Oil & Ink | A Novel
Charlie Hodge is a Tattoo Artist in Wander, South Dakota. He does his work out of a truck stop — Tucker’s Oil — mostly known for its snack selection and its location. Tucker’s is a stop on the way to bucket list adventures for families and college kids, and while it’s a decent gig, Charlie has bigger dreams.
So, when he sees the opportunity to win mega prize money by entering a tattoo competition across the country, he finds a way to enter. What’s he got to lose? What will happen to Tucker’s Oil? Join this unique adventure and rediscover the combination of small-town joys and big dreams.
Written entirely during November 2020 for National Novel Writing Month, “Oil & Ink” is an effort in old school creativity and joy. This one’s for pandemic #NaNoWriMo crew!
Blogging for Beginners: 51 Blogging Tips
Written for the students of the Leisure Course at Louisiana State University — Geaux Tigers! — and those who are taking the course online and at the University of Texas at Austin, Blogging for Beginners offers simple tips to conquer the blogging world.
The course Creator and Instructor Holly A. Phillips has compiled 51 blogging tips for beginners. These tips are for those who are thinking of starting a blog, or even those who have started blogging but are looking to rise to the top.
Lemon Drops: Poems & Shorts
Relationship Blogger and Columnist Holly A. Phillips shares more about her search for love. In the form of short stories and poems, read what she’s called her “Most honest” piece yet.
From love in the Houston Airport to a casual affair with an engaged man, take another adventurous journey with your favorite Bitter Lemon.
Get a look at the introduction:
As I kid, I barely noticed the seasons as they changed. There was summer, which meant sleeping in and no school. Spring made way for Spring Break, and with winter, at least there was hope for a few snow days.
But fall, fall has always held a special place in my heart. With the bittersweet closing of summer, fall meant new beginnings — a new school year, with fresh school supplies and new clothes. There were new opportunities around every corner.
I wish though, that as a kid I would have romanticized the falling leaves in Indiana the way I do now. The incredible way they paint the skies and the sidewalks all at once. I remember my parents telling me how people would flock to Brown County just to see the leaves as they changed from green to red, and I thought it was so silly.
But there are no red leaves where I live now, in Louisiana. In fact, there’s not really much of a fall season, but I still add a blanket to my bed, light pumpkin candles, and make cider — call me a dreamer.
But in my 10 years in the South, I’ve romanticized much more than changing leaves. You could say that my imagination has gotten the best of me, often taking flight without my permission.
As you open the pages to my third book, you’ll get a glimpse into my world — it is romantic, but it’s real. And I’m venturing to say that what you’re about to read is my truest self realized; imagination or not.
Once again, thank you for joining me on my continuing journey. Before, I wished for a trail of sunrises, and if I could add another thing to my list, it would be colorful leaves.
Life just isn’t the same without them.
How to Make Lemonade
Holly’s second book, How To Make Lemonade, is her story from the beginning—as far as dating goes, anyway.
I tricked him into being my boyfriend. One morning before class began, I took a ring I’d gotten in one of those clear plastic bubbles and placed it in my mailbox. The mailboxes were in our classroom; merely constructed of cardboard shaped into rectangles. I’d put a tag on the ring: “To Holly, From Andy.”
Follow Holly from second grade, through high school, and even in college, as she navigates her way through love and heartbreak.
In these moments, people always tell us to “Make lemonade,” but no one ever tells us how. How To Make Lemonade is Holly’s start at a recipe.
How I Fell: Love, Lies, & Cocktails
In 2013, Holly survived the toughest relationship of her life — one with an alcoholic. It was something she’d never dealt with before, and it shook her to her core. This short relationship was filled with intense feelings (good and bad), plenty of lies, and emotional abuse. She took to my blog for solace, and what she found was that she wasn’t alone.
When the relationship ended, she searched for books to help her feel better, and get her life back together. While she did find a few, very few were true, honest accounts of what it’s like to date an alcoholic. The truth is, it’s scary as shit. But it’s not easy to get out. How I Fell is the true story, complete with the ugly, embarrassing details.