up is down

There are people I miss too much. A place I miss too much. Holes I want filled. Things I don't understand. Battles against my flesh that I don't want to fight. An upcoming winter I'm afraid to look in the eye. Emotions that feel both wrong but right but are only feelings, really. Cravings that beg to be satisfied. Dishwashers to be loaded. Head colds to endure.

I know the answer is simple. Jesus. But who'd have thought that simplicity could be painful, surrender could be a daily battle, and humility and pride could walk hand-in-hand on the trestles of one's heart?

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." 
- Psalm 51: 10-12


I breathed. I pulsed. My fingers trembled, and I felt cold, icy air touch my cheeks.

"Just write," he whispered. Then he gently closed the door, vanishing into the blackness of the night.

Write? I couldn't write. Not after It had happened. Not after the Storm had come. Not after He had taken Lena away. My world was shattered. It was changed. And winter's approach brought screaming feelings of memory that could never be taken away.

Write? I couldn't write.

I sprang from my chair, scraping my fingernails across the beat-up armrests. The wind howled outside. I stepped forward and leaned my forehead against the windowpane. Frost bit my skin. I reeled back, breathing heavily.

Write? No. Winter was far too deadly.

The groceries still sat on the counter, forgotten. Eli made me forget. He made me forget everything but the sudden looming wall before me. Write? Could I write?

I chomped on my lip and flung myself into the rolling chair, gliding across the floor until I slammed into my desk. I breathed. I pulsed. I dug into the cracks of my soul and found something I hadn't seen before -- at least, not since It happened. Not since the Storm came. Not since He took Lena away.

I felt pain shake my skull. I felt agony rattle my heart. And then, above them both, exhilaration and something called a Story wound around my spirit until it shattered into a thousand brilliant colors and fell silent. Dead. I blinked and found myself staring at an open document. Then slowly, penetratingly, I pound out four words.

by Jeremiah Frost

I sat back, a bead of sweat rolling down my temple. Then I dove.

hold onto this lullaby

I often wish I could just implant songs into my manuscripts. But unfortunately, the only way that would happen is if it were turned into a movie. (#writerprobs) However, I can, in fact, tell my readers what songs would slip perfectly into the pages of my novels...

right illustration via pinterest

rules for your upcoming autumn

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away... I wrote a post similar to this, but about summer. And actually it wasn't in a land far, far away, it was written about five feet from where I currently sit. But, "madam, that is entirely beside the point!"

The point is I am taking the stance of a dictator and pointing out several things you should and must do this autumn.

read cozy books

Such as:

ANON, SIR, ANON by Rachel Heffington
ANNE OF THE ISLAND by Lucy Maud Montgomery
MIRACLES ON MAPLE HILL by Virginia Sorensen
THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien
JO'S BOYS by Louisa May Alcott
DADDY-LONG-LEGS by Jean Webster
CRY OF HOPE by Emily Chapman
(heh, heh...)

You see, Autumn is wistful and nostalgic. It's sharp and crisp and is a sign of the end of things, with a charm of adventure and sense of hope. I feel as if it is a time for bringing out childhood classics and girlhood favorites. Charlotte's Web makes me cry, but it's intertwined around my heart with its simple, soothing message. Jo's Boys is the nostalgic and unsatisfactory ending of a beloved trilogy, echoing the browned leaves drifting off the trees. The Hobbit drips with adventure, and Daddy-Long-Legs laughs in frost's face. Cry of Hope addresses life's heartstrings, and Anon, Sir, Anon tangles a murder mystery with a cozy English setting. As for Anne of the Island and Sense and Sensibility, they are classic novels set in romantic eras. And Miracles on Maple Hill is pure sweetness.

drink hot chocolate

Or coffee. Either way, wrapping your cold little hands around a mug of something warm on a cool, crisp morning has the effect of a million twinkling stars.

wear flannel

Particularly flannel shirts. Paired with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings. Paired with a pair of lace-up boots. Or maybe just skip all of that and go straight to rainbow socks with a snazzy coat. Either way, dress fabulously. Winter isn't far away, so let's get a head start on its majesty's cruel rule and begin dressing nicely before we have a chance to glance at sweatpants. (I'm getting really good at rhyming.)

Although, I'm actually being all hypocritical right here, because I've been wearing sweats and warm-ups for a whole week already.

eat alllll the pumpkin

The good thing about Autumn is we stuff ourselves on all the pumpkin things and then don't want pumpkin again until next Autumn, so it works splendidly. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, gingersnaps (oh, wait, that's not pumpkin), pumpkin delights, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin donuts... just eat lots of pumpkin.

eat alllll the apple

Apple cider, apple pie, baked apples, fried apples, raw apples, squished apples, apple juice, apple yogurt... I'm not sure the last one exists, but it should.

stomp in the leaves

This one is a given.

anon, sir, anon | review

Author :: Rachel Heffington

Summary :: The 12:55 out of Darlington brought more than Orville Farnham's niece; murder was passenger. In coming to Whistlecreig, Genevieve Langley expected to find an ailing uncle in need of gentle care. In reality, her charge is a cantankerous Shakespearean actor with a penchant for fencing and an affinity for placing impossible bets. When a body shows up in a field near Whistlecreig Manor and Vivi is the only one to recognize the victim, she is unceremoniously baptized into the art of crime-solving: a field in which first impressions are seldom lasting and personal interest knocks at the front door. Set against the russet backdrop of a Northamptonshire fog, Anon, Sir, Anon cuts a cozy path to a chilling crime.

First Line :: Times were always changing.

Last Word :: Lessons.

My Thoughts :: Considering this is not fresh on my mind because I procrastinate in reviewing manuscripts, bear with me as I try to conjecture a coherent review of this gem. We'll start off by saying that Anon, Sir, Anon is much, much, much, much better than Heffington's debut work, Fly Away Home. It was, in fact, a novel I couldn't put down. I'm pretty certain I finished it around 1:00 in the morning (or night, depending on how you prefer to look at it).

The characters were superb. I fell in love with their genuine, believable natures well before the book was over, and the backdrop of the novel was just the thing to send you snuggling up in a chair with a cup of hot apple cider.

The plot was superb. Some mysteries will declare the Villain pretty much very clearly for you, but I was kept guessing. The end was almost a surprise. (I hesitate to say completely surprised because, well, there were such few suspects it had to be one of them...) But I better shut up before I blurt out any spoilers.

Pros :: Characters; plot; setting; basically, almost everything.

Cons :: The very beginning was a bit scandalous. Scandalous in that you wonder how some humans could be so cruel and stripped of any dignity at all. There's also some language, although that did not bother me too much. I think it could have been removed in some cases, but all in all, it did not particularly peeve me.

Recommended Age :: 14+

Rating :: Five stars. I greatly enjoyed it.

Releases :: The fifth of November.