Friday, October 12, 2007

The Bandits Welcome Holly Jacobs


interviewed by Beth Andrews

It is my pleasure to introduce multi published author Holly Jacobs to the Romance Bandits! Holly's latest book, The House On Briar Hill, a Harlequin Everlasting Release, is in stores now.

Welcome to the Bandit Lair, Holly! To get us started, can you tell us about your road to publication?

~I think my road to writing started when I was young. I was a reader. I literally can’t remember a time I wasn’t reading a book. For years, I read a book a day. I had a voracious appetite and there just wasn’t any such thing as enough. That love of reading fed directly into my love of writing. I’d always scribbled things. I wrote for various groups I was associated with. But the idea of actually writing a book didn’t hit until my youngest was in diapers and I asked myself just what I was going to do when I grew up. A quiet voice whispered, write. It took me a while to admit it out loud. Dreams are like that. They can be scary. But I finally bit the bullet, told my dh I wanted to try writing. He’s been my staunchest supporter ever since.

I was lucky to have short stories and some essays published early on. The books followed shortly thereafter. I’ve got over a million copies of my books in print world-wide. I’ll confess, that statistic gives me goosebumps!

The House On Briar Hill Road is a bit of a departure for you. Can you tell us a bit about the story?

~My first book for Harlequin was a Duet titled, I WAXED MY LEGS FOR THIS? That might give you an idea about the type of stories I’m known for. Straight up comedy, and light humor. That makes this book–a story that deals with illness, with death, with a family’s struggle to put itself back together after breaking from a loss–such a huge departure. Normally readers write to tell me a story made them laugh. Rarely do they tell me a story made them cry. That’s what I’ve heard most so far about this one. Comedy is very individual. Look at stand-up comedians. You either get them and think they’re hilarious, or you don’t. Certain humors don’t appeal to me. I’ll confess, I’ve never really gotten Monty Python. LOL But the pain of loss...it’s universal. Every reader has lost someone , or realizes that some day they’ll lose someone. They understand what these characters are going through and can relate. That universal subject matter is different for me too. I mean, not everyone has battled waxing their legs but people get the pain the characters are going through in this book.


You've said The House On Briar Hill Road was the hardest book you ever wrote, but also the most rewarding. What inspired you to tell this particular story?

~In the fall of 2003, my dh and I had gone on a second honeymoon. My mother-in-law, Dort, came to stay with the kids. We got home and the next morning my sister-in-law called to tell me that while we were gone, Dort had found out her breast cancer was back, and spreading. She’d insisted no one tell us and ruin our trip. She died February of 2004.

Calling her my mother-in-law seems such a limited definition of what Dort was to me...to the whole family. She was a best friend, a mentor, a champion. She was the heart of our family. Losing her...well, it still hurts, though the pain has softened enough to let us remember all the good times. And there were so many good times.

So, writing about a family going through that kind of pain, that kind of loss, really hit home. The book is fiction. My family didn’t react the same way the Conways do in the story. But I could relate to their reactions because I totally got that kind of loss. It’s an up-close and personal story for me.

You’re well known for your romantic comedies. We all know writing comedy is hard work. Any tips you can share?

~Writing comedy and light humor is still my true calling. I love it. It’s also one of the hardest things to explain...what’s funny is so individual. I guess my favorite tip on writing comedy comes from Robert Heinlein (a sci fi writer). He had a scene in Stranger in a Strange Land where the main character was trying to learn to be human. He’d mastered everything but laughing. He didn’t get humor. Then one day, at the zoo, he sees a tiny monkey with a banana. A bigger one hits it and steals the banana. The biggest one his the middle-sized one and takes the banana. The character starts to laugh uncontrollably. He tells his friends in the book that he finally understand humor. Watching the monkeys, he realized that people laugh because the only other alternative is crying. Maybe that’s why I was able to bridge to a far-more dramatic, emotional book, because crying is just a step away from laughter.

What’s next for you?
~I’m working on a trilogy for Harlequin American Romance write now. It’s my PTA Mom trilogy, a subject I’m very familiar with! The three books are set around three holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. They’ll be out next year–10/08, 12/08 and 2/09. I love writing books that blend humor and emotion...and I think these do that really well. I’m having a blast with them.

