Repeats

2015 has been a year of edits. Multiple rounds of edits on my first novel, Fortitude, carried me through winter and spring. In between those, I reworked my second novel, Corroded, to be submission ready for my publisher. (I signed the contract for it in April.) Over the summer, I worked on my messy work-in-progress, as well as line edits on Fortitude.

And Fortitude is finally done! The manuscript is with the designer and cover artist. WooHoo!

Teen me.

Teen me.

Now I’m back to edits on Corroded. I’m spending my early morning hours going through life with Mary and Ben, revisiting the angst and thrill of high school. Would I go back in time if I could?

No!

But I’ll take the safe distance of fiction to reassess those emotions, whether through my own storytelling or the art of others. After all, I think we are all still “coming-of-age.” Even if you are happy where you are in life, there is always something you can do to stretch yourself to the next level.

If you could redo a section of your life, would you?

Scents of Wonder

I’ve been thinking about smells lately. Not necessarily bad odors (though with three kids in the house, there are plenty of those), just the power of memory in regards to one of the main senses.

Childhood, in a jar.

Childhood, in a jar.

To me, a fresh box of Crayola crayons or a container of Play-Doh is childhood.

Camel cigarettes smell like corruption.

The scent of brush fire is fear.

And this…

The battlefield of clear skin.

The battlefield of clear skin.

…is high school.
Open a bottle of Sea Breeze and all the insecurities of my teen years rush back to me. Or did they ever leave?

What smells trigger your memories, for good or ill?

Read Aloud

100_7028It’s World Read Aloud Day and we’re celebrating here by taking extra time to read from our bedtime tome, The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. We’re currently in The Silver Chair, the next to the last book in the series. The kids have enjoyed the stories as much as I do—and as much (or more than) the movies—which is awesome. 100_7029

I remember the best part of school was listening to my fourth grade teacher read Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary to the class every day after lunch. That was where my fascination with Newbery award winning books began—listening to Ms. Sawyer’s raspy voice read those letters from Leigh to his favorite author.

Which books do you recall from your childhood, or do you currently share with loved ones, in the read aloud tradition?

The Chill in the Air

Christmas is about stories. The stories you make into memories with friends and family, those you read in scriptures to highlight the reason for the season, and the sometimes funny or heartwarming tales of winter that can be found in books of all sizes.

Rather than focusing on presents, for the weeks leading up to the special day my kids look forward to reading and hearing their beloved holiday books that we keep displayed under our tree. Each year they rediscover their favorites and enjoy new books in the collection.

100_6710

What is one of your special Christmas traditions?

Haunted by a Past Blog

I started to write a post about my non-love for Halloween, but remembered I’ve already done that. So, here’s a Throwback Thursday.
Updates from stats in the old post: it’s humid with a high around 80 today, the two candy monsters are under seven, and the oldest now dips into candies other than suckers. And yes, we did the church function and Bellingrath Gardens this past weekend, too.

http://authorcarriecox.com/2009/11/03/halloween-haunts/

100_3747

Literary Tree

Our homeschooling plans have taken a literary turn this month. In a fit of Pinterest inspiration, I purchased a tree kit from the local teacher supply store. Isn’t it cute?
100_3269
Now, for every book the kids read independently (or with little help) they get to write the title on a leaf and add it to the tree.
100_3352
We started with a winter bare tree in the middle of summer and it’s turning to spring even as the temperature rises. Come winter, we’ll be in full summer glory here.

Halloween Haunts

Autumn has returned to the Gulf Coast. I hope it lasts this time!
I survived Halloween weekend. Yes, that’s worth noting. There are two candy-monsters under the age of four in my house. (The oldest child only likes suckers—yes, an actual perk of his sensory/eating issues.) We did a church sponsored fall event Friday night and then went to a local family attraction for trick-or-treating Saturday evening. Plus my husband brought the boys to a few houses in his friends’ neighborhood on the way home. It’s more than I’ve ever done for Halloween.
I never went trick-or-treating as a child, and I turned out normal… well, sort of… The neighborhood in California I spent most of the first 14 years of my life was the highest street on a hill—considered a mountain to some people. The deal was us kids got the leftover trick-or-treat candy so we picked out the good stuff at the store. I think eight kids is the most we ever got at our house, and that only happened once. I did wear costumes to school and since we got the big bowl of candy at the end of the evening I never had a desire to take my shy self “door-to-door scabbing” as I liked to call it. I’m pretty sure all my siblings went trick-or-treating with their friends at least once, though.
My favorite Halloween memory is from the home I lived in when I was in college. The house had a balcony across the front and you had to walk under the balcony to reach the front door. I spread a dark sheet across the second story railing and blew bubbles for trick-or-treatsters. It was challenging to time it right so the bubbles were at face level when they turned to leave. By then I’d be crouched down so they couldn’t see me. The kids loved it—it brought smiles instead of scares, though it did startle some people at first. Good clean fun.
Love the weather but Halloween is a take-it-or-leave-it in my books. National Dress Like a Freak Day… maybe I could get excited about that. In the past twenty years I’ve only dressed up twice. Unless you count being a frazzled mother as a scary costume.

P.S. I got a response back a week or so ago from my September letter to Senator Sessions. It appears to be a standard form letter about health care rather than anything specific about mandatory vaccines that I wrote about. Hmmm…