Showing posts from 2008

2008 Favorites List

Ending the year by looking back at some favorites from the past twelve months:

Top Books
Plain Truth by Jodi Piccoult
This was my first time reading Piccoult. It won't be my last.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George
I read few books this quickly. I loved it, and it inspired me with writing ideas like nothing else has recently.

Top Movie Experiences
I had very few favorite movies produced this year. (I think Black Knight would be up there, but I can't think of many more. Oh, wait. Mama Mia was fun.)

On the other hand, I had a lot of fun movie experiences, particularly with my kids.

-I introduced them to some of my old favorites: Footloose, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and other "oldies" from when I was young.

-Taking my girls to the theater to see Kung Fu Panda and HSM3, the latter on opening night. I was one popular mommy that day.

Kids' Accomplishments
-D getting onto the school Shakespeare team and taking a trip to Cedar City for the Shakespeare festival.
-S r…

Post-Christmas Stress

Because of the way weekends hit, this is the longest Christmas break the kids have ever experienced. They've been around each other all day, every day, for a long time already.

It was fine at first; they even spent hours in the snow making forts and snow houses and came in with rosy cheeks and grins. But now the Christmas cheer is wearing thin. I'm already getting, "I'm bored!" (What, did all your Christmas toys break already? Didn't think so.)

I'm also getting sibling fights that rival the WWF. Today, one child actually drew blood. "Accidentally."

Uh, huh. Sure.

I planned to get a bunch of stuff done during this week, including some housework stuff that's languished for months (my mending "pile" resembles Kilimanjaro, for starters). But I also feel pressure to make sure the kids have fun during their break.

Like how I promised to take them ice skating at some point. If they weren't so set on killing each other, I wouldn't dread…

WNW: I'm a Paradox

Last Word Nerd Wednesday, I talked about how English changes, how it's useless to cling too hard to the "real" meaning of words and such that we can't see the natural evolution of the language.

It's an evolution that is happening, regardless of whether someone insists on "may" instead of "can" or cringes when someone says, "it sucks."

That's just the way it is. In that regard, I'm what could be called a descriptivist (someone who describes what's happening in language neutrally, without judgment).

But I'm also known affectionately among friends as the "Grammar Nazi." I wield a sharp red pen when I come across the misuse of lay/lie. My eye twitches at comma splices. So while I'm a descriptivist, I'm also a prescriptivist, meaning that in some areas, I insist that there are rules we should obey.

How can I be both? To explain, I'm going back to a class from my college days, taught by Dr. Oaks, my absolu…

Pulla? Must Be Christmas!

According to #2, it's not Christmas until she's smelled the pulla. Apparently, the Christmas season officially began in our house today, because we fulfilled our family tradition of making the Finnish sweet bread.

Pulla has always meant Christmas to me. We had it every December when I was a kid. Dad was usually the one who made it, and I have lots of great memories of sitting at the kitchen counter watching and "helping."

I'm no expert, but I do enjoy making pulla, and this year was extra special, because I had fresh cardamom straight from a Helsinki grocery store. This meant that the cardamom was not only mucho cheaper than the stuff in the States (a bottle here can run you around $15), but it has a stronger, better flavor. One whiff had my eyes rolling into the back of head.

Ooooh, yeah.

Lots of versions of the recipe are out there, but here's the one I use. The amount of cardamom listed assumes you have the fresh stuff. When I have to use a U.S. bottle, I doub…

Can't Wait!

And I don't even mean for Christmas. (Although I'm plenty excited for that, too.)

You may have heard already (it's been mentioned on lots of blogs the last couple of days), but registration for the 6th Annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference is officially open. The 2009 conference will be April 24 & 25, and like last year, the Whitney Awards Gala will follow.


I've blogged about the conference a few times, like here, here, and here.

And I've had the fortune to be part of the magic every single year. Last time I even co-chaired the entire puppy with Heather Moore. The conference is one of my favorite times of the year. I get to spend time not only learning more about my craft and networking with publishing professionals, but I get to hang out with some of my dearest friends . . . people who get the weirdness that is the writing part of me.

On top of all that, it really is a great conference, and it gets better every year. It also gets bigger, which became a …

WNW: Evolving English

This one might get me into a tiny bit of hot water with some people. Be forewarned.