Any fun tidbits about yourself you’d like to share?

~Fun tidbits. Hmm. Well, I’m a neat freak. There I said it. I like things neat. Of course, I have four kids, a dog, a hamster and a husband, so there are days that neat goes out the window and chaos reigns!

Oh, and I’m a huge fan of autumn. I love getting back into the kitchen and baking. I love the fall colors and smells. And I love pulling out my sweaters. You see, I have a theory, as a woman ages, the more clothes she has on, the better she looks. I love adding layers to my wardrobe. And by winter, when I’m dressed in a parka, hat, gloves and scarf, I feel like a beauty queen. Of course, summer always comes around again to shatter that illusion...sigh.

In addition to giving a book away here, I do have a contest going on right now. Because The House on Briar Hill Road deals with breast cancer, part of my royalties will be going to the Susan G. Komen organization. And to honor all those woman who have fought, and are fighting this horrible disease, I’m giving away a pink beaded breast cancer awareness bracelet this month. Your readers can visit my website to find out how to enter.

Lastly, I have a free short story at eHarlequin.com that ties into the book. It’s a missing chapter of the story. There’s a new chapter every week, until the end of October, when they’re all up. You can visit it at
https://www.eharlequin.com/article.html?articleId=1299. I hope you’ll drop in and read it. I started my career writing short stories, and I always enjoy returning to my roots. Trying to put an Everlasting Love sort of story into under 10,000 words was a challenge, but I so enjoyed it!

Thanks so much for being here, Holly! To learn more about Holly visit her website at www.hollyjacobs.com.

Okay, dear Readers, here's your turn to spill all. Holly's admitted to being a neat freak. What about you? Are you a neat freak or...well...perhaps a bit more laid back in your cleaning routine? Do you make your bed as soon as you get up? Match your clean socks or just toss them into the drawer? One lucky reader who comments will win a copy of Dashing Through The Mall, a Harlequin anthology with stories by Holly, Sherryl Woods and Darlene Gardner!


41 comments:

Beth said...

Thank you so much for being here, Holly! I have to admit, I'm a recovering Neat Freak. I still make my bed and have to have a clean kitchen but I no longer match my socks - I just toss those suckers in the drawer (don't tell my mom *g*)

The one thing I don't do is iron - I make my kids do it ;-)

Christie Kelley said...

Holly!! It's great to have you here. Not sure if you recognize me in my pen name but we've met many times (I'm from the Maryland Romance Writers--name is Chris). And I have to ask if you're matching today (I'm not).

I'm definitely not a neat freak. I have a husband who takes that title. But I not a slob either. I do like piles but I know where everything is (drives my dh crazy).
But I did see something on HGTV last night that I might incorporate into my new kitchen when it's done--all her spices were in glass bottles and in alphabetical order. I really loved this idea.

Kirsten said...

Holly, thanks for the great interview! :-) (okay, you too, WB!) And your humorous books sound great, though I'm not sure I could read the Everlasting Love story. I've never been able to deal with sad stories or tear-jerker movies. Maybe I emphathize too closely with the characters; it's just too painful for me to go through their loss. And if there's a child involved? Fugetaboutit. I wish I could get over this problem because I miss a lot of really wonderful stories!

How did you get through the emotional wringer of writing the book? I would have been crying over my computer every day!

I'm definitely a tidy person. I can't work until my desk is clear, or cook until the kitchen counter is sparkling. BUT I'm also realistic. Sometimes you have to take your twenty minutes of writing time OVER cleaning the kitchen floor. :-)

My husband had this great idea to throw the kids' clothes into their drawers without folding them. I must admit, as reasonable as this suggestion was, I couldn't do it.

Christie, don't you need to concentrate on getting up a roof before you alphabetize those spices? snort.

HollyJacobs said...

Hi, Beth! I'll confess, I do match my socks. SIGH. But I don't iron either. If it needs pressed, I don't buy it, or send it to the dry cleaners! LOL

Hi, Chris! So nice to see you again...well, seeing in a blog sort of way! I always love visiting Maryland! Oh, and love the alphabetically ordered spices. I don't do that, but I do have all my paperbacks in alphabetical order. Of course, friends who write using pen names give me grief...which one to shelve them under! LOL

Thanks so much for having me into visit!

