Can you believe such a huge flower can blossom from such a little cactus? I've been wanting to share that wonder for a while with someone. This one grows in our front yard, and we've witnessed it sprout a tiny fur ball from its side every so often. Just a few short days later, the fur ball has grown into an incredibly long, hairy stem with a tight bud at the end. We check on it regularly, anticipating the morning when we'll walk out and be greeted by an enormous, pristine blossom. It's a marvel we have yet to grow weary of.
I recently had the opportunity to read the manuscript of my dad's latest book, Darkness Manifest, that will be out mid-October. Dad claimed it was a draft, but the text was very clean (as in, not rough draft) and flowed so well; I'm a little skeptical. If it was a draft and not the final version, I told him, than I really wished I could write as easily as he does. I finished the nearly two hundred pages he sent me in less than a day. Considering that it is about Dracula (as this character was known once), is suspenseful, and the story takes off to dangerous territory immediately with "history" thrown in for such souls as myself, it's not surprising that I ate it up. I'll admit there were a few scenes toward the middle that made me nauseous and caused mysterious pains in my arms (I don't even like reading about blood and certainly not people who no longer have it), but I went through a slight depression when I reached the end of what he'd sent, feeling deprived without the conclusion.
Dad's Kelven's Riddle epic fantasy series is selling very well on Kindle, and is in the top #500 for epic fantasy in that format. And he just released a sixth book this summer called Doomtalon: The Legend of Ayrfel, a quick, enjoyable fantasy read that stands alone.
Bravo, Papa! You know how long I have loved Kelven's Riddle. I've discussed all my favorite scenes from all five books with you and Mama at different times, and it makes me amazingly happy that others are discovering it and Doomtalon, and more and more each day. You deserve it! You have worked hard for years, been diligent in your craft even when it was difficult to find the time to write, and you are now officially not just my mentor, but my hero. I am so immensely proud of you.
This beautiful time of year called fall, when at least the mornings are cool and refreshing in this desert town, makes me nostalgic for trick-or-treating, watching the leaves change in Tennessee, and spending time with families in the Moms' Group that began at my church when my daughter Analisa was not even a year old.
The children in this group have known each other since they were babies; some of them are in middle and high school now! The parents have babysat for each other in emergencies, sponsored each other's kids for confirmation or stood in for absent family members. The families have celebrated many birthdays, holidays and baptisms together. Many of our children have continued to grow up near one another in this desert town, though some have moved away, and I thank God that my kids have these friends far and wide that they may never have found or known if our community hadn't existed.
I become wistful sometimes, because, getting busier as the kids get older, the families don't see each other as often as we once did. But Autumn is that time when we reconnect as Halloween approaches. May we never grow too far apart!
The other day when my husband was pulling a splinter out of our six-year-old's hand, I bent down and kissed my Daniel, rubbed his blonde head, and thought with immense gratitude, This one is still little, thank God. He's still our little boy.
Those days have not yet passed us by. We have many more moments to treasure with each of our kids. I hope we will always be mindful of that.