English, like all languages, changes over time. Anyone who's attended a Shakespeare play can attest to that. More recently, a lot of Jane Austen's humor can be lost if you're unfamiliar with some of the words used them. Or, going much further back, good luck understanding The Canterbury Tales if you try reading it in the original Middle English.

Thanks to the printing press, languages tend to change slower than they used to. But they still change, even from one generation to another.

Maybe a year ago, there was some discussion on a list I'm on where some people argued that writers shouldn't use certain words because of what they "really mean."

The irony is that what a word "really" means is extremely subjective and changeable.

When my father was a boy, someone could say, "I feel quite gay today," and no one would bat an eye. I'd wager that most children …

On the Bright Side

A head cold

+A sick little girl crying a good chunk of the night

+Almost no sleep

= I'd hoped that today I'd get to sit around in jammies, wrapped in a blanket, sipping hot cocoa as I read a book and blew my nose all day and tried to recuperate.

Alas, it was not to be. Instead I ended up with two doctor appointments, a pharmacy trip, plus a very much needed grocery run. On slick, icy roads. (I like to look at snow, not drive in it.)

But . . . I came home with $185 worth of groceries for $83.11.

So, you know, that felt pretty good.

Now pardon me while I sneeze my head off . . .

A Few Christmas Memories

1) Listening to Dad sing Christmas songs. Sometimes along with his reel-to-reel tapes. Other times just in the house or yard or car. In particular, I remember, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Dad has a great voice (was in a barbershop quarter in college). I was sorely disappointed when I grew up and heard the song elsewhere because almost no one knows the real opening to it.

("I just got back from a long, long trip across the Milky Way . . ." Know it? Bing does, of course.)

2) Making gingerbread houses with Mom. Many a year we did one beautiful one together and displayed it on the dining table for all to see. We weren't supposed to eat the candy and ruin the beauty until after Christmas. What we kids did, then, after the front looked pretty, was plaster the back of the house with tons of random candies and then eat THOSE all December long. It kept us happy, and the front of the house still looked nice!

3) My royal blue toy typewriter that really worked. Awesome g…

The Book Club Freak

The very first book club I ever attended (aside from the L. M. Montgomery reading/writing club I formed in ninth grade) was part of a BYU married ward.

Here I was, a brand-new wife, an English major, and in a strange new place, looking forward to meeting other women and making friends. I was also looking forward to talking about books.

I knew, of course, that there would be little to no chance of anyone there wanting to analyze anything according to the Rhetorical critical theory or wax eloquent about the Neo-Classical versus Romantic eras. Thank heavens; I wasn't there for a repeat of the English major stuff I was already getting at school.

But we'd talk books, and that would be fun.

The first one we read was an oldie but a goodie: James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl.

It was one I'd read as a kid, of course. (Who hasn't read it when they were young?) But reading the story as an adult was different, and I saw new things in it.

The book club gathered in a small apartment…

WNW: Holiday Edition

Today's Word Nerd Wednesday is brief but relevant in the Christmas gifting season, and it revolves around a very simple but often-forgotten rule of punctuation that makes my eye twitch whenever I see it.

Remember this one, for my sake:

Plurals do not take an apostrophe.

You wear shoes, not shoe's.

You have kids, not kid's.

And when you deliver a plate of cookies to the neighbors, the gift tag shouldn't be addressed to theJensen's.

You are giving the gift to a family comprised of lots of people named Jensen.

That's plural.

USE: Jensens

I invariably see little misplaced apostrophes everywhere on gift tags, Christmas card envelopes, and more. Twitch. Twitch. Twitch.

It's an illness. I know that. Humor me.

But why is the apostrophe wrong?

Here's the deal: An apostrophe before the S makes a word possessive. On gift tags, you're addressing a plural group, not declaring that one of them owns anything.

Worse, if the apostrophe is before the S (as is usual for this kind…

1 Tree, 2 Sick Girls, 3 Winners, 4 Adorable Kidlets

1 Tree
It didn't occur to me to post pictures of our Finnish decorations until commenters mentioned it. So here we are: some close-ups of the straw decorations, including various kinds of stars and snowflakes, pine cones, angels, and even straw garland.

You can see the tree in all its splendor as well as the goats (on the mantel) at the bottom of this post.

