Yep, it’s that wonderful time of year. For as many parents who watch their little ones go off to school with a tearful sense that their babies are growing up, I’m sure just as many spike the oj with a little celebratory champagne as the kids board the bus. I suspect my mom fell into the second group and no one could have blamed her. After all, she had five kids all close in age, three of them boys who shared a philosophy of getting into as much trouble as possible. Suffice it to say, our neighbors where as happy as my mother when the new school year started.
I was one of those kids who really didn’t like school. I wasn’t athletic, out-going, or popular, definitely falling into the nerd category. High school was especially awkward for me and I thank God for the existence of the drama club, a home for misfits and geeks everywhere. Still, I managed to lay down some solid friendships and absorb a love of learning that eventually carried me into grad school and teaching.
And I have to say that I really loved grad school. I got a Master’s degree in English and then spent several years in a Ph.D. program for English Lit. What a great gig–small classes, engaged professors, and hours and hours of reading and talking about literature. It doesn’t get much better than that. I truly looked forward to the fall because I had the luxury of studying something I loved.
As for my teaching career…it was fairly short. Honestly, I just wasn’t cut out for it. I was good with the shy kids and the misfits (big surprise), but I could never get a handle on the mean kids or the bullies. And since I was teaching in a community college in a fairly gritty part of town, let me just say that some of those bullies could be pretty big and pretty mean. I did my best, but I lacked the natural sense of authority–and patience–that the best teachers have. God bless those that do, because they’re worth their weight in gold.
Of course, when I was growing up, most kids would never think to sass or talk back to the teacher. Now teachers have to put up with things like this:
I have to admit, though, I think I would have really liked Mr. White as my chemistry teacher.
Teachers also face other challenges these days, ones I thankfully never had to deal with.
How do you separate kids from their smart phones these days? If my school age nieces and nephews are any indication, they’d chew off my hand if I tried to take Precious away from them. I have so much sympathy for teachers having to deal with the plugged-in generation.
But even though I’m now many years removed from school as student, parent, or teacher, I still get that little zing of energy when September rolls around. The days are shorter and the air a little crisper, and I have to resist the urge to head to the store to lay in a new supply of notebooks, pens, and notecards. It feels like a chance to start over again and maybe even learn something new.
So, gang, what about you? Do you still get that certain feeling when September rolls around, the sense that everything old is new again? One person who comments will win a copy of His Mistletoe Bride, which features a heroine who loves children and is doing her best to start a school in her local village.
When I was a kid, Labor Day signaled more than the official end of summer. It meant my white shoes were headed back to the closet till next year. Some people take it even further and refuse to wear white ANYTHING once September rolls around.
Who makes up these rules? How did it get started in the first place?
Desert dwellers have known for millennia that light colored clothing was cooler. That sort of makes the white in summer rule make sense. But it gets hot in September here in southern Missouri. Why should an arbitrary date determine what goes on my body?
During the Regency Era, light colored clothing made a statement about a family’s wealth and standing. It meant they could afford the frequent laundrings needed to keep muslin bright and servants to do the dirty work that would keep the ladies’ dresses clean in the first place.
Then there’s the theory that geography is destiny. In the US, the Northeast, which does cool down nicely come fall, is the hub of fashion. Some experts theorize that if the fashion centers were located in say..Miami, then the no white after Labor Day rule wouldn’t have had a chance in h…a very hot place.
Of course, what do I know about fashion in the first place? Only this week, my DH had to point out to me that I was wearing my shirt wrong side out. Wearing white after Labor Day sort of pales after that, doesn’t it?
How about you? Do you have a fashion pet peeve? Do you follow the No White Rule? What’s the worst fashion faux pas you’ve committed?
Want to try Mia’s newest release? Check out an excerpt from The Warning Sign here! And no, it doesn’t look like either Sara or Ryan are wearing white at the moment, does it?
Thanks to everyone who made Amy feel so welcome!
Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org and give her your snail mail information and she’ll get the book in the mail to you!
The winner of Wynter Daniels’s prize is Lisa Hutson. Please contact her at email@example.com
The winner of Teresa Elliott Brown’s prize is Marcy Shuler. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The winner of Mimi Wells’s prize is Sue Stewart. Please contact her at email@example.com.
The winner of Katherine Garbera’s prize is Mary Anne Landers. Please contact her at Kathy@katherinegarbera.com.
The winner of Caro Carson’s prize is EAP. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner of Catherine Kean’s prize is Kate S. Please contact her at email@example.com.
