August Theme: Back to School

Close-up of word NEWS on a typewriter sheet

This month my theme for the blog is:

BACK TO SCHOOL

For much of my life, August has been the month of preparing to go back to school. First, when I was in elementary school, then high school, then college. After that, August was spent preparing my children to go back to school. Since 2019, I haven’t had anyone that I needed to get ready for school, but August always signifies a change in seasons from summer to the school year.

To go along with my theme for this month, I’ll be featuring a middle grade book and also one about high school.

This coming Friday, the featured book is about a journalist. You might wonder what that has to do with the theme BACK TO SCHOOL.

Well, becoming a journalist was the goal I had for myself when I went to college. I’ve shared in a previous blog post how God opened up the doors for me to attend and live on campus at a Christian college.

Before I went, I’d already chosen my major, which was a new program for commercial writing with an emphasis on journalism. I’m not sure, but I think I wanted to become a sports reporter. I was a big Detroit Tiger fan at the time.

At the college I attended, there was a program for freshmen called Core Groups. Students were put into groups of a dozen or so students and given an advisor. I believe we moved onto campus a couple of days early for freshman orientation.

One of the interesting things about our Core group was the initial activity. We did a team building obstacle course that included climbing a high wall. One person went over, who helped the next, etcetera, until each person was over the wall.

Another part of the obstacle course was crossing a creek (or something like that) and the group had to choose one person to carry across. I was a lot smaller when I graduated from high school than I am now, weighing about 110 pounds and being just under 5’2”. Another classmate was the same height and weight. For some reason, the group chose to carry me across.

The other classmate and I became best friends. Besides our height and weight in common, we both loved the Detroit Tigers, animals and strawberry shortcake. We called ourselves the Twins. The main difference between us being she was an African American. We looked beyond the color of our skin and became lifelong friends.

Some of the other members of the Core group also became good friends.

I attended college for two years. I took the journalism classes and worked on the school newspaper. I also studied Spanish and went to Mexico on an interim trip that led to a love of the language and many return trips.

I didn’t graduate from college, but I’ve used both my writing classes and Spanish in my life’s work. After studying in Mexico and becoming fluent in Spanish, I worked for a few years for a bilingual attorney. I quit that job to return to Mexico to teach English. Upon returning to Michigan, I went to work for another attorney. I continued that job until after I’d had my first child, when I quit to become a stay-at-home mom.

As a stay-at-home mom, I had a lot of time on my hands where I was alone with my thoughts. That led to the creative spark that I’d had during high school, and I began writing fiction again.

I’ve shared much of my writing journey in previous blog posts, so I won’t go into it here. However, now I am living my dream of having the writing career I’d mentioned in my senior yearbook.

Instead of goals of going back to school this fall, I am focusing on getting back to my writing. I took a hiatus from my blog and fiction writing in July. Besides working, I spent some time with family. My son, daughter and I went on a vacation to a B&B at a lavender farm in a part of Michigan where we’d never been before. We did some sightseeing and tried new foods. I spent a lot of time relaxing and did some journaling.

Now I am working on edits for my novella coming out in November. I’m also hoping to finish up a Valentine’s novella this month. And I’m starting research to see if I can write a sequel to The Reluctant Billionaire.

This month is also the 11-year anniversary of my husband’s tragic work accident and death. I miss his presence in my life, but I’ve accepted his death. I know he is in a better place, and I’ll see him again one day.

I’m in a good place in my life: physically, mentally and spiritually. I have much to be thankful for. As I’ve struggled nearly all of my adult life with depression in one form or another, I can say that I am on the healing side of that as well. God led me to a Christian counselor at a low point in 2013 and through her work, I’ve found my way out of the pit of depression into a life lived in the light.

On Tuesdays, I’ve been sharing the notes from my first few counseling sessions and how they have impacted my life. Tomorrow will be the third week of “My Journey out of the Pit.” That series will conclude this month.

I will also have a CAT TAIL or two this month. I invite you to send in photos and stories about cats that they have rescued, so I can feature them in future CAT TAILS. Those can be sent to authorcarolunderhill@yahoo.com.

This concludes my blog post for Monday, August 2. I hope you will stop by often this month. Also, please consider sharing my blog posts on your social media. I hope to build up my media presence so that I can continue to write and publish future books.

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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