Friday, July 24, 2015

Wishing Jars by Helen Scott Taylor

When I’m researching a novel, I love when I discover something magical that catches my imagination. This happened when I wrote my sweet contemporary novella Irish Kisses. I stumbled upon a picture of a wishing jar somewhere on the internet. I can’t even remember where now. This jar was full of someone’s treasures and memories, pretty little knick knacks and all sorts of colorful and sparkly things.

I wished I was writing a magical story when I found this wishing jar. The idea would work so well in a paranormal story. But my novella is definitely rooted in the real world with a troubled cop hero and a struggling businesswoman heroine. (Although she does own a castle in Ireland, so I guess that lends a touch of magic to the story!)

I researched wishing jars further and pinned lots to a board on Pinterest. If you would like to check them out you can find the board here. Helen’s Wishing Jar Pinterest Board.

The idea is to gather lots of bits and pieces that mean something to you, curios, ornaments, photographs, that sort of thing, and put them all in a jar (mason jars are often used) to remind you of someone or something precious.

They also work really well as themed jars for Christmas, Halloween or events like weddings, birthdays or anniversaries.

I have two empty mason jars on my kitchen windowsill that I hope to fill soon. I thought it would be easy to do but I’ve had them for a while and not fixed on a memory or event I want to work with. I think I might do one for each of my children, with little keepsakes from the past and photographs—when I get around to going through the boxes in the loft!

I had great fun in Irish Kisses coming up with things that the heroine and hero put in the wishing jars. Do you have any ideas for what you would like to remember with a wishing jar and what you would put in it?

Helen lives in South West England near Plymouth in Devon between the windswept expanse of Dartmoor and the rocky Atlantic coast. As well as her wonderful, long-suffering husband, she shares her home with a Westie and a burmilla cat. Helen's latest book is Irish Kisses, set in a romantic Irish castle. Find Helen on FaceBook and Twitter, or visit her website.
On Fiona Flannigan’s sixteenth birthday Aaron O’Malley kissed her by the wishing fountain at Ballyglass Castle. He said he loved her, then he left and broke her heart. Ten long years later he’s finally back, but his work as an undercover cop has left him fighting inner demons. She wants to help him recover, but dare she let him into her heart again?


  1. This is a beautiful idea, Helen. I looked at your Pinterest board and I love the beautiful jars you featured. I still have many small mementoes from my late parents that I haven't known how to display. I think I'll try this.

  2. Beautiful jars on Pinterest. I love the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love wishing jars! Those are beautiful. :)

  4. Yes, a castle anywhere would be magical!