Happy Autumn

Yes, it’s that magical time of the year when the weather cools and spirits invigorate from the break of summer heat! Though months have passed since I last posted, I’ve been productive in other avenues, like writing a new manuscript and working on edits on the multi-book Gothic Horror.

Now that I’m in between projects, I’m taking a week or two to catch up on long over-due things like blogging, cleaning, and organizing. This year has been one of creativity and my living spaces showcase that artistic chaos. The next few posts will feature some highlights from this past year, like new tidbits about Fortitude and Corroded. To start things off, here’s the newest item: a photo from my recent book signing at Christmas Jubilee market hosted by Mobile’s Junior League at the Mobile Convention Center.

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Excitehension

Excitement and apprehension are in the air. Ever notice how similar those two can feel? Yet, taken alone, each word is distinct and seemingly opposite. I’ve been juggling both and they’re equally exhausting.

I’m known among my Facebook friends as the Brightside lady. Rather than only doing thankful posts in November, I do a “BRIGHTSIDE” status. I began these Pollyanna moments more than three years ago during a stressful week, and I continue to post them when life rears its crazy claws. I’ve posted 350 brightsides, which is not too shabby, stressfully speaking.

Today, the apprehension is trying to take over my excitement so I’m going to throw more fuel on the positive side, in hopes of over-powering the negative.

My boys’ literary tree is filling up nicely.
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The fern on the oak tree is surviving autumn.
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And my sister sent me a pep talk in stones. (I don’t think I can kill or break these like I did the fern terrarium.)
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What do you do to battle the “woe is me” moments in life?

FORTITUDE Saw Me Through

Another round of edits on FORTITUDE is complete and the story is on its way to the next round of beta readers. After these tweaks, it sits at over 67,500 words and has 310 double spaced pages. It’s an inch and a half thick—my largest story to date! 100_3560
I feel a bit like Charlotte, wondering if this is my magnum opus, or if I’ll have more stories bursting for me to tell in the future. Also, it’s weird not to be worrying about daily word counts, but it’s a much needed change of pace. Now, it’s time to update the synopsis, because Claire O’Farrell took this story to a different place than I had planned.

Now, cue autumn weather!

Yellow-coated Fluff

Spring is great—for the most part.
I dread what spring means—summer is coming. During spring, I typically mope around mourning the loss of whatever tidbit of winter we were blessed to have been given over the past few months. Autumn, on the other hand, is a rebirth. Returning to nature after being trapped inside because the mosquitoes and humidity are too much to bear—especially when children are in your care.
But this month I’ve been focusing on the event of spring itself—not the dreaded summer lurking around the next calendar pages. We’ve been doing tons of outdoor activities from gardening to nature hikes to enjoy the moderate temperatures and the flowering abundance.

Go seize your pollen-covered day!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hope everyone had a magical weekend. Here’s a peek at one of our seasonal adventures.

On a side note, if you put both an orange and a vanilla flavored Tootsie Fruit Roll in your mouth at the same time it tastes like an orange creamsicle.
Autumn on the Gulf Coast came and went and came and… I hope it sticks around this time! The crisp weather of fall (if we’re lucky enough to receive typical seasonal weather) is invigorating. I usually get inspirational writing boosts this time of year but it hasn’t happened yet. So, I’m sitting at my desk with the table top fan blowing on my face, praying for the courage to step forward with my WIP. I haven’t made major progress on Corroded (because of other projects—and laziness) in at least two months. This blog is my jumping point to get back into the swing of things. I need to face the climax of the novel and conquer!
Even growing up in the also sporadic climate of coastal California, inspiration happened this time of year. I believe I began each of my novel length stories in the fall, starting at fifteen years old. The bulk of my poetry was written in autumn, with a generous helping of winter and some spring sprinkled in. Flipping through my poetry notebook I can count on one hand the poems written during the summer months. And speaking of poetry, I haven’t written a cataloged poem since I was pregnant with my oldest in 1998. Question to self: What’s up with that?!
But for now, I’ve got a terrifically awful poem to share. Remember, these poems are two decades old in some cases. Don’t hold it against me! This one happens to be from the autumn I started college, at seventeen years old.
Breath of Life
Days do ever pass Leaves turn golden and fall Attending our last class Is a walk down an endless hall
Sometimes it will seem Like it’s you against the rest But your light will forever beam You know you’re one of the best
So keep in touch With that strong sensation It will give you much Over-powering elation

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…

Crisp Weather Inspires Me

Autumn is in the air, albeit for only a few days. Just enough to engage my senses, reminding me that my favorite season is only a month, or two… or three, away. Such is life on the Gulf Coast. Sometimes autumn comes in September, other years it’s just a few weeks in November. And don’t even get me started on winter! It doesn’t visit here as often as I’d like.
For the record I hope for an extended autumn (a minimum of two months) and at least a dozen hard freezes over the winter. (That’s the only thing that will reek havoc on the mosquitoes!) And snow… dare I even wish for snow?
The highlights of the past week consisted of a “happy face” for my oldest each day of school, registering my middle child for his “exercise class”, allowing my baby girl (a toddler now, as she weebles and wobbles and often falls down) to play outside for the first time, and getting out (by myself) to finally see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
I barely accomplished listening five music CDs for homework this week. But I plan on continuing the music, as well as the WFMAD, challenge. I have written every day this month with the exception of Saturday. I spent several collective hours reading an on-line book, well 238 pages of it, and taking notes. Historical research for a story that’s on the back-burner of my mind. I found reference to the book In Freedom’s Birthplace: A Study of the Boston Negros by John Daniels (1914) in a short story collection I read for my book club.

Serendipity: historical tidbits when I least expect them! And my two typed pages of single spaced notes were all I could get out of my day but I think it was worth it.