Holly

doglady said...

Hello, fellow neat freak!! I can also relate to no memory of not reading. I go through a book a day now! My niece and nephews get a kick out of my alphabetized bookshelves and DVD,CD and VHS shelves. When they come to visit they move things just to see how long it takes me to notice. If they can get all the way home (80 miles away) without me noticing they win. My sincere condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law. A very dear friend of mine lost her battle with breast cancer after ten years. She was the president of the local humane society and did so much good for so many. Several of us participate in the local breast cancer fundraising walk in her honor and our dogs walk with us. I read I SHAVED MY LEGS FOR THIS. It was a hoot!

HollyJacobs said...

Kirsten,

I'll confess, I'm more at home with humor than high emotions. And this was such a personal story for me, it just upped the crying-potential of any given scene. But in some ways, it really is the best thing I've ever written. All the emotion that I put into it, seems to be really connecting to the readers, from the responses I've gotten so far. That being said, I'm currently working on something much lighter and loving it! I've spent a lot of time laughing, with only a few tear-potential moments as I write. It's a nice balance.

And yes, sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and ignore the mess in order to write. I'm a big fan of pick-up parties. My family isn't quite as in love with them. Basically, on Saturday we all work until all the work is done. The result is a clean house in quite a bit less time than if I had to do it all myself.

Oh, and love your dh's idea about the kids' clothes. I make mine put their own away, and I'll confess, their drawers frequently have that chaotic look your husband's idea would produce!

Holly

HollyJacobs said...

Oh, Doglady, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. It sounds like she touched a lot of lives. There's no better eulogy than that! I hate this disease. It recently struck a very close friend. I hope it's wiped out in our lifetime, which is why I'm so glad to be donating part of my royalties to Susan G. Koman in my MIL's name. Dort would have liked that.

We adopted our dog from the Humane Society. She's crazy, but adored. Her name? Well, keep in mind my real last name is Fuhrmann. Her name is Ethel Merman...Fuhrmann. It's a joy to say outloud! LOL

Oh, and thanks for not only reading I Waxed My Legs for This? but for commenting. I really had a blast with that story!

Holly

Kirsten said...

Holly--we're also fans of the Saturday morning cleaning party! I like to get it all knocked out at once. And your book sounds really lovely. Kudos to you for taking something so hard and making it into something beautiful.

HollyJacobs said...

Kirsten,

Ah...a fellow Saturday morning pick-up party fan! It is a nice way to get everything done. My writing schedule amounts to fulltime work, which my family gets, so they're actually pretty good about helping without too many commplaints!

And thanks for the comment about The House on Briar Hill Road. I've walked a tightrope on this one. I wouldn't want anyone to feel I was exploiting the issue, but I also feel that the book can be a great forum for discussing breast cancer, how it impacts our lives as women, and as a reminder to do monthly self-breast exams.

Holly

Kate Carlisle said...

Holly, welcome to RB! I can so relate to growing up a voracious reader. We moved quite a bit when I was young and the first thing I would do in a new place was find the closest library. I used to check out five books a day--the limit--and return the next day for five more. I couldn't get enough!

Oh, but I'm sorry to say I can totally NOT relate to some of your extremely frightening neat freak behavior. Please tell me you're kidding -- you do NOT alphabetize your paperbacks! LOL...of course, my neatnik DH would love that!

I absolutely loved that you used Heinlein to describe how humor works for you. I had a little *aha* moment when you mentioned that scene in Stranger In a Strange Land. Grok! My favorite books make me laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page.

Thanks to Beth for bringing Holly to the lair!

HollyJacobs said...

Kate,

I grok what you're saying! I'll confess, to being a huge Heinlein fan. My computer is named Lazarus, the laptop Dora, and my PDA/GPS unit is Minerva. LOL My first real love was Laz. And the fact I married a red head...well, who knows how much that influence me! LOL (Don't tell my dh I said that! LOL)

I wish I could deny my need for neat, but alas, I can't. I really don't function well in chaos. And when I'm stressed I...organize. Not even clean, but organize. It's almost drug-like, the way it calms me down to make something totally organized. My dh swears he can gauge my mood by how neat the closets or junk drawer looks! LOL

But the nice thing is, I don't inflict this need-for-neat-itis on friends. And for a long time, I worried that the gene missed my kids, but as they've aged, they've all shown they have it...well, except my son. If he does have the gene, he probably can't find it because his DNA is probably as messy as his room! LOL

Thanks for the welcome! It's fun chatting with all of you, even if it does spotlight my foibles! (And it's a good day if you can plug the word foible into a conversation! LOL)

Holly

Nancy said...

