Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life, Writing

Writerly and Life Update, Fall Edition

It’s been a busy time for me, both as a writer and as a person living life. In the “life” side of things, the spousal unit and I have been attempting to settle in to our new home, and new routines. But the season is changing, making everything unsettled. More unsettling is how the season is changing. I’m used to leaves changing colors, temperatures dipping towards frost at night and gardens needing closing up for the coming snowy, cold winter season.

Here, however, this is just not the case. Gardens are ramping up, not down. Case in point: I just finished planting out into the garden carrot seedlings, and yellow pear tomato seedlings. The beets are growing nicely, and it looks like the bell pepper plant left for me may yet pull through–it’s regaining leaves and sports a lovely blossom right now. The basil is rejuvenating, and the recently planted Meyer lemon tree is growing like a flipping weed!

Another case in point, on the ornamental side of things:


This is a tropical bird of paradise plant. I will have to cover it once cold weather (below about 50°F) sets in, but just now, it’s covered in blossoms. Eleven of them, to be precise. It’s hard to feel “autumnal” when tropical plants are blooming in your yard.

But the weather has cooled off, even if the rains haven’t released their hold. The last two days have seen highs in the low 80s, and lows into the low 70s to upper 60s. Definitely “open window season,” by my take, despite the drizzly, all-day rains and (obviously) high humidity. And today there’s a pot of stock cooking on the stove, enhancing the “fall-ness” of things. Mmmm, homemade stock. Soup for dinner tonight. Probably something SE Asian in feel–it just isn’t cold enough for anything heavier.

This weekend, we travel northwards for our nephew’s wedding. We’ll get to sample fall in Buffalo (brrr, but yay). Which leads into writing.

I’ve been focused on the novel, trying to get caught up and falling ever more behind, instead. And all those short story ideas are just…killing me, begging for my attention. Not writing short stories and having lots of submissions out makes my inner critic scream at me that I’m a slacker, not a real writer, all that stuff and nonsense. And while I know it’s nonsense, it also feels like a real critique, a dart that finds a home and hurts. Because, you know, Inner Critic knows how to aim really well.

So, during the weekend of wedding travel, I won’t be working on the novel. I’ll be working on short stories! Hurray!! I’ll come home ready to start the next phase of the novel, refreshed (I hope) by the distance, and I’ll have a short story (dare I hope for two?!?) to keep that nasty critic at bay for another few weeks.

And so it goes: a balancing act of long and short, writing and life. How’s it going for you?