Friday, May 26, 2017

The Southern Way

By Jill Weatherholt

While ordering iced tea in a restaurant, when I first moved to Charlotte, North Carolina from the DC area, the server asked me if I wanted “sweet tea” or “regular.” Since I’d always enjoyed a little sugar in my tea, I went with the sweet. Yowza! They weren’t kidding. The stuff was sweet. I could feel the cavities taking root. That day, I decided in the future, I’d stick with the regular.

Something else I learned by living in the South is the true meaning of southern hospitality. While looking for a new home, everyone waved as we drove through various neighborhoods. That was something I’d never experienced.

In 2012, Southern Writer’s Magazine extended their hospitality by inviting me to guest post after I’d been selected as a top ten runner-up in their short story contest. This was big for me. Not only was this the first writing contest I’d ever entered, but it was the first time something I’d written resulted in publication.

When the contest opened again in 2013, I wrote another story. That piece also was a top ten runner-up and printed in their magazine. Then in 2014, I thought, what the heck—I’ll write another one. Unlike the other two, this story’s subject matter was close to my heart. It was real, and something our family was coming to terms with. The story won second place and my photo appeared on the cover of the magazine…something I’d never imagined happening.

In the 2012 blog post, I mentioned earlier, I’d written about my first experience with NaNoWriMo. It was a thirty-day, wild roller coaster ride that ended with a messy and horrible rough draft—the first book I’d ever written. When I shared my experience here, I never dreamed when I entered Harlequin’s Blurb2Book contest in 2015, that very book would end up published in March of this year.

The entire experience has been a whirlwind, but during it all, the folks here at Southern Writer’s Magazine have been so supportive and encouraging. They have indeed taught me the true meaning of southern hospitality, which I now know consists of graciousness and kindness. So thank you, Southern Writer’s, for being there from the start of this amazing journey.
By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North  Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia. She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke 
University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard.  Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control. Jill loves to blog @  Her website is: Facebook

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