I've always been a white light girl myself, but hubby likes multicolored. We tend to trade off from one year to the other to keep us both happy. But this year, I insisted on white. To me, multicolored just wouldn't work with the straw ornaments. Last time we used all white, some of the strands died, so yesterday I went to buy more before we got the tree.

Do you know how stinkin' hard it is to find plain old white lights?!

There were oodles of multicolored ones, but almost the only plain white I could find were icicles. Not what I needed. I ended up buying several boxes of the only other ones there: mini strands with of a…

A Book to Add to Your List

I got lucky a few months ago when an e-mail landed in my in-box, asking if I'd be willing to get a free book (Hello?! Do you KNOW who you're talking to?!) and review it here on my blog.

Since it's non-fiction and hence not a contender for a Whitney Award, I can review it. Yippee!

(To explain for readers new to my blog: I'm on the Whitney Awards Committee this year and get to judge two of the categories to decide the finalists, so my opinion of 2008 LDS fiction releases has to stay mum. You'll note on my Good Reads profile that any 2008 releases I've read this year don't have any ratings. That would be why. Nominate your favorite fiction by any LDS writer—that includes national writers as well as those in the LDS market. You have until December 31. Do it at the Whitney site.)

It was with much giddiness that I opened up my copy of the mother in me, a collection of essays, poetry, and photography entirely about motherhood, particularly the early years.


Feelin' Like Christmas

The Christmas spirit is starting to find its way into my heart . . . finally. I'm having a hard time grasping that the time is here again (where did the year go?!). To make matter worse, I'm nowhere near done with the shopping and all that. (Is it just me, or does having Thanksgiving so close to the end of November totally throw a wrench into things? I lost a week!)

We sat the kids down a few days ago and wrote down every Christmas-y thing we wanted to be sure to do this year. Then we plugged them all into the calendar. We have very few blank days; we'll be busy! I have a feeling we'll have a ball getting them all done.

The first item that made it onto the list is a family tradition inspired by my dad.

I grew up listening to Christmas carols on his old reel-to-reel player: Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra. You know, the classic goodies.

Because of those songs, I grew up with a simple belief: Christmas ain't Christmas without Bing.

Hubby discovered this early on…

Paying it Forward: A Giveaway

Those not in the publishing industry may not have heard about the ripples that the economy has made there. In short: it's very, very ugly.

This is an industry unlike any other: it's the only one I'm aware of where stores can order all they want and not pay upfront, then, if the books don't sell as much as they want, they just return them and never have to pay.

Here's what happened this fall: readers stopped buying books because of the economy. So bookstores had tons of extra books they hadn't paid for. They returned those books in droves. The result: Publishers are floundering, because they lost enough money in a month or two (not being paid at all for books, not selling any, and then losing more through returns and shipping) to throw them into the red for the entire year.

In many ways, it's an odd industry, because today's money comes from books acquired months if not years ago. Money from the books they're working on and publishing today won't co…

WNW: A Non-Native English Tongue-Twister

Wow: Word Nerd Wednesday two weeks in a row. It's a record. :P

I mentioned this one before, so I thought I'd elaborate on it (because of course these things fascinate me; I guess that's the point of WNW).

When I lived in Finland for a few years of grade school, the students were already taking foreign language classes. They started in third grade and got to pick either Swedish (the second national language of the country) or English. When they'd reach the equivalent of junior high, they'd pick up the other language.

I was part of the English class, which actually helped me learn Finnish. If you get a quiz where you have to write down "ruoka" in English, you have to know what it means in Finnish first (it means food, in case you were wondering).

My friends often tried out their English on me. When I first arrived in the country, the boys in our class yelled English phrases they'd heard on TV and in movies. I got a lot of "Bond, James Bond!" and &…

Visit Me

Today I'm on Blogger's Annex!

It's an oldie from my archives.

Chocolate! And a Cool New Site for Writers

First off, I've discovered an interesting phenomenon. My top three posts (based on hits and comments) have been about the following:

1) Politics
2) Twilight
3) Winning chocolate

Hmm. I should post more often on topics that people feel passionately about!

NOW . . . announcing the winner of the Word Nerd Wednesday contest:

Really truly, I used an online random number generator to pick the winner. I typed in the number of people who left their scores in the comments. The site picked #7. Then I counted down to find the winner.

