Hello! I’m Jill, the person behind soulSEAker, and here’s a bit about me…for my professional portfolio site, click here.
I am a caring and unique human who loves to learn and enjoys the little things in life.
I have been a high school English teacher since September 2001, and currently teach Introduction to Journalism, Advanced Journalism, Career Journalism, and English 11-British Literature.
I am also a writer and photographer, and I am currently nearing completion of my first novel, tentatively titled Chapter One.
I simply love living along the New Jersey shore. It’s always a good day when I spend time with my husband, friends, and family, especially when I make my niece and nephews laugh, or when I spend some time looking for sea glass and sea shells on the beach. I collect pins from places I visit, stamps, and postcards. I enjoy participating in a postcard exchange at www.postcrossing.com. I love to travel and wish I had more of an opportunity to see the world with my own eyes versus through postcards and the Internet.
Kindness is my religion, and I wish that kindness was of the utmost importance to everyone. I am a huge advocate for our US Veterans. I do not like to see people hurt, laughed at, or hungry. A helper at heart, I most often put others before myself.
To me, a bracelet made of seashells is more beautiful than a diamond tennis bracelet, and a funky Dakine satchel is more practical and appealing than a Coach or Michael Kors bag (little known fact: I’ve never owned a Coach or Michael Kors bag, nor have I ever seen one that I would want to own…no offense to either company or to those who have one; they just aren’t for me.) No matter what time of year it is, you will most often find me wearing Sanuks with sand in them and a seashell somewhere in my pocket or bag. The only makeup I wear is mascara, and my wrinkles tell a story (Why would I want to reduce or eliminate them? Are you reading this targeted advertisers? I don’t want your product!).
I know WAY too much about Seinfeld, which is my favorite TV show ever, bar none. My favorite Seinfeld character is David Puddy.
A Star Wars geek at heart, Boba Fett is the only person I’d ever consider leaving my husband for. He’s a badass and I’ve loved him since I was 9 years old when I first saw him on screen in “Empire.”
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2008 and Fibromyalgia in 2010. While I manage my conditions the best I can and take it easy when I need to, I do NOT let my health issues define who I am. Interesting fact: I survived West Nile Virus in 2012, and what saved my life was one of my Lupus medications-I would have died but the medication kept my fever from going higher than its peak at 106.8 degrees.
Music: Anything by Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, The Cure, 311, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, New Order, Simply Red/Mick Hucknall, Sting. I’m also a closet smooth jazz fan. Sometimes, I listen to the Star Wars movie soundtracks when writing.
Drink: Pibb Xtra, Lemonade, Seltzer, Fanta (the European version)
Color: Aqua Blue
Restaurants: Frankie’s/Shrimp Box/Wharfside in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, and the Long Point Cafe in Melbourne Beach, Florida
Places: Osborne Avenue Beach in Bay Head, NJ; Manasquan Inlet in NJ; Sebastian Inlet State Park in Florida; Dun Laoghaire/Dublin, Ireland; St. Thomas; NYC
Things: Anything beachy with waves, sea stars or shells, blue glass, pins, notebooks/journals, little toys, postcards. I have always loved surf and beach culture/decor. I also love little things (like miniatures) and anything with Boba Fett on it.
Books: “This I Know” by Susannah Conway; “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert; “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding; “And You Know You Should Be Glad.” “Be True to Your School,” “When We Get to Surf City” and “Late Edition” by Bob Greene; “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho; “Walking Home” and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” by Simon Armitage; “Dubliners” and “Ulysses” by James Joyce; “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton; “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself” by Judy Blume (this will ALWAYS be the first book I read every summer, no matter how old I get); “Sand and Foam” by Kahlil Gibran; “Essays and Poems” by Ralph Waldo Emerson; “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
TV Shows: Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Cheers, Barney Miller. I do NOT watch any reality shows.
Movies: Star Wars Episodes I-VIII and Rogue One, Point Break (a remake is NOT needed, as the original is as perfect as can be), Ghostbusters 1 and 2 (again, a remake is NOT needed and I am boycotting the 2016 movie), Coming to America, Animal House, Tommy Boy, The Replacements, The Breakfast Club, Finding Nemo, Aladdin, Trading Places, Popeye, Some Kind of Wonderful, Airplane!, Beverly Hills Cop 1 & 2, Coneheads
This is my favorite picture of me when I was 2 years old, taken in 1973, at the rides on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
My writing has been published in The Sun Magazine (December 2017), Jersey Shore Magazine (2017 Fall/Holiday, 2017 Spring, 2016 Fall/Holiday, 2016 Spring, 2015 Fall/Holiday, 2015 Spring, 2014 Fall, 2014 Spring), The Hamilton Times, Everywhere Magazine Issue 4, School Leader Magazine and American Cheerleader Magazine. My photographs and video have been published in/seen on: Night and Day Magazine, WABC-7 New York, WCBS-2 New York, News 12 NJ, Philly.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, NJ.com, The Fisherman, Newsworks, Brick Shorebeat, Jersey Shore Hurricane News, Jersey Shore Magazine (2017 Spring, 2016 Fall/Holiday, 2016 Spring, 2015 Spring, 2014 Fall, 2014 Spring), Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce Tourism Guide (2016, 2015, 2014, 2007), Jersey Shore Vacation-LBI, Jersey Shore Vacation-Monmouth/Ocean County, “Her Beautiful Monster” (novel” by Mandi Bean), The Manchester Times, Manchester Patch, Homes and Land Magazine, Asbury Park Press, The Coast Star, The Ocean Star, Ocean County Observer, Ocean First Bank Calendar (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Friends of Melbourne Beach Library Calendar (2010, 2011), Birds and Bloom Daily Planner (2010). For my professional portfolio site, please click here.
5 Other Random Facts about Me:
- If there was ever a dishwasher-loading contest, I would be crowned champion in a heartbeat.
- I have a very finicky palate and do not like a lot of food (which I wish I could change). I absolutely detest Nutella, balsamic vinegar (given a choice between that and Pennzoil, I’d take the Pennzoil), and hummus…vile concoctions!
- I have never been able to take naps (even as a toddler) and I envy those who are able to restore their energy through a quick snooze.
- Someday I would like to return to Ireland (for a fourth time) and St. Thomas, as well as see Prague, the Grand Canyon, Malta, and Iceland. I’d also love to get just one ride in a speedboat, like those in the local Offshore classic races, swim with dolphins, and play with a baby piggie.
- I do not have children, and I am 100% okay with that. Society should be, too.