. Arranging flowers. Setting a table. Gardening. Interior decorating. It's all creative.


Parenting. Wow, that isn't just creative, it requires a lot of creativity to survive it!

I think humans, by nature, are very creative.

I wish I'd said something like that last night. Maybe I'd given her food for thought.

So, anyway, the kiln's unloaded. There are a few successes, a few disappointments and some pieces that are in the middle and will be great canvases to experiment with glazing.

I am itching to get up to the studio for more than unloading a kiln. I'm still supposed to be resting, so until all the stitches come out, I settled for just unloading the kiln. I remind myself that I'll be up there soon.  I'm taking a wheel-throwing class this year. Yes, I'm technically still a freshman and I'm still loving every second of my time at the University!  I've done some throwing, but I'm anxious to improve. I'm anxious to be up to my elbows in clay. I'm anxious...to create. I still have so much to learn, but I'm learning. I'm improving. I'm experimenting and having a blast!

I hope you all know you're creative, and if you don't know it, I hope you think about and realize that you are.


Holly




PS Check out my summer of Rom Com:

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

How to Hunt a Husband Release Day!!!

Love is a Laughing Matter
This Summer!

It's release day for How to Hunt a Husband!
It's been my summer of Rom Com! First there was The Makeover, then How to Catch a Groom and today, How to Hunt a Husband!
What are people saying?
"Sure to please, Holly Jacobs's HOW TO HUNT A HUSBAND offers a unique and hilarious take on the classic 'fake fiancĂ©' plot." ~RT BOOKclub

"This story is a laugh riot! It is full of witty banter, charming characters, and plans gone awry. Everything comes together to form the perfect tale with just the right amount of everything one desires in a romantic comedy. "~Loves Romance

"HOW TO HUNT A HUSBAND showcases Jacobs at her outrageous best." ~Wordweaving

"Holly Jacobs is at the top of her form in this hilariously funny romance. The dialogue is snappy and her characters would be right at home on "I Love Lucy." ....This is a delightfully funny read, and a sure pick me up. ~Romance Junkies
What it all about?

How to Hunt a Husband:

1. Try to ignore your mother's constant matchmaking.
2. Find a kindred spirit who shares your tribulations.
3. Come up with a wild plan to fix your meddling mothers once and for all.
4. Try to ignore the fact your feelings might be something more than just an alliance.

Shannon and Nate agree to a con in order to get their mothers off their backs. She'll be Roxy, a sexy stripper, for his mom and he'll be Bull, a Harley-riding biker, for hers. When they start spending a whole lot more time together they discover something unexpected is going on. Maybe it's love?

Pick up your copy today!!
It's been an exciting summer here! This is the site of our new barn, which will contain my ceramic studio! Yes, I'm still claying! I start back to school in a couple weeks. I can't wait! I'm planning another fall giveaway, so keep an eye out! I'll just draw a newsletter subscriber's name randomly and post it!  (Not a subscriber? Join here.)

Susan and I are still making our Trippin' with Holly and Susan Videos! If you've missed any and want to catch up, I've posted them all on YouTube!

That's pretty much it. Books, Barns and Back-to-school! Hope you had a lovely summer as well! Keep an eye out this fall. I have a new series starting!

Holly
Start Shopping

How to Catch a Groom

The Makeover

Saturday, August 03, 2019

My Novel Freshman Experience: Reboot



My Novel Freshman Experience Reboot
I've been going over some of my first year at school blogs for kicks and giggles. It was fun going back and remembering that first class. Finding time to take two years of classes has been a challenge. Time. Frankly, I don't have much time at all. One of those early posts I talked about making time stretch. I'm still stretching my time to its well-frayed limits on a daily basis. 
But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I've now had four freshman classes and I'm about to start my fifth. Yes, they've all be ceramics.
We're building a barn at our camp and I'll have my own ceramic studio before I finish my spring term ceramic class. That'll be six classes. And there's still so much to learn and experiment with.  I'm thrilled that I'll have the opportunity to keep studying ceramics in my own studio. But the question is, what will I study next at school?
Hmm. I have a year to decide. Yes, I'll have a fall and spring ceramic class, but then I'm done. I'm sure I'll be blogging about the decision! LOL
If you want to read more of my adventures, you can see more Novel Freshman posts here.
School starts in a few weeks...and I can't wait for this next adventure!

The barn starts to go up next week! Can't wait for that, too!

Yep, my life is beyond exciting!! Stay tuned for more My Novel Freshman Experience (Someday there might be some My Novel Sophomore Experience blogs LOL), more Days of Beauty, more Family Treeing and more...well just me chatting!

Holly

PS Check out my summer of Rom Com:



Thursday, August 01, 2019

Family Treeing



There are so many stories in my family tree. I'll never be able to research them all.
I've had family who've been in the US pre-Revolution.
I have immigrants who came to the country in just the last few generations.
Some were royalty.
Some were sharecroppers.
I've got ancestors from Scottish clan Wallace (Maybe "Uncle" William that might explain why I'm sometime a rebel).
I have a relative named Thankful (a good reminder).
I have both Friends and Mennonites in my family.
One of my ancestors was a founder of Brown University and one Penn State.

