Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

September Back to School
By Maggie Toussaint

Across our country, school has varying looks this fall. Some schools are still in distance-learning mode. Some have reopened doors and welcomed students with safety provisions. Some schools offer both distance learning and classroom learning. Many blessings to all teachers, school administrators, and everyone in a support function.

Growing up, our family tradition was to get back-to-school clothes and shoes because nothing worn in May would fit come fall. Often there were hand-me-downs (I had three older sisters!) but there would almost always be something new for the first day of school. Mom might take us with her shopping, but oftentimes, we stayed home, and she brought home the goods. Either way, it felt like a wondrous miracle. Many blessings to all Moms (and Dads!).

I loved getting those blue canvas three-ring binders, the colored tabs for sections, and a thick ream of notebook paper. But the best treat of all was pens and pencils. I believe I emerged from the womb with a love for pen and paper!

Nowadays, as a retiree, I’m not involved with back-to-school activities but I take advantage of seasonal sales to stock up on my favorite ink pens. I do a lot of note-taking before, during, and after typing a book, so I am a high-volume pen user, and I’ve always loved a good sale.

This September, I’m going “back to school” with two backlist romantic suspense books that I’m preparing for reissue. both were formerly published through The Wild Rose Press. After updating and tightening these golden oldies, I have them released through KDP (for the first 90 days)I have high hopes to get these reissued in September, and my readers will be the ones that decide if they pass “the test.”

House of Lies is about what happens when a birdwatcher and a former, injured CIA agent are targeted by her father’s enemy.

Buy KIndle version of House of Lies.

No Second Chance is about a woman who rescues horses and a businessman seeking the top slot at the family firm but someone doesn’t want either of them to succeed…

Buy Kindle version of No Second Chance.

Chime in with your favorite brand/type of pen for a chance to win any ebook in my catalog.

Also, our September contest runs through Sept 18. Click on over to enter!

Comments

  1. Sherry Priddy says

    I have a thing for pens but my favorite is the kind with 2-3 different inks in one pen… Love them.

  2. I didn’t have a desk in my room at home. My mother gave me a dressing table, which I never used. If I wanted to play with pens and paper clips and pencils, I had to invade my brother’s room. If it weren’t for learning Shorthand, I might have become a secretary. I still like office supplies. My favorite pen? Aside from my Mont Blanc collection, I like a basic yellow highlighter.

  3. I loved school—I was always ready to go back. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

    • maggietoussaint says

      That’s awesome, Kara! My most vivid memories of elementary school are from recess! Oh how I struggled with math. It took me a long time to rein in my imagination and think like everyone else.

  4. Being the oldest, I got everything new – pens, clothing, etc., but my kid sister took the brunt of the hand me downs — the worst being a winter coat my mother got a good deal on for both of us — a double breasted pea like jacket in navy blue. I wore it for two to three seasons before passing it down, so my sister got stuck in the same jacket for five to six seasons. To this day, she hates that coat! As for pens, I have changed over the years from thin ones to pilot and now Uniball.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Speaking as a Mom, kudos to your mom for making such a durable choice. Coming from the South and living in the North, I always made sure my kids had good/thick/warm coats, but I don’t think I was ever lucky enough to keep the kids in one coat for more than one or maybe two winter seasons. I need to check out those uniball pens. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Lois Winston says

    I’m in the same boat as Diane. Even though I was the oldest of four, most of my clothes were always hand-me-downs from two older cousins. As for pens, I love the fine tipped colored Sharpies. I guess that harkens back to my art school days when we were finally allowed to use colored markers for working up comps. The old-school profs were totally opposed to this “new-fangled” sketching tool.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Now that I’ve raised kids and seen how expensive things are I have a much greater appreciation for hand-me-downs and yard sale treasures. My kids didn’t mind. The important thing to them in late elementary school and middle school was that their clothes NOT come from Walmart. Funny how they have no such stigma about any vendor now. Oh, how I enjoy you the joys of art school. I am no artist (can’t draw worth a flip) but I am wild about colors. Sharpies are a fav of mine as I can use them for just about anything. When I was cutting cloth straps for facemasks, I used a fine point Sharpie to delineate the cut line. Made everything go much faster!

  6. cherylhollon says

    I loved the first day of school! My mom made our clothes, but the real treasure was new shoes. I’m a stickler about pens. My new favorite is the Pilot G-2 PENSTYLUS. It has a decent flow and I punch my phone’s itty-bitty keyboard with the other end.

    • maggietoussaint says

      How exciting that your Mom made your clothes (and Diane’s Mom did the same). My mom sewed but I can’t remember what she made, and it wasn’t clothes for us kids. I know she loved making pillow cases for small snuggle pillows in bed. One time I got into her thread supply and created an elaborate spider web that went through drawer handles and doorknobs. She didn’t admire my creativity and I got into quite a lot of trouble about that! I will have to look up the Pilot G-2 PENSTYLUS. That would be right up my alley.

  7. dianestuckart says

    We were definitely a hand-me-down family…that, or Mom made most of our clothes. So back to school is kind of “meh” for me. I have a lovely Mont Blanc fountain pen I bought when I sold my first book, but for day to day scribbling you can’t beat your basic Pilot gel pen. 🙂

    • maggietoussaint says

      I am such a sucker for pens, Diane. I had a hard time with fountain pens and often wore more ink than got on the page! But I also love the gel pens as they glide over the page so easily.