Holly and Beth--what a great interview!

We used to clean on Saturdays when I was growing up. Our family of four did the whole house. Since my parents had both been in the Navy, we cleaned that standard. I spent many a Saturday morning peering under the rim of a toilet with a toothbrush (not one we used for anything else! *g*) in my hand.

Today, I'm . . . laid back. Lucky for me, so is the dh, but he also thinks the vacuum cleaner is a great invention and doesn't hesitate to use it. I have to confess that our primary tactic when expecting company is three steps: Scoop, dump, close the door. Every so often, we add a fourth step: Excavate!

Christie, I'm a piles person, too, and woe be unto anyone who moves or reorders my stacks!

Maureen said...

Hi Holly,

I am definitely not a neat freak. When I am busy and the house gets messy I'll ignore it until I have the time to get things in order.

MsHellion said...

I am a slob. I never make the bed. I rarely put my clothes away (I mean that's why Downy invented that wrinkle releaser, right?). Dishes can be done tomorrow. Who cares about the vacuuming?

If I clean something it's because I'm so totally skeeved out by the non-cleanliness of it. "You think I'm going to take a bath in that tub? You're joking. Look at that ring! You know what that IS don't you?"--and then I'll clean like mad. On that particular item.

But on the whole an utter slob. And a pack rat. "You never know when I might need my 6th grade report cards. What if they come back and try to take away that year of PE? Do you think I'd retake PE again? I'd die first!" Piles of books, papers, movies, and crafting supplies occupy every corner and surface of my tiny room. I need more space is what I tell myself, but I'm pretty sure there are neat freaks who are able to weed the chaff from the wheat--and part with their 6th grade report cards.

They apparently live dangerously.

Shari C said...

Welcome Holly!

Definitely a neat freak. The bed is made first thing in the morning and at night everything is put away before I go to bed. My desk is neat and organized and so are all the drawers for my clothes and jewelry. My kitchen is also organized as is the pantry. When I am looking for something in the house I want to know where it will be without hunting for it...saves me lots of time and frustration in the long run.

Keira Soleore said...

Holly, welcome to the Bandita Lair! I'm so sorry for your loss. Some people go in hibernation, some talk it out with friends, others journal...you wrote a book. WOW! You took your talent and your emotions and crafted a heart-tugging book. Double WOW!

I used to be organized (sounds better than neat freak, doesn't it?) till I met my husband. Then my standards slipped a little. A child was born and as she grew older, the standards slipped and slipped some more.

Beth: Brava on getting your kids to iron for you.

Kirsten: A Saturday morning cleaning party? Aha! I'm getting such fabulous tips here.

Hellion: Your 6th grade report cards? (grin)

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Holly! We have met many times over the years and I loved all your Duets! Can't wait to get my hands on your Everlasting book. It sounds like my kind of a good, teary time. *g*

As to neatness, I am not a neat freak at all, but do enjoy order. What I can't abide is skank. Which means, no dirty dishes, no crud on the floors, no questionable bathroom fixtures. You get my drift. The dh is a complete slob - piles of mail/magazines/boxes/instructions for things we don't own anymore. He doesn't believe beds need to be made. He will fold clothes but not put them away nor put them in the hamper when dirty. Again, you get the visual. The kids still at home are neat enough for my standards.

The love of my life thinks that my need for some semblance of order adds up to neat freakness. He is sadly mistaken. However, he has no idea what real neat freaks are like, so can I send him to your house so he will realize how non-anal I am about cleaning? *g*

Beth said...

We have a weekend clean-up day here as well. And when the house is really messy, I'll make everyone clean for ten or fifteen minutes - they all hate that *g*

I'm lucky because my youngest actually loves to iron. Must be a genetic defect she inherited from her father :-)

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hello, Holly & Beth!

