I’m It! Ten Random Facts About Myself.

I just got tagged by Sue Ann Bowling to tell 10 random facts about myself, tag 3 other people and link to their sites.

To preface the assignment, I have been trying hard to publicize my newly published book Free To Bloom about the adventures of a single woman learning to live alone in Costa Rica and around the world. While visiting She Writes, a very helpful and interesting site for women writers, I encountered a group called WordPress Bloggers and finally left a comment listing my blog. Lo and behold, I got tagged. I just haven’t got into the habit of PR: surfing sites, dropping comments, linking to others. It’s hard, maybe harder than writing the damn book. Now, according to Sue Ann this is going geometric. Watch out everyone. Here we go.

You’re It:

  • Stepping Into The Water – a socially relevant and inspiring  blog and book by my good friend Marisa, member of my writing group, and author of the book The Sharkman of Cortez.
  • In The Company of Gentle Heroes – my wonderful friend Sue who has written a memoir of her life as a miiltary wife and just started her blog..
  • M C Coolidge Reality On Line – a fellow writer, lively journalist in the Sarasota, FL area and author of the book Sideways in Sarasota, who will join me next Tues. Sept. 20 at Bookstore1Sarasota for a gathering and book signing for local self-published authors.

Ten Random Facts about Jill:

The Hippie Family
  1. Became a Hippie during the 70’s, sold everything to travel and live in a van with husband, kids and dogs with the ulterior motive of finding the best oral school for my deaf son.
  2. Taking full advantage of his disabilities, my son has become a psychic and my internet guru, making it possible for me to understand enough of the intricacies of an online world to publish an ebook.
  3. Thanks to my adventurous daughter whom I have followed all over the world, I now have a home in Costa Rica, the catalyst of my personal transformation.
  4. Need to be close to bodies of water–whether riding the surf, kayaking the rivers or jumping from waterfalls.p91204071-300x225-8535107
  5. Teaching is a part of my life– first with my son, then high school science, English as a 2nd language and continues as a volunteer.
  6. One of my best life experiences was volunteering in Africa and joining a safari.
  7. Champion saving the environment and its people– from bringing water and sanitation to the poor, shopping at thrift stores, cleaning up the beaches.
  8. Love to dance.
  9. Love my kids but realize that grandkids are way more fun. Without the responsibility of their upbringing I become the old lady scientist and bedtime story-teller.
  10. Reading  is a joy and necessity. It brought me to writing and ultimately to publishing my book Free To Bloom.
Malawi Africa

Please pass this exercise on. It really made my think about my life past, present and future.

Inspirations For Life

My horoscope nudges me:

“What images would heal and activate my mind?

Full Moon

What scenes would inspire me?”

A full moon,

Its light radiating

From a perfect kiss,

The vibrations

Fusing us together

In a slithery dance

Of mating snakes.

Morning rainbows over the sea.

Morning Rainbow

Blissful faces of the people I love.

Clear splashing rivers with kids and dogs.

Rio Morete

Perfect moments,

To meditate upon now,

To visualize for the future,

To savor in darker times.

My horoscope invited me to visualize five images that would inspire me. The four above inspired the poem. Now I add the fifth. I visualize myself selling my books Free To Bloom. I meditate on it. I savor it. I work at it.


Join me at Books1Sarasota on Main St. for a book-signing with several other local authors on Sept. 20, 2011 from 6 – 8 pm.

I am making a tour of Upstate New York independent book stores at the end of September.

In October I will return to Gainesville for another reading and book signing at Books, Inc. on 13th St. Check here or on my Free To Bloom website.

I’m trying to keep up with this blog and comment on other writers, read Writing  Your Memoir by Hunter that my son lent me on my Kindle, keep up with the latest best-sellers (I’ve got 4 going), attend my weekly writing group, and finish my latest story. Whew!

My challenge for you my faithful readers, is to visualize the five images that would inspire you and let me know what they are. Of course I would appreciate any publicity or suggestions on my book or blog.


El Porvenir/Casas Viejas Update

Baile Folklórico Casas Viejas

El Porvenir’s Impact on the Community – Spring 2011

At the end of El Porvenir’s 5-day Casas Viejas, Nicaragua construction project the community members of all ages and the volunteers celebrated together in the school yard with a piñata for the children, a local band, students performing folkloric dances, and lots of happiness.

The Casas Viejas community received three new latrines, a handwashing station and a re-connected water line to a school that had been without any of these basic needs for many years. In terms of personal relations even more was accomplished. Although all construction materials and planning was handled by El Porvenir, community members learned to work together and with the volunteers; from Jose, the foreman of the work crew, to his wife, Chepita, who handled all the lunches for the volunteers, to the women and children of all ages who arrived everyday on site to help with whatever jobs were necessary: hauling sand, site clean-up, digging lines, carrying water, etc…

The pride of accomplishment shown in all of us, foreigners and community members alike, as we danced, sang and celebrated the completion of our goals – the addition of basic water needs for the primary school of Casas Viejas.

I’m updating my spring trip with El Porvenir with an impact statement which will appear in the El Porvenir newsletter by Jo Buescher. Thought the rest of you might be interested since I never finished my NIcaragua blog. Sorry.

Next post will continue my struggle with public relations for Free To Bloom.



Life’s Goals Before Death’s Ghouls?

Goals or Ghouls?

Will I reach my goals before the ghouls reach for me?

My writing dates back 50 years. I had a fantastic HS English teacher who made us read Chaucer, taught us to write long essays, made us speak extemporaneously in front of the class and paddled even the girls for tomfoolery (but we wore crinolines then and it didn’t hurt a bit).