I think what really fascinates me is the story that goes with each person. I can never know the full extent of those relatives life, but I can piece together bits of them.

The great-grandmother, Sarah, who I just confirmed is biologically my ancestor (see Move Over Trixie Belden) was a single girl working in as a housekeeper.  My married great-grandfather worked for the railroad and traveled to her town as part of his job. He adopted their baby with his wife. Sarah went home and went to nursing school. She never married and lived with a single sister for the bulk of her adult life. When her sister died, she lived there alone.

And I can't help but wonder how giving up her daughter weighed on her. How it impacted the rest of her life. She inspired Carry Her Heart in a way. And the sequel, Hold Her Heart, was my love-of-HEAs attempt to give her a better ending.

Yes, for me, researching my family tree is a way to tell my own story and discover the stories of those who came before me.

Each of my family tree's branches came from somewhere else. Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Germany. That means each branch has a person who gave up everything they knew, climbed on a boat and sailed to America. Some came when the country wasn't a country yet. They helped fight for our right to self-rule. Some came far later. But each one gave up everything for the chance at a fresh start—for a chance to build a better life for their children. As a mom, I admire their strength and optimism and hope that if needs be I could echo it. There's nothing—nothing—I wouldn't do for my kids. Nothing.

And I owe each of my ancestors a debt of thanks, because I love Erie, I love Pennsylvania and I love the US. I love my life. None of that would have been possible if they hadn't been brave enough to sail into the unknown and optimistic enough to believe they were sailing towards a better life for themselves and future generations.

Yes, for me, genealogy all comes down to the stories. Each new discovery brings a new branch and a new story to delve into.

Each of us makes choices and builds our own life, but I think it's important to remember we stand on the backs for those who came before us. We stand on the strength and optimism of those who came to this country looking for a better life.

I hope that I've done them all proud!

Holly

PS Check out my summer of Rom Com:



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Move Over Trixie Belden!!

If you've read my Maid in LA series, you know of my love of Trixie Belden. I named characters after Trixie and Honey! I grew up reading her books. I shared them with neighbors and spread the love. My poor copies have duct tape holding together the bindings—a visual sign of how much they were loved.

Well, as of last night, it's official, I don't just love Trixie, I now write those cozy mysteries...and I SOLVE MYSTERIES.

Yes, that's right, move over Trixie. I solved the mystery.  Technically two mysteries.

You see, one of my grandmothers was adopted.  Rumor has it, her adoptive father was her biological father. I found a copy of her birth certificate and it had her birth mother's name. The father was listed as someone other than her adoptive father, but it was a close mix of his name, so I was pretty sure adoptive dad and birth dad were the same man.

But how about her biological mother?

I found a girl with the name on the birth certificate. Right age. She was close enough to my grandmother's birth place that it seemed she seemed like a likely candidate. So I researched her and my grandmother's adoptive (maybe birth) father.

Everything lined up, but still, it was a guess.

Until last night. I found DNA matches between me and my great-grandfather's family tree. Cousins.  I kept searching and found a few of them.

And tonight, I found DNA matches to my possible great-grandmother's family tree. She wasn't just possible. She is my grandmother's mother.

Move over Trixie and Quincy Mac, and Markie Walkowicz!!  I'm a detective.

So much of my family tree has been a mystery. And while I know that family is more than blood, there was a huge question about the people who came before me. Their journeys led to me. Slowly, I'm unraveling those mysteries. Slowly I've discovered where they came from...where I came from.

And with those discoveries, I can reiterate what I've always known...family isn't blood, it's those people in your life that matters. 

I know my mom's favorite person in the world was her grandmother. And her grandmother wasn't related by blood.  Mom would talk about how her grandmother was always there for her and how much she missed her, even decades later. They were true family.

As a writer I love these stories I've discovered. I have doctors and sharecroppers in my tree. I have people with titles, and people who drank themselves to death (literally, a relative was drunk and froze to death), but also as I writer, I know what counts...the people who love you and the people you love. Whether there's a blood connection or not, they are our true family!

Holly


Check out this summer's comedy-palooza!

The Makeover
How to Catch a Groom
How to Hunt a Husband

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Inspiration


Inspiration is everywhere.

I saw a cute little cup in Pottery Making Illustrated. I liked it so I tried out a version of it. You can see where the inspiration came from, but this one has a certain Holly-spin to it. I made it my own.

That's how inspiration works for me. I see something and then twist it in a way that pleases me. I twist it in a way that speaks to me. We have a lot of lichen on the trees at our cottage. And that inspired this vase...


Inspiration. I think there's a certain joy in watching for those moments that can change our perspective and move us in a new direction. I find that kind of inspiration in everything. I apply it to my art and to my writing, and I make it my own. 

I hope you find something that inspires you today!

Holly

PS Same Time Next Summer is on sale today for $.99.