I'd never be called a neat freak, but I do have a very stringent system for loading the dishwasher. It makes my husband crazy when I rearrange it after he's loaded it, but what can I say? I want some bang for my buck when I start the dishwasher, & am not a fan of rewashing dishes because SOMEBODY refuses to implement the system.

Having said that, I will admit that last December I left the vacuum out (unused, of course) for such a period of time that my oldest daughter began decorating it like a Christmas tree.

So, not a neat freak. Maybe just a ... freak? :-)

Oh, & Kirsten? My spice rack is ALPHABETIZED, baby! Yes it is! And right next to the cupboard where things fall out every time you open it, too. Whooooo!

Susan

Tawny said...

Hi Holly :-)

I read your first book and LOVED it - its still on my shelf. Your comedies are so fab, I can't wait to check out your newest story!

Secrets... I'm not a neat freak LOL. I'm an organizational freak though and love color coding (or coordinating, if you will) so much that even my closet is arranged by color.

Nathalie said...

Hi,

I am really not a neat freak... but I usually like it when my desk and my papers are in check... so much easier to work when everything is in order.

Lily said...

I am a neat freak... sometimes... when I have the time... but my bed is always a mess, so is my desk and my drawers... which means I am not really a neat freak... well I have a good reason... I am a college student :)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Holly and Beth! Great interview!

Holly, I met you briefly on the Sunday of the Atlanta conference in 2006 and you gave me a signed book which was lovely of you. You're as much fun in real life as you are on the page, I'm delighted to say. The new book sounds like such a departure for you. Good on you for having the courage to stretch your creative wings!

Neat freak? Not in this lifetime. Although, as Caren says, the grunge factor gets to me. Untidy but not dirty, thank you very much! I have however got better with keeping things in moderate order. I had a few jobs where my scatterbrainedness was beaten (well, metaphorically) out of me. It's funny, when I'm tired or stressed, the real me comes out. Which means I'd lose my head if it wasn't screwed on. And the place just goes to rack and ruin.

Holly, hope you have fun in the Banditas' lair! Thanks for visiting.

HollyJacobs said...

Wow. You guys were busy. I took a couple hours off and went to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Good movie, Cate Blanchet is brilliant.

Nancy, LOL I love your philosophy with your dh! Speaking of a vacuum, just to show off how deep my sickness goes, I bought a Dyson earlier this year, and no longer vacuum...I Dyson. The amount of stuff it picks up is amazing. Sorry...I couldn't help the bubble over! But I'll confess, I've never felt the need to use a toothbrush on the toilet. If no boys have peed on it, I'm okay! LOL

Hi, Maureen! Most of my family is more relaxed as well.

Oh, Ms. Hellion, I'm LOL at your 6th grade report card! Please, if you ever do find a use for it, email me??? LOL

Shari, My bed is made as well every morning. When we bought this new house, I bought new bedroom furniture, painted the room a slate green, and have a similar shade of carpet and bedding. The only accents are the throw pillows and curtains, with that same shade, burnt reds and some goldish tans. I'll confess, I'm proud of those pillows. I made them. Even put piping on them. I'm such a geek! LOL But there's something decadent in having a room no one else really sees, being rich and beautiful.

Keira, Kids do tend to shake things up, don't they?? And as a writer, so much of my life is poured into my books. Oh, I mix it up, so that the books are fiction, but there's a lot of me and my experiences in it. Maybe that's why I write a lot of kids into the books...kids I know.

Caren, LOL Yes, maybe I should give tours...send me your husbands so they can see what true crazy looks like! LOL I'll confess, my dh is a doll. He gets me. Just gets me. For instance, we were touring colleges with my oldest once. I'd been in the car with my family for days, all of us staying together and cozy in hotel rooms. I'll confess, in addition to order, I need a certain degree of alone time. My dh could see that I was really in need of some, and nicely took all the kids to the pool for the whole afternoon and left me the room with my book. He is my white-knight! LOL

Beth, Your ironing youngest could have a job with me! LOL

Susan, Not a freak at all...just a woman who knows how things should be done! And LOL...I love that your spice rack is in order!

Tawny, Thanks so much! I'm so glad you love my comedies. I keep warning everyone that this new book is soooo not a comedy. But I hope you still like it! And my organizational friend, I so love color coding. One year, I learned to spread sheet and really it was the most fun I'd had in years. Merline Lovelace had shown me how she organized her writing info, and I had spreadsheet envy. She was generous enough to share her system. I still get shivers of pleasure as I put my office in order!!

