Repost / Update: Helping Out Jacy

This is just one example of jacy’s amazing artwork.

Re-upping an abbreviated version of TaMara’s original bleg, because we’re *so* close…

Friend and fellow jackal jacy, as many of you know, has battled cancer and other health issues. She’s run into a bit of a problem and has set out a plan to get herself back on her feet.

Once she has it organized, she’ll be doing an art sale, which John or Betty will front page under our Artists In Our Midst series. She can do custom pet pictures…I’ve seen some of her samples and they are beautiful -, plus she has some beautiful things ready to go.

Link to her Etsy page

And finally, she has set up a GoFundMe, to help her get caught up.

Since having chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, I’ve had cognitive difficulties. It’s been very hard, because I run my own business and care for my children and my elderly mother alone. Over the past year there was an increase in my problems with fatigue, memory, and organization. An undiagnosed thyroid condition made things worse. I’ve been working hard with doctors and therapists to adjust to the problems with my brain and have developed strategies to make up for those deficits and I have new medication regimens. But while I was getting increasingly sicker I couldn’t take care of everything — including medical expenses and fighting for custody of my youngest child — and I got behind on bills.

Most of all, I think she can use some kind words of support.


Sunday Morning Open Thread: It’s A Gift

Okay, it’s a box. But all boxes belong to cats, by divine right.

Betty had a wonderful thread earlier this week asking for gift ideas and highlighting the artists among us, but Sunday morning tends to be a quiet time for those of us who’re still contemplating our options.

There are a bunch of Balloon Juice jackals who have books to sell, among them Dorothy A. Winsor, who taught me something I didn’t know:

…If you read something and enjoy it, you give the author a big gift by reviewing the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads. The review can be very short (I enjoyed this book). It doesn’t have to 5 star. The issue is that Amazon uses the sheer number of reviews as part of its algorithm for which books to promote. Also some sites ( Book Bub, frex) require that a book have a certain number of reviews before you can promote on there.

So… Who’s got works to promote (yours or others?)

What other great gift ideas should we know about? (Out-of-the-ordinary good causes to support, for instance… )

Gift Ideas and Jackal Maker Showcase Open Thread

First, check out this fabulous Red-Shouldered Hawk who visited earlier this week and was kind enough to hang around for a photo-op:

I think it’s a juvenile. It was engaging in obnoxious youngling behavior like flying at similarly-sized wading birds and generally disrupting its fellow fauna. Plus, I think I spotted a helicopter-parenting adult nearby.

Anyhoo, holiday gifts: Since I put out a call for gift ideas the other day (and thank you for the many great suggestions), I’ve had a couple of requests to put up a thread where people can discuss gift ideas and where jackals who create nifty things can HAWK their wares. (Get it? No need to jostle; I’ll show myself out, thank you.)

So, have at it. Also, open thread!

Artists In Our Midst

Big Bunny Linocut by linocutboy on Etsy

As promised, herewith your Artists In Our Midst thread.

If you are any kind of creator – artist, writer, blogger, photographer, musician, inventor, designer, sex toy entrepreneur, gardener, whatever – professional or otherwise, and you want to give yourself or your stuff a plug, please do so.

If you’re not and you know someone who is, get in a plug for them, or ask one of our talented creators to make you something you never thought you wanted, but which would bring a bit of joy into your life.

Don’t forget our Balloon Jobs thread. There are all sorts of clever people who might be perfect for your business, and all sorts of job opportunities and suggestions on offer.

My plug is for the Etsy shop of linocutboy, whose work is just lovely, and includes the magnificent big bunny above.

Writing Productivity Class and Meet Ups (NY & NJ) Comin’ Atcha!

Hey Everyone – I’m going to bigfoot myself to announce that I’m teaching an online writing-productivity class starting 10/31. It’s great for any writer (creative, academic, business, etc.) trying to boost his or her output, overcome procrastination and perfectionism, and/or finish a project. (Actually for anyone with those goals, in any crazed-turquoise-bowl-6afield, but the examples and discussions will all be writing-focused.) The classes are four weeks long, and the format is bloggish, so you can be located anywhere. Normally $50, but the host, SavvyAuthors, is offering a discount of $5 just for Juicers—so $45. Click here to register. (Note: the class dates are wrong on that link but rest assured you will be registering for my class.)

More info below the fold. Another perk, btw, is that we typically get many romance writers in the class, and they are interesting people who tend to occupy the sweet spot at the intersection of “kind and supportive” and “publication focused.” (Oh, and in case you’re interested, here’s a piece I did a few years back on romance fiction and social justice.)

In other news, JT and I are hitting the road again and I’d love to meet up with any Juicers in either New York City (Nov 21 – 23) or Montclair, NJ (Nov 25-26). (Pre- and post-Thanksgiving.) Please email me at (Also email me if questions about the class.)

Illustration: gorgeous Kintsugi pottery by Lakeside Pottery Studio in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Per Wikipedia: “Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum… As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.” Hillary’s note: in other words, Kinsugi exemplifies the virtues of nonperfectionism, one of the main topics we’ll discuss in class. (Image reproduced with kind permission of Morty Bachar and Patty Storms.)

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