Through the years I dabbled in writing: published several newsletters, worked in my sister’s publishing house, took poetry at New College, published my first article in the Volta Review, a respected magazine of audiology and continued writing articles and stories for small magazines, but I never made the big time. I had lots of excuses. Don’t we all?

I had a husband, two children and a job. My son was born profoundly deaf and after the ‘shock and dread’ wore off I was determined that he learn to communicate and live as normal a life as possible. To survive the many difficult areas of my life I started keeping a journal. It became the therapist I couldn’t afford, a place to get things off my chest. Slowly it developed into a treasure cache of important memories, catchy little phrases, and a few precious gems. The older I get the faster the memories evaporate except for the tragic, the ecstatic and the ones I’ve written down.

I’ve dreamed of writing a memoir, but as time passed raising children, running two businesses, becoming a teacher, gaining a 2nd home in Costa Rica, losing a husband, my writing foundered mainly because it always came second, third, last.

Then I joined Patrika Vaughn’s weekly writing group in Sarasota. It gave me the deadlines that my scientific brain required. I had to submit something at least every other week to be critiqued and I learned how to critique others. The former got me going and the latter taught me how to write and not to write. The members, one by one, started publishing their books. Under her nom de plume, Regina Perry published Play Girl, and Marisa Magnani self-published The Sharkman of Cortez, a biography of her husband.

I’ll never be one of those bulimic writers that can vomit out a chapter each day, every day, but I was accumulating a body of work worth publishing. With the help of Pat’s A Cappela Publishing and my computer guru son Ray I did it.

The most difficult part, the writing, was over; or so I thought until I started on Goal 2 – Getting the Word Out. See my next post.


Advice from Joe Konrath – Are You Writing?

I open my Kindle to download a little treasure, Bruno’s Dream by Iris Murdoch, and for only $1.99. It’s true she’s old and dead, but one of my favorite authors. Joe Konrath’s  blog Newbie’s Guide to Publishing downloads with it. I immediately click his title ‘Are You Writing?’. Because the answer is ‘No’ I find out I’m an epic failure. Why? I’m reading books, buying new books, reading blogs, doing laundry; anything to keep from writing. And when I finish the article I open my computer and here I am. WRITING. Yea.

OK, It’s not my newest story, High In The Emergency Room, but I’m blogging.

A quick note on my book Free To Bloom. Sales have come to a grinding halt as have my efforts at publicizing it. Can’t seem to get the print edition on Amazon. Book reading and discussion events have dried up, and neither am I visiting my social sites, reviewing, guest blogging nor reading the writer’s news letters that arrive. Sigh.

Playa Hermosa, Costa Ballena, CR our beach from above

Let’s look at a more positive side. What do I do other than writing that makes me feel good?

  • On this rare sunny morning in the middle of the Costa Rican Green Season to the tourists, but the rainy season to us, I met my friend Diana at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa Hermosa, to boogie board in the excellent warm waters of the Southern Pacific Ocean.
  • When I’m stuck inside, like right now and it’s raining like hell, I like to design and make quilts.I’ve been on a quilt kick for the last couple years and love it. When I can’t do anything else I can usually turn to quilting to pick me up. And finding exotic, beautiful, vintage fabric soothes my shopping urge.
  • Melanie’s Quiltp6291273-300x225-3630047
  • To renew my soul I take the dogs to the river, but have only gone twice  this trip because of the rain bloated rapids.
  • Romping, exploring and playing with my grandkids is high on the list, but they’re all in Florida right now.
  • And sex in the afternoon, rain or shine is always wonderful.
Kids and dogs at the River Morete







Feedback from Free To Bloom

Jill's Free To Bloom book signing

I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback from people (mostly friends) who’ve read my book Free To Bloom. Some have written reviews on Amazon for me which I appreciate tremendously. Others have sent me emails or given me their thoughts in person. I thank you one and all for your good reviews helping me get the word out. Here are some samples:

Finished your book and loved it- really. Open, daring, intimate. Your quote at the beginning (And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin) and at the end (Let there be spaces in our togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between us. Kahlil Gibran), are my two all time favorites. N.S.

Jill.  Keep on writing!  I just finished reading Free to Bloom on Kindle.. Seems that I had read somewhere that a successful author writes as though no one else is going to read the words that come from the head and are ultimately put on paper.  You are on a roll and providing pleasure for others.  It must feel good! S.P.

I loved reading this book. It made me feel as though I were right there with Danielle, experiencing her life in Costa Rica and sharing her transitions from the end of a marriage through new relationships. It’s the story of a woman who lives life with creativity and feeling. L.C.

My friend recommended Jill Green’s book Free to Bloom. I absolutely love it. The story is cohesively written and each page enticed me to continue reading until I finished the book. J.M.

I just finished reading Free to Bloom today and really enjoyed it! I read a lot and know what good writing is and think Jill Green is indeed a good writer. Her chapters were well constructed, interlaced with romance and heartbreak, scary moments of nature, ending with personal victories and gaining a tough independence. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love adventure and discovering what life would be like living in the tropics of Costa Rica. It’s a good read! K.P.

“Oh, Jill it made me cry. I loved it. L.A.

“I loved it all, but my favorite story was the last one, Fault Lines.” K.Q.

Last Chance Before Costa Rica

The Author

On Memorial Day May 30 come on over to Circle Books between 12 – 2 pm on St Armand’s Circle in Sarasota for my final book signing before I’m off to Costa Rica.

If you can’t make it in person you can now buy the print edition online at my website freetobloombook.com .

You can also buy the ebook version for a measly $2.99 online at Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble Nook or Smashwords.

The print edition will soon be available at these sites also.

Enjoy and if you feel literary write me a review at any of these locations.

Thanks everyone, friends and family, for all your help and support.