I swear this isn't a matter of family loyalty, but it's still pretty darn cool that my sister-in-law at Lyon Pride won! (Yay, Tina!)

And for the sake of the sheer creativity of her comment, I'm going to award a second truffle bar to LisAway! (Lisa, e-mail me your address, k? I already have Tina's, so we're good there. :)

Finally, I have to point any aspiring writers to a cool new site where you can get critique feedback from other writers. It's ca…

Word Nerd Wednesday: Go for Launch!

Since the Word Nerd poll had an overwhelmingly positive response, I will be doing Word Nerd Wednesdays (although I'm making no promises about them being every week).

I'll be taking a blogcation for the rest of this week to enjoy Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd put up a fun Word Nerd activity until I get back.

How well do you know your homophones?

Take this test to find out.

Here's the deal: I've got a Utah Truffles bar to award!

To enter the drawing, take the quiz at the link above and then post your score in the comments. I won't be picking the highest score or anything like that. It'll be a random drawing from everyone who posts their score.

Being the ultimate word nerd, I feel like I should know it all, so I'm feeling a bit dumb that I didn't get all 43 correct. I missed one. Darn it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

(If you have an idea for a future Word Nerd Wednesday post, let me know!)

The Kid Is Going to Kill Me

A couple of weeks ago my son had a scary breathing (or, rather, lack thereof) episode at school. Long story short, while his diagnosis isn't clear yet, the doctor gave him orders to exercise to work his lungs.

It's November. It's cold. It's dark. Sure, I'll send my son out in the dark with a parka and make him ride his bike. Not happening.

But we do have a trusty treadmill.

How does one get a 13-year-old to work out on it?

I'm either brilliant or really stupid. I've got some extra baggage I'm trying to drop, so I thought that hey, why I don't the two of us have a little competition?

This is what we're doing: Whoever burns the most calories between now and the end of the year has to treat the other person to a movie of their choice, complete with popcorn and drinks. He's hoping he gets treated to some action/fantasy/boy movie, and he's sure that if I win, I'll make him pay for some girlie flick.

He got so excited about it that he immediatel…

You Want to Read This One--Oh, Yes, You Do!

I have 3 fun things to announce today:

1) The Her Good Name contest is now closed. The winner of a free, autographed copy of this awesome Josi. S. Kilpack novel is Cathy J!

(I'll be sending a notice out to my newsletter subscribers soon in case she doesn't see her name here.)

Which leads me to:

2) A NEW contest is now up on my site. This time the winner will get the complete, unabridged audio book (on CD) of J. Scott Savage's new hit fantasy, Farworld.

(You know you want it! It's a great book!)

How to enter:

Go to the contest page on my website and read the instructions there. You'll need to find the answer to a trivia question on the Farworld website (you'll find a link to it from my contest page).

When you find the answer, type it into the contest form, click "submit," and you're entered!

One entry per person, and no one in far-off countries, please. My postage budget can't take it. :)

"Far-off" is defined as in another cont…

Dissing Dora

Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found out that today author Lynne Truss is speaking at the BYU Devotional.

Woo! Yes! Snoopy happy dance! News like that is akin to Word Nerd Crack.

Alas . . . I can't make it. (I know. That fact is about killing me.)

No worries: I've already set my TiVo to record the devotional. The one they broadcast on KBYU had better be the live one. (If not, I'll still dig around and find the video to watch. I just GOTTA. It's Lynne Truss, people!)

Last night when I set the TiVo up to record, I got the warning that Dora the Explorer and The Wonder Pets! overlap with the devotional and wouldn't be recorded if I proceeded.

I had to choose: A speech by a writer I think is hilarious and witty on one hand, and my sweet little kindergartner who loves Dora and Tuck and all the little Wonder Pets on the other.

Simple answer, really. I'm hoping to keep #4 distracted from the TV today. She'll forgive me, right?

Thanksgiving with the Apes

Since hubby's family generally went up to Idaho to visit both sets of grandparents for Thanksgiving, and since Christmas tended to be a bigger deal for my family, that that's how we split up the two holidays the year we got married.

November, 1994: The day before Thanksgiving, we leave our little apartment (complete with puke green appliances, aqua sculpted carpet in the living room and rust-orange shag in the bedroom) and headed for Shelley, Idaho.

