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Author. Advisor. Activist.

Eternal Optimist.

“If you see the world with critical eyes, you’ll see flaws in people. If you see the world with generous eyes, you’ll see people in the struggle doing the best they can.

– David Brooks

 

What is

Jillosophy?

A place to publish my work (fiction and nonfiction) so that people other than my mother can read it. An invitation for people to think and learn, and on a good day, connect and engage with others. A showcase for the work of other writers, because there are so many good ones out there who are (despite what my mother says) much more talented than I am. A virtual experience that lifts people up rather than pulls them down. That doesn’t mean everything here will be all Miss Mary Sunshine: I get ticked off about a lot stuff and writing about it keeps me from getting arrested. Readers may even find themselves challenged every so often. But I promise not to be an abusive or dishonest jerk. So please, be honest and be kind. Finally, this site is an authentic reflection of me: who I am and what I care about. ‘Nuf said.

Jillosophy Blog

Most days, I write holed up in my home office, door closed and space heater blasting away (if it’s winter), coffee or Diet Coke typically within reach. I would often read the stuff I wrote out loud to my dog, Piper, who left us in 2024. Piper was almost always asleep at my feet during my writing sessions, rarely responding to my work, other than an occasional tail thump. So these days,  I’d love to hear from you, dear reader, whether it’s to challenge me, to tell me I’m full of it, or to offer suggestions or other criticism. And yeah, if you like what I’ve done, that’s always nice to hear. Please, have at it. With Piper away on her celestial journey, I need some new editors.

All That I Carry

(The following piece was recently published in Persimmon Tree, an on-line magazine. I hope you enjoy it.) I’m walking barefoot uphill. Under one arm, I carry my elderly mother, my siblings, and assorted friends. Some are silent. Some want to assist, but aren’t sure how. Others offer to help but, too tired to direct them, I politely decline. Then there are those who shout instructions (“Turn that way! Move faster!”), which only elevates my unrelenting anxiety and fatigue.  Tucked under my other arm are the other members of my family—husband, kids, grandkids. They cheerfully urge me on and while I
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Of Fog and Rainbows

Door County, Wisconsin is a tiny finger of land jutting out into Lake Michigan’s northwestern coastline. It’s a gorgeous area made up of small, charming little towns dotted among the best that nature has to offer, the communities encircling the peninsula like an antique necklace of pearls adorning the neck of a beautiful woman. Door County has often been described as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, and having spent time in both areas, I’d agree. It’s also an incredibly healing place, as my friend Janet, who has a vacation home there, reminded me when she generously offered it to
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The Price of Our Beliefs

I was fresh out of college when I first read the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, which is now also a TV series. It depicts the US as a police state ruled by Christian fundamentalists who oppress women while surveilling and regulating the lives of its citizens. When I read it, I was struggling to reconcile my Catholic upbringing with my staunch feminist beliefs. My Catholic feminist mom was struggling with the same. Given that the church we both attended back then was widely regarded as the most liberal in Milwaukee, we were in good company among plenty of Catholics who
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Other Writers You Should Read

DashNettes

by Dasha Kelly Hamilton The lunchroom vibrated its regular din. I was a freshman. Goofy, but played sports. Honors classes, but knew the lyrics to Run-DMC --okay, most of them-- and had some dance moves. He was a senior with more work hours than classes, pressed slacks with dress shoes, and ALL the dance moves. I'd witnessed his poplock devour boys from K'town.
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Tilt

by Pat Foran Can you put me on tilt? my leaning son asks. He can’t help this leaning, even though he’s seat-belted and secure in this wheelchair he’s been sitting in living in declining in the past dozen years. He can’t grip the chair’s controls he can’t control his grip he doesn’t have a grip not anymore. His muscles are wasting away, he’s losing strength, he needs someone to put the chair-back back. He needs someone to put him on tilt. Tilting relieves the pressure on his neck his spine his back his butt he’s got no padding there no padding anywhere not on this young man my son who’s wasting away.
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The Fault Lines of Midwestern Racism Run Deep

Amaud Jamaul Johnson's Letter to Wisconsin Dear Wisconsin– Dear swing state: Dear battleground and infinite presidential visit: Dear broken-heartland: Dear flyover: Dear Packer fan and Brewer fan and anti-labor leader: Dear Act 10: Dear apple orchard and cranberry bog: Dear Tammy and Ron: Dear Cheesehead: Dear Butter Burger: Dear diabetes and high cholesterol and Ironman: Dear Supermax and overcrowded county lockup: Dear red tape and yellow tape, supper club and polka mixtape: Dear bottle glass and chalk silhouette:
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About Jill.

I’m an author, advisor and activist, an eternal optimist and lover of books, gardening, dogs, travel, dark chocolate, good wine and (almost) all dairy products. A recovering CEO, I left the corporate world more than a decade ago, so lucky and thankful to now work with people I like and only on projects that excite or challenge me. And I haven’t looked back.

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