A Fresh Start

Today was the first day of school for my kids, and Nathan finally got to wear his new shoes. They’ve been in his closet for more than a week now — still in the box — and he’s tried a hundred ways to talk me into letting him wear them early, but I stand firm: new shoes only on the first day of school. (It’s similar to my rule of: no wearing Halloween costumes until Halloween.)

The anticipation this builds is unbeatable. Nathan was up at 6 a.m. — even though school didn’t start until 9:25. But he was up, with his new shoes on by about 6:07. He couldn’t wait. He also had on his new socks, new jeans and new shirt, and had his new backpack all packed up with his new school supplies.

Everything’s so fresh and new — a fresh start and a new school year.

And nothing beats this smile:

All because of those shoes.

Do you remember starting the school year with fresh new things? What did you most look forward to? A new outfit? A new haircut? Fresh-sharpened pencils and clean, blank paper? What gave you that biggest feeling of “starting fresh”?

Spouses as Beta Readers

So sorry I haven’t been blogging much this week, but I’m hot and heavy into edits on my second book. I finally finished editing the first part enough to have my first beta reader — Superman!

It’s always nervewracking to have someone beta-read your book for the very first time, but I think it’s especially nervewracking to have your spouse read.

I get more nervous about Superman reading my manuscripts than anyone. I just want him to like them so desperately, and I worry he’s going to think they’re corny or too over-the-top, or raise his eyebrow at the love scenes, or … I don’t know. I just get really nervous.

So I’m working hard this week to give it one last polish as I feed him sections. So far I think he’s on Chapter 7. … And he keeps asking for more, so I think things are good. 

How about you? Do you let your spouse beta-read for you? Does it make you unbearably nervous?

Jobs Everyone Should Have at Some Point

My oldest son combs back his hair and adjusts the collar on his new McDonald’s uniform. It’s his third day of work. His first job. He’s 17.

I’m really proud of him for going out and finding this job. We gave him my old car this year and agreed to pay for his insurance (which doubled ours, incidentally – ayee!). But we didn’t agree to pay for gas. Or much gas, anyway – we give him about one full tank per month to get to and from school, but beyond that, he’s on his own.

And he’s got a girlfriend.

(Girlfriends can be expensive.)

And he’s got a big group of friends who like to go out and do stuff.

So off to find a job he went. …

Of course, watching him look for a job made us all talk about “first jobs” around the dinner table a lot in recent weeks.

My first job was in a sandwich shop when I was 16. Continue reading

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