Saturday, November 09, 2013

Time To Say Goodbye---And Hello!

It's been about seven years since I started this blog.  And now, it's time to start over.  Blogger's technology hasn't kept up with the times, so I'm relaunching my blog and website over on Wordpress.  From now on, you can visit me at, which also leads to my new Wordpress blog at

See you over there!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Thoughts for today. About 9 months before 9/11 happened, I got sent to NYC by my ad-agency employer to work on a copywriting project with their NYC office, which was dysfunctional and very difficult to work with (the project never got finished due to them being totally uncooperative). The company travel office also booked me in a midtown hotel when I was working in the financial district, which made no sense. It was my first time ever in NYC and I was clueless about the subway system. I couldn't get reimbursed for cab fares, but I needed help knowing which line to take.

My snooty AGENCY.COM co-workers were no help. (big surprise). But a gaggle of Puerto Rican admin assistants from the Bronx walked by me on the street and noticed I looked lost. They all worked in the World Trade Center and offered to walk me to the WTC station. They took the time to explain how to take the express instead of the local, which stops I needed to watch for, and so on. They were sweet and nice and unpretentious, and I rode the train with them each day for the rest of the week.

I always wondered what happened to them on 9/11. I am guessing at least some of them did not survive.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


The self-absorption in this article is stunning. I am really trying to find some empathy for this woman, and I've got nothing. On the one hand, I appreciate the author's honesty. But on the other, I think she has no business being a parent of even one child, let alone three.

It also reminds me of why I stopped talking to some of my single-childless friends who were still acting like college students in their 40s. Partying all the time, working weird schedules, spending money on expensive gadgets and extravagant vacations/hobbies (one was an equestrian, of all things), and yet they didn't understand why I would forgo so many things I used to do (like theater and concerts) in favor of paying for things like (gasp!) childcare and (shocker!) staying home with my kids on the weekends. Many Gen Xers and millennials are so self-involved that they really have no concept of what it means to care for another human being, and they think that if you would sacrifice your own needs in favor of another, there must be something wrong with you. That's how this reads to me.

I'd be curious to know what others' opinions on this piece are. I'm guessing the author is depressed, but even people with depression can come off with more depth than this. I just think the woman is shallow and self-absorbed.


Thursday, August 08, 2013

New Book Deal Announcement

Hey folks!  Ellora's Cave has acquired the DOMINO EFFECT series!  So in the next few weeks it will be reformatted to appear under Ellora's branding and will then be re-released/re-launched.  So the book will be temporarily off sale until the relaunch. Those of you who already bought the book will of course still be able to read it.

Stay tuned for more information!

Love you guys,
Jill Elaine Hughes

Friday, August 02, 2013

Rags to Riches

I moved to Chicago when I was 22 years old, 1 week after I graduated college. I knew no one. I didn't have a job offer. I had a bed, a couch, a secondhand computer, and about $300.  I lived in grad-student housing at University of Chicago for the summer and went downtown to sign up with temp agencies my second day in town, taking public transportation.  Grad school started in the fall, I worked my way through and paid for it all myself with work/study and loans.  My husband moved here in 1986 from Hong Kong with one suitcase and about 200 dollars.  He came here to get an education.  We both worked hard and built lives for ourselves, little by little, and eventually found each other.  We both live lifestyles far exceeding the circumstances we grew up in, and give our kids something better than what we ever had.

So the next time you hear somebody whining about there being no opportunity in the USA, I call bullshit.  There's plenty of it.  But you have to a) be willing to move; b) be willing to be lonely for a while; c) work hard; d) do whatever you have to do to get an education; and e) don't expect anything to happen overnight.  But it will happen, and it's totally worth all the hard work and sacrifice.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reminiscing. . .

I'm having one of those days where I wish I could talk to some old friends I fell out with, but only with the versions of them I remember from years ago, before they became jerks. Wish I could help them, too. Not sure why----maybe it's the Supermoon? And the new computer?
 (Yeah, I got a new one. With a ginormous monitor.)

It's one of those things where I had to walk away from people who crossed uncrossable lines too many times. Sad, because a) they did have some good qualities and b) I warned them several times before walking away. Found myself missing them, since it's been about a year since we last spoke. But the people never apologized, never even made an effort to repair anything when they were totally in the wrong. (doubly so when you upset someone who is pregnant needlessly, as I was at the time). All you can do is sigh, shake your head and hope that maybe someday they'll make some sort of effort, if not with you then maybe with someone else. Sad when you know how lonely they are.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Always Mind What You Say

Given the recent Paula Deen racist debacle, I wanted to share this. My writer friend Ryan Field did a great blog post on how what you say in public these days really, really matters. I have ended years-long friendships with people who said horrific, hateful things to me and others online or in person, and/or demonstrated their ridiculous bigotry and violent tendencies. Read what Ryan says, and always be mindful of what you do and say. Everybody makes mistakes, but there are some things you just can't take back.

The same goes for what you will tolerate. If you witness someone you know engage in harrassment and/or hate speech and don't stand up to it, it's the same as doing it yourself. Doubly so if it's against someone you love.

A good rule of thumb is, if it's something that would get you fired on the spot from most corporate jobs, don't say/do it in public. An even better rule is to treat everyone how you would wish to be treated. You are no better than anybody else, period. And someday, you'll be on the receiving end of some crap and then you'll wish you did more to put some positive karma out into the world. And don't assume that just because your target(s) put up with your bullshit the first 10,000 times, doesn't mean you'll always get a pass. Trust me, you won't.

Someone is always watching, and people have long memories. That said, you can always apologize (be sincere).  Real apologies are rare these days, and sometimes the act of contrition alone will save you, provided you don't keep pulling the same old shit. But don't expect an apology to fix things if you've really effed up. As Paula Deen found, the damage was already done.

I was so pleased to see this article today. Buddhist mindfulness and meditation are going mainstream because science is backing up their effectiveness against everything from blood pressure to anxiety to depression. I know so many people who could benefit from it if they'd just open their minds. 
People I know back in Ohio (friends and relatives) whose lives and behavior are a total mess could really use it. They live in denial, their personal/professional lives are train wrecks, they're immature. I was once like them and mindfulness really helped me turn things around and break the cycle of dysfunction that runs in my family.There are some people in particular who destroyed their relationships with me and others rather than address their self-esteem and anxiety problems (and the behavior that results from same) in this simple, low-cost, drug-free way. I tried to teach them, but failed. Sometimes I wish I could get another chance.