We spend the night at Grandma Lyon's house with the rest of my hubby's family. I wake up bright and early Thursday morning, determined to have a good Thanksgiving with my new in-laws and to not miss my own family too much.

Grandma has cable. In our little apartment back in Provo, we have rabbit ears letting us view a total of one channel (we watched a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation that year), and the rest of the family is pretty stoked about the cable too, so the TV is on a lot.

We end up watching Charlton Heston and Ro…

Konnie's Secret

My first big memory of Konnie was becoming her roomie at drill camp the summer before my sophomore year. I recognized her from school, but had never talked to her.

In all honesty, she sort of scared me. She had a total of eleven piercings between her two ears, was a transfer student (rumors were rampant as to why), a foster child (ditto), and it seemed a foregone fact to everyone that she'd been involved with drugs.

I have no idea if the drugs part was true, but as the months went on and we became friends, I was never aware of her doing anything shady like that, although it wouldn't surprise me to find out it was true. We'd been in P.E. together our freshman year. She'd looked rather Goth back then and hung out with friends who were less than savory (the type that hung out at "Stoner Wall" and were very open about their drug use). Not that any of those things are guarantees, but it's a good possibility.

That first day as roomies when we changed clothes, I no…

Yes, It's Brown. No, I Didn't Mean To.

It was an accident, and as soon as I can be sure that I won't fry my hair off, I'll be fixing it. (How is still somewhat up in the air . . .)

Until a couple of years ago, I'd never, ever colored my hair. Then I finally decided to join the rest of the adult female world and try to lighten up my darkening, used-to-be-blonde hair. I liked it, but I couldn't afford to keep it up at the salon, even at Fantastic Sam's prices.

Over the last while, I've been using a bottle at home. My first attempt went fine for the most part, but the color turned out slightly too reddish and light for my taste. I have nothing against natural red hair (I gave birth to three of the most adorable red heads EVER!), but dyed red hair doesn't usually look natural. And it didn't look that good; it looked kinda brassy on top of being too light.

Not wanting to risk a total disaster, I stuck with the color for awhile, but eventually tried another one. I went with a "neutral" vers…

I Heart Heat

Very early Sunday morning (or, rather, really late Saturday night), we woke up to the delightful smell of burning plastic wafting through the heat vents. As an added bonus, the house was freezing.

Yep. Our furnace is on the fritz.

I'm trying to put a good spin on the situation:
It's November, not January.Getting it fixed might not cost an arm and a leg. It'll still probably cost a few toes or fingers, and that stinks, since the furnace is all of 4 1/2 years old, but hey, I'm all for paying less. Even if I'm getting used to paying for broken stuff (like our transmission that died in August. That was fun.)Our gas fireplace pumps out heat pretty well.Baking rolls when your furnace is out helps heat up the kitchen.I have that nifty mini fireplace for my office that I'm blaring all day long.Recently, hubby got a space heater for the master bedroom (which is always the coldest place in the house even when the furnace is functioning). It, too, runs all the time now.I nev…

Boring Skin Pallettes

A good friend of mine served her LDS mission in Georgia, and when she came back to Utah (where she'd grown up), she complained that holy cow, the people here are so boring to look at. They all look the same!

Yep. I live in a very single-hued part of the world. Most people around here are of European descent (including yours truly), so you walk around seeing lots and lots of pasty white faces. Not much variation.

However, I never thought much about it until I became a mom. Sure, there was that one black kid in my class at high school. He stood out, but everyone adored him because he was a football star.

The first time the whiteness of our area became a concern for me was after the birth of my second child. (A lot of things suddenly become a concern when you're a parent, don't they?)

She had a bright shock of red hair. From the moment she was born, anywhere we went, people stopped to notice her and her adorable red hair. She was used to this. The first thing she learned in life …

Housekeeping Notice

Looks like one of my e-mail addresses is having a blip, so I can send from it but not receive messages at it.

I'm a compulsive e-mail checker, so if you've e-mailed me recently and I haven't responded, that's why: I haven't gotten your message.

(In case you're wondering.)

I have no idea where the gremlin is or what is causing the problem, but I hope it'll be fixed soon. If you need to reach me in the meantime, leave a comment or try annette at lyfe dot com

Carry on!

ABBA. Not the Election

Thought I'd say that upfront. Yes, go vote. Yes, I already did. (I got to last week in early voting. Duty done.)

