#NeverForget #September11 #15SeptembersLater

maryalice-color#NeverForget #September11 #15SeptembersLater

Today is a somber one for me. To reflect. To listen. To learn. To remember.

Never Forget

I can remember dropping Son#1 & Son#2 off at school, and heading home. I had the radio on, but on the back southern roads, the signal would go in and out. I remember hearing the morning radio host saying something about NYC… [static]… Plane… [static]… Towers… [static]….

As I neared home, the radio station came back in and I was updated that a plane had hit one of the towers. I rushed into my house and turned on the TV. I fixed Son#3 (who had just turned 2) his breakfast and he ate while I watched the news. The second plane hit and I knew it wasn’t an accident. I knew we were under attack.

Then I watched in horror as those towers fell. I remember falling with them. I sat on the floor where I had been standing only moments before and cried. Son#3 came and sat in my lap. We rocked and hugged. Him consoling me. Telling me it was okay and I didn’t have to cry.

September 11

Every year passes. Every year I think back to that day. As a writer I wanted to write. Words took a new meaning in those days for me. I wrote a poem a few days later. You all know I’m not a poet, but this is how the words flowed and I would like to share it with you…


I wear this ribbon upon  my chest
Close to my heart to show the rest
That I won’t forget the ones who were lost
They paid with their lives, the ultimate cost
It’s for the cries of thousands without a sound
And for the cries of a country when the buildings came down
To show that when the dust settled and cleared
A faint song is what you could hear
As the days pass the song does grow
You can see it, hear it where ever you go
The bells around the world for freedom ring
Voices can be heard for freedom they sing
For once America is a country united we stand
The song rings out from a freedom land
So for the people from the tragedy of a Tuesday morn
You didn’t die in vain, our country was reborn.

15 Septembers Later

My heart still breaks. But today it breaks in a different way. We are a nation divided. There is so much hurt. So much hate coming in from all different directions.

I want September 12, 2001 back!

Where people didn’t see race.
Where people didn’t care what religion you belonged to.
Where people didn’t care  what your sexual preference was.
Where people only cared that you were another human being who had survived the day before.

Please don’t make it take another day like that day.
Please see your fellow man and truly see them as one belonging to the HUMAN RACE.
We all bleed red. If you cut me and I cut you, no one will be able to just look at out blood and tell which one it came from which.

I ask my country to remember 9/11 and remember those who lost the lives. Remember the heroes… ordinary men and woman who did extraordinary things that day. And to remember the unity of America coming together in a time of need.

Never forget.

All my love,

And then LIFE happens…

Hello everyone.

Sorry for the absence over the past few weeks. The Hubs had surgery almost 2 weeks ago and is doing great post-op.🙂

Then last Monday I had some unexpected news for myself.

I’ve been going through some medical problems the last few months. I normally have low blood pressure problems, but lately my bp has decided to be on the high average reading and my heart was constantly racing. We’re not sure how long it’s been acting this way, but for at least 3 months I was over 100 bpm. Doc put me on some meds and I began having tests run. They ran an ekg, complete blood work, thyroid checked, and chest x-ray. Good news is everything is looking great! The only thing they could find was my bad cholesterol was slightly high and my white blood count was elevated. Nothing to affect my heart. I was sent to my ENT since my allergies have been horrible for about 6 months. Thinking that maybe my allergies were causing the white blood count to be up

My ENT decided to run additional tests and last Monday I had an allergy test and a CT scan of my head done. I found out I’m allergic to everything under the Georgia sun. Seriously! If it grows in South Georgia, I’m allergic to it. I will be starting allergy shots soon. The doctor said it will take 6-9 months for my system to be straightened out. Wow! Yes, I’m “highly” allergic. The CT scan results were next…

Some of you know I’m partially deaf in my right ear. I had ear infections since I was 18 months old. When I was 8, I was referred to an ENT who realized I had a disease in my ear, which was destroying the bone and my hearing. I had major surgery on my ear. The doctor had to remove a lot of my mastoid bone and all of my front ear canal. He also scraped out my ear canal, took out the hearing organs, scraped off the disease from those, and reattached them. He managed to get all of the disease out, but could not restore my hearing. *There was too much damage.*

So Monday, my ENT gave me the news of two things from the CT scan.
1) I have a bone spur in my nose, which is pushing my sinuses to the side, causing blockage, and making my allergies worse. This explains my headaches, because of the pressure the bone spur has caused.
2) The disease I  had as a child has come back. I was devastated. Still am. To know you are walking around with a time bomb in your head will take your breath away and make you take pause. If left untreated, this disease will eat through the bones in the ear canal and get into the brain, which will create infection that will kill you. Not to mention destroy more hearing and has the potential for facial paralysis. *I’ve had constant pain for over 2 years in this ear, but thought it was because of my ear drum rupturing several times. And yes, I’ve noticed more hearing loss in the past year.😦  *

I will be having surgery August 29th to remove the disease from my ear canal, and to have the bone spur removed from my nose. The doctors are not sure if this is part of my heart problem or not. So that is still a mystery. AND I have at least one more additional test to go through. Not sure if more tests are to follow.

Thoughts, prayers, healing vibes, and good mojo will be greatly appreciated.  :)

I’ve said all that to say this:

We are not guaranteed a certain number of days. Do something you love. If you love to draw. Draw! If you love to sing. Sing! If you love to write. Write! If you love to run. Run! Choose your battles. Don’t sweat the small things.

Enjoy life.
Be kind.
Make the most of EVERY day.

Til next time…


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Help Support the #BLTBF


Hi everyone.

