New Term

Orange cones blocked various lanes of the road today. There was fresh paint on the school crossing lines.

The newspaper contained a thick wad of “back to school,” flyers.

Turned on the radio and heard that B.C. is hiring hundreds of teachers. Apparently the province is advertising coast to coast for all grades and subjects.  French immersion teachers are in especially high demand.

All in all, there’s a buzz in the air. Summer is drawing to a close.  School starts in less than two weeks – a new term, a new year, new challenges, new friends to meet, new skills to master.  I always loved the return to school.  I know, I’m weird, but by the time the air turned crisp in September, I was bored with summer and ready to get back to the routine of books and classes.

I haven’t gone to school for many years now, but I still feel energized by cooler air and shorter days. I’ve been re-reading, re-writing and tweaking my collection of Christmas stories.  Many of these tales have been sent to my newsletter subscribers, so the edits have been done before, but there’s always room for improvement.  I’ve fixed a typo here and there, re-arranged a sentence to have more impact, and written new material.

I’ve worked with a red pen on a paper ms.  Very old school of me, but that is my comfort zone.  No one rings a bell at 9:00 am or demands that I present clean finger-nails for inspection, but, in my own way, I’m going back to school.  The student in me enjoys the crisp, clean paper and the sharpened pencils.  The teacher in me is quick to spot misspellings, poor grammar or awkward writing.

The new collection is titled, “The Man Who Hated Christmas – and other short stories.”  I’ve got the cover image – see photo at the top of this blog – and a deadline for formatting.  I’m happy.  I feel like I’m going back to school.

How about you?  Do you love or loathe going back to classes?  Do you prefer a new pencil box or a new ipad?  Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name to win an electronic copy of The Man Who Hated Christmas.  Winner to be announced Nov. 1, 2017.

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  1. Diana Lester

    Hi Alice:

    I can relate. Some people think I’m crazy, but I love fall more than summer.

    Gone are the hot humid days and too-hot-to-sleep nights. Windows can be left open for fresh cool air throughout the night…but not too wide. The air has a freshness, and a smell of pending frost and fallen leaves that can’t be described to anyone who hasn’t lived in a climate such as ours.

    While some people dread the shortened nights, I love coming into the warm house from the cold yard, turning on some lights, and enjoying a supper of soup or stew – the comfort food we associate with the colder months. After supper perhaps some television or a good book beside the fireplace, followed by sliding in between a set of cozy flannel sheets.

    And every year I look at the coming of fall and winter as a chance to cocoon and get indoor projects done, some video digitized on my computer, some more writing, or small renovation projects. Then, once again, I am always amazed at how quickly the times goes and how inviting the fall and winter outdoors really is. The garden must be put to bed, leaves raked, hikes taken. Then soon there is snow to be shovelled, cross-country skiing to do, and walks to go on. Fall usually culminates in preparations for Halloween, which is soon followed by a flurry of Christmas baking (when it usually still seems like fall).

    How precious the brief transition that is fall, sandwiched between summer and winter. Faster and faster the seasons change each year.

    • Alice Valdal

      Thanks for your thoughts, Diana. You almost make me long for snow. Aren’t we blessed to live in a land of changing seasons, “a time to plant and a time to reap. . .”
      I’ve put your name in the draw for my Christmas short story anthology. Winner announced Nov. 1

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