With that out of the way, I thought I'd post something a bit more fun.

Shortly after high school graduation, I was invited to what was called a "Better Sounds" party. I had a very . . . interesting . . . group of friends at the time.

The focus of this particular party was the Mamas and the Papas . . . and ABBA. (Light bulbs going off in anyone's heads about now?)

We were encouraged to show up in 60s clothing. At the risk of Sam killing me, I'll post this:

Weren't we adorable? I'm wearing clothes Mom actually wore in the 60s. She even gave me the beehive. Scary glasses, no? (I just did the math on how many years it's been since that picture was taken. Holy freak, it was almost half my life ago. I'm not old . . . I'm not old . . .)

Will, our host, gave us an education on both musical groups, and then we listened to their music while hav…

Three Items of Importance

First, I'm not a huge Halloweener, but here's my effort at being festive for you:

This is the costume my youngest wore a couple of years ago and the one I'm most proud of making (even counting the elaborate lion I slaved over and spent way too much on when #1 was two).

That year, her brother was Obi Wan and one of her older sisters was Princess Lea. So Hubby thought it'd be awesome to carry on the Star Wars theme and make her Yoda. She was too young to have much say in the matter, so we went ahead with it, and she was the neighborhood hit.

(Props to #3, who refused to be a Star Wars lemming and insisted instead on being Cinderella.)

Second, Notice the link at the top right? It'll soon be replaced with a fancy schmancy button, which will be up for the entire month of November.

Starting tomorrow, November 1,gothere often to bid on some rockin' awesome items, from jewelry to chocolate to Twilight shirts to autographed books to professional edits (including one by yours…

Your Wish . . . Sort of

A couple of people asked for a picture of The Purple Tent. I seriously don't remember ever seeing a picture taken from that Halloween. I wonder if I screamed and ran from the camera or something.

But here's one from the previous year (or the one before that . . . I'm not sure I'm remembering the dates), when all three of us sisters were gypsies:

I'm in the middle with the red head scarf.

Dontcha LOVE the 70s era curtains behind us, out-done only by the shag carpet? Aw . . . look at my cute baby-fat cheeks. Wait. I STILL have the same cheeks. Baby fat isn't so cute when you're entering your mid-thirties, darn it.

Hope my sisters don't mind me posting that. Freaky thing is that they almost look like themselves still, especially Mel (left).

Of all my siblings (there's one more; my big brother isn't pictured. I think this was his year as a blue Incredible Hulk), I'm the one who's changed the most since childhood, to the point that my husband can&…

Halloween as a Purple Tent

Somewhere around third grade, I had dreams of the perfect Halloween costume. I wanted to be a magical fairy princess, you know, the kind that flits around like a glowing orb on her gauzy wings and bestows wishes?

Something elegant, mystical, and beautiful. Something like this:

When explaining what I wanted, I made the mistake of telling my mother, seamstress extraordinaire, that I wanted to be a fairy godmother.

My bad. My really, really bad.

Mom took me at my word. She sewed up a costume that looked remarkably like this:

Yep. That year I wore a giant purple tent with a hood. I don't recall having a maroon bow or two colors of purple, though. Just the lavender tent.

It was totally my fault, because I didn't explain it well enough, and all Mom had to go by was the only fairy godmother she'd ever seen. And by golly, I did look like Disney's overweight matron. All I needed to round out the image was an extra fifty pounds, white hair, and dentures.

Mom was thrilled with …

An Answer: Word Nerd Rears Her Head

It's been weeks since MelanieJ asked a linguistic question involving the letter Q. In typical word nerd fashion, I dug around and answered it. Because I have a compulsion like that.

In the comments, I volunteered to explain why Brits insist on pronouncing "lieutenant" as if there's an "f" in the middle ("luff-tenant"). A couple of commenters expressed interest. Whether they were just being nice, I'll never know.

But for all three people out there who enjoy these things, here we go. Keep in mind that I'm not a linguist or an expert on these things. This is just what I've pieced together from my time in college and doing minor research on my own. So take it for what it's worth:

Many, many years ago (in the ages of Old and/or Middle English), the letters F and V were pretty much interchangeable and pronounced the same.

So fox could be (and often was) spelled vox.

Remember, this is before the printing press, public education, and other thin…