Thanks everyone for making me feel so welcomed!

Holly

HollyJacobs said...

Nathalie, That's how I feel...it just makes working easier!

Lily, College is tough...your allowed some slippage! LOL What's your major?

Hi, Anna! So nice to see you again! Atlanta was a blast. I'm going to San Francisco this year...hoping to see some of you there? And I'll confess, I had one of those scatter brained days yesterday. Dropped my cell in the car, and it took me a while to find it. I'd unlocked the car, and as I looked, I dropped the keys, so it took me a while to find those. At some point, I just admitted it was that kind of day, and didn't sweat the stuff I lost. I found them all this morning instead! LOL And thanks. Briar Hill was the hardest thing I ever did, but maybe that's why I'm so proud of it? It was a big limb.

Holly

Lily said...

College is tough and I don't have time to clean... my mom does it for me... poor mom.

I am a med student with still one year and a half to go! and then residency :)

tetewa said...

Glad to have you here today Holly. I must admit that I'm not a neat freak but I'm not a slob either. I usually clean the house as needed but I do make my bed as soon as I get up every morning.

HollyJacobs said...

Lily, How cool! My eldest is a nurse...she actually helped me with the short story that's up on eHarlequin now. Hey, I almost feel like an expert on Picc lines! LOL Congrats! And give your mom a big hug today...that goes a long way with moms!

Tetewa, Middle of the road is a good way to go.

It's cool seeing how we all define ourselves and our organizational skills!

Holly

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Holly, I meant to make a comment about comedy being in the eye of the beholder. By the way, I love Monty Python - they were tremendously popular down here, I think it's that British strain that's still fairly strong in the culture. Heidegger, Heidegger was a mean old beggar... We are the knights that say 'nih' and we want a shrubbery. Um, stop, AC! Put down the Monty Python record and step away from it with your hands in the air. And nobody gets hurt. That's it. Nice and easy.

This will shock you but I never found Seinfeld funny. They were such AWFUL people, I just couldn't get past that. And everyone loved Kramer and he just used to set my teeth on edge. So clearly there are many different instruments in the orchestra of comedy!

HollyJacobs said...

Anna, LOL Oh, yes comedy is subjective! I do love Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition bit! But a lot of its humor does escape me. And Seinfeld was one of those iffy ones. I either liked it, or not. Righ tnow, I'm LOL on a weekly basis at Big Bang Theory. Got to confess, (like I've done anything else here LOL) that I'm a science geek, and I grew up on sci fi, so I get their humor. They spouted Asimov's robotic rules last week, and I was laughing the minute they started. It's okay, my family thinks I'm geeky too! LOL

Holly

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Holly, I am sorry to hear of your loss. My MIL went above and beyond her title as well.
I am not now nor have I ever been a neat freak. I think I read something once that said "Don't sweat the small stuff", I consider lots of things small stuff. LOL I try to keep out and out dirt out of the house but I won't even go in my son's room. Laundry has often stayed in baskets. The bed is made when I change sheets and just straightened up in between times.

Helen said...

Congratulations on having the courage to write such a book I know how hard it is to loose someone close as does everyone and how we all cope with that lose is different.My husband was diagnosed with cancer when he was 39 he is now 52 and doing well no signs of it returning but once you have had it there is always a worry about it, coping can be very hard and you have to find ways to get thru. Well done.
As for neat freak not me clean but untidy my hubby is also the same if we are having visitors I get suck into the tidying up I have to have time to read that comes first LOL.
Thanks for the post
Have Fun
Helen

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Holly, welcome to the Lair! As you can see, we're a chatty lot. I loved "I Waxed My Legs For This?", so much it's on my keeper shelf.

After living 26 years with a pack-rat who thinks you have to keep the boxes for electronic equipment in case you need to return it, (something I'm slowly teaching him is not the case), I'm happy to say I've been cured of any neat-freak tendencies! Now I'm happy with clean-organized clutter. My office, the kitchen, the main bathroom. Yep they're my domain. The rest, ah well...as my mama would say, "Ya gotta pick your battles."

HollyJacobs said...