The winner of Nancy Robards Thompson’s prize is Irma Jurejevčič. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much to my dear friend, Nancy Robards Thompson for inviting me to stop by today. I’m thrilled to be here again! And even more, I was recently delighted to be a part of an anthology with seven talented authors, including two of the fabulous members of the Jaunty Quills—Nancy, and the lovely Katherine Garbera.
More than once over the years, I’ve heard people say things like, ‘working with a group of women is way harder than working with men.’ The logic went that women engage in power struggles and can be too catty to get along. Ironically, it was one of my own gender spouting what I consider the rather sexist viewpoint. But I’m proud to say that I’ve now scaled that female-only wall with not a single scratch!
In all fairness, none of us actually populated a cube farm, gathered around a water cooler or stood on line at a copy machine. Not once. Rather, we created our stories in a twenty-first century version of an office—a virtual office. There were no power struggles, no cattiness. One person stepped in to take the lead and nudge all us as far as deadlines and the like. Another agreed to handle banking, and so on. We utilized a Yahoo group and email loops for communication, signed contracts in tandem, and delegated tasks during the few in-person meetings we were able to have. And in the end, I must say, I’m darn proud of the finished product, as well as the way we were able to work together.
In the course of the project, there wasn’t a single argument. Sure, there were differing opinions on cover concepts, marketing costs and strategies, small things. But overall, for seven women with strong opinions and voices, our visions were fairly uniform. We definitely agreed that we wanted to see a hot, bare-chested man on the cover! I mean, how can you go wrong with that? Although individually we each write varying heat levels, we easily settled on a PG-13 rating. Above all, we all wanted top quality stories.
We named ourselves the Jewel Box Authors. Collectively, we’ve written Enchanted by an Emerald, a box set that’s different from anything I’ve ever read. The set is a combination of seven distinct romance genres, and I’m very excited that the release date is approaching. I can’t wait to see how readers react to the anthology.
The idea started on the trip home from a writers’ conference, four of us in a car, a long stretch of highway ahead of us. Someone threw out an idea, then came the names of those we’d like to pull into the project with us. Despite the fact that we all wrote completely different types of books, we realized that we could start with one theme—a theme that we could weave through time and space.
And so it began. This kernel of an idea. We gave ourselves a year from concept to release, which was about how long it took. Using the concept of a magical emerald through seven stories, from medieval to World War II to New Adult and everything in between—that we all agreed upon. In retrospect, that was quite a feat. But we’re women, and despite having a rep that groups of us have a tough time working together, we did it, and we did it well.
What’s been your experience? Do you think women can work well together?
The Jewelbox Authors have some goodies to offer! I will give away a download of my novella in the collection, titled EMERALD INTRIGUE to one commenter. Nancy Robards Thompson is offering a Kindle copy of her Montana Born Fair novella BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY to another lucky winner. Caro Carson will mail a print copy of her current Harlequin Special Edition, NOT JUST A COWBOY, to one winner! T. Elliott Brown is giving away an e-copy of her book BOMBSHELLS to one winner! Catherine Kean is offering an eBook copy of her boxed set MEDIEVAL ROGUES to one winner. Katherine Garbera is giving away a book from her backlist to one winner. Mimi Wells is giving away a $5 gift card to one lucky winner.
ENCHANTED BY AN EMERALD will be available in EBook and print on September 8.
One enchanted emerald…seven couples in need of its magic to find true love. Follow the magic jewel through time and distance…
Will a medieval Lady risk her heart for the battered knight she believes to be her first and only love?
Can a twenty-first century policewoman find her future after she falls into the arms of an eighteenth century pirate?
A World War II soldier’s luck is in the hands of a beautiful French woman, but is she friend or foe?
A business owner with a tragic past is forced to lean on her neighbor to protect her and the valuable jewel she’s discovered, but can she open her heart before it’s too late?
A woman in an unhappy marriage leaves New York behind to rebuild her life on Iris Island, Florida, but can she find strength in her mother’s wisdom and a special gem to build a future and take a second chance at love?
Can a dark-headed mystery man and one magical stone help a down-on-her-luck young woman discover what Fortune has in store for her?
A jewel collector’s plans to thwart her father by stealing a famous emerald might be derailed by the man who wants to throw her in jail—unless the enchanted jewel has another destiny for the lovers.
Wynter Daniels lives in Central Florida with her family. After careers in marketing and the salon industry, Wynter’s wicked prose begged to be set free. She has authored more than two dozen books in several genres including contemporary romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance. You can find her on the web at WynterDaniels.com and on Facebook