Have you ever wanted to make a difference? I think most of us who are in the KidLit field hope that our creations in one way or another make a difference in a child’s life. I know I do. 

I happen to live in a very rural part of my state. I live in a town so small you can’t find it on the bigger maps.  :)

Ocilla has a population of about 4,000 people. Most of us know each other. Yep, it’s one of those towns where everyone knows what you are up to, usually before you do. *hahaha* While living in a small town has some great benefits, it also poses its cons too. State funds trickle down from the bigger Metro cities. Then comes the smaller cities and larger towns. Finally my little city gets their ‘share’. *Personally, I think the sharing that goes on resembles that of a litter of puppies and my town happens to be the runt.* Because of this, I’ve seen the education system, the support for the arts (which includes our little public library), and our reading level drop.

So what to do?

In 2012 I decided to quit worrying about our declining reading levels and DO something about it. I put together the Books Love & Taters Book Festival. I chose to hold this mini book festival during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival. WHY? Because my little town of 4,000 erupts to over 10,000 for this one weekend. The Georgia Sweet Potato Festival is held every year in Ocilla on the last Saturday of October. That year, I invited authors around the state of Georgia to come and set up a table, meet the public, and hopefully sell some books. I had 5 other authors join me that year. We had a ball. Not only did we all sell copies of our books, we also made friends with our readers, AND with each other.


This year, October 29, 2016, will mark the 5th annual Books Love & Taters Book Festival. There will be up to 10 authors this year. Yep, it’s growing!!! But  with growth I’m needing help. I will be pit-patting my way around Ocilla looking for sponsors. I’m also holding a kickstarter to help. And one other thing… I’m asking for book donations to go to my local library.

How can you help?


:I am looking for local businesses to sponsor the Books Love & Taters Book Festival. Check out the website to print out a form.

Spread the word:Feel free to share this post. Tell people about this awesome event! Please use #BLTBF in your online postings.

Donate a book
: I am hoping to donate books to my local public & school libraries. We live in a very rural area & monies trickle in at best if you would like to donate a book or books please send to: Trace M. Cox, PO Box 43, Ocilla, GA 31774.


Kickstarter: I’ve started a fundraiser to raise at least $500. Kickstarter is all or nothing. This means if you donate, you will not be charged unless I meet my goal. Herr is where the monies will be going:

3 booth spots @ $95.00 each = $285.00

1 12×12 canopy @ $120 (plus tax) = $130.00

That’s  $415.00 for those two items alone. The rest of the money will be spent renting tables & chairs for the authors.

Spread the word:Feel free to share this post. Tell people about this awesome event! Please use #BLTBF in your online postings.

Donate a book
: I am hoping to donate books to my local public & school libraries. We live in a very rural area & monies trickle in at best if you would like to donate a book or books please send to: Trace M. Cox, PO Box 43, Ocilla, GA 31774.

I hope to expand a little more in the coming years. I appreciate each of you taking the time to read my posts. A special Thanks Bunches! to those of you who can help in anyway to see the event continue.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!

REBLOG:Instagram’s Evolution As A Business Platform


Instagram’s Evolution As A Business Platform

via Writers Unboxed

Instagram is a go-to app for sharing lifestyle photos of brunches, sunsets, and pets, and it’s helped breed a new kind of Internet star: an influencer/tastemaker. These people have hundreds of thousands of followers, and use that clout to make money from brands.

But now, other smaller businesses and advertisers, who may not be looking for worldwide virality, are turning to the platform to make bank, and it’s becoming a crowded space. As a result, Instagram has been trying to become as amenable a platform as possible for businesses and advertisers. Here’s how.

READ MORE OVER ON… Fast Company!

REBLOG: There’s No Wrong Way


There’s No Wrong Way

via Writers Unboxed

“Do you remember those old commercials about “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s?” I was going to say that the same can be applied to writing: There’s no wrong way to write a novel. Except that there probably are wrong ways of going about the process, if the novel never actually gets written. I suppose it’s more accurate to say there’s no right way to write a novel– or rather, there’s no single right way.

READ MORE OVER ON… Writers Unboxed!

REBLOG:An Illustrated Guide to the Best Places to Read with Children


An Illustrated Guide to the Best Places to Read with Children

via Brightly

When my daughters were young, we read all over the city. There were so many great places to read. We read in cafés, we read at the library, we read at our local bookstore (behind a stand of books; I could only see the girls’ feet).

We read comic books in the park, and Newbery Honor books on the subway. And, of course, when we got home we read on our couch. Wherever we were, we read.


REBLOG: How to Write a Nonfiction Proposal By Tina M. Cho


How to Write a Nonfiction Proposal   By Tina M. Cho

via Donna L. Martin

Thank you, Donna, for having me on your fabulous blog! I just finished writing a nonfiction book in which I had written the proposal. In fact, the way I pursue and write a proposal might be slightly different from others.

I was taught by a wonderful mentor, Nancy I. Sanders, who showed me how to get a book contract BEFORE you write the book. And so before I even write a proposal, I send a simple query to the editor to see if they are even interested in my topic. Why bother researching for several months if editors aren’t interested? Furthermore, I select book ideas that will fit in with a publisher’s existing line of books. After I hear back from the editor that yes, they’d like to see a proposal on a certain topic, I reply by saying I’ll send them a proposal in a month or list a date. This way of querying before writing the proposal is a good way to get published. This book may or may not be near and dear to your heart, but it’s a way to get published and build your resume. I’ve written three books this way and have one more being seriously considered.

READ MORE OVER ON… Donna L. Martin!