Dianna, I'm going to confess, I just told myself that my son's room wasn't part of the house and I tried to pretend it wasn't there. That's how I survived him! LOL And there's no way to really describe how special my MIL was. She really was my best friend. We used to joke that if my husband and I ever got divorced, I was going to keep her in the divorce settlement. LOL

Helen, I'm so sorry you and your husband had to go through his cancer, but I'm so glad you came out so happily on the other side! The theme of my character with the cancer is Living Out Loud. It was the working title of the book, and despite the pain, I really think she emulates that philosophy. It's something I try to remember in my own life. Live out loud. The short story at eHarlequin takes a comment the heroine makes in the book and was the theme of the story. The heroine said something to the effect that life is made up of the small moments. It's punctuated by the big ones, but it's really those everyday small pieces. Both are themes I try to live by!

Oh, Suzanne, thanks! It means so much to hear one of my stories makes someone's keeper shelf! And maybe that should be a theme in an upcoming book...you gotta pick your battles!

I guess it all comes down to, knowing your own comfort zone. Sounds like we all have that down. LOL

Holly

Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

I do like order. That's why the disorder in my office drives me crazy when I have to let it go in order to meet a deadline. But as soon as I meet the deadline, I turn on loud music and start cleaning.

Holly, I totally understand what you mean about Dort. We lost my MIL to cancer three years ago, and though it wasn't breast cancer, it was still truly awful. She was a wonderful person and a big supporter of my writing.

doglady said...

Holly, just got in from work. LOVE your dog's name!! That is too perfect. My female cat is named after the friend I spoke of, and people laugh because she is the only cat they know with a middle name - Rebecca Marie. Like any "Mom" I only invoke the whole name when she is in trouble. Destruction of an entire roll of paper towels kind of trouble.

DownUnderGirl said...

Hi Holly. Condolences on your loss. The book sounds as if it was very cathartic.

Neat Freak? Nuh uh. Quite the opposite. In fact I have a cleaning lady (I call her the Goddess) because I just HATE housework and I know if it was left to me it would rarely happen. I told my dh just prior to employing the Goddess that if I died while doing the housework I was going to haunt the Earth for ever as a most p'd off ghost. He agreed it was a good idea knowing how grumpy I can get in this life.

I'm very tolerant of reasonably major untidiness but draw the line at being condemend by the health department - hence the Goddess.
Making beds - nope. Ironing - nope. If it needs ironing, I dont buy it and my dh does his own. Washing the clothes is a necessary evil but I gave up hanging them on the line a few years ago as another chore I detested. Goddess # 2 is the dryer, Goddess # 3 is the dishwasher!

Increasingly, the older I get the more I believe in the adage, life is too short. Too short to waste precious minutes on things you don't like or want to do.

For me that's the housework.

Amy Andrews

HollyJacobs said...

Oh, Trish, I'm sorry for your loss. It's so hard. Even years later, it's so hard. I'm glad your MIL was a supporter. Mine was as well. I found a box after she passed. It was full of everything I'd ever written. Articles, books, magazine stories. I kept it like she had it. I just came across it again this summer when I cleaned the attic. It still touches me.

Dog Lady, LOL I love Rebecca Marie. That's exactly what I do with my kids, and with Ethel. She's Ethel Merman Fuhrmann whenever she's in trouble, and invoking the whole name gives her that guilty kid look. LOL

Amy, I love your Goddess! LOL And I'll confess, I don't mind cleaning, and I love cooking (well, most of the time), but what I don't do is...garden. I love the idea of gardening. "I'm going out to my garden." It sounds so lovely. But there are bugs, the sun and well, dirt. That is why the powers that be gave me the greatest husband ever. I point, he gardens for me. I get all the beauty and none of the bugs! LOL

Holly

Anna Campbell said...

Holly, that was a lovely story about your mother in law keeping everything you've written. I'm so sorry you lost someone who was obviously so very dear and a wonderful woman.

Thanks for playing with the Banditas today. And best of luck with the new book!

HollyJacobs said...

Anna, thanks so much!!

And Beth, I just wanted to thank you again for doing the interview and introducing me to all the lovely Bandits! I've really had fun with you all!

Holly

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! I am definitely not a neat freak. I am a bit of a packrat so I have alot of clutter in the house.